This Friday, Oct. 8, 2010 photo shows teacher Robyn Gates, right, and toddler Haley Smith, 20-months-old, as they practice sign language at Malena's Mini School  in Pensacola, Fla. Sign language has long been a technique for psychologists working with very young children, but parents over the last decade or so have embraced the practice with special classes, books, DVDs and online programs.     (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson)
This Friday, Oct. 8, 2010 photo shows teacher Robyn Gates, right, and toddler Haley Smith, 20-months-old, as they practice sign language at Malena's Mini School in Pensacola, Fla. Sign language has long been a technique for psychologists working with very young children, but parents over the last decade or so have embraced the practice with special classes, books, DVDs and online programs. (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson)

Johnny be good, or I’ll ban Peppa Pig

By KATHERINE FAULKNER Time of article published Jan 10, 2012

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London - With her cheeky smile – and even cheekier attitude – she has become a hit with children.

But it seems a growing number of parents are turning against TV character Peppa Pig (a popular CeeBeebies cartoon on Dstv in South Africa), claiming she is a “bad influence”.

Many complain their sons and daughters have started to copy the “naughty” behaviour of the cartoon pig and her younger brother, George, by answering back to their parents.

Some have even banned the programme because they claim it has made their children misbehave.

One father spoke of his despair at how his four-year-old son had taken to splashing in what he gleefully called “muddy puddles” on his way to school – copying Peppa’s favourite pastime.

Others reported that their children had started shouting “chocolate cake” whenever they were asked what they would like for breakfast – just like George Pig. “The more I see, the more alarmed I am at the choice of behaviour put into this ‘cartoon’,” one mother wrote on parenting website Mumsnet.

“George Pig, who my son loves, says ‘YUCK’ at vegetables and only wants to eat chocolate cake.

“A day after watching that episode, my son wouldn’t eat his cucumber and tomatoes.” In reply to her posting, another mother wrote: “My daughter keeps saying ‘no’ and ‘yuk’ in a really high and mighty way, just like Peppa does, and generally answering back when I ask her to do something.

“Shall I ban Peppa Pig, or is that being totally unreasonable?” Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman said that parents were being “naïve” if they thought that what children watched would not affect their behaviour.

He said that in recent years there had been a “significant increase” in children using “adversarial, snide, questioning, confrontational and disrespectful behaviour” they had copied from cartoons.

“There’s nothing special about Peppa Pig – the same applies to all programmes.

“Some 80 percent of brain development is between birth and three years old – so if they spend a lot of time watching the TV, they will copy forms of behaviours that they see on the TV.”

He added: “The problem is you can’t distinguish to children what is real and pretend

“You can’t just say to the child the pig was only pretending it was naughty.” - Daily Mail

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