Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Evolution of a Dinosaur Named Barney

Much has been written about TV and its effects on children.  Should they watch? How much should they watch? The debate rages on.  I think there are plenty of educational TV shows out there that can benefit children. They shouldn't watch too much of course. I certainly hope Braden would rather play outside despite the fact that this seems like a dying pastime. Anyway he should at least watch less TV than his Dad.

I never really worried about Braden watching TV because he wouldn't sit still long enough. He runs and runs and runs through the house all day long. He has been doing this since he started walking in September.  As time went by he would occasionally stop in front of the TV when something caught his eye or more often his ear.  Sometimes he would stop and watch odd things like Dirty Jobs or the Bourne Identity.  No matter what was on TV he would always stop when he heard singing.

As time went by part of his daily routine would be to watch PBS in the morning a little with his Mom. She was learning what shows he liked and watching them with him sometimes.  Most days he watches PBS or other cartoons when he gets up. I need coffee. Braden needs cartoons. Whatever gets you going.

Other days the TV stays on cartoons just in case Braden runs by and decides to stop.  When you have an active toddler in the house encouraging him to stop from time to time is necessary for your sanity.  It is better he stops for educational PBS shows than for ice cream or playing with scissors.

The first show Arica noticed that Braden liked was "It's a Big Big World."  This PBS show comes on at noon every day. I have been coming home for lunch every day to eat a sandwich since long before Braden arrived. Now along with the sandwich I work in time to play with Braden and hopefully help Arica out. During these lunches I have seen the big world quite a few times.

Arica says the main character, a sloth named Snook, sounds like he is high.  I have to agree. Snook and his friends also live in the "world tree" and do many environmentally themed shows. One show was about helping the tree.  Helping is just another "h" word to substitute for hugging. I think Snook is a hippie.

What comes right after the tree hugging sloth named Snook?  Barney!!

A lot of people have bad mouthed the purple dinosaur over the years, but as far as I can tell he is a dinosaur sensation. So far Barney is cool with me.  We will see how that changes as I watch him millions of times.

Braden loves Barney. Sometimes when he is in a terrible mood and crying about everything, I will say "let's go watch Barney." When Braden hears this he runs straight for the TV and stands there staring at it. Another time I use this tactic is when he is holding on to his mom crying to be held while she is busy with her hair or makeup or cooking.  When he is like that nothing will deter him, except maybe Barney.

Using these tactics has taught me a lesson though.  Some idiots that make these DVDs put long promos and ads before the main menu. You can't fast forward or skip ahead. You have to watch several of these before you can get to Barney. So be sure to never ask your kid if they want to watch Barney unless the DVD is queued up and ready.

Otherwise they will not stand there all mellowed out like our buddy Snook. They will scream and yell until they hear:

Barney is a Dinosaur from our imagination.....


GreenJello said...

I always liked Barney, too, even on the 100th showing of the same episode. I even admit to liking Teletubbies.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Yes, those videos seem to work like magic for the little guys, don't they?

We are letting Lukas watch a selective few these days, and it just snowballs.

But he loves it.

Brandy said...

HA - i totally agree about the dumb previews. G also loves barney. and imagination movers

PJ Mullen said...

I limit my son's television time mostly because the programming generally makes me want to stab myself in the ear with a pencil. I'm pretty sure there are only four episodes of any given children's show and that they are recut in an endless combination because children love repetition. I swear I've seen the episode where Elmo talks about his friends first hair cut 74,000 times and little man gets two hours of TV a day.

Manic Mommy said...

Never liked Barney. We were an Elmo house - we have about a zillion dvds and most were memorized. I love me some Elmo.

But you're right; after about a 1,000 viewings, nothing is good.

KWG said...

Right on, brother. I think I need to check out the Snook.

We limit the TV Bea watches, but me and Mama?

Screw reading. We're TV junkies.


seashore subjects said...

I loved the calming effect of Barney and Little Bear when my kids were little.

But if you want to see some truly stoned characters, watch Yo Gabba Gabba, they put Snook the hippy to shame! (a bit creepy, but they cracked my youngest up)

Rob said...

LOL. That is too funny because I totally know what you mean. Shae used to be a big freak for Elmo but she is at that age where most cartoons make her happy. My kids were never really into Barney which I think is a good think because every preview I see it looks annoying (just my opinion though).

surprised mom said...

I absolutely ADORE Barney. He's been a long time. My oldest started watching Barney when she was a toddler. Her little sister followed suit. I have the original videos (yes, tapes, not DVDs) without the long commercial beginnings. We had Barney plush toys, Barney wash cloths and towels, and . . . :) Barney was a superstar in our house. I still harbor fond feelings for Barney because of all the good feelings he gave my girls.

Braden has good taste!