Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm Banning "Max and Ruby"

My girls, like pretty much every other kid, like to watch cartoons. Noggin and NickJr are their favorites. However, they recently took a liking to classics on the Cartoon Network like Scooby Doo and Tom & Jerry. Those bring back childhood memories, so I'm okay with that. My personal favorites are WordWorld and SuperWhy because they seem to really teach the girls something. If you have preschool children, I highly recommend you check out WordWorld on PBS because it's a fun show to watch with the kids.

Most of the shows on Noggin and NickJr have a lesson of some sort and I think that's great. But despite teaching a lesson, I've come to despise "Max & Ruby." If you've never seen the show before, Max is a young character and Ruby is his slightly older sister. While she's playing tea party with her dolls, he's off running trucks through the mud. Although I've never sat down and done an official character word count analysis, I would venture to guess that for every 3 sentences that Ruby says, Max says 1 word. All his responses are ONE WORD (maybe two, if we're lucky)… and they are usually the same word over and over. She's trying to get a point across and he's saying something like "shadow" after everything she says. For the entire episode. After everything she says. And at the end of the episode, he's usually right. It has cute characters, storylines and all, but it teaches kids that one word sentences are okay.

So why do I care? It's impacting my kids. I've been noticing it more and more lately that both Miss M and Miss K are starting to communicate with one word – usually if they've seen a Max & Ruby episode in the past few days. For example, the other day Miss M needed to make her bed and wanted me to help. As she headed up the stairs, she looked back at me and said "Bed". I cocked my head and furrowed. She revised her sentence to "Make bed." Grrr. I looked at her and said "If you want me to help, you need to use normal sentences. You aren't Max."

This has been going on for a while, but seems to be getting worse. Okay, maybe it's not worse, I'm just getting more annoyed by it. Either way, seems I'm going to have to encourage the cartoon network in lieu of any more Max & Ruby!


  • Sadie

    Ugh. I can't stand Ruby and Max. We don't watch it here unless I've totally spaced out or am out of the room and don't realize it's on. It's a horrible show.

    My most hated show, though, is Yo Gabba Gabba...but I found myself, in desperation last night, using a song from that horrid nightmare of a show to entertain the girls.

    Oy...Nick Jr has taken over my life.

    I do like Kai-Lan, though...she's kind of cute...for now.

  • FunkyFrum

    Well, now I am *really* glad we don't have a t.v.

  • BusyDad

    That show is pretty annoying. The one word thing makes the show D-R-A-G. You see, we watch shows like power rangers. Sure, he'll go into fighting stance at random places like the mall, but at least he can say words like modulator, stabilizers, forward thrusters, obliterate, generator, dimension and other terms that make him seem really really smart!

  • Angie

    PLUS... UMMM...WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS? I don't get that show.


  • MommyTime

    I love Noggin in general (except for Lazy Town, which might be the worst, most annoying show ever created, and which is banned in our house). I don't mind Max and Ruby that much (gender stereotypes notwithstanding), although the thing that freaks me the heck out about it is that they apparently have NO PARENTS. Grandma stops by occasionally, but otherwise Ruby is cooking for Max and tucking him in bed and getting him ready for school and all that other stuff in some kind of twisted version of the 19th century paradigm of "let the 8 year old babysit the two year old while the rest of us are off working in the factory." That makes me nuts.

    Okay, sorry for the rant. Thanks for coming over and commenting on my own personal craziness today. :)

  • Flutterby

    Lazy Town is NOT allowed in this house! And the Wiggles?? TOTALLY BANNED. Personally I think there is something seriously wrong with THOSE guys. Blue's Clues was always a favorite of my daughter when it first came out (she's almost 15 now) We actually have video of her getting married to Steve when she was 3 and a half. She wanted to go live in his house. Every time my 4 yr old grandson watches, we remind her of it. Every time. (t... from SD... blog hopping!)

  • Apryl

    L-O-V-E Word World! My favorite episodes are "There's an Ant in Every Giant" and "Sh-Sh-Shark!" I love how they incorporate the visual aspect into the words they spell.

    We don't do Nick; we're strictly PBS or Playhouse Disney. :)

  • Sonny Amou

    Sounds like monkey see monkey do to me.

