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My Stance Against SpongeBob.

By caseymullins |

Addie has always been allowed to watch TV that I select for her in moderation. She doesn’t have free reign of the remote nor have I ever parked her in front of a show simply because it was marketed towards kids. Just because something is animated doesn’t mean that kids should be watching it. One of the shows I avoided successfully for a long time was SpongeBob Squarepants, not necessarily because Addie wouldn’t enjoy it, but because it annoyed the daylights out of me. It is crude, crass and fairly disgusting. I was never allowed to watch Ren and Stimpy as a kid and I’m beginning to realize why. There are a few people who never understood why I didn’t allow her to watch it, my husband being one of them. Only recently has Addie been able to “earn” an episode of SpongeBob once or twice a week after she completes her chores and homework. I can completely admit to enjoying a brainless show now and again as a break from a busy day…which is exactly why TLC programming does so well.

Brainless may not even be a strong enough adjective for SpongeBob. Addie loses all focus and attention when watching it, which isn’t surprising; a University of Virginia study found that shows like SpongeBob almost immediately impair a child’s attention span. We could superglue all her toys to the ceiling two inches behind her and she wouldn’t notice as long as we finished in the 22 minutes of SpongeBob coma.

Am I going to take SpongeBob away? Maybe. I have always payed very close attention to how she acts and behaves after shows and if any certain one causes a dramatic shift in her personality for the worse? It’s gone. (Caillou should be marched off a cliff with all the whining that little bald child incites.)

Remember how it used to be really hip to hate on that big purple dinosaur? I take it all back. Addie used poise and manners in a way never before seen after watching Barney. Dora made her grumpy and Sesame Street? Sesame Street 4EVA is all I have to say about that.

So far there haven’t been any real issues with a little SpongeBob in Addie’s life, in fact I’m having more trouble with her reading Junie B. Jones books, sheesh that kid uses the word stupid a lot.

What are the viewing rules in your house?

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About caseymullins



Casey Mullins is a writer, photographer, and nice person living in Indianapolis with her two little girls, husband, and a one eyed cat. She writes regularly at her personal blog moosh in indy and can be found trolling local bakeries and napping whenever possible. Read bio and latest posts → Read Casey's latest posts →

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39 thoughts on “My Stance Against SpongeBob.

  1. NotAMeanGirl says:

    My son is 11 and I STILL police what he watches at home. No SpongeBlob, minimal scary stuff. Nothing that encourages vapid behavior or anything resembling an attitude adjustment.

    I can’t keep him from watching “forbidden” shows when he’s with his friends, but he knows at home what’s allowed and what isn’t. I’ve actually had phone calls from him when he’s spending the night at a friends to ask if he can watch something or another.

    Huh. He’s a pretty good kid really. I need to remind myself of that when he’s making me insane! LOL

  2. Adri says:

    That’s funny because I don’t let my kids watch spongebob either. Which is easy considering we don’t have cable. AND we stopped Junie B. Jones after 3 books because I couldn’t stand all the “stupids” and Junie’s bad attitude. We’re doing Magic Treehouse now and so far, no stupids. And they’re more entertaining I think (and even a little educational).

  3. Allison Zapata says:

    I agree on SpongeBob. SO CRASS for kids. Usually, if a show proves to be to mature for my three year old, he is the one who tells me, “Mommy, this show is for big kids!” Because a show can seem perfectly fine during the day, but at night., with my kids imagination, it can turn into a nightmare fast!

  4. Shan@ says:

    Carter…4 going on 14…lol no…5 this weekend..wants to do everything the older ones do. This includes their television selections. I must say though, lately he has chosen to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and other delightfully age appropriate shows!! He is a HUGE Spongebob fan..and I don’t have a problem with him, I had to come clean. I do however monitor the Disney and Nick programs because my idea of child friendly and the networks are not the same. George Lopez!! This is not child friendly..come on now!

  5. Cherie says:

    We have very similar tv selections for the girls, it seems. I almost started a letter writing campaign against Calliou. We actually don’t do any of the Disney sitcoms for the attitude post viewing, too. I feel like such a prude. But it’s not worth it for me {and the parents are always depicted as idiots, boobs, or clueless}.

    We didn’t do the Junie B. Jones books. Just wait, kid’s lit gets much worse than “stupid” and I am always scrambling to keep books in Anna’s hands that are age and reading level appropriate. Don’t even get me started on the pre-puberty books and periods. It’s a bit maddening. This summer, it was Little Women, the entire Little House Series, Anne of Green Gables, and Caddie Woodlawn.

