Dear well-meaning but misguided parent,
Are you serious? Is this the cause that got you so up in arms that you raced to your computer and banged out a petition to have Caillou “immediately” pulled from TV? I have always thought that Caillou was a whiny little bitch in the cartoon world, but here’s what I did about it…are you ready for it…it will blow you’re mind…
I turned it off.
I know. Earth shattering info it is. Should I wait for you to let the complexity of that solution sink in?
In a cable-verse full of flashing, screaming, make-an-ADHD-brain-look-slothish programing, Caillou was quiet and “still”, so I tried it out. It didn’t take but a couple of episodes to realize that I wanted to reach through the TV and strangle the little douche. I mean, I’d whine too if my parents saddled me with that name while giving my sibling a bland, not-get-your-ass-kicked-daily name, but that’s not the point. The point is that I didn’t get upset, I just turned the station. There was no deep, raging passion lit inside my soul to go out and save the world from an annoying cartoon. That kind of fire needs to be reserved for other things–important things.
I’m curious, dear enraged parent, before you used the time to get on the computer, write out your proposal, and birth it to the internet and the teams of “active” parents staring blankly at Facebook while their kids stared blankly at non-Caillou cartoons, did you ever stop and think about turning off the TV and using that time to actively engage with your child? Just curious. You could have played a game together that taught sharing, or even taken them with you to do something charitable for your community? Seeing you hand food out to the hungry or read books to sick children would probably been much more effective than watching you fume over your keyboard.
And back to that raging passion that lead you to your petition. What if you used that same energy to work towards changing something that didn’t have a simple solution like “turning the channel?” Sex trafficking? Domestic violence? Child pornography and exploitation? Child hunger? All big scary things with real victims. I can’t imagine that your kid’s, or any other kid’s, exposure to Caillou is going to warrant years of therapy. What about the foster care system brimming with abused, neglected, lost children who would kill to have a parent use a tenth of the passion you have to fight for them? Group homes like to have volunteers. The pediatric oncology wing of a local hospital would love to have you read them some books, play Legos with them, or even paint the fingernails of little girls who need something pretty in their life.
I’m not asking you to douse the flames that drove you to launch a campaign, but at least find a cause whose victims are real. Caillou is such an easy fix that doesn’t even require banning the show. Come on! You can do better. Think bigger. You want to raise a kid that shares and doesn’t whine–then stop your whining and share a little bit of yourself with someone who would truly benefit from it.
**The image of the “real” Caillou above is from Breathe/Me/wikians posted to degrassi.wikia.com (maybe you’re all right and watching the show leads to something horrible like photoshopping cartoons as teenagers.