By: Crissie Miller Kirby
As you will see from my late night ramblings about Christmas being shoved down our throats before Halloween, I tend to unearth some interesting articles. I have found yet another interesting article to share with you – “Are Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang too mean for today’s kids?” Seriously? The article goes on to talk about the “stupid,” “dumb,” “blockhead,” monikers bestowed on some of the characters, mostly Charlie, and how that may be setting a bad example for the children of today.
First of all, let’s face the facts here: it is a CARTOON people. Getting worked up over a time-honored classic basically says that we are out of focus in today’s society. Instead of using the television as a teacher or a babysitter, we could use it as a jumping off point. Why not use those words in that cartoon to teach a lesson about how hurtful those words can be?
Also, think about what Charlie Brown does in his cartoons. He gets a little down, a little crestfallen, but he ultimately perseveres. He doesn’t let those words make him lash out in anger or pull an oozie on someone. He is who he is, and he doesn’t let the ridicule slow him down or define him.
Another great example is found in Finding Nemo. As you all know, I have two boys under the age of 7, and this was Pierce’s favorite movie before he turned 2 years old. Our copy of Nemo often goes missing because I WANT it to go missing. Why? Anyone recall the moment right after Marlin tells Nemo that he can’t swim out to sea?? What is Nemo’s response? “I hate you!”
So how did I handle that? Did I banish my children from watching it? Umm, NO. What did I do? Yep, you guessed it. This mom took those three words and used them as a chance to have talks with my boys about how mean and disrespectful it is to say that to someone, especially to a parent.
Honestly, I have more heart palpitations over the fact that Max and Ruby appear to have no parents yet appear to live alone, ride on the bus alone, and go shopping alone. Anyone else think about the absurdities of Dora and Diego? Diego is eight, yet, he drives? What about Spongebob and Patrick and all of the real weirdness that resides in Bikini Bottom?
The article also goes on to say that there is nothing good in the Charlie Brown cartoons for today’s children. Again, seriously?
First of all, as a believer in Christ, I LOVE the fact that my children can still watch a cartoon that was aired on television that references what the true meaning of Christmas is and delivers quotations from the Bible. I still get goosebumps every time I hear the innocent, sweet voice of Linus deliver his monologue of the Birth of Christ. Secondly, Charlie picks out what we all deem to be the ugliest tree on the lot. However, after all of the children come together to work on it, it turns into a beautiful tree and Charlie, himself, is wished a “Merry Christmas” by all of the other children who typically torment him. How does that fit in to your head about giving people a chance and changing attitudes and perceptions?
Thanks, I think I’ll keep letting the boys watch, and learn, from good ole Charlie Brown.