Moms Talk: Sesame the Same?

Local moms weigh in on parenting issues.

An opinion piece in the Huffington Post about Sesame Street is creating some stir among parents who keep the educational show near and dear to their hearts.

A childhood favorite of most children and adults, it seems the TV show is changing with the times. Some people are for it, while others are against. 

How far is too far? When do you feel the show caters to its audience, and when does it become overprotective? Is Sesame Street still a part of your kids (or was it when they were that age)?

Jennifer AuBuchon
Wow...this article hit a little nerve of mine.  I think we are increasingly over-regulating everything, as well as giving in to individual whims of "justice" at the sake of trying to avoid offending anyone.  However, what seems to be happening a great majority of the time is that you end up offending a lot of people, but making it impossible to say anything for fear of appearing callous to whatever the "cause" or plight being extolled.  

Take the cookie monster argument. How closely it resembles the .  Because kids might get fat or some kid might have an allergy to something in said cookie, just ban them all.  There's more to offer.  Give them fruits and vegetables.  That'll be great party food.  Only it isn't.  Parties are three times a year. Parties are meant for fun and are a time to indulge.  But since the little "cookie monsters" can't control themselves we better not offer them at all. 

I wish the powers that be could've seen the look on the fifth-graders faces this year when they were served their low fat cheese pizza on whole wheat crust in pieces all of 2 inches wide.  Half of them wound up in the trash.  I'm all for healthy eating, exposing kids to a variety of choices, and promoting moderation, but I don't think over-regulating classroom parties is necessary.  Cookie monster didn't make this generation fat.  Eating too much junk too often and not exercising did.  Cookie Monster is make believe, and I'm pretty sure I always knew that.

As to Snuffy...geesh...I've never heard such a ridiculous argument.  He was an imaginary friend.  I had one of those too.  Maybe that's why I loved him so much, I don't know.  But I never—not for a minute—thought I couldn't talk to adults because they couldn't see him.  That's quite a stretch.  Maybe if we spent our time, energy, and money on things that were really important, our country wouldn't be falling behind China and many other nations.  I'm pretty sure whatever studies they're doing on Sesame Street cost money.  Money that could stay in our economy for better use!  And that, my friends...is my humble opinion!

Jenny Wescoat
While I have some mixed feelings about the district treat policy that Jennifer discussed (I support it because of severe allergy concerns, not because I believe it's an effective way to combat child obesity), I do agree that a lot of things like this are getting pretty obnoxious. Like the author said, Cookie Monster was supposed to be a joke. Kids are smart enough to know that it's a silly gag, and they wouldn't think "Oh, I guess that's what we eat because I saw it on Sesame Street."  Does Sesame Street really think that they are that influential? Not in my house, for sure.

Same with Snuffy. The argument supposed by the author to be the reason why Snuffy is now seen doesn't give kids enough credit. I've heard people use a similar argument to ban Santa Claus from their Christmas celebrations, saying that if we include Santa, our kids won't believe us about bigger, more important things. While I have a lot of respect for my friends who make that argument, I don't buy it. Kids are savvier than that.

I guess I am feeling a little irritated about these kinds of things too. I was thinking when I read Jennifer's response about how some of these things are frustrating at first but the frustration fades as kids age out. For instance, I just did my son's first grade party and the kids were excited about the snacks because they don't know that cupcakes used to be an option! Kids don't know that Cookie Monster used to be a good joke, either.

I know that all of these changes are supposed to be moving us in the direction of good choices and the educators, entertainers, etc., are trying to do what they can to improve health. However, sometimes it feels a little like my role as a parent is being pushed over. I know we all need the help of a health-minded society, but I feel confident that the choices I make for my family leave plenty of room for Cookie Monster's hilarity and cupcakes at parties.

Lisa May
I have to say that I was not aware of these changes to Sesame Street. I do have a 6-year-old that actually never has liked the show. My older children watched, but I don't think much changed when they watched. Maybe these changes are the reason my little one didn't watch? I mean, having two older siblings; she has eaten much more than vegetables and fruit. It seems boring! 

As for the imaginary friend, I think children need that more nowadays than ever. Creativity is being taken away as children younger and younger are turning to electronic devices as their playtime. 

If I had younger children would I have them watch Sesame Street? I am not sure. I think the show has great value in teaching diversity, words, numbers, foreign language, etc. However as a guide for teaching values, I think that should be left to the parents. 


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