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Veggie Tales

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Kristos, Nov 10, 2008.

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  1. Kristos

    Kristos Servant

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    Okay - this is not meant to be a debate. I just want to hear other opinions. I'm not a big "Veggie Tales" fans, but kids seem to be. My church school class constantly refers the topic at hand back to VeggieTales. For example, yesterday we talked about Joshua and Jericho. At first they didn't seem to know the story, but then someone piped up something about VeggieTales, and then everyone "remembered" the story. My beef is that they know the story only in terms of the VeggieTale. But, on the other hand, they do remember the story.

    Anyhow, as we go forward, I'm faced with the reality that there aren't really any other decent (entertaining for kids) videos out there for many of the OT stories. Gideon for example. So I'm torn. I can bore them to death with my lesson, which somtimes sticks, sometime not. Or watch a VeggieTale (I believe there is one on Gideon).

    So what does everyone think about Veggietales?

    Please no debate - I just want to hear some opinions.
     
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  2. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    Unless children are isolated from the culture as part of their upbringing, they will find it very difficult to accept any input in a traditional common-sense normal format, as they are conditioned, just like with McDonald's fast food, to want only that kind of food.

    So I favor isolating the kids to a large extent and teaching them to appreciate traditional stuff. That's what I do (although I'd be happier if they were in an Orthodox school). At least my children are avid readers and can appreciate documentary and other such stuff and having old-fashioned stories read to them.
     
  3. Michael G

    Michael G Abe Frohmann

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    I agree with Rusmeister. I see things like Veggie Tales, Sesame Street, Barney, etc as a dumbing down of American culture.
     
  4. Gwenyfur

    Gwenyfur Legend

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    I raised both of my girls reading books to them...they are both now avid readers...but I freely admit Bug has just about every Veggie Tales video there is...

    It's like everything else out there...balance...I didn't just plunk her down in front of the "tube" and let the videos teach her...it has to be a "good" day or "special" day for her to be allowed to watch videos of any kind...

    We don't have cable, nor do we get reception for local channels...so our home is rather insulated...but on important events, there's always replay on youtube;)

    Though my mother is having kittens without having her cable shows now that she's moved in with us...for some reason she thought my suggestion of reading books was out of line? :scratch: :ebil:
     
  5. HandmaidenOfGod

    HandmaidenOfGod Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

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    Why not read them the story from the Bible first, explain it to them, then show them the video? When you show them the video, explain that not everything is accurate, but meant to give an idea of what happened. I think when put in the proper context, it can be helpful. (I mean, how seriously will a child take a talking tomato?)

    After all, when we were in school, our teachers would show the movie after reading the book.

    At Church, we are studying the Book of Acts. Father has mentioned that after we are done reading the book, we are going to watch a movie that is based on the book, but isn't 100% accurate. He said since we know the truth, and know the true story, he sees no harm in showing the movie.

    Why not do the same with the kids?

    Just emphasise the truth, and then show them the film.

    I think we get so hung up on "insolating" kids we don't allow them to be kids. My aunt refused to allow her children to watch Disney videos because she feared they would be interested in witchcraft. My favorite film as a child was "Cinderella" but I never thought any of that was real because my mother told me so. I knew it was just a story. It was a fun story that allowed me to dream of being a princess. What's the harm in that?
     
  6. darkshadow

    darkshadow Newbie

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    As a former youth director in a church I see no problem using the veggie tales videos for the younger, less attentive ages. Then focusing more on the original "biblical" version when they are older and can understand the same lesson that the videos give. The video, do a good job of instilling the meaning of the stories. The fact that God is there for you, that we are to obey him, and that we are to be kind to others. When you look at all the shows vying for our young kids attention and how influential they are, and that is just the commercials between shows, I believe the veggie tales series is quite a good alternative. On a side note as an adult they are cute and quite enjoyable to watch with your children, especially "Silly Songs With Larry".
     
  7. cobweb

    cobweb Cranky octogenarian at heart

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    I see it as one of many tools that I can use to get the information into their heads. They seems to be more inclined to actually watch Veggie Tales than some of the other Bible Story cartoons.
     
  8. Grand_Duchess-Elizaveta

    Grand_Duchess-Elizaveta Pie-baking apron-clad hausfrau :D

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    I agree as well. I recently bought a Veggie Tales DVD for my toddler age son, just to check it out because I've heard so much good about them. I was very disappointed. It's cheap animation, cheesey songs, and watered down Bible stories. From what I can tell, the things kids (and adults) seem to remember most from the videos are Larry's silly songs, which have absolutely no educational value. I dare not express this opinion at church coffee hour, however, because I know there are many families who are convinced these videos are the best things out there for kids.
     
  9. Kristos

    Kristos Servant

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    Thanks to everyone for your replies!
     
  10. Michael G

    Michael G Abe Frohmann

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    I think the best thing out there for kids is to teach them the traditional way and give their minds something to feed on. Yes things like Veggie tales might be fun, but if kids don't get the underlying message of what is being taught then what good is being done? Going to school in a Catholic grade school in the 80s they tried so hard to force us into thinking a certain way and I ended up thinking the exact opposite of what the teachers wanted us to think like.
     
  11. cobweb

    cobweb Cranky octogenarian at heart

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    Honestly, while my goal is to make sure it is explained in the traditional way as well.... I'm just happy they are getting the concept at all.

    Some kids are fine just listening to a story. That is how my parents taught me. My father read my sister and I a Bible story every night and then prayed for us. Before long we knew most of them by heart. Unfortunately that won't work for every kid.

    My oldest in particular absolutely refuses to read and having him listen to a story is hit or miss depending on how well he is doing that day. If I can use a talking tomato to get him interested in the story and afterwards have a more serious discussion about it, then you bet I'll be using the talking tomato.

