Peppa Pig has Bad Parents.

Is it just me, or is Peppa just not a very good role model for our kids?

My son loves a lot of things. He loves his baby bear, he loves most types of food, he loves books of all kinds, and this week he loves Lego. But as I’m sure most parents find with their kids, he doesn’t love anything as much as the limited time he spends watching TV shows. As we don’t have a television, at the moment his entire repertoire of shows consists of Baby Einstein and Peppa Pig which we’ve downloaded to our laptop/smartphones. Most parents will agree that Peppa is a useful show, because it only lasts five minutes. The perfect amount of time to keep your kid entertained while you make the important phone call, quickly put the supper on, scream into a pillow etc, without making you feel like one of those mums who over-uses TV as a way to entertain their offspring. (After all, 5 minutes even three times a day barely counts as television, I wouldn’t even mention it. ;))

I chose Peppa Pig because I saw endless children who were obsessed with the characters, and because we had received a book with Peppa and George in our Bookstart pack from the library, and R brought it to me to read about 7 times a day. And it’s a cute show, with simple and sweet story lines. For those (luckily) not in the know, the family of pigs consists of Mummy and Daddy Pig, Grandma and Grandpa Pig (I assume Daddy Pig’s parents given the matching surname?) Peppa, who seems to be about 3 or 4, and her baby brother George, somewhere between 1 and 2. Oh the hiijinks they can get up to in five minutes!

So what bothers me? A few things, and I preface this by saying I know I’m probably being over the top, and also that I have only seen approx half of the first season and none of the others.

1. Language
Does anyone else notice the amount of times Peppa exclaims “Naughty Daddy!” or “Messy Mummy!” or “Silly Naughty Daddy!” and the entire family erupts into peals of laughter? I see that the parent in question normally joins in the laughter, so I wouldn’t say it’s exactly encouraging bullying and teasing, but surely there is a correct way to talk to your parents, and this just isn’t it! Aren’t we showing our kids at their most receptive time for learning that it’s okay to use words like naughty and silly, and not only use them but direct them to their mums and dads? Worse still, the parents reinforce this by using the same language to each other in front of the children too. Over the top or not, I find it uncomfortable.

2. Food.
I know they are a family of pigs, so maybe I’m fighting a losing battle with this one, but is there ONE episode of this show where they don’t consume junk food? Biscuits, Pancakes, Chocolate Cake, Cookie batter… and all eaten in two swift bites! Would it kill the writers to give Peppa an apple?

3. Gender Stereotyping.
Daddy Pig works in an Office. He has a flashy laptop and a big desk. If Mummy Pig does any work, it is condescendingly referred to as Very Important, and is done on the Amstrad PC she has upstairs in her bedroom. Of course, the second the computer stops working, she is all a flap and calls Daddy Pig to fix the big mean problem. He promptly turns it on and off again to rapturous applause from the females and children. Phew. What would we do without big strong men-folk.. er, pig-folk.

4. Discipline.
If the Pig residence was a real household, Super Nanny would have been called years ago. Because there is no way that Peppa and George would be such well behaved kids with the lack of discipline they are shown.

Example One
“Peppa, be careful with your bike around my prize pumpkin!”
“Yes Daddy…. [to friends “lets race to Daddy’s pumpkin!”] CRASH …sorry Daddy”
“That’s okay Peppa, as long as you’re ok, now lets make pumpkin pie as a reward for you totally ignoring what I just told you!”

Example Two
Peppa and George are jumping in Muddy Puddles. They are head to toe covered in filth. 
“Let’s go show Daddy!” 
-traipse into house spreading mud everywhere-
“Hahaha, lets get you cleaned up before Mummy Pig sees.” 

Not even a “next time don’t bring mud in the house/ take your boots off first.”

Don’t get me wrong, there are far worse characters out there, who promote much more dangerous activities than pumpkin smashing and mud slinging. And far less educational shows for toddlers as well, which seem to consist of nonsense being babbled at my baby for twenty or thirty minutes. (If I wanted that, I would put him in front of a mirror.) In comparison, Peppa Pig is pretty harmless.

Yet it bothers me that in any episode where Peppa does something naughty, she either looks sheepish for about 3 seconds until her family erupts into laughter, or she says “sorry Daddy/Mummy” in the singsongiest of voices until she gets a tooth decaying treat for her trouble.

I’m not saying they should fill the show with Peppa sitting on the naughty step and receiving lessons on her 5 a day. I’m just not sure I want R looking up to her that much either.
Thoughts?

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22 Comments

  1. whatkatiecooked

     /  September 4, 2012

    Hmm… I’m not sure what I think about this. My son hasn’t watched any tv yet and stuff like this makes me want to keep him away forever. But then I grew up on cartoons and kiddy shows and i’m sure they were full of subversive and anti-feminist messages but I don’t feel I was particularly affected.
    Thanks for the follow, btw!

    Reply
  2. Yaeli

     /  September 5, 2012

    Very interesting observations! Unfortunately most TV for kids has different agendas from what we would want them to be. Sigh.
    Proof, yet again, that good parenting is tough given all the crap that is thrown our way!