    Addie’s ready for American Girl books if you want to read with her {maybe even on her own}. Good historical content and most of them have admirable girls who deal with struggles and depend on their families to help them guide them. We did Kit Kitteredge when Anna was five or six with her reading a page, me reading a page, etc.

  6. Wendy [mapsgirl] says:

    We feel the exact same way about SpongeBob …and Caillou …and Junie B. Jones.

    I had to block the Family channel because of Hanna Montana and other pre-teen programs that were teaching my daughters seriously bad things. I hope that my pre-teen girls aren’t like the ones on TV. Yikes!

    Fortunately we have the magic of Disney Junior and CBC Kids which are great shows for kids! But all TV is in moderation for my girls.

  7. ktjrdn says:

    We read exactly ONE Junie B Jones before banning that girl from our house. That one book we read was often interupted with lessons on why exactly so was doing the things she did (becasue she’s a brat) and why you shouldn’t act that way. ugh. SpongeBob is just annoying. We’ve never had to fight that battle. The girls just don’t “get” him.

  8. Qn2TsMommy says:

    Spongebob is also not viewed in our home, for many of the same reasons. Not every cartoon is for kids. Hello? The Simpsons? My kids will be voting age before I LET them watch that! Right now we are strict Disney and Nick jr. viewers, mainly because they lack Commercials. However Disney is getting better about sneaking them in… Tsk, Tsk Disney. ;P

  9. Nichole says:

    My kids know Spongebob as “That show we don’t watch.” I noticed the same thing about Dora. My daughter was always really crabby after watching it!

  10. Jennifer says:

    I have a seven-year-old and we have let Spongebob into his life. I don’t want to play a gender card, but I seriously hate all the cartoons geared towards boys…Batman, Spiderman, Clone Wars, etc. I would honestly rather watch him giggle in front of Spongebob instead of pretend play fight after watching Batman. We’ve worked hard to teach him manners and right and wrong, and by being involved, we as parents are still the greater influence.

  11. Melinda says:

    My daughter is 6 and just started being allowed to watch Spongebob. However, most of the Disney show have been banned (except Good Luck Charlie) due to sassy attitudes after watching. iCarly is up in the air for now.

  12. Chrysta says:

    Absolutely no SpongeBob for my boys, they know why, and they’ll tell their friends they’re not allowed to watch it “because my mom doesn’t like it.”

    It is kind of sad that my youngest is into what his older brothers watch. When my first was little, he was obsessed with Blues Clues and Thomas the Tank Engine. My third likes those, too, but prefers stuff like Star Wars and Avatar: The Last Airbender so that he can be a big boy. Although now that the big boys are back to school, he’ll watch more age appropriate stuff while they’re gone. Super Why is his current love.

  13. Emily says:

    Caillou should be outlawed. So far I am only parenting in utero, but let’s just say SpongeBob doesn’t appear on our t.v when my bestie is her visiting with her daughters (8, 5, and 18 months.)

  14. Rusty Carroll says:

    I have never liked SpongeBob, and I will not allow my grandchildren to watch it at my home, and recently a friend of mine posted something he he observed while watching spongeBob with his kids, and this should make even more people not allow their children to watch this program :
    “So I’m hanging out watching spongebob with Braxton and spongebob brings a new pet he found home and Gary and the new pet don’t get along so spongebob says “let’s touch soft spots in a friendly manor” is this really appropriate for children?”

  15. Don Mills Diva says:

    My almost 6-year-old watches Spongebob pretty regularly and I see nothing wrong with it. Of course, it’s brainless, it’s a CARTOON! He is a very active boy in a number of extra ciricular activities and he is attending a school with a rigurous academic program. I think he is entitled to use his TV time to relax and enjoy something brainless. I actually think the writing is clever and funny and I like that SB is a sweet and sympathetic character – always happy, always cheerful, always trying to be friendly and helpful.

  16. Manjari says:

    No Spongebob here either. It’s just too annoying and awful.

  17. Carina says:

    I don’t like SpongeBob. Nope.

    Kids also aren’t allowed to watch any of the live action Disney shows because of sassing.

    The first show at our house to get the boot? LAZYTOWN. Holy eff, it’s a show whose primary goal is to rev kids up so they’ll exercise more. Know what I don’t need? More active children who are literally bouncing off the walls because a show made them crazy. They get plenty of exercise playing outside. I don’t need wound-up lunatics.

