Mom Blog: “Disney is Ruining My Kid”

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STEFANIE SCOTT, SIERRA MCCORMICK, CHINA ANNE MCCLAIN, JAKE SHORT, CARLON JEFFERY

If you’re a reader of this site, you’re probably aware of Disney using its privileged status amongst parents to reach children with a plethora of messages and agendas. The fact that the Disney brand has an aura of “wholesomeness” surrounding it leads many parents to blindly give their seal of approval to anything produced by the mega-corporation. Parents however need to sit down and watch what is being mainlined to their children’s brains through television. In a recent article, I described how the Disney TV show Special Agent Oso subtly promoted government surveillance.

There is however an agenda that is much more obvious at play, especially in “tween”-oriented shows: Turning children into superficial, egoistical and entitled teenagers. There also appears to be a desire of snapping children out of their youthful bliss to push them into the cold adult world of social statuses, materialism, appearances and even sexual desirability.

Written by a mother of two daughters, the following blog post (from the blog IndeedIam) aptly describes a phenomenon I’m sure countless parents have noticed.

Disney is Ruining My Kid.

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Disney has been ruining my kid…. a job I can do quite well on my own, thank you.

 I know, it sounds drastic.  Don’t worry, I am not going to launch into a ridiculous diatribe about how Frozen has a hidden gay agenda (huge eye roll) or is turning my girls in to glittery, sparkly princesses who need a prince to save them, (we are over that stage, thank god) or that Miley Cyrus grew up and dared to climb out of her Hannah Montana box.

In the interest of being a pretty laid back mom,  who fights against my extremely conservative upbringing, I have tried to adopt a more moderate view of the world and it’s evils.  With my girls, I am trying a more balanced approach, believing that they should not be sheltered constantly from American culture, taught to fear and judge and overreact to everything they see.  My general philosophy has been to allow them to take part in age-appropriate music, movies and t.v.

That said, I may have gone too far…

Its been a brutal winter and  I confess, my kids watched too much T.V.  School was cancelled. ALL THE TIME.  There was only so much hot chocolate and board games I could muster before I would hand them the remote and rock quietly in a dark corner of my kitchen with a bottle of wine.

Now, I did check in with them, shouting “whatcha watching?”  and they would yell, “A.N.T. Farm!” or “Kickin’ It!” or “Good Luck Charlie!”  I investigated, and these shows are all listed as appropriate for 8+.  Fine.  Every once in a while, they would call me in to watch some joke they thought was  ”Soooo hilarious, mom!” and I would try not to think about how they should be watching something on the History channel instead.  Kids deserve some mindless, silly comedy with no educational purpose, just like I deserve to watch Sister Wives and Grey’s Anatomy.  No big.

Until.

A few months ago, my husband and I started noticing some differences in one of our daughter’s behavior.  She wasn’t acting like herself, she seemed to be putting on a show.   She would fling her hair about and act like a sassy teenager and use lingo  that sounded inauthentic and contrived coming from her.  In these moods she was extra silly, always looking for a laugh.

When this would happen, I tried to talk to her about it.  I pointed out that it did not feel like her “real” personality, and that people can sense when someone is not being authentic.  We talked about crossing the line between silly and obnoxious.   I stepped up my emphasis on important qualities like kindness, generosity, creativity.   I asked her if she was acting like people on tv, and after much pressure, she would admit that she was getting a her sayings and jokes from the Disney channel.

At this point, no real alarm bells were going off.  She was experimenting, and we were talking about it.  It opened lines of communication for me.  A little hair tossing and Disney “lingo” was not going to ruin her.

But then, this dear daughter got into some trouble with friends at school.  I met with her teachers and spoke to the parents of the other girls involved, and was shocked to hear of some of the social things going on with my child at school.   She is a sensitive, loving, girl who is usually fiercely  loyal and empathetic… the reports of her behavior did not match what I knew of my girl. She was saying hurtful and judgemental things about other girls’, throwing around conceited declarations,  among other shocking things.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am all for personal responsibility and I am in no way interested in making lame excuses for my child.  We dealt with the situation and helped her learn painful but necessary lessons about jealousy, friendship, self-control, and hurtful words.

While she was at school during this week, I spent a good amount of time in quiet reflection.  The week’s events had been extremely trying as a parent, I found myself in new territory.  Acting on instinct, I spent a day watching some of her favorite  Disney shows, from start to finish…looking for answers.

I COULD NOT BE MORE HORRIFIED.

Parents.  Are you watching this garbage?

I certainly had not been.  Beyond the quick minute or two, I had never sat and watched an episode of A.N.T Farm with the girls.  Because it is Disney.  How the hell do you go from Doc McStuffins, a show that SAVED ME countless tears at the pediatrician’s office, to this absolute trash?    I so very wrongly figured that a company like Disney would not be promoting cruelty, bullying and sexism in their shows for young, impressionable children.  I was completely mortified as I watched.

