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Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's All SpongeBob's Fault

There was a recent report that blamed SpongeBob Squarepants for a rise in ADHD cases because the colors and images flash by too fast. I've been watching the show with Casey in marathon chunks, and I have to say that this theory is entirely bullshit. The problem isn't SpongeBob. It's what's going on around SpongeBob.

While we watch, Casey eats, plays board games, plays with her LeapPad, plays with her toys and really takes multitasking to a new level. It has nothing to do with SpongeBob. He just happened to show up at the right time. Look at the cartoons I grew up with. Woody Woodpecker was all over the place. Nobody blamed him for anything, yet I have ADHD, apparently, and so does my entire generation.

We can't blame cartoons for a kid's condition.  Yes, behaviors can be learned, but if they're taken in the right way, cartoons can be seen as pure fantasy. I watched Tom and Jerry, Popeye and Bluto, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner, and they all beat the shit out of each other. I don't run around dropping anvils on people's heads. I knew it was all for fun. It's like saying that someone who watches Tony Soprano is going to run out and start a crime syndicate. It just doesn't happen.

When Columbine happened many years ago, people tried to blame the video games and music the two killers enjoyed. Nobody thought to attack the negligence of the parents who didn't happen to notice the armory forming in the garage. Marilyn Manson didn't stockpile an arsenal. In the same way, it's a parent's responsibility to make sure a kid isn't overwhelmed. Focus is key, and kids just can't do it anymore.

In the future, I'll try to get Casey to focus on one thing at a time. It's hard for her. She even wants to read two books at once sometimes. It's crazy. I know it's tough to get a kid to focus when we can hardly focus on our own things. I have three tabs open in my browser as I write this. My goal is to set that straight and get her mind on one thing at a time. As for me, I don't know if that will ever happen, but we'll take it one spaz at a time.

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