Hey, Caillou, Put a Sock in It!

Okay, I’ll admit it, my kids whine a lot. It’s almost like having an accent; that ever-present, whiny twang that complements most of their requests. “Moooooom…MaMaaaaa…Maaaaaaaa!! Can I have a juice box, pleeeease?” Such a simple question, so why the incessant nasal inflection? I especially like it when they choose to stress a single word. “You NEVER let me stay up late!” I’m also particular to the “stamp on each syllable for emphasis method,” such as “Why-Can’t-I-Have-A-PlayDate??!!” Regardless of the delivery, it’s tough to stop the moaning and groaning when their TV role models do it with reckless abandon.

Ruby, of Max and Ruby, spends much of her time “woe is me-ing” and complaining about having to babysit her tag-along brother Max. There’s a lesson I want to teach my kids; that it’s appropriate to grumble about everything that bothers them, especially their siblings. How about Swiper’s, “Oh Maaaan!” Though funny to hear your child say the first hundred times, this exclamation has become a grating response to a lot of my requests.

But I have to say, the most unbearable bellyacher of them all, is Caillou. He’s really rough on the ears. With all of the great children's programs on PBS, how is this whiny loser still in the mix? With Caillou, I’ve found that the constant griping is often ignored, and sometimes even rewarded -- another wonderful lesson learned. I’m assuming that whining characters like these are created so that our kids can relate. My kids can also relate to temper tantrums, but that doesn’t mean I want to see Barney throwing one.

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