Poor Behavior Modeling From A Fictional Monkey

I recently decided I will no longer read another Curious George story to my kids. Not only do I find the Man with the Yellow Hat‘s supervision skills suspect, Curious George is a shining example of how not to behave. Each one of George’s “adventures” has these key elements:

  • The Man with the Yellow Hat decides to leave a juvenile monkey that he stole from Africa and smuggled into the country alone for a moment. This moment is usually prefaced with, “Wait right here, George. I have to go and do this thing….”
  • George, unsupervised, gets distracted by something. He then sets off to investigate the distraction thereby disregarding the instructions he received to stay put.
  • George causes a problem(s). At the height of said problem(s), authority figures and the Man with the Yellow Hat come rushing in to reprimand George and clean up the mess George created. George gets upset and doesn’t understand why everyone is mad at him.
  • George fixes an issue (usually minor) that was the direct result of a problem he created. In Curious George At The Aquarium, for example, George hops into the penguin exhibit and opens the door letting all the penguins out to run amok. As authority figures swoop in to wrangle up the liberated penguins, George sees a baby penguin in the water that cannot swim. He then dives in to rescue the baby fowl in the chaos.
  • George is praised and rewarded for fixing an issue that was the direct result of a problem he created. Again, in Curious George At The Aquarium, George is not only thanked for “saving” the baby penguin, he is given passes and invited back to the aquarium to visit “anytime”.
So, George disobeys his slave owner father figure, runs off, causes trouble, fixes something that is a direct result of his actions and is praised for being a “good monkey”? Not on my watch. If one of my kids jump in the penguin exhibit and frees the penguins, the aquarium better not be thanking my kid, giving them free passes and inviting us to come back anytime soon. They better be calling CPS.

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