Why I Don’t Hate Caillou

Since we have been indoors much more than we have wanted to be for a few months now, I have become more acquainted with what’s on TV. While we don’t watch a whole lot of television, most days we do watch a show or two on PBS. Sometimes, it’s This Old House or a cooking show, other times it’s Sesame Street, Sid The Science Kid, or Caillou.

Yes, Caillou. My three year old absolutely adores that show, and I really don’t mind it either. For some reason, though, it seems as if a whole slew of other parents absolutely despise it. Today, out of curiosity, I read some of the blog posts that other parents have written about Caillou. While the posts are actually quite funny, I just can’t bring myself to hate the little fella.

When I watch Caillou, I don’t see all of the negative things that others say that they see. What I see is a curious little four year old boy who does many things that three and four year old children can relate to. In his interactions with his little sister, his friends, parents, grandparents, and others, Caillou experiences the full range of emotions that a child his age might experience. For example, today he navigated a situation where he and his friend wanted to play with the same toy. At first, it looked like the boys were about to argue. They talked it through and decided to go in the house and get another vehicle toy so that each of them could have one to play with.

I also don’t find anything worth hating on in regards to the adults in Caillou’s world. In any given episode I see them experience a range of emotions that is close to what a real parent might experience – except that I’ve never seen “Mommy” lose her cool, and we all know that real mommies and daddies do that from time to time, even if we try very hard to parent in a peaceful manner. I have seen them experience frustration and concern, I have seen them get annoyed, and I have seen them help Caillou and Rosie to follow the rules. In fact, Caillou’s parents seem to be kind and gentle yet firm in what they expect as far as following rules like picking up after oneself and treating younger siblings with respect. Oh, and guess what? Caillou listens to his parents and the other adults. When they ask him to do something, he usually does it. The times that he doesn’t do what he is asked right away are times where you can watch him as he learns how to navigate the situation through the guidance of whichever adult is involved, such as taking medicine for a sore throat.

So, there you have it. I don’t hate Caillou, and now you know why.