Thursday, February 19, 2009

Parenting & Road Runner

As a parent of boys, I try to plan ahead for what I can use to provide positive and negative reinforcement. We let them watch TV during the day - exclusively PBS Kids (the shows are truly educational, there are no commercials, and other networks - I'm looking at you Nick Jr. - have frenetic and often stupid shows) but when they get ready for bed, we let them watch a little more TV. This allows us to get them in PJs and brush their teeth while using the TV as inducement/punishment. Inducement because they're tired and glazed when ogling the tube, and punishment in that we pause/stop the DVD when they don't cooperate.

So what to let them watch? I decided to start with Road Runner. This was a risky move, because early cartoons are pretty violent. But (a) there are no words, good for their age, (b) the violence is actually not as bad as I remember (we have only the 'toons from the 50s-60s), and (c) since the violence is focused on the coyote, and he's clearly the antagonist, there's a morality to what happens. This is in contrast to Sylvester and Tweetie, which I never liked as a kid: these have words (often bad ones for kids, with insults and mean language), and much more gruesome violence. I was right to not like them as a child, who knew?

Pic from here of an actual Road Runner. Backpost finished 2009-12-06.

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