These shows are laced with terrible social behavior.   Like the scene in one, where a “nerdy” boy walks up to a pretty “popular” girl and asks her out… she threw her bowling ball and ran away screaming.  *Cue audience laughter*

There were so many examples of rude, mean responses to difficult social situations for kids, followed by the character shrugging it off, recorded laughter, and the characters moving on without showing any realistic emotions.  No anger, no hurt feelings.  Comedy.

I was disgusted.  How in the world will we teach our children to be kind and put a stop to cruel behavior in schools when THE DISNEY CHANNEL is showing these bullying behaviors followed by laughter and no emotional response???    It was clear where my daughter had gotten the impression that these kinds of conceited one liners and arrogant vanity was playful and a harmless way to get a laugh.

Just when I thought I had seen the worst, there was a scene that made blood shoot from my eyeballs.  A pretentious girl, conspiring to create a room-sized walk in closet for all her makeup! and clothes! and shoes!  was asked by two boys to help them with a math problem.   She does.

 To which they exclaim, “Thank you, you are a genius!”

The girl is offended.

 The boys hurriedly fix their ghastly mistake with,   “Oh! I mean you are SO beautiful!”

 ….and she prances away, satisfied.

Excuse me while I heave.

Shame on me for exposing my daughter to this kind of garbage.

SHAME ON DISNEY.

What  talented person working over there in the Disney CO.  believes this is an appropriate message for 8 + girls in 2014?

REALLY???

 They are out to make conceit and rejection funny. They are sending intentional messages to girls about how they should value their looks and their walk-in closets over their brains! Now, I realize that not all children are going to be as susceptible as my daughter was to copying the abhorrent behavior on these shows.  But I have more than one daughter.  And who knows how they have been internalizing this bullshit.  It’s outrageous.

After picking up the kids from school, my girls and I sat and re-watched these shows.  I wanted to gouge my eyes out.  As we watched, I paused it every single time someone said something cruel, every time the fake audience laughed inappropriately at what in real life would be someone’s serious emotional pain.  We talked about what would actually happen if you acted like that with your friends, and how you can’t repair things by declaring “Just KIDDING!”  I showed them the “genius” scene and we had a long talk about the awful and unacceptable message it sends to girls about dumbing down, caring only about appearance, objectification… my daughters got more than they bargained for that afternoon.

As a parent, when the kids are watching t.v., it’s mostly because I need a moment.  To make dinner.  To help someone else with homework.  To gather my sanity.  These few examples permanently damaged my trust in the Disney Channel and the trash they are producing for our kids.

It’s hard enough to raise kids who will have the moral fortitude to stand up for themselves and for each other.  It’s hard enough to teach my little girls to be proud and brave and own their bodies and their brains without apology.  To recognize and condemn cruelty and sexism. It’s hard enough to get a moment to catch my breath and feel like my kids are safe and entertained for 30 minutes under the DISNEY umbrella without unwittingly downloading vain, cruel, and damaging sexist garbage into their impressionable brains.

Shame on my naiveté and trust in the Disney name.

Believe me… lesson learned.

– Source: IndeedIam

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261 Comments on "Mom Blog: “Disney is Ruining My Kid”"

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To be quite honest, I don't know why anyone should even bother turning on the TV anymore anyway. Not trying to be judgemental, I just want to point out how corrupt television is. Unless you like watching other people live their lives on countless "reality" shows, or watching the illuminati push their agenda on every other show, there are plenty of other things we could all be doing to utilize our time. Call me crazy, but I would rather read the same tattered book over and over than turn on the boob tube and have my brain turn into mush by my eyes glazing over the stupidity that's considered entertainment. It's all nonsense. And I had an epiphany recently (maybe I'm a little slow in realizing this), but it's called television PROGRAMMING for a reason. C'mon, y'all….you know you feel your brain turn to mush when you sit in front… Read more »

No one is talking about the transgender kids all over these shows …can you not see them? they are every where no wonder the kids these days don't know if they are gay or strait they can't even tell a female from a male! Just turn off the tv !

I was so glad I came across this article. I don't have any children but I have ten nieces and nephews and I was shocked when I moved out of the country for two years and came back. My now 12 year old niece has changed so much and I told my sister it is a direct result of the Disney channel. She is flirty with MEN, she is way too fixated on her looks, tries to dress much older than she is and has a very rude sassy nature. She used to be sweet and innocent and now it is like she is a different person. More parents should realize television of many genre is a brain washing tool. It is used to keep us clouded and to influence us in ways we don't even realize. This goes for social media as well, it all has a way of… Read more »

Same with my two nieces i noticed similar changes 19 year old and 17 year old .One day told them what i thought of those self absorbed kardashians and that their show on tv how it isn't real life and the furthest from a normal family you can get.We have always been close and now because of those trashy,fame hungry,materialistic Kardashians things are not the same with our relationship.
My only hope their 15 minutes of fake fame ends soon and the media exposes their unreality tv show.

