Review: Paws & Tales- Being Kind and Caring

Paws & Tales- Being Kind and Caring, is put out by Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living, and is aimed at “equipping [children] with essential tools for godly living.” The DVD contains two episodes: The Hullabaloo at Hunker Hill (which talks about revenge and forgiveness) and The Great Go-Kart Race (featuring the idea of teamwork, based on Matthew 6.14).

Overall, this DVD is okay. Asante (4) and Aly (3) watched both episodes and it kept their attention the whole time. Aly even asked to watch it again the next day!

But, I must admit that I do have some issues with it, especially the first episode, which was about forgiveness (which is ironic because we’re learning about this same thing in Sunday School, but this video comes to some different conclusions than our class!).

1. The kid characters were sassy, a little mean, and had some attitude. Asante even commented on how he wondered if maybe this movie was teaching him it was okay to be mean. Granted, he’s our little critic and has been encouraged to reflect on what the hidden messages are behind the things he watches on TV and the advertisements he sees (poor kid will never be able to enjoy a movie for what it is).

2. All the adults were so gruff and harsh-worded with the kids. Things like “What am I going to do with you?”, “When will you ever learn?”, “What were you thinking?” — with tones that showed displeasure and disappointment. Of course we are disappointed with our children sometimes and we shouldn’t always pretend that we are. But, there are more graceful, gentle ways of speaking with our children.

3. At the end of this episode, the “mean kid” didn’t forgive the other kids. Some may say that this is more realistic- our “enemies” don’t always forgive us. But, leaving the story like that can be difficult for preschoolers to understand. The conclusion did propel Asante and Aly to ask questions about why the mean boy didn’t forgive the other kids, which was good to talk about.

4. I wish I could remember where we read it, but Jake told me awhile back that when kids are watching shows that show bad behavior and then later on show how it was wrong for them to act like that, the thing that has impacted the kids MORE is the bad behavior that they saw for the majority of the time. The “lesson” can’t just be at the end of the story- it has to be cut up and put in throughout. Asante commented on how everyone was mean to each other, and how he didn’t really like watching a show like that. He’s a pretty sharp kid for his age, so I think the way the message was presented was just really confusing.

It wasn’t all bad:

1. I liked how the characters prayed sporadically throughout the episodes, calling on the Lord for  help. It shows kids that you don’t have to just pray at meals and bedtime, but all throughout the day.

2. This episode also showed the need for us to reach out and ask forgiveness after we’ve falsely accused someone else of doing something they didn’t do.

Overall, I don’t think this episode in particular is the best idea for a preschooler, but maybe for early elementary (whom is their target audience).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 […] : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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