Saturday, April 24, 2010

Swiper no swiping?

Maddie loves watching Dora the Explorer. Dora is cute, funny, sweet, helpful and caring. She teaches kids about all sorts of things; solving problems, asking for help, helping others, math, numbers, letters, patterns, get the idea. However, there is something that as a parent, I am not so pleased with. The show also teaches kids about being mean, thoughtless, rude, stealing...all because of that fox Swiper. That sneaky fox shows little to no remorse after "swiping" stuff. He hardly ever apologizes and he certainly never helps resolve whatever quest Dora is on, in fact, he often impedes in their progress. In only one episode we've watched so far has he tried to make amends (this occurred in Dora World Explorer). Why are we trying to pre-educate our children in the "evil" ways of the world at such a young, vulnerable age? I guess it's a form of teaching morals to youngins (i.e. how to not be like Swiper), but in my opinion it's certainly not ideal. Kids that age are all about copying, and maybe having a more positive role-model is more beneficial. Maybe we should save characters like Swiper for when kids are older and better able to process the right-wrong dilemma...?

The only thing that appeases me a bit (and possibly the reason why I still let Maddie watch Dora) is the behaviour that Dora and her friends show towards Swiper. They are kind to him, they never seek revenge or retribution, they include him in their circle of caring, and most importantly they try to teach him how to be nice. Perhaps this is what the creators of Dora had in mind...the balance of "good" and "evil". But it's still a hard pill to swallow that kids that young (how young are they when they start watching Dora...1, 1.5, 2, somewhere in between?) are being exposed to such a monumental concept.

Oh well. I guess I'll I'm thinking is that it sure would be nice if we lived in a world where we didn't have to say, "Swiper No Swiping!"

1 comment:

  1. Agreed!! We can't stand Swiper either. We went through a rough patch with Robert acting like Swiper. Makes me so mad. It's not just Dora though, it's all of them. Cartoons that show kids being afraid of thunder & lighting, being scared of the dark, talking about monsters & goblins in the woods. All things that kids don't even think about until they watch something about it on TV.


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