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Parents accuse beloved TV show Peppa Pig of teaching children ‘rudeness’

American parents are accusing beloved TV show Peppa Pig of teaching unkind lessons to their children.

Over the years, there has been some immense criticism towards the long-running children’s cartoon series, which follows the adventures of Peppa Pig. The show also features Peppa’s parents, her brother, George, and the other animals who live in the town. As it’s been running since 2004, the programme often depicts experiences and emotions that children could be facing themselves.

Now, parents have continued to hit back at the British TV show, with claims about how it’s influenced their children. Speaking to The Times, a 33-year-old mother of two from Houston, Texas, Kayla Tychsen, claimed that Peppa isn’t an accurate representation of how children should behave.

“Some argue that Peppa is just like any other four-year-old. I think that’s probably true. Four-year-olds can be rude and demanding and whiny,” she said. “But, for me, the issue is that I don’t want to be modelling that behaviour for my children.”

Tychsen emphasised that she doesn’t want to “sit [her children] in front of [the] show” due to the different ways that Peppa acts. For example, she criticised the cartoon show for how “Peppa is bossing people around, or telling her parents what to do… or making comments about people’s weight”.

The mother also acknowledged that when she started working as a nanny, she noticed that Peppa Pig was affecting the child she was looking after. “I really just didn’t like her attitude and now that I have two children, they have never seen Peppa Pig,” she explained.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, mother Armita Asgari, discussed how her child’s reactions to food have changed since watching Peppa Pig. More specifically, she referred to how Peppa and George frequently say “yuck”, with British accents, during different situations.

According to Asgari, her son Luca says, “Ew! Yuck,” when presented with new foods. At one point when Luca was annoyed, he also said: “You’re not my friend anymore!” The parent then added that when her son made a remark about a neighbour, that’s when she realised he was being influenced by the children’s TV show.

“He said, ‘Look, David’s got a big tummy! That was when I realised he had picked up all these behaviours from Peppa Pig,’” she said while calling Peppa Pig “a brat”.

Luca’s comment is a reference to the different moments in the show where Peppa would poke fun at her father Daddy Pig’s weight. For example, in a 2017 episode that faced immense backlash, Peppa’s password for her treehouse was: “Daddy’s big tummy”. After everyone laughs at him, Peppa then tells her father that he cannot enter the treehouse because “his tummy is too big”.

In addition, 36-year-old mother Ayesha Khaliq told WSJ that the programme needs to become more about how parents are raising their children to be sensitive. She also claimed that Peppa isn’t reprimanded for her poor behaviour like most children today are.

“Peppa acts the way any child might act but she isn’t taught that it’s unkind,” she said. “The mom should jump in and say, ‘Now hang on, it’s rude to hang up on your friend.’”

Regarding why there’s been so much backlash around the show, Tyschsen has shared her belief that there’s more learning to be done about how children develop. She also claimed that the negative response to Peppa Pig could be due to how parents are becoming more conscious of their children’s surroundings.

“There is a lot more research on child development and how children learn and how different forms of discipline and other interactions impact a child,” she told The Times. “So I do think there are a lot of parents who are choosing not to parent how they were parented and they are choosing more of a conscious parenting approach. They are being more intentional about the choices they make for their kids.”