This article sparked my interest yesterday. Then I read this guy’s post, and now I have something to say. DadCamp sat down with his family to watch a special that he and his wife probably would have considered a Halloween classic when, oh the horror!, Charlie Brown is teased by friends and gets a few rocks in his Halloween bag.
They have now banned this iconic show as well as all other Charlie Brown specials because they do not want to expose their children to “bullying”. While I understand that bullying has been put in the spotlight and there have been some terrible cases of extreme bullying, there is definitely a difference between bullying and teasing amongst friends.
DadCamp’s reaction to the tv special set me on edge. I called my mom and asked her if she thought I learned to be a bully from Charlie Brown. While I don’t have children of my own, I know that I am 27 years old and have watched this TV special for as long as I can remember and that it didn’t teach me to be a bully. While Charlie seems to get quite a few rocks, he is still out with his friends. Sure, he’s called Blockhead but I can think of a song or two that many kids hear that call people worse things. If a child is not exposed to a little bit of cartoon teasing vs. bullying how will they know the difference? Also, I feel that if parents see a situation in a cartoon or real life that shows a little bit of the real world that makes them uncomfortable, then maybe it’s a good opportunity for a teaching moment with their family. If you don’t want your kids teasing their friends because of their costume choice, make sure that you let them know. Don’t leave it up to the tv special to be the last word. The Charlie Brown specials are great at illustrating life lessons, good friends, and a little classic Americana. Would you rather have your kids (or grown children with their kids) sit down with you to watch Linus wait for the Great Pumpkin or wait until you go to bed to watch some slasher movie?
While I don’t want to tell anyone how to parent I do want to say one thing to DadCamp. Good Grief, it’s just Charlie Brown!
Make sure you watch the Charlie Brown election special! No really, it exists and I own it on DVD.