  18. karen says:

    We have rabbit ears, so our TV is limited to PBS and whatever we get at the library. That being said, my 3 year old has seen Harry Potter (the first movie only) and spends lots of time wand waving with chop sticks–thankfully no one has lost an eye.

  19. Neeroc says:

    V’s almost 4 and as far as what’s currently on TV she’s only recently started watching any shows, and the 2 we allow her to watch are Cat in the Hat (Knows a Lot about that) and Sid the Science Kid. We PVR a bunch of them up and then she gets to watch one show before bed. I’m not sure she’s clued in to the fact that there’s a constant stream of shows coming in to our house, she just knows how to snag a show off the menu (or from her aunt’s Netflix *g*) We also have 1 Pingu DVD and a Curious George Christmas DVD that she’s watched in the past.

    Thanks for the heads up about Junie B. V has been taught by schools and daycare that ‘stupid’ is a bad word (let’s just say I catch trouble a lot from her!), so no sense introducing those books.

  20. Ohh Betsy! says:

    Agreed on Caillou and Barney.

    Sponge Bob was introduced to my son when I was in the doctor’s office twice a week for non-stress tests while I was pregnant. It was on and I couldn’t find the remote. I hated it at first but I actually started thinking it was pretty funny. He went through a brief Sponge Bob phase thanks to Netflix instant play but now doesn’t watch it anymore. He doesn’t much care for it now. So I figured, I let him watch it, laugh a bunch and now he’s over it. I got a few chuckles in myself. He did have a friend come over once who mentioned they don’t watch that show in their house. I respect that. I just don’t think my kid is any worse off for having watched it.

  21. Kate says:

    Even before I had children, I decided if my pothead friends in college watched it, it wasn’t going to be watched by my child. So no Sponge Bob here. We also don’t watch Kick Buttowski, I’m in the Band or pretty much anything on DisneyXD. I didn’t let her watch Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers show. They’re in the tabloids so much I didn’t want her to see that and connect them to the show.

  22. Korinthia Klein says:

    I love Spongebob, and we watch him sometimes for our family Friday Night Movie Night because it’s one of the few things on which we can all agree. We have also always let our kids watch the Simpsons and Futurama which most of the other parents we know have banned, so we may be odd. We’ve made sure our kids know that some shows like Family Guy and South Park look like they may be for kids and aren’t, so they always turn those off if they come across them. But their current favorite is Fetch on PBS, so they have good taste.

  23. MaryAnne says:

    Sadly, as much as I’d like to control what my 5 year old son watches in the same way you do, I just can’t. I had dreams of only watching Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and Between the LIons, and then only maybe once a day. We did okay for a while, my Mom watched him while I worked. She may have let him watch too many videos but she did preview every single one of them. And then he started occasionally spending weekends at his Dad’s, and he generally comes back with a bunch of new phrases and behaviors he’s learned on Cartoon Network. My ex husband just figures if it’s animated, on Cartoon Network, or has muppets of some kind it must be for kids. The boy has Asperger’s and already has trouble figuring out social interactions. He really can’t figure out when a phrase isn’t nice, when it doesn’t translate to real life well, or when something a character does shouldn’t be copied. My kiddo actually told me he had to ask to Daddy and Grampa to turn off Spaceballs because it was too scary for him. When he was 4. I just try to correct the rude behavior and explain why it’s rude, limit how much tv he watches when he’s home, and talk through the shows from Daddy’s that he’s confused about.

  24. MiddleMom says:

    We don’t watch Spongebob because it’s “ugly TV.” I think any cartoon that appeals to a faithful adult audience (like Ren & Stimpy, Spongebob, and Simpons) isn’t really a kids’ TV show. My kids are 6 and 4, and we tend to watch gentler television, like Sesame Street and other PBS kids shows. We only have one TV, mounted above our fireplace downstairs, so we rarely sit and channel surf, etc. I don’t have to fight with my kids about watching TV; we just do other things and it’s not a big part of our life. We play outside a lot, ride bikes, color, etc. Soon enough my kids will be exposed to the sassy/ugly side of our culture, but I feel no need to shepherd them there myself by allowing them to watch TV that is too old for them.

  25. Tony says:

    This is why I don’t let my wife watch “Grey’s Anatomy”, Brainless may not even be a strong enough adjective for that show. Jen loses all focus and attention when watching it, which isn’t surprising; study from the City University of New York shows women who watch daytime/nightime soap operas are more likely to suffer from cognitive decline than women who spend their time watching news programming.
    I could superglue all her things to the ceiling two inches behind her and she wouldn’t notice as long as we finished in the 46 minutes of Doctor Love.

