(Alternate titles to this post included, When Books Go Bad and The Bad Habits of Good Books.)
About six months ago, I introduced The Berenstain Bears to JC. I was really excited about this for 2 reasons. One, I loved the books and videos growing up. Two, I knew I could use them to help facilitate discussions about everything from being kind to other people to visiting the dentist for the first time.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the bad habits he would pick up from Brother & Sister Bear and their friends.
For example, in The Blame Game, Brother and Sister blame each other for every broken vase, spill and accident that occurs in the Bear Family Tree House–until Mama Bears loses her cool and there is a big talk about working together to clean up instead of pointing fingers.
Sounds all warm and fuzzy, right? Well, it was until JC started imitating Brother and Sister whining. He thought it was hilarious. I did not.
Then when he realized he did not have a sibling to blame things on, he invented one. I believe I have mentioned Ansel, JC’s imaginary little brother who is the bane of my existence, before.
JC picked up obnoxious taunts and teases from Too Tall Grizzly in Double Dare. He spent a week jumping out from behind things and scaring people after we read Trick or Treat.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t getting the moral of the stories–I know he was because we talked about them. It’s just that he was also getting the bad behavior, too.
I figure that he isn’t learning anything that isn’t typical kid behavior. And when the Bad Berenstain Bear behavior pops up, I have a lesson at the ready. And every now and then one of the many good qualities of the Bear Family will stick, and it reminds me why I started reading the books to him in the first place.
What are some surprising places your kid picked up bad habits?