c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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fwiw, Caillou is four.

If you're actually a non-casual caretaker of kids Caillou's age and younger, you know that in fact, toddlers and preschoolers do get distraught when it doesn't snow on schedule, or people don't do exactly what they want when you want, or similar -- my kid *right now* is threatening a meltdown b/c I won't give her a third cup of juice, only water. Caillou is intended to give them the emotional language to identify their feelings and also to realize that this shit ain't cosmic.

IOW, it isn't about protecting their innocence. It's pedagogical, not coddling.

Also, it's not like kids are going to have a diet of all Caillou, nothing else, until they reach the age of majority.

I, frankly, find Caillou alternately boring and annoying. And don't talk to me about his parents. Or the subtle racism and sexism. But the reason kids love Caillou is b/c it speaks to their world. I mean, not all kids, duh. What it doesn't do is speak to the world of adults, which is why we find it dissonant.

Edited at 2011-09-26 05:05 pm (UTC)

Also, having spent a great deal of time watching this show, I think your characterization of its lack of conflict and meanness is highly exaggerated.

I did only see one episode. It just struck me enough to post about it.

I think that some of what you're seeing is that in the last 20 years (thanks in part to Sesame Street) children's programming -- esp. preschool programming, and double plus especially for PBS shows -- are strongly affected by child development insights of, well, the last 20 years, and that's affected pacing, language, structure, and content.

It's more constructive IMHO to compare Caillou to its rough contemporaries -- I mean, you want a conflict-free utopia stocked with entitled children, with a dollop of cultural tourism on the side? Let me introduce you to Barney...or, man, don't get me started on the Nick Jr. shows up to and including Yo Gabba Gabba, aaaaaarrrrgh. Caillou is allowed to experience frustration and disappointment and still not get what he wants. Which is why I grit my teeth and bear it.

But I look forward to my kids being old enough for Word Girl with bated breath.

Butting in to say that this:

But I look forward to my kids being old enough for Word Girl with bated breath.

Makes me so happy to see (is an animator on Word Girl).

Oh yeah, Word Girl is great! And my daughters love anything with superheroes. Thumbs up from all of us.

you get a thumbs up in general then.

You know, maybe it's because I was already being abused at age 3 that it all seems so awful to me.

This. I had a really hard time finding child programming for my son when he was very small that didn't make me tear my hair out/get angry in an out-of-proportionate way. We ended up reading a lot of books.

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