    Um...who are Max and Ruby? I stopped watching cartoons when the Smurfs arrived.

    I will say that when I'm really, really sick, one of my favorite things to do is load up on NyQuil and watch the Teletubbies. When you have a fever of 102, that sun-sized baby head is strangely comforting.

  • Tara

    I completely agree. I will allow Dora but can't stand it. the only Nickjr "I" don't mind watching is the backyardigans.
    My daughter loves wordworld and Superwhy. I love PBS, however curious george and caliou (I just want to slap the whiney little brat)are banned in out house.
    My daughters newest favorite is Tom and Jerry, my kind of cartoon.

  • Paranoid

    Ugh, I hate Max and Ruby, too, for the aformentioned lack of parents thing. Plus, that little rabbit is so smug and annoying.

    In our house, it would be all Backyardigans, all the time, if M had her way. I don't mind the show, even if it occasionally delves into horrible gender stereotyping. I also try to steer M towards Jack's Big Music Show, which I think is cute.

  • katydidnot

    i live with max and ruby. max's name is owen, and ruby's name is ellie. and she bosses him around all day and he doesn't say much but does exactly what he wants.

  • Anonymous

    First, my non-topic rant: I have NO problem with gender stereotypes and I think it says ALOT about people who bring it up out of topic.

    Now on to topic:

    I hate Max and Ruby. I was telling my wife the other day about how awful the show was and the terrible examples it sets. How Max only uses one word over and over again and there are never any parents. I especially hate how he will do something annoying that will be taken to be a bunny scout project of his sisters' and she will get credit and NEVER tell the truth that she didn't do it. She is constantly taking credit for her brother's actions and I call that lieing. Worst of all, a few days ago my wife said that she was going to make brownies but forgot that we did not have enough eggs. For the REST of the day my three year old kept yelling "cupcakes!" We kept telling her we where not going to make cupcakes but she just yelled over and over "cubcakes!" That show is now banned in our house.

  • Discoesque

    I have to agree that Max & Ruby is one of the most educationally devoid shows on television. As mentioned previously, the lack of parents, and one word sentences being spewed forth by Max are completely ridiculous. Additionally, I find that it gives forth the impression that children can get into trouble, as often as they like, with absolutely no repercussions. This may be the case in some households, but not in very many that I'm aware of.

  • Anonymous

    I am happy to read that I am not the only mean "Papi" to ban Max and Ruby. Our 3 year old daughter who is bilingual has regressed to one word sentences. Not only do we not watch Max and Ruby any more, but it's time out every time she says a one-word sentence.

  • Jav

    Yo Gabba Gabba isn't all that bad. The couple of shows I've watched have good lessons (eat vegetables, wash hands, don't bite friends) I know for an adult the zany characters and inane songs are a bit annoying, but for a 1 year old, he is absolutely MESMERIZED by it. I approve of it.

  • Sam

    I DESPISE Max and Ruby... Ruby and Max.(kids songs play in my head all day)

    My problem with the show is Ruby's attitude towards Max. She bosses him around all the time. And the majority of the time she treats him like he's a step kid she wishes wasn't around. Every problem in the show is due to her either neglecting him or making a problem over him wanting to play with his toys. Everything is about her interests and her wants. My daughter likes Max and Ruby and hasn't reverted to one word sentiences. But i make sure to point out how rude Ruby is being pretty much every time Ruby opens her arrogant mouth. I can't wait for the episode where Ruby is tearing into Max for playing with his toys while she's trying to do something completely self absorbed. Then something tragic happens to Ruby and Max just keeps smiling and plays with his truck while she's screaming for help.
    It's not my fault Ruby has given me so many reasons to wish for a tragic "finale"

  • Lawrence

    Max and Ruby are new to our household...and soon to be banned.

    I don't particularly care that Ruby is bossy...any youngster forced to sacrifice her own childhood to completely care for a sibling deserves to set the rules.

    It's Max I have a problem with.

    The boy NEVER listens, and there are never any repercussions for his behavior. Ruby, to her credit, is a great source of patience--but she's no disciplinarian.

    So let's see...what example does this show set?

    First, that it's okay to ignore instructions and do the opposite of what your elders tell you to do.

