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Kimberly Wilson

Have you seen Caillou? That is one of our favorites. Caillou and his sister, Rosie, play with their friends, go to the park, do things with Mommy and Daddy, etc. They aren't doing anything but being little kids.

The show is great, it has the kids playing with each other and it shows them interacting, positively, with their parents. Mommy and Daddy are very involved and are kind, loving, and firm parents.

Calliou is a French-Canadian cartoon that comes on PBS. Our two love it.

Thomas J. Wilson

"Jakers!, The Adventures of Piggly Winks" is another one of our favorites around here! It is about an Irish Grandfather interacting with his grandkids and teaching them interpersonal and social lessons by telling them stories from his childhood. The bulk of the episodes are the flashbacks to the grandfather's childhood. So much of it is about play, learning, imagination, and interaction.

We also do "Curious George" regularly-- George is not necessarily on a "Mission" but he sure is investigating--"let's see what happens when we do THIS" sort of thing.

And then there is always Animal Planet (Meerkat Manor is a fave) and National Geographic Channel, which can get a little fierce at times, but it is all usually pretty good, especially at trying to find benign ways of addressing issues like life and death, etc. Thy also have things like "The Eukaneuba Tournament of Champions" (dog show competitions) or shows like "Barking Mad" (on Animal Planet) or "The Dog Whisperer" (on national Geographic)--these are both about pet training and animal behavior. Olivia recognizes Cesar (from the Dog Whisperer) by sight.


actually, caillou is a regular on our dvr also. we haven't done curious george much, either.

unfortunately, though, we don't get animal planet with our smaller-than-your-average-satellite plan, so when elisa wants something decidedly NOT preschool, she usually opts for "dirty jobs with mike rowe" on discovery. the kids love it, although i'm not sure it's always appropriate! :-)

Thomas J. Wilson

Mike Rowe is a SCREAM. . .he is a freakin NUT.

That is one of Me and Drew's faves. One of the regulars on our DVR, along with History Channel's "Lost Worlds".

We have regularly scheduled, aside from our Cop shows (a couple of the CSI's, Criminal Minds, SVU):

Vh1 Classic Concert
Curious George
Dirty Jobs
Meerkat Manor

You need to tell them Texans to get out of the damn stone age and get some animal planet. (or do they only like animals when they can SHOOT them--I bet they have OLN on the satellite--the Outdoor Life Network--Hunting and fishing) Move out of the sticks buddy!!!


Curious George looked really good when it came out, and I'm kind of sad that I'm so scared to let them watch it. It's just that living with the live version of Curious George makes me hesitant to provide a perfectly good model in mischief. Jack doesn't need any inspiration in that department!!

Thomas J. Wilson

Nor our Sam. . .but it is good problem solving and investigating. . .Plus, I think it is good to see the unconditional Love that the Man in the Yellow Hat shows to George--he makes him take responsibility for his messes (George does A LOT of cleaning up) , but he ALWAYS treats him with Love and support.


Well, maybe I should let them start watching it...

MAYBE I should watch to see how the Man in the Yellow Hat acts when he's at his wits end! :-)

Thomas J. Wilson

Yeah, that and "Bear in the Big Blue House". the fact that this 8 foot bear does not eat any of these insane, active, troublesome, active, inquisitive, temperamental, active, little animals is a GREAT inspiration for me.

If I were HALF the stay at home Dad that Bear is, I would be doing pretty good.

Kimberly Wilson

If I were a bear, I would probably eat Sam :o)


barry writes:

i think, though, that what you're noticing isn't necessarily as much the attitude that americans have toward goals and missions and all that. odysseus didn't just be.

i think what you've hit on is more about the attitude americans have toward children's entertainment. and these attitudes aren't just american -- they've pervaded the west. from aesop to fairy tales to newberry death books to sesame street, stuff for kids is invariably about making them better citizens, which is why the stuff that's pure entertainment for any given generation is so reviled by parents.


hmmm...barry, i don't think i agree with you on this one. i see a pretty big difference between making kids better citizens and the kind of "mission-orientation" i'm seeing. in fact, i would argue the opposite. charlie and lola learning to share is much more likely to make the viewing children better people than the little einsteins re-assembling the birthday machine.

i'd be interested to hear your thoughts after watching a dozen or so hours of all the shows i mentioned!


I love Charlie and Lola too! The books are just as fun.

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