Do TV shows make kids naughty?

Peppa Pig will perform at the Perth Royal Show and at the Regal Theatre in January.
Peppa Pig will perform at the Perth Royal Show and at the Regal Theatre in January. 

I thought everyone liked Peppa Pig.

My kids love the TV show. In fact 'love' could even be an understatement.

So what's so appealing about this curious five-year-old English pig, her family and multi-specied friends?

Peppa Pig.
Peppa Pig. Photo:

I think it's the bright colours, kids' voices and five minute episodes that hold littlies' attention spans with their simple story lines about things like going to the dentist, meeting a new friend at school or visiting someone in hospital.

I also like the sprinkling of adult humour. I smile when Miss Rabbit pops up working somewhere new. She's had jobs working in the library and the grocery store. She's also driven the bus and sold ice-creams by the sea.

And I really like that the lead character is a girl who's adored by girls and boys.

But, recently I found out not everyone loves Peppa Pig and some parents think the show is bad for kids.

In the UK where Peppa's been in the spotlight for longer, legions of parents have banned her show in their homes because of the belief she and her sweet-toothed brother George (ask him what he wants for breakfast, he yells "chocolate cake") were making their kids naughty.

Now it might be easy just to hit them back with the "but it's just a TV show" response, but I agree that kids' shows definitely leave an impression on our most-impressionable little family members.


When Nash (who's five next week) had a cough he said, "Is it a tickly cough or a chesty cough?" a little something he learnt from the doctor on Peppa Pig.

His younger brother Van (nearly three) also asked to go to "the seaside' after an episode where Peppa and her friends did just that.

So far, so good – nothing particularly naughty or annoying, well aside from the fact Van can spot a puddle a mile away.

I caught myself saying "damn you, Peppa Pig" recently about her family's love of muddy puddles. But it's something that made me laugh and not something I'm very concerned about.

Back to the parents who say Peppa is a bad influence: a lot of their complaints come from the fact she's a bit rude. And when you watch episode after episode (as I did for research) her abruptness is a bit in your face.

In one episode in which Peppa was struggling to learn to whistle, she told her mum, "You can whistle because you are old."

"Thank you Peppa," Mummy Pig replied with a slight touch of agitation in her voice.

I have a lot of respect for Mummy Pig because she never loses her cool and always talks in her "calm voice" which, when you're dealing with a trying five year old, can be a real asset.

I'll admit poor Daddy Pig cops a bit of a hammering, just like many cartoon dads before him (think Homer Simpson, George Jetson or Fred Flintstone). He's the one who bumbles his way through life because he can't read a map and forgets to go to work because he thinks it's Saturday instead of Thursday.

But there's more good than bad with Peppa Pig.

She's a leader, confident to try new things and is curious to learn from her parents and grandparents.

So she's a bit bossy and abrupt. In real life that's fairly standard for five year olds! And it's nice to have a show that's not always schmaltzy or preachy.

The Peppa Pig Live! Treasure Hunt stage show is coming to Perth next January at the Regal Theatre and promoters have said she'll be back later in 2014 as well.

Fans can also see her in a free show at the Perth Royal Show these school holidays.

Are there any children's TV shows you think are too rude or do these shows simply reflect real life? Let us know your thoughts on children's TV programming below.