Monday, March 16, 2015

A little nudge never hurt a kid with special needs

Max has been watching Disney Jr. for years now. I could care less that he's 12 and still loving Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStuffins—what makes him happy makes him happy. Still, sometimes Max gets stuck in his ways and needs a nudge.

Sunday, we were having a lazy evening. OK, technically, I was the one who was lazy. The kids and I were lying in bed and watching Sofia the First. Technically, I'm also really bored with Disney Jr.

"Hey, Max, want to try the Disney Channel?" I asked. "A lot of kids like that."

"No!" he responded, because that's always his first instinct when I ask about trying something new.

"C'mon, Max, the shows are funny!" I said. They lean toward the vapid side, but Max likes Disney and I figured this would be a good next step; National Geographic Channel just wasn't going to cut it. He's occasionally watched Disney shows with Sabrina. Also, and maybe this is a sad truth, he doesn't have that much interaction with other kids his age and I thought it would be good for him to hear and see them in action. Disney-fied, but still.

And then he said, "Yeah!"

We tuned in to K.C. Undercover. I couldn't bear to watch (K.C. is 16 and has discovered her parents are spies!) so I read. Max giggled at parts. He found it particularly amusing when a boy on the show was pretending to be ill. "No ich!" said Max. ("Not sick!") Then some dippy made-for-TV movie, Bad Hair Day, came on, and Max was mesmerized. Sabrina felt compelled to narrate certain parts:

"Max! That's not really her daddy! There are cameras you can't see!"

"Max! She's not really sad! She's just acting! You know, like pretending! It's not real!"

Oh, but Max wanted to narrate too. He pointed to the villain in the movie and said "Bad guy!" He clapped when he got caught. He exclaimed "Wow!" when the teen girl dressed up for prom. He watched the whole thing.

Success! Er, well, relative success—I have now succeeded in getting Max to like more TV. But he was clearly ready for it.

Sometimes, you have to push a little. Although I'm gonna really regret this if Max starts rolling his eyes or giving me any Disney tween attitude.

Image: YouTube


  1. Good for you Max. Changing your TV preferences is just another step to growing up, a process that will seem bittersweet to your mom.

  2. TV is actually a great way to expand someone's horizons, when it's harder to do that "in real life". I bet it can also be a way to see how Max processes more complex stories and personalities. Plus, there's a lot of truly "good" TV these days, so it doesn't necessarily have to be kiddie shows and garbage, forever.

  3. I still like Disney shows. They are funny and have positive messages.

  4. My girls tall but very skinny would love to try this!!


Thanks for sharing!

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