Wow. I am only 19, and watched my fair share of early 2000s Disney channel shows as a kid. However, Lizzie McGuire, Thats So Raven… looking back, it seemed like these programs actually had an ounce or two of moral value. It's been years since I watched anything new on the Disney channel, but this is absolutely disgusting. I can't believe people would let this shihh on the air, especially knowing how impressionable even I was not too long ago. If there's one thing I'm certain of for when I'm a parent… my kids will NOT be watching this new era of Disney channel garbage. Discovery channel ftw 🙂

Bravo to you for having the courage and sense to react this way. Then again, what else could you expect from Disney with all their subliminal messages even in their very first animated motion picture "Snow White"? Disney was *never* wholesome from the very start. They are deceivers and always were. Congratulations to you and I hope that your kids learn from this fast.

My sister loved tween shows when I was a kid, and we had turns deciding who got to watch what on TV at dinner. I can see why they irritated me so much after reading this. They're super obnoxious and everyone acts like they're from another planet. It's so weird, weirder than cartoons even. At least with cartoons you know it's fake.

i grew up in a very strict home and i wasn't allowed to watch or do or listen about anything other kids did.. it made me very angry and i rebelled a lot! so what i'm saying is _balance_ should be the key, and explaining the kid WHY there are these rules so they won't get too angry.. my parents didn't explain much, just no no no.. when i got out of the house i did about every stupid thing young person can too because i felt i have missed life.. so parents should really try to keep the balance on things.
(sorry english isn't my native language)

Her children must not ever watch Nickelodeon. Or Cartoon Network. She'd have found out the horrors of television so much faster if they were. Disney channel, sadly, isn't quite as bad as those are. And don't even get me started on "ABC Family" and the CW.

Kudos to this mom. She did an amazing job. Reading this makes me feel so guilty and overwhelmed yet inspired. I guess what I'm saying is even though I know better i have been busy and let my kids watch these tween shows and I think it is time to have a talk with my husband and sit down with our children and do exactly what this mom did. I have to say that these tween shows make me so very uncomfortable as a wife the few times I briefly watched a couple minutes of any of these shows and my husband happened to be around I felt soooo annoyed and uncomfortable. I wonder why in almost any Disney or nickelodeon show the main character is a girl who looks like a tween but yet looks like a woman they target and type cast these young girls with bodys like… Read more »

Not surprised in the least. Let's expose this heinous, sewer system far and wide! They are after the minds, bodies and souls of our children and parents are handing them over on a platter. Case in point is 'Toddlers and Tiaras', or the TV show where crazy mom's offer up their sexualised daughters for pageant ritual abuse. Produced by the Disney Corporation and about all you need to see to recognise that mind-control/programming IS REAL and being practised in our faces. Listen to the trigger words: Perfect, Bring it, Shake your Tushi, Sparkle Baby, Doing What You gotta Do, Game Face On etc for 2 and 3 YEAR OLDS!! About as naive and deluded as a parent could possibly get but still deserving a drop kick up the arse for being stooooppppidddd!!!

I know EXACTLY how you feel and can truly say that I'm so glad I made the decision to block all Disney channels a month ago. I came to this realization after I started noticing negative changes in my 5-year-old's behavior…(talking back, ignoring me when I spoke to her, lying, being sneaky, and saying rude remarks to her 2-year-old sister). She was upset, but I assured her that there were SO MANY other things to watch on TV and that she wouldn't miss it. We have to be so careful as parents when we see negative developments in our children. I think that I will be blocking Nickelodeon next (Nick Jr. seems ok, for now…although 'Yo Gabba Gabba' is a little strange).We shall see. Thanks for your post, it was utterly refreshing to see that I'm not the only parent who is refusing to conform to society's ideas of what's… Read more »

I am a teenage and I really feel so bad for this mom…We must all realize that kids' shows ARE NOT EVEN FOR KIDS!! They are not appropriate for anyone! These cruelties that Disney serves to our plate should be better keep them for itself…

This is exactly why I don't watch TV OR Netflix OR HULU. I just don't. You begin to think with what you constantly associate with, be it people or TV.

I used to watch a lot of Hannah Montana, and I was in my early 20's, by the last 2 Seasons, I couldn't watch anymore because it was very vain and taught bad behavior and I didn't want to fill my mind with that utter trash. And yes iCarly and any Nick show is just as bad or worse. I watched one season of iCarly and then it just got really vain and stupid, even moreso than the first season, which was already very vain.

