Why Does Our Culture Think Kids Are Stupid?

October 31, 2008

Culture

This afternoon I took my two sons to the barber shop to get their haircut. The gentleman cutting my 14-year old’s hair kept up some friendly chatter. I heard him ask my son what kind of music he liked. “Hmm,” he said. “I like Spanish classical guitar.” The barber stopped his snipping mometarily.

“Spanish classical guitar? You mean, like, flamenco?”

“No, like Segovia,” came the response.

The barber was very surprised, but pleasantly so. “What else?” he prodded. “Mozart?”

“Yep,” said my son. “I also really like Beethoven and Bach.”

The barber looked around in silent amazement. It made me wonder what other boys had replied to such questions? You’d think my son was from Mars or something. The barber wasn’t snobby or anything, just extremely surprised at my young son’s seemingly mature tastes.

As a kid, I grew up liking what everyone else liked, mostly because, well, because everyone else liked it. I guess the peer pressure never really allowed me to be ME, you know what I mean? I have been trying to make sure my kids have the freedom to be themselves, not what is spoon-fed to them. It’s not easy! But it all got me to thinking. And I spent the rest of the afternoon musing on what fodder our kids are generally spoon-fed from an early age. I grew up with Captain Kangaroo and Howdy Doody and Mr. Rogers. They were corny shows, but they were witty and at least they didn’t treat children like stupid, silly idiots. I recently saw “The Ice Age” and some other “just for kids” movies with my children, and I have been appalled at the lame, insipid prattle being passed off as movies today. What’s happening? And what’s been influencing our young kids in this post-modern culture?

teletubbies

sub-square-barney

spongebob

hannah_montana_3

*BRITNEY*
(I tried to find a picture of her, but couldn’t find anything that wasn’t porn).

elmo1

OK, Elmo is really cute but he’s about as smart as a box of rocks.

Bart_Simpson

Hm. So I ask again, why does our modern culture treat kids like they are stupid idiots?

5 Responses to “Why Does Our Culture Think Kids Are Stupid?”

  1. Mizé Says:

    Hi.
    You soon has good taste, I love guitar too, specially Portuguese 🙂 Have you ever heard “Carlos Paredes”? Check it out on youtube, you´ll probably find it.
    This post remembered the endless time my daughter (when baby) used to spend watching teletubies. I got so sick of the music that even today I hate it, lol.
    I grew up with Mafalda from Quino, Mónica BD from Brasil, Disney, the super heros (my favorite was Hulk). I agree, Simpsons , Spongebob, etc aren´t very smart.
    I went to the cinema with my daughter to watch Ratatouile, Story of a Bee and Shreck and let me confess: I enjoyed this movies alot and we had a great time.
    A good weekend.
    Cheers.

  2. kayla Says:

    You have a great blog. i found you some how when i was looking for things on our sons birth defect esophageal atresia. I iwish you all the best.

  3. Rebecca Says:

    Mize, thanks for the suggestions! My son will be absolutely tickled that someone from Portugal gave him some suggestions!!

    I agree, some kids movies are very good, like The Incredibles (although that seemed a tad mature) and some Pixar movies. But a whole lot of TV is full of mindless, drooling drivel. I’m just amazed at what we tolerate *just because* it’s on TV.

    Hi Kayla, and thanks for visiting! Wow cool I am glad you found me, but I have never blogged about esopageal atresia. Did Google send you here about that?? Weird! I wish Google would send me some Page Rank…

  4. Kim Says:

    Oooohhh….don’t get me started! Why the mindless drivel? Because it’s easy. So many parents will plop their kids down in front of anything that keeps them quiet and happy. Programmers, producers, etc., don’t need to go out of their way for intelligent shows. Then, you take kids whose parents bother to challenge them a bit with experiences, books, programming that is on par or just above their understanding and those children wind up standing out. Everything is so dumbed down these days. Sure, my kid will eat up Sponge Bob…but, how much better is it for me to look for something on Animal Planet or Discovery? Oh, but that takes time. Also, everyone wants their kid on the bandwagon. It’s like when 3,4 and 5 year olds are watching Hannah Montana or Zack and Cody, and then are surprised when their five-year-old acts like she’s fourteen.
    But, the fact of the matter is that there are good television programs, movies, and internet sites for kids that will give them something more than drivel. It just takes time to look for it. Some parents aren’t willing to do that.

  5. Condo Blues Says:

    I remember someone telling me that the only way to “get” Teletubbies was to either be an infant or be on drugs. I tested the theory when I had my wisdom teeth out and was on painkillers. I didn’t get Teletubbies and the baby sun face creeped me out. When I was off painkillers I watched the show again. I still didn’t get it and that time the baby sun face really, really, really creeped me out!

    PS: I want to buy Elmo a box of pronouns.