    Reply
  3. Sara

     /  September 19, 2012

    You’re right I have noticed that. And dont forget how they bully poor daddy pig. Always calling him fat and how he gots a big belly. For example the episode where they where playing in their grandparents backyard inside the playhouse and the secret password was daddy big belly, how rude and for the adult s to follow along. I wanted to scream at the tv “hello you guys aren’t in great shape either including peppa”. Oh yes and lets not forget how he is always seen like he’s dumb. For example when they had the camper car and they couldn’t find the motor and then comes ms. Rabbit to find it. For some rason it looks like they blame daddy pig for not being
    Smart enough t o find it sooner, when all of them as a family couldn’t find it

    Reply
    • haha I agree obviously! I think the characters are adorable, and the books etc seem much less mean, so I’m not worrying about the peppa love in general, but definitely trying to wean him off the show! Thanks for stopping by and the comment. 🙂

      Reply
    • RogerPenna

       /  August 31, 2016

      Disagree that the show always portrays Daddy Pig as dumb.

      He is more like playfull and a little careless. But not DUMB.

      There is the mirror episode, where the children are amazed about how they can see their reflections upside down in a spoon and ask Daddy Pig if it´s magic, and he replies with a scientific explanation about light interaction with concave and convex surfaces to which the children reply “so it´s magic?” and he just gives up explaining it and says “yes, it´s magic”.

      But we can clearly see he is intelligent in this and some other parts of the show.

      Reply
  4. Okay I compleatly agree so thank you! I have a few more things I don’t like about the show, firstly every one disrespects daddy pig, is it just me who thinks the man of the house should be treated with respect and not laughed at and made to feel stupid? I hate that, and yes pepper never gets disciplined my daughter is very switched on and was watching an ep where the children where playing in their parents clothing!! And it was all fine to wear mummy and daddy’s good clothing, my daughter said oh o pepper needs a smack for that! But did they even get told off noooo
    One more thing, Rebecca rabbit is a condesending b in my view
    Grandma pig: it’s not a toy train it a mini low comotive !
    Rabbit; okay grandpa pig, everyone get into the toy train
    “What a cow”

    Reply
  5. Saima

     /  May 18, 2014

    Peppa is also incredibly self-centred, she dictates all the games her and George and the other animals play – eg. when the girls have a competition to see who can jump rope the most, and Peppa loses, she is upset and doesn’t want to play anymore until an adult arrives and selects a new activity

    Reply
    • RogerPenna

       /  August 31, 2016

      Peppa is exactly like most children that age. Haven´t you know that children ARE self-centered? (including their inability to see the world from other’s people perspective).

      It’s realistic and we see most children doing it one time or another.

      We adults complain because we are unused to realistic shows with realistic little children behaviour.

      Reply
  6. Rolf

     /  June 5, 2014

    First of all the show is great even for adults. I love the simple, predictable plots and the good natured laughs and playfulness. I agree with the original comments, but (being a dad) to a much lesser degree. I have not seen it as a problem or as negative for kids to watch. However, I must agree with stephage27 about the putting down and disrespect of daddy pig. That’s something I’ve noticed a few times. Granted, daddy pig does make a fool of himself sometimes, but even though mummy pig also sometimes screws up it’s i little one sided. I also remember an episode with daddy pig’s brother where both fathers were made fun of (falling asleep during a theater performance by the kids) and acting slightly silly, so maybe there’s something anti man thing going on there 🙂

    Reply
  7. Jackie

     /  June 19, 2014

    I totally agree!!! I do not allow the show in my house at all. It is disrespectful and doesn’t teach kids anything positive, it’s all negative. The thing that bothers me the most is that it teaches kids that its okay to call your father “fat” or say that he has “a big belly” !!!! That is wrong on so many levels. I can’t even begin to explain how much I dislike this show!!!

    Reply
  8. Randi

     /  July 12, 2014

    I have actually never seen Peppa Pig but from all that I’ve read online, it doesn’t sound like a very good show for kids at all. I would not recommend it. Not only have I read that anthropomorphic animal characters can hinder a child’s learning about real animals, but I have read some really bad things about Peppa Pig including it teaching a kid a swear word! (Seriously! Look it up.)

    Reply
  9. Shay

     /  November 24, 2014

    I have to agree, I asked my sister after watching the show with my niece if she ever really sat an watched the show. Because when I actually paid attention an watched it with my niece I was like OMG poor daddy pig. They are all always mean to him. This one episode they were having a picnic and a wasp was chasing daddy pig they all stood on top of the hill and were laughing at daddy pig while he was running from the wasp, then decided to sit and eat their cake while daddy pig was trying not to get stung. Finally, here comes daddy pig with his cake and said “at least I didn’t drop my strawberry cake” he was getting ready to eat it and peppa said “NO, daddy pig we promised the ducks some cake.” she took daddy pig’s cake an fed it to the ducks without even asking daddy pig if he minded. Then she told the ducks to thank daddy pig. How rude!! She is always the boss, they never get into trouble, an poor daddy pig. I think the show is fun to watch and not harmful but I also think it is not a very good role model or something the kids should follow. I always tell my niece an nephew that wasn’t nice what peppa pig said or did and I explain to them what the right choice should have been…

    Reply
  10. Peter Ian SStaker

     /  February 16, 2015

    I am humbly amazed that you had enough time on your Amsted pc to write this blog post, whats more im amazed you aquired enough free time to make such in depth observations regarding a fictional tv show that lasts 5 minutes and is meant to be a comedy for children.

