Lily loves Peppa Pig. She has Peppa Wellies, a Peppa hat, a Peppa car, Peppa figurines, Peppa toy buggy, Peppa cuddly toys… I could go on.
Since Lily was about one she’s enjoyed watching Peppa Pig, at one point it was the only programme she would watch. At first it seemed a fun and harmless programme for her to watch. However increasingly I am becoming aware of its potentially harmful influence.
The basis of the show (for anyone who has been living under a rock/child isn’t at an age for tv yet) is a family of pigs: Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig, Peppa Pig and her little brother George. Peppa and George are both quite “cheeky piggys” (as Lily calls them) and often don’t do as they are told. For example, in one particular episode they interrupt Mummy Pig’s important computer work, and end up breaking the computer. In another episode they are asked to tidy up their room and do so, but then untidy it straight away, George is also known for not liking any vegetables and often refuses to eat them. Part of me thinks this is just a realistic portrayal of children in general, however they certainly aren’t the squeaky clean well-behaved characters that some programmes show.
Not only that but Lily seems to copy what they do and say a lot. After one particular week of Peppa overload I noticed when I asked Lily to do something she would reply “no!” In exactly the same voice as George uses in the show. It made me wonder if exposing Lily to the programme is really that good for her, maybe I should stick to “safer” programmes such as on the CBeebies channel.
But are we all just ganging up on Peppa? There are plenty of programmes that are just as bad if not worse. The other morning we were watching “The Little Princess” on Channel 5, now she really is naughty, refusing baths for days on end and lying about having one. Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom is often full of rebellious behaviour, just look at Holly’s twin sisters Daisy and Poppy turning all the elves in to bunnies or sending their teacher off to the Stone Age. Even Bing on CBeebies does things wrong that could be seen as “naughty”, he even killed a butterfly!! Unless we ban our children from watching any television they are going to be exposed to this sort of thing.
I’m sure it has to be a balance, if the child watches an enormous amount of television with these sorts of characters in I suppose it probably will have an effect on their behaviour. So much of what Lily does or says is a reflection of those around her. She often comes out with phrases that I say, Joe says or her Grandparents say. However a little bit of Peppa Pig in the morning whilst eating her breakfast I’m sure is not going to turn Lily in to a horror of a child. We try to limit TV anyway and prefer to play games, go outside or read. But really am I going to ban the little pink pig from our home… No. She stays for now, and I trust that Lily along with the millions of other children that have watched Peppa will not suddenly turn evil after watching a few episodes. Or so I hope…!