Ohk, we all know that too much screen time is not good for kids, right? But what do you do when you’ve ticked off all your Lockdown activities and you really just need to make sure your toddler is entertained long enough for you to get your work done? Exactly how much is ‘too much screen time’ and who gets to define that for my child.
I got my son to watch two of his favorite shows, Peppa Pig and Blippi, because of the cuteness and innocence of Peppa Pig and the educational content on Blippi. I’m not really one to limit screen time based on the daily hour limit set by psychologists who have studied the effects of screen time on toddlers. However, I do believe that it is very important to ensure that the content your child consumes is not harmful to his development and to make sure that your child doesn’t end up spending the whole day in front of a screen. Children differ immensely, so I don’t believe in a one size fit all kind of parenting approach. Therefore, what follows is just an account of how watching too much Peppa Pig affected my son.
At first glance, I thought Peppa Pig was an innocent show about a cute pig with a brother who loves dinosaurs just like my son. He’s been watching Peppa Pig for a very long time now without any problems, but this was the first time he watched it for long periods of time in a day.
He would cry over everything and just throw tantrums when things are not going his way. I overheard him a couple of times telling my little brother that he doesn’t want to play with him anymore then he started saying the same phrase to me when I would say no to him. After spending some time trying to figure out what could’ve led to my son’s sudden change in behavior, I decided to search for Youtube videos regarding the two pig’s behavior and these are the three bad behaviors that I came across on the videos. They were similar to the behavioral changes that I had started noticing in my son.
- George Crying Over Everything: George is Peppa’s 18 months old baby brother who loves his little green T-rex and this was actually the main thing that attracted me to the show. I knew that Rofhiwa (my son) would be able to relate to him as he also loves his T-rex. This cuteness quickly disappears when he starts crying over everything! In the one episode, George cried because his friend, was holding two dinosaurs and you can hear the narrator saying that George doesn’t like to share. Instead of his parents teaching him to share, they grabbed both dinosaurs and gave them to George. So Rofhiwa then quickly realized that he had lost his magic spell for getting the ‘yes’ all the time, unfortunately for him, his parents don’t easily give in to manipulation.
- Rude and Bossy Little Miss Peppa Pig: Peppa pig is a four-year-old pig that is described as ‘lovable but a slight bossy’. I honestly think they need to remove the word “slightly” because this little pig is a little bossy bomb ready to explode every time things don’t go her way. She’s seen in one of the episodes getting angry at her best friend Suzzy for winning twice in a row and we also get to hear her favourite phrases “I don’t want to play with you anymore” and “We’re not friends anymore”. Everything has to go her way and favour her or else everyone, including poor George and daddy pig, will feel the wrath of Peppa.
- There’s No Punishment For Bad behavior: There is no episode that goes by without the little pigs misbehaving. Peppa pig’s disrespectfulness towards daddy pig is overlooked and instead of her parents reprimanding her, they laugh at it. Furthermore, George cries over everything and instead of being thaught to voice his emotions, his parents give him what he wants while totally disregarding how their actions would affect others.
Rofhiwa wasn’t the most well-behaved child before that one week of watching too much Peppa pig, but he certainly didn’t behave the way he did after the hours he spent watching the show. I read a few reviews and blogs to find out if any other parent has had this happen to their child and I found that I was not alone in this. Parents all over the world are complaining about the bad behavioral habits that are portrayed by the two little pigs, from the tantrums to the body shaming.
However, there were parents in my circle whose children have been watching Peppa Pig without imitating the pigs’ behavior or getting the so-called “Peppa Pig Syndrome”. As I mentioned in the beginning that kids differ, some can watch the show and not be affected at all. This really just made me more careful about what I allow my child to consume. Peppa Pig is currently banned in our house.
Please comment and share your experience with Peppa Pig or any other kiddies show that you believe to have had any bad influence on your child.