*ESSAY* My Problems with Barney

 
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Angel Meiru
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Joined: 27 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 5:37 am    Post subject: *ESSAY* My Problems with Barney Reply with quote

My Problems with Barney

Just to let you know, I have nothing against most children’s shows, just this one.

Barney is what I think is wrong with the world today. Some of you may ask “What is wrong with a kiddy friendly and educational show?” Well, I can list a few things.

First off Barney is said to be an educational show that helps aid children in development. However, if you watch further, not only is Barney just made for “selling out” to little ones, it also teaches some rather harzardous lessons. These hazardous lessons are the way that the Lyon’s Group does not deliver a realistic view of life, but with a sugar coated, politically correct view of life, where negativity and problems should not exist. This also leads to the sugar coating of fairy tales and history as well, which is very unhealthy indeed. Now G Rated means “Barney rated”. That is sad, isn’t it. It is almost like telling kids that the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has never happened. And the sad thing is, kids are eating up all of that. Protecting kids is good, but giving them only a PC and sugar coated view of life is unhealthy.

Dr. Lisa Korman, a child psychologist researches the fact that ‘Using denial as a primary coping strategy, means in stark contrasts to PBS classics like “Sesame Street”, “Lambchop’s Play Along” and “Mr Roger’s Neighborhood”, “Barney” does NOT help children learn to tolerate sorrowful or stressful situations’.

And she is right. Before you flame me, here are some example of the situations handled on the show:

• Kathy is feeling sad and jealous because, unlike her friends, she has no siblings or father (perhaps she mentioned that her dad has died). "Oh, Kathy," Barney promptly responds in a loving yet chiding voice, "you have a mother and grandmother who love you very much. That’s a wonderful-size family!"

• Tina woefully announces, "I’m having a really bad day." Immediately, Barney replies, "Well, I think your day will get much better now that we’re all together!" And her older sister Luci says just moments later, "Try not to worry..., Tina. Maybe if we sang a happy song, you’d feel better!"

• Barney trips on a toy and crashes to the floor. He is down on the ground, but still is laughing and is happy as if nothing has happened.

• Kathy is scared to visit the doctor and get a shot. Barney immediately tries to convince her that there’s nothing to be afraid of. He becomes "Dr. Barney" and when Kathy gets her make-believe shot, she exclaims, "You’re right! That didn’t hurt too much!" As the show concludes, Barney asks, "Now, are you still scared to visit the real doctor?" When a jubilant, incredulous Kathy replies, "I’m not scared!", Barney and gang explode with cheers.

• Shawn looks at his easel in dismay and says, "I’m not a very good painter." Luci replies, "Oh, I wouldn’t say that, Shawn." Moments later, Barney says, "Luci’s right, Shawn. Your painting of me is terrific! You’re a wonderful artist!"

• Tina accidentally drops some records and they shatter on the floor. "I’m sorry!" she exclaims. "That’s okay," says Barney, "I’ll take care of it." "But how?" Tina asks woefully. "With a little imagination..." he replies, and the broken pieces magically become one big record.


Here is how it really should be handled (as is handled on most good children’s shows):

• When Kathy is depressed about her family, Barney can say, "I guess it’s lonely without a Dad or a brother or sister."

• When Tina announces, "I’m having a really bad day," Barney can say, "Please tell me about it."

• When Kathy is afraid to visit her doctor, Barney can say, "Thank you for telling me. What scares you the most?" And when Kathy gets her make-believe shot, she can say, "Barney, it did hurt, but only for a second."

• When Shawn says, "I’m not a very good painter," he can be told, "You know, sometimes we don’t like our picture but we can still like painting."

• When Tina accidentally broke the records, Barney could have helped in a creative manner, you know, without magic.

• Last but not least, when Barney crashes to the floor, he can say, "That really hurt!" without smiling and laughing. At least it shows that he is really hurt and not just joking about it.



Barney could have been a good and believable show for both children and adults to watch, but it wasn’t. Its purpose was just for merchandising reasons and covering up reality. There are much better programs for children out there, if you look hard enough. Or better yet, read to your children. Read them stories how they originally were, instead of giving them the syndicated “sugar-coated” material.

In other words, do not give into Barney or any show imitating it. It will not do you nor your kids any good. You will probably thankful for it once you open your eyes and get a better view of things. Life is lovely, and importantly, life is too short to give into a TV company that pretends to care about children, but really care about money and encourages the use of TV and computers as a babysitter (Which we know is not right).
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you don't like Barney. You aren't between the ages of 2-4. I'm not a big Barney fan myself, but I also see nothing wrong with trying to teach kids to look at the positive in their lives. Your happiness in life has everything to do with how you choose to react to the bad things that happen to you. It isn't what happens in your life that makes you who you are, it's how you HANDLE the things that happen to you. God forbid people to be optomistic. Instead, let's create shows that re-enforce how badly their lives can suck. Good idea! It's never too early to learn how to feel sorry for yourself and dwell in your own self pitty, I guess. As far as the "Kathy" example. Why should she feel lonely for the rest of her life? What's wrong with letting her know what she ISN'T alone, and she IS loved by her other friends and family? As un-entertained as I am by Barney, I don't think that optimism and happiness are the worst things our kids can see on TV.
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Angel Meiru
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Joined: 27 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:54 pm    Post subject: Im not agaist optimism, but.... Reply with quote

Really I am not against optimism but there should be a balance towards good and bad things that happen. If you have nothing but bad, or nothing but good, it gets kinda dull and unrealistic. That is why therre is such a thing as a happy medium.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya, I see what you are saying. I just think it's an ok escape for a toddler. I still won't be Tivo-ing it or anything. =)
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Doc Forrest
Jihaddi


Joined: 07 May 2004
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what Angel Meiru is saying is rather accurate. I have a niece in the age-range that this show advertises to, and I would not willingly allow her to watch it.
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Admiral
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 7:37 pm    Post subject: Barney is ok Reply with quote

Sure it is a silly show aimed at 4 year olds, but it is not really harmful. The other shows out there are more violent. And what about the Teletubbies???
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katster
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Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 180
Location: California, the land of fruits and nuts

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, I deleted the double post on this thread to improve the flow, since our guests can't delete what they say.

Second, I'd encourage our guests to get real accounts. It's generally fairly painless, and then you can do stuff like fix your errors. Wink

Third, Meiru, I've been meaning to say that I like the essay and have been kinda buried in all the schoolwork and stuff so I couldn't say that. If this were the old days, when there was recruiting and such going on for various JAOs (wow, those were the days), I'd prolly be trying to recruit you. As it is...well, lemme talk it over with a few people and we'll see what can be done. Smile

Fourth, "Admiral", what about Teletubbies? We had this debate when Teletubbies first came out. I think it ended up being an individual Jihaddi's perspective, since nobody could come to any agreement. Yeah, there's worrying elements in the show. OTOH, having watched both shows, there's some educational merit in Teletubbies. Not much, I'll grant you, but the videos they show are kinda cool, and not everything goes perfect in Teletubbie land (that poor harried vacuum)...

Hope this helps somewhat,
-kat
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Angel Meiru
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Joined: 27 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:08 pm    Post subject: Thanks Katster Reply with quote

I just may think about it. And thank you for the essay compliment ^_~
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yum, B'harnee flavored troll. Slice it, dice it, makes your whole mouth clean!
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