Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Kids are Fine! They're watching "The Disney Channel"

During a conversation with a friend of mine about his young children watching the Disney Channel -- he articulated well some of my concerns about this channel's programming. This is just one more chip on the stack of things that made me want to go TV-Free this summer.

In my, admittedly, middle-aged mind when I hear "The Disney Channel" -- I think Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Chip and Dale. But, in today's Disney Channel these have been replaced with Hannah Montana, Zach and Cody, and the Jonas Brothers. Hey! Kudos to the marketing machine that keeps churning out fresh faces using a tried and true formula. But -- remember parents -- this is not the Mickey Mouse Club that we remember.

Today, this channel seems obsessed with the teenage dating exploits of high-school aged children -- who's cute? who's kissing whom? How to handle a date with two girls at one time?

What's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Admittedly it's pretty tame by today's standards. I'm OK with it as long as the kids that are watching it are high-school aged or at least close to that. I'll even accept the 12 and 13 year-olds. But, what about 8, 9, or 10 year-olds? Back it up there Steamboat Willie, that's too young for this stuff..

Think I'm over-reacting? Maybe. But before you decide, go to the Disney Channel home page, and read the ticker messages and the age of the kids who are entering them. I'll wait.

All I'm saying is that if your kids are watching the Disney Channel -- have a seat next to them on the couch -- and judge for yourself whether the content is age-appropriate for your little Chip or Dale.

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