    Last Sunday one of the ladies at Church used pipecleaner/beaded snowflake ornaments to teach him about St. Innocent of Alaska. However she did it worked. He told me to story when we got home.

    Whatever works... If I have to do a chicken dance to get him to understand the concept, I will.
     
  12. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    It is quite understandable that people will resort to such tactics to get kids to listen.

    Still... I wonder if anybody ever considers that for nearly two thousand years, the stories were good enough for kids by themselves without needing to wrap them up in vegetables. Doesn't it cross anyone's mind that there is something deeply abnormal about our generation that we feel we need to resort to such idiocies?
     
  13. cobweb

    cobweb Cranky octogenarian at heart

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    You do have a point. I think kids in general these days are a bit spoiled by all of the cartoons and blinky-flashy toys.

    (In my case, I'm trying to get through to a kid with an Autistim Spectrum Disorder so it is taking quite a bit of creativity to get him interested. Idiocies and humor are good things as is a very understanding parish.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  14. darkshadow

    darkshadow Newbie

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    Didn't Jesus uses stories, the ones were speaking of, to get his point across. He didn't tell the people the same stories of the Old Testament that they had heard. He used new stories, to shows what love was, to teach who are brothers and sisters are, and to show the way to salvation. As long as the Veggie Tales stories do not take away the true meaning of the stories or try to take the place of the original stories I don't see how they are harmful. I don't believe we are resorting to idiocies. In fact, we are unfortunately having to try and compete with a society that does not care if our children see violence, sex, or any other evils of the world. To have something that brings morals to the those that might not go to church, and yet will watch them is a great thing.
     
  15. Michael G

    Michael G Abe Frohmann

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    I feel it is settling for the least common denominator when we could actually strive for so much more!
     
  16. Damaris

    Damaris Active Member

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    It's a mistake to rely on any television to teach your child anything. Parents should always be a child's primary teachers. But for something fluffy to keep the kids entertained that wouldn't conflict with a Christian mindset, you could do a lot worse than Veggie Tales.
     
  17. AxionEsti

    AxionEsti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This reminds me I was reading about Fr. Seraphim Rose, and how he detested Disneyland, or anything fanciful. I always loved anything Disney in the early years, but in recent years Disney has lost a lot of appeal to me, and other Christian parents. The more I think about this, the more I must agree with Fr. Seraphim Rose, and the importance of doing the thing parents did 100-150 years ago, or more, read the Bible (King James Version no less) to their children, even as toddlers. The parent will have to explain what the words mean, but it probably is something that will reward the parent with brighter kids, and more knowledgeable about those stories directly in the Bible.

    There is nothing wrong with reading NKJV to the kids, in my view. :)
     
  18. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I think you're confusing the concept of a story with its vehicle. Aesop used animals. But he never used personified loaves of bread. Jesus didn't even use animals, which are animate, let alone personifying the completely inanimate. It is part of the general dumbing down of our society today - a people who can hardly even read George Washington or Ben Franklin in the original (ie, their own language), let alone Plato.

    Don't you consider it just a little odd that kids can't accept stories like David and Goliath as told in the Bible and that parents feel that they must change the story to deliver any message/teach anything?
     
  19. darkshadow

    darkshadow Newbie

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    Didn't God make a donkey speak? Was it not Jesus who spoke of living water? Then explained the meaning. It was Jesus who told the story of a the Prodigal son, the Rich man and Lazarus, the Sower and the Seed. The seed represented the Word of God, the Scriptures themselves. So Christ himself took an animate seed, to represent an inanimate book. Let me clarify that I am in no way putting the Holy Scriptures down, and that the word Bible means book. I believe the Scriptures to be living, but it is still a book. I do not believe it is dumbing our children down, on the contrary I believe it is letting a child be a child, and yet learn something. Should a video take the place of the parents teaching? Of course not, but can a parent use it as an opening to talk to there child? You bet.

    "Dad I just saw junior beat a giant pickle with a stone and a sling shot." "Oh, do you know what that story is about." "I just told you dad." "Well actually it is from the Bible story of David and young boy and a Giant named Goliath, and how God is always in control and there for us in our worst and scariest times." Based on a true happening with my now 12, but was around 5 or 6 year old. Now he reads the Bible story from the Bible and it is even more then just a history story but a story that he can take something from.
    You ask if I find it "odd"? No, on the contrary I feel it is great to have so many available helps out there to teach young children the lessons of the Bible on a level they can understand. The appearance of the characters change, and really that is only in a handful of the videos that are biblical characters, but the most important things is that the message is not changed. That is why there is so much debate over Bible translations is because some have changed the message. I do not know if you have ever preached a sermon, but when I have it is amazing how many different responses you get from people on what they got from the message. Does that mean I did a bad job preaching? It can, or it means that that person needed to hear what God wanted them to hear from one part over another. Take the parabel of the "Good Samaritan", some might hear it as a story to love your fellow man, another about giving of yourself however you can by food, money, or time, and some about race not mattering. Same story, it just depends on were the persons need is. That is what the veggietales videos do. They open a childs mind to see what they might not otherwise see, and if the parent does not run with the childs questions about the show, then they are failing as a parent. Open you mind to new things, remember Christ's concepts that he taught were new, and the look at what happened do to the close mindedness of the Pharasees.
     
  20. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    I read a good (secular) book on this subject once called "Amusing Ourselves To Death". It had a lot to do with adult society, but the author also argued that when you try to make everything entertaining, including important things like education, kids will grow up with the idea that life is meant to be entertaining, and anything not entertaining is not important, therefore anything un-entertaining is not worth attending to. The fact is most of the important things we will do in life are simply not entertaining.
     
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