“Big Kid” TV


When Lily was really little we were SUPER AMAZING PARENTS and didn’t let her little eyes ever see a TV. Because it would destroy her developing brain forever.

After she turned two we gradually gave into a little TV. Mostly because I was pregnant and tired and she was, well two, and did I mention I was tired and pregnant. But then it was ONLY educational TV where she would learn to count to ten in Spanish or learn about famous composers. (we also quickly learned Calliou is from the devil).

Pretty much the same routine followed with Hannah but we probably got a little more lax. Not necessarily in what she could watch, but the frequency. Her viewing habits still leaned heavily towards PBS kids and educational Nick Jr. shows. We have a lot of Dora toys still milling about the house.

As you can imagine with Silas all bets are off. The kids watches TV every morning upon awaking (mostly so we can get a few more precious minutes of sleep). And his favorite shows, Peppa Pig and Bubble Guppies, have very little value.

For the longest time our rule has been “no kids shows with real people in them”. Not because they are necessarily corrupt, but just because the glimpses I have seen have a lot of sassy and disrespectful kids in them. And I am pretty sure my kids don’t need lessons in THAT. Bring back the Dora por favor.

But there comes a point when it just doesn’t seem fair to force your almost ten year old (WHAT??) to watch cartoon characters asking what shape has three sides. At the same time, usually they all watch TV together so I have to make sure Silas isn’t exposed to things I don’t want him seeing.

So back during Pukefest 2013, when Lily and I were stuck in bed all day she convinced me to watch an episode of Good Luck Charlie with her. She had seen an episode at a friend’s house (which she really isn’t supposed to do, but in between puking seemed like a non-ideal time to lecture her on this fact) and assured me it was appropriate. I was actually super impressed that she said the only thing I might take issue with was that the mom didn’t always speak to the dad respectfully. Dang, they are apparently listening after all.

Anywho, we downloaded and episode and interweb peeps? I enjoyed it. It reminded me a bit of the family shows I grew up with, laugh tracks and all. The family all loved each other and treated each other well. There were mini life lessons to be learned. Although instead of relating to the kids I found myself relating to the mom (who by the way has a small muffin top so kudos to Disney for casting a mom who LOOKS like a mom).

So now Good Luck Charlie resides on our DVR with Peppa Pig and Phineas and Ferb (who I also secretly enjoy). I have also found that America’s Funniest Home Videos and Family Game Night are awesome no matter how old you are. When we really want to blow the kids mind we let them eat at TV trays and watch those as a family. Fun mom wins!!

How about you? What shows do you let your kids (or not let your kids) watch?


  1. America’s Funniest Home Videos ALL THE WAY! My kids (and I ) like Good Luck Charlie. There have been several shows with real people on them, and it’s given us wonderful teaching moments for ‘that’s not how real people are supposed to act’ and they get paid for that conversations.

    As well as, if you ever talk to me like that or treat your brother/sister like that, you won’t be able to use your hands for a month you’ll be writing so many lines and apologies – letters ;-)

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  2. I don’t let Annalyn watch any “big kid shows” (in other words, shows with real people). I’m even pretty strict about which cartoons I let her watch (although there’s still a LONG list of shows she “loves”). I have caught a few minutes of several Disney “big kid” shows and they all seem pretty tame. (For the record, I’ve seen them when I put the TV on the Disney Channel before heading to bed so A can turn on the TV in the morning. It’s because I’m lazy, NOT because I like to watch disney shows.)
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  3. We don’t have cable, so that helps. My almost 13 year old does not watch what all the other kids do (Pretty Little Liars, The Carrie Diaries, etc) and she seems fine with it. If they do watch, its stuff like Wipe Out, The Voice, AFV,….. and unfortunately sometimes Family Guy (with their father!). :)

  4. Calliou is from the devil. Evil, whiny child. *insert bad word*

    Anywho… Mostly the kids only watch PBS. Recently they have gotten addicted to Busytown Mysteries by Richard Scary. So our rotation is Dinosaur Train, Busytown, spurts of Word World and an occasional Dora/Diego. Other than that, I’m pretty much on lock down. They would LOVE to watch My Little Ponies, but I haven’t seen an episode yet, so haven’t said they can see it.

    However, we do watch The Voice with them. Not every week, but occasionally. And our girls love it. Like big heart, crazy LOVE it.
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    • I need to introduce the Voice. We are big fans of Chopped. BIG FANS. But I love me a singing show. And I REALLY wish PBS hadn’t killed Ruff Ruffman. Love that show.

  5. So my daughter got really sick for 4 days in March. Sicker than she ever was before. We were traveling and didn’t have a lot of options for entertainment, so I let her watch Disney channel. The big kids shows. She is 5. I know, not the best option, but it was all I had at that time. So now I am not letting her watch the shows she really got into those 4 days. (Man, Disney channel plays the same shows over and over!) But I hate to admit I got hooked on Austin and Ally :)
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  6. Kari Palazzolo says:

    Camp Rock (Disney) & Family Feud is about as Big Kid as we far around here! Disney Jr. & Nick Jr. rule here in our house! And when they finally take me to the funny farm “Max & Ruby” theme song will be playing in my head! I am hanging onto these kid shows for as long as I can (almost 8yo & 5yo) as I know the end is approaching. I caught one of my favorite shows, Happy Days, & brought my daughter in (the almost 8yo) & happily told her this is one of my childhood favorite shows. Ahhh! The show was how Joanie was possibly lost at Inspiration Point with one if Fonzie’s cousin. My daughter asked why is everyone kissing in their cars?!?! Lol! Ahhhh, innocence! Hang onto it for as long as you can!

    • Totally agree. I hate the push to grow up too fast. And there are a lot of old shows on TV these days. It might be time to introduce some Cosby Show.


  1. […] Growing up means that their is an increase of media exposure that your child will encounter on a daily basis. When toddlers, your kids probably showed no interest in television and if they did, they were escactic to watch the mischievious adventures of Mickey and Donald. Going ino the teen years, and their media choices will change. Jill from Just Jilly recounts how she handles Big Kid Tv. […]

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