Nobody likes a spoiled brat — only, we sort of do. There's something about these rascals from movies and television that charm and entertain us. From Veruca Salt to Bart Simpson, these 10 wildly clever onscreen brats have managed to (slightly) win us over.
Television's scripted family dynamics aren't always realistic, but there are definitely lessons to be learned from the parents in our favorite sitcom families. Remember Cliff Huxtable's playful parenting? What about Uncle Phil's well-intentioned tough love? From The Brady Bunch's Mike and Carol to the Seavers from Growing Pains, here are 10 of the best sitcom parent duos, plus the lessons we've learned from their parenting styles.
In this week's issue of The New Yorker, TV critic Emily Nussbaum, a mom to two lil ones, takes on kids television, and somewhat surprisingly, in the intellectual magazine, she gives it a thumbs-up.
"As a new parent, I dutifully followed the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines — no TV until 2," Nussbaum writes. "I did so in the manner of other parents I knew, which is to say, with my first child. By 2007, when I was juggling a 2-year-old and a newborn, a little TV watching in the pre-early morning seemed pretty appealing." And after turning the TV on, Nussbaum was thrilled to find shows like Phineas and Ferb, The Wonder Pets (shown above), and Miffy and Friends had entered the children's television landscape.
I was amazed to discover a sparkling universe of alternatives, some mainstream, some niche . . . There were so many shows that subgenres emerged, from the realistic, like Little Bill, to the psychedelic, like the hip Yo Gabba Gabba! Some had video-game aesthetics, like The Backyardigans; others featured whimsical collage-scapes, like the British Charlie and Lola. And there were plenty of variety acts, including Jack’s Big Music Show. Owing to the burgeoning "kindie pop" phenomenon, my morning viewing now featured regular guest appearances by stars like Mos Def and the Ting Tings.
So what do you think? Has kids TV improved since your youth? Do today's quirky shows have you feeling less guilty about letting your kids have screen time? Weigh in below!
Oh you silly Lily! Last night's episode of Modern Family had First Amendment advocates cheering, the No Cussing Club fuming, and parents everywhere nodding their heads through the shared experience as 2½-year-old Lily seemingly dropped the F-bomb throughout the episode (it was bleeped out and pixelated so viewers never heard or saw it).
Hearing a toddler say a cuss word isn't anything new for experienced parents (though this may be the first time it was done on TV), and I, for one, found dads Cam and Mitchell's reactions quite real — in our home, we often find ourselves hiding our laughter as we utter the necessary admonishments for bad behavior.
Take a look at the clip and tell me what you thought of the episode.
Can you talk like a pirate? If your lil one is between 2 and 5 years old, chances are he'll know exactly what we're talking about!
Since its launch last February, Disney's Jake and the Neverland Pirates has become the top-ranking series among kids in that age group. The animated show — about a new crew of pirates who work together to outwit Captain Hook and Smee around Pirate Island — is about to embark on its second season with a prime-time special Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns (airing Feb. 13), where the little boy who won't grow up enlists the minipirates to help him find his lost shadow. As with the daily show, the special will feature original pirate rock songs written and sung by Sharky and Bones of The Never Land Pirate Band. I spoke with Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson, the men behind Sharky and Bones and the stars of the live-action music videos featured at the end of each episode, about the popularity of pirate culture and what it can teach tots today.
LilSugar: Obviously you two are well versed in little kids' obsessions with pirates. How did it start for you two?
Kevin Hendrickson (Bones): It started before our kids. Loren and I met maybe 12 years ago, and we both just had a love of pirates and the old Disney records we grew up listening to. We decided to make a pirate album for kids, even though we didn't have kids.
Loren Hoskins (Sharky): We were pirates before pirate was cool. We had an affinity for pirate and pirate culture and the old Disneyland rides — you know the old Pirates of the Caribbean attraction — and we combined all those into a rock album for kids of all ages. We say "for buccaneers of all ages" because we had a lot of fans that were not kids and a lot of fans that were kids and then families that were fans. We just decided to not be a children's band, but a band for all buccaneers!
