As I was working in the kitchen preparing dinner my dad called to me from the living room, “Come here, you need to see this”. I walked into where he and the kids were sitting watching an episode of Doc McStuffins. “What?”, I asked, not understanding what I was supposed to be seeing.
Quietly, so the kids couldn’t hear, he said, ” That family has two mommies”. I stood watching for a few minutes, trying to understand what was going on in the cartoon.
Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins has been a favorite in our house for a few years now. My kids enjoy it because of the cute, likable characters, like Stuffy and Lambie and their catchy songs.
I’ve always been a fan because it’s one of the few female lead characters who isn’t a princess. I also appreciate the fact that Doc isn’t white, something else that is rare to see in children’s programming. I loved when the show incorporated an adoption story and Doc got a new baby sister.
Although Doc is not one I would give the highest score to for educational value, it did teach some simple, but positive concepts like not being afraid of the doctor and proper handwashing. Overall, I had regarded it as a good, safe show for my kids to watch.
But with a single episode, that was all about to change.
I continued standing there while I watched the show, hoping that maybe my dad had misunderstood.
At first, all I could see was that, yes, there appeared to be two moms and two kids, but the exact relationship wasn’t immediately apparent. But the longer I watched, the more obvious it became that indeed this was a family. In fact, the kid’s cartoon wasn’t just alluding to the fact this two-mommy couple was family, they were EMPHASIZING the point. One of the mommy characters even commented, “We’re a family, and families stick together”.
It was at that point that I decided we had better turn this off, concerned about what my children might see next, wondering if they would go so far as to include an onscreen kiss.
My children grumbled a bit as I apologized and told them that because some things about this episode weren’t appropriate we were going to switch to a different one. I also told them that this would probably be the last time we watched Doc McStuffins. My daughter asked “Why mama?” and I told her that I would talk to her about it later.
I never expected to have this conversation with my five- year -old and was very unsure of how to address it with her. I needed some time to think.
I want to pause here for a moment and clarify where I am coming from and why this episode caused me so much concern.
I have debated for days now whether or not to share this post. I know this is a sensitive and controversial subject. I know that there will be many who strongly disagree with me. But I also believe I must speak the truth in love.
I am writing this out of a desire to both make other mamas aware of what their children might be exposed to and to encourage those mamas to not be afraid to stand for what is right, regardless of what our culture is trying to convince us.
As a Christ follower, I believe the Bible is very clear about homosexuality being a sin. This particular sin is no better or no worse than any other sin that someone might struggle with. And the Bible also says that “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, emphasis added).
This means that each one of us, myself included, have our own personal sin struggles. So to be very clear, I am not coming from a place of judgment or condemnation. I have friends who live this lifestyle and although I don’t agree with it, I care for them the same way I do any of my other friends.
The problem with what this particular episode of Doc McStuffins is doing is that they are taking that sin, putting it in front of my young children, and saying “This is normal. This is okay.”. One friend I spoke with about this put it so well. She said, “They are trying to desensitize our children and take the shock value out of sin”.
Taken directly from Disney Junior’s FAQ page, the company says “We are a channel for preschoolers offering classic and contemporary Disney stories with learning and developmental programming designed for kids ages 2 to 7”. That means that when they chose to include this in their storyline, when they allowed it to be aired, they knew they were communicating this message to children ages 2-7.
I’m not here to tell you to not let your children watch this show anymore. I’m not here to tell you to boycott Disney. I’m simply here, sounding the alarm, letting you know what message is being communicated to your children. What you do with that information is up to you.
As I tucked my daughter into bed that night, I was honestly hoping that she would forget my promise to talk to her later about why we turned off that episode of Doc McStuffins. I should have known better. My girl never forgets anything.
I started by asking her if she noticed anything strange about the episode. She didn’t. She had been completely oblivious to it. When I told her about the two mommies, I asked her if she thought that was odd. Surprisingly, she didn’t. (Here is where some people applaud that and say “Yay for acceptance!”). Not me. That actually concerned me more.
I related it to a Bible story she was familiar with, that of Adam and Eve. We talked about how God made us. How some people choose to live in a way different than how He designed us and how that makes Him sad. It was over her head and it’s a conversation we’ll probably have several more times throughout her life. But the foundation of truth was laid.
As parents, we have been entrusted to pass the gospel message on to our children. Even when it’s countercultural, even when it’s hard and uncomfortable, we must not be afraid to stand for truth. As my friend and mentor Katie from I Choose Brave says: “May we not live fearful, mamas, but brave.”
PS- If you are concerned about this and want to take action, visit One Million Moms for helpful info on how to make your voice heard. And be sure to share this post to help other parents be aware!