Will SpongeBob Make Your Kids Stupid?

I was looking through the newspaper before work. The headline read, “Will SpongeBob make your kids stupid?” I laughed to myself, but I had to read the article. I LOVE SpongeBob. I would love to “live in a pineapple under the sea” and be his neighbor. I think I would name my pet snail Snuffles. SpongeBob and I could walk Gary and Snuffles together to go and visit Sandy, I have always wanted to check out that bubble thing she lives in… but I digress.

SpongeBob making our kids stupid? Oh, please. So I read on. The main points of the article that I read are based on a study published in Pediatrics, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and are as follows (and I am copying from the newspaper – The Dispatch’s Monday, September 12, 2011):

  • The study suggests that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4 year olds.
  • The problems were seen in a study of 60 children randomly assigned to either watch “SpongeBob,” or the slower-paced PBS cartoon “Caillou” or assigned to draw pictures. Immediately after these nine-minute assignments, the kids took mental function tests; those who had watched “SpongeBob” did measurably worse than others.


I just had to laugh. I let Bradley, my kindergartener, watch “SpongeBob” before he went to school this morning; which, according to the study, is very bad for learning.

One part of the article says, “Parents should realize that young children are compromised in their ability to learn and use self-control immediately after watching such shows. ‘I wouldn’t advise watching such shows on the way to school or any time they’re expected to pay attention and learn.”

That is just what we did. We haven’t had any problems.

So now we might alternate watching “SpongeBob,”  the Disney Channel, or PBS in the mornings before school. But most of the time SpongeBob rules.

We love SpongeBob in this house and he is staying on our tv. What about yours?


If you want to find out more about this study or opinions on it, just Google, “Will SpongeBob make your kids stupid?” and you will be bombarded by articles, blogs, and lots of opinions. It’s crazy.