Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spiderman vs. Thomas

I wonder when I'll let Eason start watching shows with violence like superheroes and power rangers. For the time being I'm more than happy to prolong his interest in the more innocent variety of television entertainment. While he no longer has that much interest in Barney and Sesame Street, his favorites include Thomas and Friends, Little Einsteins, Blues Clues, and now his new favorite Go, Diego, Go. All of these shows are educational and none of them have anything close to violence. I know it's a matter of time before he loses interest in these shows, but the longer it lasts the better.

I'm bothered by the amount of exposure he receives from his classmates to what I call "fantasy violence" entertainment. He's always asking me, not only about who the various superheroes are, but who they fight and kill. I just don't understand why parents want to expose their three to five year olds to this.

The other day Eason was playing with one of his friend at a train table and the friend's mom asked me if Eason was interested in Spiderman. Feeling as strongly about it as I do I answered "no, I'm trying to delay his exposure to fantasy violence as long as possible." She let me know that her son was into Spiderman and we left it at that.

Later on we were discussing our toy trains and she explained to me that she didn't like Thomas and Friends because the trains were always making sour faces.

Personally I think Thomas and Friends is a great show and does a fantastic job of demonstrating interpersonal issues related to behavior and emotions and the consequences of inconsiderate or selfish behavior. I think that Sir Topham Hat is supposed to be like the teacher and all the engines are students. The trucks are work and the coaches are play.

Anyway, even though Spiderman is relatively well intentioned, compared to Thomas and his friend's sour faces, I think Thomas would win out for me every time.

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