  26. Linda, t.o.o. says:

    I don’t pay much attention to which cartoon my kids turn on because TV viewing makes up a really small portion of their day.

  27. Jenny says:

    My daughter is 11 so she is mostly past cartoons. Now we have all the tween shows like iCarly. But I always hated SpongeBob. The one that really grated on my nerves though was Max and Ruby. Ruby is so condescending and rude to her brother, I can’t stand it.

  28. Voice of Reason says:

    27 comments and not one mention of Phineas & Ferb?! Seriously, I don’t like a lot of children’s TV, but we *insist* that everyone watch Phineas & Ferb (kidding, of course). It is the BEST of children’s television. Clever, funny, witty, kindhearted, sweet.

  29. Shanna says:

    We have had serious attitude issues after too many episodes of Kailan. Everyone is so MAD all the time on that show and then Marjorie decided that she was MAD all the time too. That gets switched off as soon as it comes on at our house. So far nothing major has shown up from anything else on Nick Jr.
    I wish I could be as vigilant as you with the TV watching and how do you get your child to do chores? I have tried for 18 years with my son and it is still a battle to get him to mow the lawn once a week. I need to get started on the 3 1/2 year old, any advice is welcome.

  30. Katie says:

    We don’t allow SB in our house either, because our oldest called her dad an “idiot” after watching it too much. She didn’t know it was bad, but quickly learned not to call him that. :)

  31. Getoverit says:

    Really y’all? I know SB isn’t educational and just brainless fun, but don’t you think we all were watching stuff that wasn’t the best for us either growing up?! You know what I watched? Bugs Bunny. That’s pretty rude stuff if you remember – Elmer Fudd shooting the lights off of Bugs, Daffy Duck telling off Bugs and calling him “stupid”. Or how about the earlier skits on Sesame Street even? Ernie purposely irritating Bert – those were never really educational, just for entertainment.

    I’m saying a little moderation is fine. What I DON’T understand are parents who take their school aged kids to R rated movies. I watched “Bridesmaids” at the theatre and watched in horror as I saw a kid no more than 8 years old come in with “parents”. No lie.

  32. Rick says:

    Plenty of SpongeBob in our home. It dosn’t seem to affect the Small One’s behaviour at all, aside from making her laugh.

    It’s no less brainless than any number of other shows – indeed, as sitcoms go it often shows a cleverness that live action sitcoms do not.

  33. Jamie (@chosenchaos) says:

    I opt for PBS when I can… unless Curious George is on – grunting is not the preferred method of talking in my home. We heart Sesame Street!

  34. sara says:

    spongebob is watched in our home & i’ve been slowing weaning them off of it- it’s their drug of choice. i’ve been trying to just have music playing when we are home – the dance parties are much more fun!

  35. didi ruiz says:

    shut up old ppl

  36. Christina1122 says:

    Wow, this post and the reader comments just made my day! A whole community of people who don’t love SpongeBob :) (And Dora, Caillou, Junie B….)
    The language, content and attitudes of these characters and shows are appalling at best. I feel sorry for the teachers who have to deal with the children who regularly watch these programs!

  37. Amethyst says:

    We don’t have T.V but we do have a few DVD’s of T.V shows. We once upon a time had a DVD of Powerpuff Girls Episodes. One day it was brutally mutilated and tossed in the bin… by me.

    I noticed that after watching PPG my sons became violent, aggressive and uncaring for 12+ hrs. It was incredible. I made my husband bear witness on his weekend off and he was shocked!
    Especially considering I am usually very proud (and sometimes surprised) of how well behaved and empathetic my little ones are.
    We say no to SBSP and PPG.

  38. liz says:

    My son Avery… age 4 watches just about anything I put on. I don’t limit WHAT he watches but how LONG he watches. He has watched things most people wouldn’t allow thier kids to watch and still has perfect manners, knows his ABC’s and all that, he also has a great since of whats make believe and whats real. I let him watch things that prompt discussions in my home, he is quite the little man, he has conversations with me not mindless babble produced by baby shows. Feed your childrens minds don’t limit thier intelligence by limiting “more mature” material. Children are by no means stupid so why treat them like babies, they have minds, build on that.

  39. Sarahinez says:

    My kids are 25 and 29 now, but I remember so well cutting out several Nickelodeon shows: You Can’t Do That on Television because the children were just plain mean to one another and Belle and Sebastian because 95% of adults were evil and the world was a scary and horrible place.

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