iCarly, iCarly.com and Nickelodeon are teaching a generation of children as they sit in our homes watching television. We need to do some “homework” and watch with the kids and make this a “teachable moment”.
As an adult, I find iCarly appropriate for Adults as a spoof of a kids show. As the occasional custodian of these two elementary school girls and parent to a teenager, iCarly puts me on high alert.
- “Carly” has no parents in her home.
- She is smarter than almost all the adults in her life.
- There are no actual “kid” type problems in the storyline.
- Carly’s best friend, Sam, is a bully who has been arrested four times and placed in juvinile detention.
- Carly doesn’t have a mentor or anyone she can ask for help in addressing issues in her life.
- “Spencer”, the brother, is not a role model and more often than not is parented by Carly. His choice of friends includes someone who liked to spank him. His dating life is inappropriate and has included one of the kid’s teachers.
On a show without responsible adults, it is not surprising that the characters think homelessness, poverty, and hobos are a fun party theme.
Luckily, you and I can be the responsible adults attached to this show. Your child probably knows three or four children who live in poverty. Even affluent neighborhoods have students who are homeless.
Let us teach these children that iCarly is Science Fiction/Fantasy. I had this discussion with the girls regarding the Hobo Party (photos of which have seemingly been removed from the site- THANK YOU NICK!).
- These are not real children in the real world.
- They don’t have the same problems that you and I did as kids, and their lives don’t resemble the lives of any children I know.
- Carly, Sam, Freddie, Gibby and Spencer live in a world where there are no reliable adult figures.
- In iCarly’s world, Homelesness is Humor.
- In our world Poverty, disability, and homelessness can happen to anyone and might kill them.
- Carly can hop on a plane to go to a stranger’s home and no one stops her or mentions the danger of strangers,
In my home, we discuss what it means to go hungry because no one can buy food. We collect food for local service agencies, and even the baby has made it to a homeless shelter. We talked about dressing up as a hobo vs dressing up as a something scary for Halloween or a party. We talk about laughing in the face of their fears and what resources they would need if they were homeless.
Let us teach them compassion. Help the children in your life to watch this and all shows with a skeptical eye that knows fantasy from reality.,
iCarly can talk about missing parents. cheating on grades, adults who pee on themselves at their own wedding, being held hostage, labor wars with school kids and more like the time iCarly threw a theme party for hobos and hunger. You and I are responsible for where the conversation goes from there.
Nickelodeon has introduced our kids to CHARACTERS, we must be the Role Models.
————— but PS . Dearest Nickelodeon, I miss “You Can’t Do That on Television” where kids were slimed for saying “Can’t”. Can we have more shows for kids we=here they really are children with strong adult role models? If you need ideas – just ask.
(re-edited when I was actually awake)