About a year ago, my daughter who was two at the time found Veggie Tales. Fruits and vegetables that tell stories from the Bible using modern twists, including Indiana Jones and The Princess and the Pea. It does mention god and Jesus throughout the entire show. One episode later and my daughter was hooked. She completely fell in love the cucumber. She calls him "Pickle".

 

A few months ago, Veggie Tales Live! came to my grandmother's "non-denominational" Christian church. She invited us to go and I said that would be awesome. I love any chance to hang out with my grandmother. This particular church is a mega-church. So, we walked into the auditorium's lobby. Immediately, Ivy runs toward the Veggie Tale booth with all of their stuffed animals and toys. She picks out a flashlight toy and a stuffed pickle. We sat down near the front and waited for the show. Most of the other little kids were sitting quietly as if this was a real church service. As the lights dim, men dressed as giant vegetables stumble onto the stage singing their opening song..

 

If you like to talk to tomatoes,
If a squash can make you smile,
If you like to waltz with potatoes,
Up and down the produce aisle...
Have we got a show for you!

 

Immediately, all of the kids just gasp in awe. My daughters eyes lit up and she couldn't believe she was seeing the real Pickle!  Before long, she was jumping in the middle of the isles and dancing her little heart out. Most of the other children were standing by their parents, not sure if they were allowed to move from their spot. Soon, they couldn't stand it and joined my daughter in the isles. They were all having a blast and it was nice to see my daughter getting the party started! In the end, it was a great show and a great way for my daughter to spend precious time with my grandmother.


Why, you may ask, would I let my kid watch something that I believe is utterly false? If asked, Ivy knows Pickle is just a cartoon. She'll also say the same of Elmo, the Iron Giant, and Woody from Toy Story. To be honest, I don't think she even gets the concept of god that is mentioned along the storyline. She sees veggies dancing around, sing songs, and being polite to everyone. I will say that it does teach good values and some of their songs are quite catchy. It leaves out all the gory stuff about hell but hey, it is a kid's show after all.

 

My daughter also watches science documentaries, The Blue Planet, Planet Earth ect ect... She loves them too. She's fascinated by monkeys and tigers. When asked, she knows these animals real. We can visit a zoo and see, and sometimes even interact, with the animals. She knows that these do exist in reality.

 

I don't want to keep my child in the dark about the Christian religion. The majority of my family would label themselves as Christians and Ivy will begin to hear about the many religions as she gets older. So, what's the best way to introduce a three year old to religion? In it's basic form, a fairytale.

 

Scarlette Blues

 

 

 

Views: 180

Tags: Christian, Veggie, child, introducing, kid, religion, tales

Comment by Trevor Siemens on April 15, 2011 at 9:22pm

Haha, I totally used to watch that show at my grandmother's house. She's a pretty active christian, and I'm a pretty firm atheist, so I wouldn't worry yourself about it. As long as they watch other cartoons, the religion becomes indistinguishable from the fiction in the other cartoons anyways.

As for introducing, maybe the best way would be to just let be, and make sure they know some stuff to compare any bible stories they hear to. If they already watch discovery, then let them know it's ok to question things that don't make sense.

Comment by Scarlette Blues on April 16, 2011 at 12:50pm
I also think that the religion will become indistinguishable from the other cartoons. & Yes, she watches a lot of Discovery channel. She's been talking about the planets and how everyone lives on Earth. Yesterday, she told me she didn't want to live on Earth so she was going to build a rocketship LOL
Comment by Walter Maki on April 16, 2011 at 1:27pm
I do not see any harm as long as she knows it ain't real just like other animations. I must confess I like the Veggies they are entertaining and aside from bible reference they do show good values. Since she also watches Discovery channel does balance it out.
Comment by Scarlette Blues on April 16, 2011 at 4:28pm
Yes, they are entertaining! I wish they didn't give references to the Bible though. It would make it such a better show! LOL ... and yes, she watches discovery a lot more than Veggie Tales. She's fascinated by animals & the planets at the moment :)
Comment by James on April 16, 2011 at 6:22pm
I don't see too much harm coming from watching that show. Heck, if she ever starts to ask if the concepts from the show are true you can always say, "You heard it from a talking tomato, what do you think?"  lol :)
Comment by enlightenmentisntsoscary on April 28, 2011 at 5:50pm

Here is my answer as a Child Development student and a preschool teacher... take it for whatever it's worth to you...

If it was presented truly without mention of god then I wouldn't have a problem with kids learning bible stories. Sometimes decent values can be pulled from it and as a preschool teacher, i read children fables from all over the world all the time. We don't talk about it being "true" or "untrue" we just talk about the character's actions and consequences. (though this is for the exposure to literacy not for the moral value)

But my beef with watching a VT video (specifically) would be the fact that they always ( the many many I have shown preschoolers in my 'past life' anyway) begin with a "letter from a viewer" and in the "answer" to the letter they do mention what "God" would have the letter writer do. It also always ends with "And remember, God made you special and he loves you very much" It is true that they don't mention Jesus (in any that I have seen) but a patriarchal, judge, creator-god. Definately.

Certainly though, you are the one who can best decide for your child. I would balance it with as much other culturally diverse exposure though. My personal opinion is to limit the amount of screen time a young child (any child but particulary under 8 with their quickly progressing brain development) gets anyway.

How to expose a 3 year old to religions.? Don't worry about it now. It isn't developmentally appropriate to focus on something like that unless it is personally important to you and the culture of your family.

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