A few Sunday's ago I was trying to teach my Sunbeam class the story of Jonah and the whale. This is a great story that kids usually like. It has action, intrigue and a nice message at the end. I used to KILL with this lesson when I taught it a few years ago. The movie FINDING NEMO has changed all this.
Now when I try and teach the lesson I end up with an abridged version the movie. One particularly cute little boy in my class even gave us a demonstration of how Dorie talks to the whale; about 300 times. There was great discussion of the turtles, the scary part with the net, the funny fish in the tank and other great parts of the film. No matter how much I tried, there was no going back to boring old Jonah who had the misfortune to be swallowed by a whale that he didn't even know how to talk to!! After a few minutes I just went with it.
This is the best part about 3 year olds. You NEVER know what they are going to say, but it is usually very funny. I also know the hold that Disney has on children. We have been firmly in the clutches of the Disney Princesses at my house for years. You may think that your kids are not going to fall into this because you don't let them watch TV. WRONG!! Their friends watch TV. Even the little girl in my class who has NEVER watched TV (her mom even makes it clear to the people who invite the child to play that TV is not allowed) knows who the princesses are, the entire story line of Nemo and other bits of TV related info that her mom would pass out if she heard.
I have to admit that a fair amount of my child's knowledge of the Bible comes from the Veggie Tales videos. If you haven't seen these, you MUST. They are full of funny things that parents like too. The music won't make you want to rip your skin off and the writing is very clever. True, Lulu did tell a teacher that the reason the lions didn't eat Daniel in the lion's den is because they ordered pizza (from the movie) and that when Joshua led the children of Israel around the walls of the city of Jericho, the people who lived in the city threw slushies at them to make them go away (also from the movie). All in all, I am proud of her knowledge (as muddled as it may be) that she even knows or cares about these stories. I remember that I learned how many pounds were in a ton from the movie Pete's Dragon so TV can't be all bad, right?
There is no point to this ramble. I don't care if your kids watch TV or not. Clearly I am not one of those parents who never lets their kid watch TV. I admit that there have been days in our home when the TV was turned on to the Disney Channel first thing in the morning and didn't get turned off until evening. These days usually corresponded with me being sick, or being tied up on the phone w/ work all day. I don't think that my child will be less intelligent or less adjusted because of it. Most of the time now she doesn't even want to watch TV. I just thought that it was funny that all the three year olds knew EVERY SINGLE detail of the movie. One of them can even speak "whale" but I doubt he could tell me his address or phone number. I imagine that like my kid, they forget to pick up their toys or follow household rules and offer "I forgot" as an answer when challenged. I find it so hard to believe that a child who has memorized the entire movie "Annie" can't remember to not leave her shoes in the hallway. Maybe Veggie Tales or Disney can make a movie called "Obey your household rules" or "Math with the Princesses". I actually think this would work. I KNOW it would work in our house.