We’ve written before about the strains working parents face in managing their work life balance. ‘Sad fact is, most of us are on call for large amounts of our time. Our work life balance is often out of line.’ (*See blog: The Darker Side of That Flashy Phone).
Here’s the routine.
Arrive home. Check emails. Return a phone call. Worry about the presentation that’s overdue. Check phone again. Kids screaming. Sit them in front of TV. Answer that urgent email (in relative peace and quiet).
Almost bath time…..
But let me tell something you might find a bit scary.
Chances are that, while you’re attending to those urgent work tasks, one of the cartoons the kids are watching is Peppa Pig.
With one of the largest YouTube followings and viewed on TV channels in over 180 countries, Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig are international stars. Their movie ‘Peppa Pig Celebrates the Chinese New Year’ has broken all records (2019 being the Chinese Year of the Pig). A trailer for the movie on Chinese social media went viral with over 1 billion views. Peppa is about to earn its owners over $3billion per year.
But there’s a scandal brewing that could make fake news and third-party involvement in the US election pale into insignificance. The scandal has even hit the centre pages of the Financial Times (23rd February 2019). It’s a fascinating story of the power of globalisation and world-wide branding. It’s a taste of things to come in a world that’s getting smaller every day.
Parents are complaining that their kids are watching so much Peppa Pig, they’re picking up British accents. This is no surprise. Disturbingly, all the cast are British; including stars such as the actor Brian Blessed who plays the ultimate British Grandpa with his ultimate British accent.
In the USA one mother tweeted that ‘the most entertaining part of my life is that my toddler has been watching Peppa Pig and now speaks with a British accent.’
Instead, of Mommy, American kids are now saying ‘Mummy.’
In place of hugs and cookies, they’re asking for snuggles and biscuits. One film critic, Clayton Davis wrote ‘my child has just said ‘Daddy, can I please sit on your lap and play with your computer’ in the most British way possible. It’s reported that parents are both ‘bemused and appalled.’ (FT 23rd February 2019).
Peppa has, of course, caused controversy in Australia before. In 2017, an episode called ‘Mister Skinny Legs’ was banned after telling children that spiders ‘can’t hurt you.’ Fair advice on the playing fields of Windsor but not particularly wise in all parts of Australia. The episode ends with Peppa and George having a most enjoyable cup of tea with Mr Spider (no doubt using Staffordshire tea pots and cups).
As Britain’s international reputation falls away with the farce of Brexit, perhaps the bright boys at Eton and Oxbridge have found a very subtle way of prolonging the rule of the British Empire; ensuring every kid on the planet speaks with a British accent.
A final thought.
We’re a short time away from another ashes cricket test series. Don’t be surprised if you’re four-year-old, holding a sticky-fingered iPad, disturbs you in the kitchen with:
‘Come on Mum, play up. Let’s give those Australians a jolly good thrashing.’
Best put all the work away and spend more time on an evening and weekend with the kids.