LilSugar: It's been almost 60 years since Disney released Peter Pan, and unlike other Disney flicks, it hasn't received a rerelease or a 3D upgrade. Why do you think the pirate obsession remains so strong today?
Loren Hoskins (Sharky): I have always maintained that what pirates represent for play is all the best things about play. That's imagination, adventure, being bold-hearted, silly voices, and fun dress-up costumes. You put all that together and you get classic kid play. It's like pirates and dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were huge for a while, and I think for the same reason – you can just go "roaar," and play all these great games, and they were bold and adventurous and from exotic locations. Pirates are the same thing. They're one of those classic play building blocks
Baby, it's cold outside! During these chilly Winter months, 'tis the season to snuggle up with the kiddos and watch a movie. From timeless classic to new animated features, check out this selection of 10 Christmas movies the entire family is sure to enjoy!
Get ready for a holiday overload on your DVR! With Winter break quickly approaching, many mamas are already trying to figure out what they'll do to entertain the tots over the holiday stretch. Have no fear, brand-spanking-new holiday episodes of lil ones' favorite shows are here! Some of your kiddo's must-watch shows — like Yo Gabba Gabba! and Imagination Movers — have new holiday-themed episodes coming up that you won't want to miss. Set your DVR and join in on the fun with these five special episodes.
For more than 40 years, Sesame Street has been nearly synonymous with childhood, but that doesn't mean the beloved program has been controversy free. New puppet Lily is the latest character to get tongues wagging about the appropriateness of certain topics for tots, but she's far from the first. Since its inception, Sesame Street has pushed boundaries and tackled tough topics, some of which critics deem too tough for tots.
Keep reading for some Sesame Street characters, storylines, and guest stars who've had people talking about way more than ABCs and 123s.
Boo-tube! Your kiddos may already have a favorite show or character — or several — that they like to watch over and over. With Halloween fast approaching, it's time for new holiday-themed episodes to premiere featuring all of your tots' favorite characters getting spooky on the scariest night of the year! Set your DVR and join in on the fun with these 10 special Halloween episodes.
For seven seasons, we've watched the famous Gosselin multiples grow up while their parents, Jon and Kate, became tabloid regulars. After a controversial season, filled with conflicts, TLC has called it quits with the Gosselins, and the Kate Plus Eight finale will air this evening. Kate has received her share of negative press over the years, but everyone has shortcomings — especially when faced with a challenge like raising eight children. While we might not agree with all of Kate's parenting techniques, her example of raising a big family, has taught us a few important lessons. Here are five:
- Marriage and parenting is a partnership, not a dictatorship. Just as you tell your children not to be bossy, it's important to listen to your husband and know when to control a situation and when to let something go. Kate often struggled to give her husband control of even the smallest decisions like what the kids could wear for their daddy day out. It's always better to work together in the interest of the kids rather than your own personal preferences.
- Don't shun help. Even as a stay-at-home mom, sometimes extra help is needed, even if it's for a few hours a week. All moms need a little R&R to recharge.
- Expect the unexpected. Being prepared with all sorts of ammo will keep you one step ahead of the curve. Keep an emergency supply kit with extra clothing, diapers, snacks, and more in your car at all times.
- Kids enjoy adventures, but they also can be easily amused by little things too. Kate once entertained the whole crew by passing around a tiny plastic shark that she found in her bedroom. The kids loved passing it quietly around to each other, and after everyone had delighted in the surprise, Kate asked them to yell what it was all at once.
- No parent is perfect. Despite all the drama, the press, the split, and being on a reality TV show, Kate and Jon have raised eight intelligent, happy, normal, and pretty well behaved children. No parent is perfect, but Kate shows her love the best by providing her kids with a comfortable life, educational experiences, and college savings.
How do you feel about Kate Gosselin's parenting technique? What lessons has she taught you about parenting? And are you sad to see her go?