    If you and other are enough of a bad parent to allow a cartoon show to have more control and influance over your child than you do, then i am sorry but you deserve what you get.

    find somthing constructive to do with your life.

    Reply
    • I’m not surprised by your comment, considering the amount of spelling and grammar errors in it, you don’t seem like the kind of parent who worries too much about constructive outside influences for your kids. If you think that the shows they watch don’t have an impact on the way they view the world or the way they interact with their peers and elders, you’re a fool.

      Pick up a book. For you and your poor kids alike.

      Reply
      • dawn

         /  October 9, 2015

        Truee.. my kids even asked if they can play in a mud puddle and when I said no they said but peppa pig did.. I had to explain to then that that’s what pigs do and that’s the only reason they get to..that show is just crazy!!

      • Emma

         /  November 30, 2015

        Wow. I am actually horrified by your reply! How very stereotypical! It’s just a show, you have these opinions, so don’t let your child watch it!! My children understand fiction is fiction. They know real pigs don’t talk and are not rude to us. If they were, we would deal with it accordingly and not shelter them from influences. They need to learn right from wrong.
        You asked for any thoughts, then reprimand someone for one!

      • You don’t think it’s offensive to call someone a bad parent? I found his reply abhorrent so I posted my own. I never claimed that I would agree with everyone’s thoughts! And as you’ve probably seen I haven’t berated anyone who simply has a different opinion from my own, only if they feel the need to stoop to personal insults.

        I’d be interested in how you would deal with it directly (other than switch it off) if your kids behaviour was influenced by what they watch, which it invariably is, for adults as well. I find its quite hard to deal with head on as it’s not easy for them to see the correlation even if you do. Any tips?

  11. dawn

     /  October 9, 2015

    Okay so I was just thinking the same exact thing!!! And I don’t agree with how they momma pig and the kids always disrespect daddy pig. They’re always calling him fat or lazy.. like really??!!!

    Reply
  12. Bruno

     /  July 24, 2016

    I do find Peppa Pig baffingly uneducational sometimes. It’s a pity as the characters are extremely sweet and so are the drawings. And also the story lines have enormous potential. BUT…jesus it irks me so much that Daddy Pig is systematically bullied by the entire family (grandparents included) and that he’s the butt of all jokes. And Peppa never gets told off, not even when she is extremely cocky and/or unkind to George or anyone else.

    Final thought about “Peter Ian SStaker” who commented above and said, without a hint of irony, that TV has zero influence on kids. Yeah, sure, absolutely.

    Reply
    • This made me laugh out loud! Thanks for the comment and for stopping by. Sorry for the short reply, but Texas chainsaw massacre almost finished so my kids will be unoccupied shortly.

      Reply
  13. RogerPenna

     /  August 31, 2016

    “3. Gender Stereotyping.
    Daddy Pig works in an Office. He has a flashy laptop and a big desk. If Mummy Pig does any work, it is condescendingly referred to as Very Important, and is done on the Amstrad PC she has upstairs in her bedroom. Of course, the second the computer stops working, she is all a flap and calls Daddy Pig to fix the big mean problem. He promptly turns it on and off again to rapturous applause from the females and children. Phew. What would we do without big strong men-folk.. er, pig-folk.”

    That is quite the spin in the situation.

    Yes, she works from home.

    And Daddy Pig is OFTEN SEEN DOING HOME CHORES like cleaning the house or making food, when Mommy Pig is working.

    But about the episode above in special, it’s completely not about Daddy Pig being a hero fixing the computer.

    It´s about none of them understanding about computers and Mommy Pig just giving up and TELLING (she doesn´t asks for the male help, she TELLS what he should do) Daddy Pig to fix the computer. Because she doesn´t want to bother with it.

    Daddy Pig is also incapable of fixing the computer. So he clumsily just tries something stupid, but it works, CLEARLY on luck, not because he is a smart hero.

    Reply
  14. Mary Brown

     /  March 17, 2017

    Thank u so so much for this article it’s great to know there is someone else who thinks the same as myself and my husband! I 100% agree with everything in your article. The way peppa speaks to her mum and dad is disgusting and so disrespectful! And George just cries and gets his own way every time! They’re both spoilt brats who let’s be honest deserve a slap!! And how rude to keep telling her dad how fat he is! I cannot stand these characters and try to discourage my youngest who is now 3 watching this horrible programme. As far as me and my husband are concerned peppa and George need turning into bacon which would be so much better for my kids.

    Reply

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