SpongeBob Bashing…Right or Wrong?

  Everyone knows just how popular SpongeBob SquarePants is with kids. But, now some researchers say you shouldn’t let your four-year-old watch the show. In case you haven’t heard, researchers  found that four-year-olds who watched just nine minutes of the show displayed short-term attention and learning problems. But, their findings are the results of tests of only 60 kids. They compared their results to kids who watched the slower-paced kids’ cartoon “Caillou” and to kids who were told to draw pictures. Kids who watched that cartoon or drew pictures did better on the mental tests than the SpongeBob group. Nickolodeon says SpongeBob is not geared toward four –year-olds, rather it’s for 6 to 11 year olds.
   Whatever the case, I think we all know there are plenty of four-year-olds who watch SpongeBob. I know a lot of parents who let their kids watch the show and their kids are just fine. I think that’s one of the many reasons I have a big issue with this study. First of all, you’re only sampling 60 kids. I’ve never conducted a study, but that seems like a very small part of the population to base your findings. I would be curious to know if the kids tested watched SpongeBob before. If so, for how long? What other shows do they watch? How frequently do they watch them? There are so many questions, yet so few answers.
   In my house, we’re not into SpongeBob (yet). But, would I turn it off if my daughter was interested in it? Not based on this study, that’s for sure. Maybe I would just let her watch it for eight minutes and see what happens (ha ha). Sure, SpongeBob pops up on the TV every now and again, but she’s just not into it. However, we do watch “Caillou” once in awhile. She seems to get bored with the poor kid (maybe he’s too slow, maybe the researchers need to test that one out). Seeing the popularity and success SpongeBob has had, I don’t think the millions of kids who have been watching him for more than nine minutes of their lives have attention problems. Just look at the booming business SpongeBob has become. His porous face is everywhere. They wouldn’t keep making the stuff if people weren’t buying it. I think researchers need to get out of the pineapple house on this one, relax, and grab a Krabby Patty.