Is Doctor Who Okay for the Little Ones?

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©BBC

Whenever I talk about me and J just taking a day to relax and watch some Doctor Who, I sometimes get asked the question, “Is that an appropriate show for him?” In “An Adventure in Space and Time”  (TV docudrama), we get a glimpse of how Doctor Who came into existence. There is a scene that where creator/developer Sydney Newman (Brian Cox) is talking with producer/developer Verity Lambert (Jessica Raine) about the show. He said something along the lines of wanting the show to be an educational program that would use time travel to teach children about important historical figures and about new scientific ideas. Yes the show has changed a little from it’s inception in 1963, but I think that at it’s core the ideal is still there. For me the answer to the question posed is yes. I think that Doctor Who can appropriate show for J. But is it appropriate for your children?

When I was doing research (googling) for this post, I came across the Tardis Data Core (a Doctor Who wiki). I read something at the bottom of the first page that said, “Doctor Who is a “family franchise”, which means there’s something in it for all ages. It does not mean that all content is appropriate for all ages.” I feel like I could have just posted this quote under the title and just ended there, but that wouldn’t have been any fun.

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons.
Pro: Doctor Who is a very fun, exciting, magical, family friendly show.
Con: The writers of the show have created some of the scariest creatures that you could think of (The Whisper Men and The Silents for example), they even turned WiFi into something to fear.
Pro: The Doctor rarely reacts with violence. Yes he sometimes wipes out entire civilizations (bad ones like the Daleks and a group of Sontarans), but it is always the last resort.
Pro: The Doctor’s friends/companions. The diversity of friends/companions that The Doctor has had is vast. The Doctor shows no judgement on anyone because of their sex, sexual orientation, skin color, or home planet. This is a message that I want J to really see from watching the show.
Pro: The inspiration that The Doctor gives. One of my favorite Doctor (Matt Smith) quotes went something like this, “… in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important…” Sometimes, even if it’s from a TV show, we all need to hear that everyone is important.
Pro/Con: campy VFX (video effects). This is more of a personal thing. I personally hated the VFX when I saw Doctor Who on PBS, but I have come to enjoy and love the VFX of the show.

Doctor Who in my opinion is a perfect show for families to watch together. I think that there are definitely some episodes that little ones should not watch, but I think that the show as a whole is a fantastic show for all ages. If you have young children (0-6 range), you might want to pre-screen the episodes to make sure that they aren’t too scary for them.

Are there other pros or cons that you would add to my list? Let me know by commenting here or on my Facebook page Nerdy at Home Dad.

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How to Choose the Right Comic for Your Kids

Marvel

©Marvel

As a lover of comics, I have always wondered how I would integrate this love into my parenting. “Small child friendly” comics have been around since the dawn of comics. Disney got into the game super early (around 1933) with books staring their beloved characters. If you think about it, almost every children’s show made an attempt at comic books.Today, illustrations and story lines have evolved with it’s readers. Comics have darker story lines and “graphic” illustrations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look and story lines of today’s comics/graphic novels. The biggest concern I had was trying to find a comic that had a story line and illustrations that I could share with my toddler. I put together a small list of requirements for the best series for my son and I to read together and to plant the seed of awesomeness.
1. Is the storyline child friendly?
By child friendly I mean no swearing, sexual themes…etc. (those comics are for later, like around 8…just kidding…but they  are for later in life.)
2. Is there an abundance of violence?
Preferably no violence, but I am okay with a little superhero vs alien super-villain violence.
3. Are the illustrations too “graphic”?
This is mainly a blood and gore thing. Are there tons of pages with lots of blood and broken bodies all over the place? Are there images depict sex acts? I understand how sexual relationships can further a character’s story arch, but children should learn about sex from the parents not a comic.
4.  Are the illustrations “cartoony”?

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Tiny Titans by Art Baltazar and Franco ©DC Comics

When I say cartoony, I don’t mean in a campy way. I mean is it cartoony in a way that looks like a cartoon that children would enjoy watching. This usually involves bright colors, big heads, and small bodies. You know something that looks like  your child.

And my last and probably most important question is…
5. Is it something you can enjoy together?
This was the whole reason I started my journey into finding a comic for J. I wanted to find something that not only he  would enjoy looking at, but that I would enjoy reading to him. These questions eventually lead me to what became my post “J’s First Comic”.

In all honesty the most important thing is that you take the time to read with your child. I chose to find a comic that J and I could read together because in all honesty comic books are the only kinds of books that I enjoy reading (besides Dr. Seuss books). Basically find something that you and your child can enjoy and spend some time reading together.

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©DC Comics