Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Zoe's observation

I bought two Charlie Brown DVDs for Zoe a couple weeks ago: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  Watching them with her brings back my own childhood memories, and makes me realize how children view things and how different today's world is from that of my youth.

There are a lot of things in Charlie Brown that aren't exactly politically correct.  There's a fair amount of bullying portrayed (Lucy), along with name-calling ("blockhead" seems to be the preferred insult). Both of these are worrisome to Zoe, who has been learning for over two years at her school that we treat our friends with respect and dignity.  This is not to say that I'm pulling the Charlie Brown DVDs from her video library, just that I'm staying very aware of how she's watching and what she's thinking.  We've had a few discussions about Lucy's behavior ("Mommy, she's mean.") and how it's not appropriate to call people names.

It's been interesting from a parental point of view - and something I didn't count on discussing as this behavior was nothing extraordinary when I was a child.  I don't remember my teachers carefully calling everyone in my class "friends," nor do I remember the emphasis Zoe's school places on respecting others. In fact, before popping the Charlie Brown DVDs into the player, it hadn't even dawned on me that there would be anything offensive or even discussion-worthy.  Still, I think it's a valuable lesson for both of us, and invokes perhaps a view of the "real world" that Zoe may not see too much at her carefully-structured school.

Last night, though, we had a discussion of a different sort.  We were watching the Thanksgiving special for the first time, and although Charlie Brown's little sister, Sally, was featured predominantly in the Halloween special, I suppose Zoe either didn't notice her before or has been wondering this for a couple weeks now.

"Yes, Zo?"
"Does she have an acorn on her head?"

So much for the deep discussion involving Peanuts characters.


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