For Joe's birthday we got him the old Disney movie Peter Pan. I thought it would be great for a little boy. Pirates, adventure, imagination... all wonderful parts of childhood, right? Then Joe watched it and as soon as Peter said girls talk too much I started paying attention. I could go on and on about what bothered me in this movie, but basically... Peter Pan is a movie full of super mean people. Tinkbell is mean, Peter is cocky and mean, those horrid mermaids are mean (and attempted murderers.) Captain Hook is mean, but that's to be expected.
I'm not quite sure of the moral of the story with this movie. I haven't watched the whole thing beginning to end because that's impossible with two tiny people trying to mutiny against you. There very well could be a very solid message to this movie, but with all the cruelty and bullying going on, it's hard to tell.
I was tempted to put this movie onto my "hide the DVD box" list. It's not like I will forbid him from seeing it, but the movie just annoys me so much that I'd rather him not see it for awhile. This list is long... Cailou and Yo Gabba Gabba are also on here. This list contains programming that generally annoys me and/or that I think contains a poor message.
Some people might think I'm overreacting. It's just Disney. It's just a classic cartoon. Rest assured, I know all this. We are not those parents who are overly strict with what we will let our kids watch. We don't ban Santa Claus or tell him fairies are of the devil. There will obviously be some programming that will not be allowed, but classic Disney is not on that list. It's more of a "I won't encourage them to watch this show because it bugs the crap out of me" sort of list.
But all this got me thinking. I know that young children should limit their TV time, blah blah blah... but what I think is more important is for parents to WATCH the shows their children are watching and explain what is going on. Instead of shoving Peter Pan in the back of the DVD case maybe I should let him watch it and point out how we shouldn't be mean to others. Maybe this could be a good opportunity to teach him a thing or two about manners and how to treat others.
But is age three too young to do that? Do you sit with your children and explain what they are watching?
Or should I just shut up and let him enjoy his cartoons?