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Update on Caillou, for all the haters

UPDATE: someone on Facebook posted, in response to this blog post, this article from Wired, about how SpongeBob SquarePants hampers the executive function of preschoolers immediately after watching. And what’s the control group? That’s right, haters: Caillou. According to this study, Caillou has the same effect on preschoolers’ brains as no TV at all! It’s like they’re doing nothing, just like on the show!

I agree with the writer’s statement that this study has limited value because it doesn’t show long-term detriments (and with the article in general: e.g., four-year-olds are too young for SpongeBob), but, science aside, in my opinion, shows with a slower pace, like Caillou, or Max & Ruby (RUBY!), must make better viewing for little children, because they force them to focus on one idea for a relatively extended period of time (as they must in executive play), rather than be bounced back and forth like a pinball between several (ridiculous) ideas, like on SpongeBob.

So even though one episode of Caillou feels like it goes on forever because the pace is so slow, I think that’s what makes it a pretty good show for little kids. I’m not saying I want to will Caillou to life so I can hang out with him and take him to Chuck E. Cheese or whatever, I’m just saying he’s pretty good.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. jeremyofnyc #

    I think the study also fails to identify that sponge bob (and his predecessor ren and stimpy) were not trying to elicit “executive functions” they were trying to make you laugh. Cailou, ruby and I’m even going to throw that stupid turtle in there (not TMNT, you know who I’m talking about), are not going for humor. They are going for entertainment which apparently is equivalent to not being entertained at all (as the study showed)

    I applaud sponge bob and wish a poor upfront season upon caillou and his even mannered find.

    March 29, 2012
    • Jeanna LC #

      I don’t think the study is judging the shows’ content as much as pace, which may or may not have an effect on a child’s development at that age. I guess all I’m trying to say is that though adults or older children might find shows like SpongeBob funny and entertaining, a four-year-old finds Caillou, and Ruby, and he-who-shall-not-be-named entertaining. So let them be entertained by it. Let them enjoy the slower pace, while we do something else for twenty minutes. And I shall support Caillou’s advertisers with my many fine riches.

      March 30, 2012
  2. Jeanna LC #

    Also – a Facebook friend also directed me to this funny video, which gives the SpongeBob pineapple under the sea the Bubble Guppies treatment ie: blatant disregard for principles of nature. How dare they!

    March 30, 2012

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