    Second, that it's perfectly acceptable to take whatever you want, regardless who it may belong to.

    Third--and others have touched on this--that it's absolutely normal for a young girl to have complete stewardship of a household and her toddler sibling without a trace of parental supervision.

    I paid over twenty dollars for season one and two of this disaster of a children's show, and I consider the money spent to be the cost of my own education: next time, I'll pay more attention to the shows my daughter asks for.

    Because this one's going in the garbage.

  • ssj3nuthead

    I'm sorry but I have to disagree, I let my child watch Max and Ruby.

    Now for the points on which why I do.
    1. While most parents here might think their children are "darlings" 95% of the world sees there's in a normal light. The show as a whole shows the point of view from the kids and how they deal with their own problems because honestly parents step in for their children way too much now of days. Those kids don't have their own voice or pride those children even 20 years ago had. My parents rarely stepped in for my problems and I solved them on my own to make me as strong as I am now. I have a 3 year old and live with my wife that has a 14 and 9 year old (which are my step-kids). Neither of which has a voice of their own because she has always fought their fight for them. I won’t do that for mine; if he has a problem I see if he can solve it himself and if not then I step in at the last moment only if needed.
    2. The whole thing of Ruby being too bossy? Name me one older sibling that isn’t bossy over their younger siblings. That’s a natural way of thinking. But before you start saying “well my child is not like that” are you with them 24/7 because if you are not or your back is turned I can almost promise you that your kids are. Most of the time Ruby’s “bossy” it’s because she is playing with a friend or is doing something she knows is too advanced for Max even though it is Max that usually finishes it in the end (even if he does say one word to try and prove it). For the parent saying that Ruby was playing “tea” and max was playing in the “mud” without being watched are you serious he was in his OWN back yard with a fence! It’s MUD! It’s not going to hurt anything to see Max play in the mud even doctors will tell you to let your kids play in the dirt to help build their immunity instead of just keeping them inside in an oxygen bubble.
    3. As said before about the parents I think it’s good that they (being Max and Ruby) can solve their problems without them. Does it make me worried about how they’re not there, NO, as I think of another show named “Charlie Brown” and all of those movies (one where they went out of the country and you didn’t see a parent or a teacher (you heard the teacher but NEVER saw her and even that was very seldom in the shows). No one makes a big deal of that? What is the difference? None if you ask me; Back then kids were able to think and fend for themselves without having mommy and daddy up there rears wiping their noses every time it ran. I for one love this show because my 3 year old is able to solve their own problems for it and look at things from a different view.
    So I will still allow Max and Ruby in my house so my 3 year old will be able to look at things differently to solve his own problems. Not having to rely on mommy and daddy.

  • Daniel

    As a person who has watched a lot of childrens programming, I can say for certain that Max and Ruby is one of the worst shows out there. I am not so upset by the bossy nature of Ruby and I am also not hung up on the lack of parents. My biggest issue, as had been described by othes on this website, is how Max speaks using one repettitive word. After watching one episode, my 3yr old, who normally speaks full sentances, has started to regress to one word responses or commands. It usually takes him a couple hours to kick the habit depending if he has seen more than 1 episode at a time. The more he sees, the worse it becomes. I can't stand watching my child's language skills regress before my eyes. Clearly he is learning but it is what this show is teaching which is the problem. He is no longer allowed to watch it.

  • joe5955

    This is honestly stupid. It's a children's show for Pete's sake! And a VERY cute one at that! Parents these days are silly. They're either too loose or uptight. Get with the program, the show isnt going to ruin your child, honestly. It teaches good lessons too. I challenge parents to sit down and watch an entire episode and tell me that max isn't the cutest little bunny you've ever seen.

  • Amy

    I agree that the parents are a little too up tight about this single show. For each parent crying regression in their child's language development, this show may actually encourage the use of words & an understanding of their definitions for children who are delayed talkers. And the sister provides examples of higher level language that expands the meaning of her younger brother. ... As far as people blaming this show for their child's "regression", that's silly. Regression is the loss of an ability. If kids are imitating Max, it doesn't mean they've lost their language ability and skills. Relax and just change the channel is you can't handle it.