It seems every child under the age of five has heard of Peppa Pig which is a huge hit among pre-schoolers. The show is aired on multiple popular Children’s channels and is accompanied by a whole host of merchandise such as clothes, toys, nappies and advent calendars.

The Bafta-winning show has also become successful in America, however Experts from Harvard University have accused the show of being a bad influence on younger children.

Bad habits

The lovable pig has been accused of passing on some bad habits to its young and impressionable audience.

Bratty, bossy, snide, rude, disrespectful, bullying and even fat-shaming her Dad are all displayed in the television programme.

Parents have apparently reported their children are beginning to mirror the behaviour they are seeing, with many set to boycott the show.

The parents in the show; Mummy and Daddy Pig are hardly seen as parenting advocates with a passive aggressive relationship and letting the children get away with bad behaviour.

Harvard University study

An apparent study from Harvard University controversially claimed the programme was responsible for causing autism in children.

Epidemiologist Marc Wildemberg claimed in 2012, children exposed to at least thirty minutes a day of the show have a 56% higher possibility of developing autism.

This was quickly shown to be a supposed hoax. Popular parenting websites Kidspot and Mamamia stated Marc Wildemberg was not affiliated with Harvard or indeed an expert in the field.

The so-called hoax has not stopped parents taking to the internet to voice their concerns about the bad role model Peppa is to their children.

Parenting discussion website, Mumsnet has threads with multiple comments from parents dedicated to the subject.

Review website; Common Sense Media, hosts many parents' scathing comments and poor reviews of the show.

One mum, Noami Greenway reported to the Daily Mail, she has taken it as far as banning her children from watching Peppa Pig. She even consulted child psychologist Hannah Abrahams who has said, ‘children that age cannot differentiate between fantasy and reality’.

Meaning that they will mimic what they see on the screen.

It isn’t just Peppa Pig which has come under fire, but also Horrid Henry which apparently is encouraging aggression in the playground and the old age argument of Barbie initiating low self-esteem and unrealistic body image.

Emotional literacy

With Christmas just around the corner, adverts for the merchandise are everywhere and likely to be on the top of most children’s lists. I will wait to see if the popularity of Peppa Pig is affected, or if moderation and a little guidance in our children’s emotional literacy will keep the famous pig and her family on our screens.