There is a children’s cartoon called Bob The Builder. It’s an insipid, sexist British program about anthropomorphized construction vehicles, a guy named Bob, and the blonde-blue-eyed woman (named Wendy, no less) who brings him cookies while he works on his building projects.

Rio loves it. Someone gave us a couple of board books featuring the characters and she can’t get enough of them. My mother has a stash of the cartoon shows at her house, and Rio watches them there. Fine.

But someone, probably my sainted mother, showed her the Bob The Builder Website. The website is even more insipid than the cartoon show, and extremely labor intensive to use – lots of clicking and changing and making choices and reading words. Rio can’t do it herself. I never want to see it again.

But she LOVES the website, and routinely asks to play with it. For values of asks that are turns on the computer, asks nicely and then sits in the chair and pleads, reasons, argues and cries piteously that she wants to see this site. It’s been about a month since I caved and turned it on for her (and I have only done it with her twice), but she still asks at least every few days.

I just don’t know what to do. I really hate this website, and I find doing anything on the computer with her frustrating. But I also feel a little bad about keeping something she really likes away from her just because I don’t like it, since I have the manual dexterity to use it and she doesn’t. Never mind that it’s insipid sexist crap; a lot of stuff I like falls into that category too.

Anyone been through something like this with their kids? How did you deal with it?

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