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The Plugged In Show, Episode 220: Navigating Children’s Television Landmines


You never know what kids are going to get into. Turn your back for a minute, and you’ll discover that they’ve emptied the trashcan all over the kitchen floor. Or they’re giving the cat a bath in the toilet. Or they’re strapping on a bedsheet in preparation to parachute out a window.

Television might not be perfect, but at least kids are relatively safe when they’re watching it. No harm in sitting them in front of a nice, innocent kids’ show for a few minutes, right?

Well, you might want to think again. Parents are finding that some of today’s kids’ shows aren’t quite so innocuous.

Oh, they might steer clear of swear words and bloody violence. But worldview issues? Lifestyles that moms and dads might not be ready to discuss with their children yet? Few parental filters will eliminate those sorts of concerns. As a recent controversy over CoComelon Lane illustrates (where a toddler’s two dads encourage him to wear a tutu and tiara), even the most innocent of children’s shows can pose problems for families.

What’s a parent to do? Our team tackles that ticklish topic in our first segment.

And in our second segment, we’ll introduce you to a shiny new feature on the Plugged In website. We call it On the Radar, and it’s designed to unpack the day’s biggest entertainment and pop culture headlines, tell you why it’s important and how you can use it to spark discussion or change in your own family. Want to see what it’s all about? We’ll post the feature every Saturday on our blog, and you can check out our latest installment here.

We want your thoughts to be on our radar, too! Tell us what you think about the state of kids’ television these days—and relate a story where you were surprised by a seemingly innocent TV show. We want to hear what you think of our new feature, too. Tell us below in the comments section. Talk to us on Facebook and Instagram. Send us an email at [email protected] Or leave us a voicemail on our homepage.

And next week, be sure to check out The Plugged In Show to hear us talk all about romcoms—the best, the worst and how they impact us.

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

3 Responses

  1. I believe one of the best TV shows for Christian parents and their children to watch is the Hanna Barbara series “The Greatest Adventure Stories From The Bible”.

  2. Yes!! Zoboomafoo! I loved watching this show and Kratt’s Creatures as a kid. My kids (7, 5, and 3) enjoy watching zoboomafoo and Wild Kratts!

  3. There have been SO many tv shows I have found are so inappropriate for kids nowadays. There are so many tv shows from PBS to Netflix to Cartoon Network that we have nixed that my best advice would be to sit and actually watch what your kids are watching WITH your children. Older shows are much safer but I can see as an adult now how things started to change even in the late 90s. Also, share with other parents the shows you have found are not edifying for your kids andntell them why. We need to all support each other as we fight this spiritual battle for our childrens’ hearts. My prayer is that we will one day have a Master List of shows with parental warnings.