My assumption years ago was that anything on the Disney Channel was safe for children. I have found this not to be the case. Disney seems to populate their station with teen dramas targeted to pre-teens. I think this marketing has given us some undesirable results.
I first started to notice it last summer when my daughter was in the third grade. Many of the girls her age spoke horribly to one another and to adults. They were running around trying to stir up drama about who liked who and had so and so kissed you know who yet.
Third Grade?? Where was this coming from?
My wife and I have always been pretty strict with our children's TV viewing. They basically never watch live TV and we encourage them to watch educational stuff or family oriented shows. Kathryn has petitioned for the Disney Channel for a long time, but I have limited basic cable so that is not even an option.
Last summer, I discovered why that is a good thing.
We were staying at a hotel for an out of state wedding. While I played cards with my wife and parents, Kathryn found the Disney Channel. I watched the Suite Life of Zack and Cody out of the corner of my eye. In this episode, the two pre-teen brothers were fighting over a girl. The girl was the "girlfriend" of the one brother but the other was going to have to kiss her for a play. The pre-pubescent boys were ready to go to blows over kissing a girl. The next show had a bunch of pre-teen and early teen girls backstabbing each other over a boy.
After the kids went to bed, I checked out some more Disney shows. It seemed they all focused on teen and pre-teen relationship drama. Few of them offered any redeeming qualities by resolving these matters in a kind fashion. The characters usually only did the right thing once they were forced into it. Many of the young girls in these shows dressed like they were going to a bar. Every adult character seemed to be a complete buffoon or overgrown child.
I still have limited basic cable but if we ever decide to upgrade, for the sake of my kids I will be locking out the Disney Channel.