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When Television Helps You Parent Better

posted by Evan Derrick

Just the other week I received a shock as a parent that I should have known was coming. My 5-year old daughter, who started school this year, came home distraught. She’s normally quite chipper, so I asked her what was wrong. “Johnny said I have a square head,” she replied. Now while it is a universal truth that kids are mean to one another, for some reason I never expected them to be mean to my child. Never mind that the insult was inherently ridiculous; it was hurtful to my innocent little girl who has no idea there are far worse things to be called in this world. I spent the next 5 minutes trying to convince her that her head was actually shaped like a peach and not a nasty square.

The story above illustrates why I love the VeggieTales folks. As a young parent with kids who consume way more television I should probably let them consume, it’s really nice to have programming that actually teaches them good lessons. A lot of shows pretend to do this, but few really do. There have been a number of times when I’ve had serious conversations with my daughter, and in order to get a difficult point across, I inevitably end up saying, “Remember in that VeggieTales episode when….” Sure, television (even really GOOD television) is no substitute for good ole’ fashioned parenting. But it can help at times.

The new VeggieTales flick, “Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men,” would have been helpful in my your-head-isn’t-square-shaped conversation with my daughter. It deals with hurt and betrayal and forgiveness, as Robin Good’s friends turn their back on him (they’re ‘not-so-merry,’ after all). The show tries to teach kids how to forgive others, even when they don’t deserve it. That’s a hard enough lesson for me to learn myself, let alone teach my child.

Check out the trailer below for a sneak peek of the new episode! If you’ll excuse me, I have to go console my little girl; her friends have moved up from square-based insults to trapezoid-based ones.



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