People who blindly allow children to watch TV (my mother did the same) should re-evaluate TV in general, not just one channel. 🙂

Praise the Lord!!! another mother woken up! I do hope more people will wake up and destroy major companies like Disney! Nothing about Disney appeals to me anymore, I'm going to find a way to post this on facebook

salaam sister

I totally agree with you I don't allow my 3 years old to watch Disney either, if he sneaks and watches Donald duck I turn off his wifi, but I let him watch tayo, gogo, pororo and barney. he also watches other Islamic cartoons

Doc McStuffins, just more indoctrination bs for the Medical Industrial Complex and Big Pharma. Don't know if you've covered that one yet.

I think all of u should stop blaming TV for your negligence and try parenting for once in your life tell your kid the rights and wrongs of life

You obviously have no kids and far from ready to have any because of your stupidity to simplyfy the role of parenting.

I totally understand. I may not have any kids but boy do i have little cousins. I've babysat them from day one on. For some reason or another (seeing what trash my sister was watching) i quit watching disney channels. I jumped back into it while babysitting with no chores to do. Hannah Montana was on and while i enjoyed watching Jackson make a fool of himself in the past with his Ozzy impersonation, i watched it and only felt like crying. I asked my preteen cousins, "This is the garbage you watch every day?" They responded with, "its funny and we're bored" what hurt the most was the gay jokes. It was showing kids that being gay was laughable, something to say when the situation was bad. They seem harmless when watched as a child–and i admit it was funny when i was younger but when i pointed out… Read more »
I never had cable, so I grew up with a lot of Australian children's television, which included shows like "Ship to Shore", "Round the Twist", (based largely on the books of Paul Jennings), and some other fantastic and quirky shows where behaving like a self-centered ass-hat just lands you in a world of trouble (as would often happen to the snobbish Penelope in "The Genie From Down-Under"). And let us not forget the brilliant jewel of Australian Children's Television: "THE CURIOSITY SHOW" I always enjoyed science, but this show went above and beyond to translate relatively sophisticated scientific concepts into segments that children could understand and be engaged in…ranging from nature, to technology, to "do it yourself" experiments and other projects. I was hooked from the first time I saw it! If you want to keep your kids entertained and need some "me time"…find yourself a copy of "The Curiosity… Read more »

I'm 15 and I read this to educate myself. If I were to ssay something the new TV showshows (ex victorious or the later episodes of icarly) ii think they are trying to keep there younger audience, who would watch early sponge bob, such as I. I don't believe you should keep older show like sponge Bob or rug rats away from them. They are just mindless shows to get your mind off of what ever is going on currently. But I do agree these modern show are absolute and complete garbage. And keep them from that. I watched crap shows when I was a kid, but it has not dulled me, I'm in ap and honors programs. Thanks

"Sean' is that the male version of the name? I have a cousin Sean – male, but also know a girl named Sean. My point is, I'm so glad youre in ap and honors programs, however, if you are male, then he mssg is differently purveyed to you. While you wont succumb to their bull, perhaps your future wife/partner already has. Vanity above all else is the mssg. Keep reading and posting on here, its very eye opening and everyone learns from each other. 🙂

Also, I love how you handled the situation. Great parenting skills.

Spectacular letter. So honest (funny too) I relate 100% my daughter is almost 2 and I am searching to find something for her to watch that isn't utter garbage.

My kids love peppa pig and I thought it was a beautiful little show until we sat and watched about 10 episodes straight one weekend coz we were bored. I noticed a reoccurring theme. The daddy is often referred to as "silly daddy" and is always stuffing things up and getting hurt as are most of the daddys on the show. Mummy pig and the other mummys are represented as smart, independent and often rescuing the stupid men. This really turned me off the show. Peppa makes a point of always telling daddy how fat he is and how he probably wont be able to do a particular action because of it. Such a shame

One of my problems with both Disney and Nickelodeon are the lack of rents. While not one myself I find a lot of these shows questionable for that reason alone.

ok so I read this earlier today at work and finally decided to pump the brakes on Disney channel. My daughter is addicted to it. Like will gaze at it for hours, thumb in mouth, not moving if I let her. Like the author, I too use it to get things done around the house i.e. cooking, cleaning but lately I've been feeling like she watches just too much tv. Period. So I tell her on the way from school that we're not watching much tv anymore. She gets dramatic and asks what she's supposed to do now…just be bored, I then go into my speech about how not long ago people didn't even have a tv let alone a Disney channel. As I prepared dinner I asked her out of curiosity why she liked Disney channel so much. This is exactly what she says "mom I have dreams that… Read more »
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