Why Your Kids Shouldn't Watch "Curious George"
Curious George is a kids' show that's based off of a series of popular books written by H. A. and Margaret Rey. It was a popular movie with the same name. And, for the last few years, it has been a show on PBS. The characters are over-the-top, the situations are silly, and it seems like it's always on TV. My kids love this show, and I really wish they wouldn't. When it's on, I try to either distract them from the show with an activity or just change the channel. It is my opinion that this show isn't good for kids to watch.
George Is a Bad Example
One of the gimmicks of the show is all the trouble that George gets into on a regular basis. The Man in the Yellow Hat, whom I will from now on just refer to as "The Man," has to deal with all the messes and damages that a monkey without supervision can dish out. If he's not burying all the food in the house in the dirt, he's covering the apartment in paint or flour.
I would hate to be The Man. He's living in my nightmare. There are some days when it feels like Curious George has made a run through my son's room when he feels like it's time to destroy a box from Amazon. But I get it. Kids make messes, too.
The only thing is that George is never held accountable for his actions. He'll wreck a department store display, make a huge mess in a restaurant's kitchen, or flood the entire house when he made an igloo inside. This show is supposed to have some sort of educational aspect to it, and quite frankly I'm not sure what that is supposed to be. I'm more than okay with my children watching silly shows that are just for pure entertainment, like My Little Pony or Kazoops. But if a show is sending the wrong message about behavior and it's supposed to be teaching them something, then that's a program that my kids shouldn't watch.
George Doesn't Speak
Say what you want about Dora the Explorer or Barney, but at least their characters speak, either to each other or to the audience. When my son was first watching this show as a toddler, instead of using words, he'd mimic George's squeals and yells. He was at such an important age when it came to using speech, and his favorite show featured a monkey that makes messes and screams. My son wouldn't even say the name of the show; he'd just make monkey sounds and point to the TV.
This point is pretty personal, but I can't be the only parent out there worried about their kid's speech. It's awful when you cannot communicate clearly with your child, and we were desperate to find a solution. After it dawned on my wife and me that this show might not be helping him learn, we switched him over to more appropriate programs, like Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street.
Just a Bad Quality Show
This may seem harsh, critiquing a kids' cartoon show, but I'm going to do it anyway. I've earned the right to complain after watching this show hundreds of times. The stories are all the same. George is curious about something, makes a huge mess and gets in trouble, and then he gets out of it because he's a silly monkey. The characters are bland and poorly written. The kids featured in the show are horrible, and their parents are nowhere to be found.
There are great shows for kids on PBS: Nature Cat, Wild Kratts, Odd Squad, and the American treasure Sesame Street. They have good stories, great characters, and the incredible potential to teach kids something other than making messes.
There's nothing more important to me than my children. I want what's best for them, and sometimes that means that there are shows they don't watch. When I was a kid, those shows were The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-Head. When my parents put that boundary there, it was for my own good. I understand that now as an adult. It seems absurd to have such a strong stance against a television show about a messy monkey—almost as absurd as owning a free-range monkey that only makes messes and costs you money.