Do the Horrid Henry stories glorify badness and therefore have an adverse effect on children's behaviour?

(44 Posts)
TooTicky Sun 17-Sep-06 21:47:24


OP’s posts: |
hulababy Sun 17-Sep-06 21:48:42

Not got HH, but 4yo DD loves My Naughty Little Sister and also Naughty Amelia Jane. Hasn't affected her behaviour yet!

I had both as a child and was a good girl ont he whole

TooTicky Sun 17-Sep-06 21:57:28

Oh, Naughty Little Sister is lovely, but her behaviour is treated as Very Bad or just silly. HH is different, more opinionated...

OP’s posts: |
Posey Sun 17-Sep-06 22:00:29

For my dd, who's a bit of a goody-goody , reading HH was a bit of escapism. I think she liked the idea of a hero being bad. Horrid Henry got her reading prolifically and now she's still a good girl, as are her friends who also loved him.

Saturn74 Sun 17-Sep-06 22:01:01

Noooo - Horrid Henry is fab!

Hallgerda Sun 17-Sep-06 22:02:19

DS2 was very keen on Horrid Henry a few years back, and I don't believe the books affected his behaviour. (Except possibly to make him think about, and avoid, Perfect Peter's obnoxiousness).

TooTicky Sun 17-Sep-06 22:03:56

My ds1 loves the stories and although I think he admires HH in some ways he also likes some of the things that Perfect Peter likes, so it's probably okay, but I do wonder sometimes... (ds1 is also capable of behaving abominably!)

OP’s posts: |


Blossomhill Sun 17-Sep-06 22:04:01

Put it this way dd kicked a child at her school. When we asked her why she was re-enacting a scene from Horrid Henry.
She also started calling her school mates crabby, moody etc
Teacher had to take books off shelf in the class room.
Dd has Aspergers and finds it very hard to separate fact from fiction. So we have to be very careful about what she reads!

MrsSpoon Sun 17-Sep-06 22:10:23

Think HH is fab. Things never work out the way he wants them to in the end and I always take a few minutes to emphasise that with DS1 at the end of one of the stories just so that he gets the point. Also wouldn't want him to be too like Perfect Peter either so think it's good that he comes over a bit wet.

TooTicky Sun 17-Sep-06 22:13:22

Sometimes it annoys me that HH is so bad (I don't like to think that children can be "bad")and PP so good (makes a mockery of genuine good behaviour) but kids seem to love it

OP’s posts: |
cat64 Sun 17-Sep-06 22:36:25

Message withdrawn

Orlando Sun 17-Sep-06 22:42:03

HATE horrid henry.

In our house we have one dd who is in the hh mould, and another who is in the pp mould. Deplore the fact that those books glorify the wrong behaviour, and make out that politeness and consideration are deeply contemptible.

TooTicky Mon 18-Sep-06 13:21:33

Orlando, I feel a bit like that too although I think children are able to see the tongue-in-cheekness - I hope!

OP’s posts: |
gigglinggoblin Mon 18-Sep-06 13:31:55

ds1 definately started behaving worse after reading hh, interesting how only me and bloss say this and ds1 also has aspergers.

with him it tended to be shouting, calling his brother names, telling me and dp we were mean horrid parents, stuff like that i could tell was coming from the books. general behaviour went downhill aswell tho. has been far better since i banned them

DominiConnor Mon 18-Sep-06 13:35:13

I find it hard to tell the difference between things that cause children to be bad, and those that merely help them decide ^which way^ to be bad.

I recall the fuss made over BBC's "Grange Hill".
It covered some of the bad things that kids (and teachers) did, and upset those who feel it their role in like to be offended.
I never saw anything in GH that I haven't seen in real life, indeed it all seemed a bit toned down.

My kids see other kids do bad stuff and often get away with it. They see that every single day.

The worst behaviour I have seen in my kids are things that I know for a fact they could not have seen in books or in real life, and certainly not on TV.

I just don't follow the logic of most "censorship" applied to kids. My older DS is just starting to read those parts of history where people behave far far worse than horrid Henry, and where he will observe that some very cruel, dishonest and rude people did very well. Indeed a plausible interpretation of historic figures is that not only do nice guys finish last, they generally are cruelly finished by efficient bad people.

I see my job as a parent to put "spin" on the inputs my kids get. IE put it in context, and explain the consequences of things.

To me, about the worst TV programme is the "A Team". I am in a timy minority here of course.
In the ATeam, guns are used with great abandon, cars are driven recklessly and also used as weapons.
The lesson a child would draw from this is that violence has no permanent or even very unpleasant consequences. That strikes me as a far worse thing for a kid to see than something where people are seen to suffer, but of course kids are supposed to be kpet away from images of "real" violence.

pointydog Mon 18-Sep-06 13:41:17

I tend to think any fictional account of badness will only adversely affect a very small minority. Most people just enjoy using their imagination in an exciting/fun/shocking way.

danceswithmonkeys Mon 18-Sep-06 13:46:20

I don't know about their effect on children's behaviour but personally <puts on teacher's hat> I think they SUCK! Always the...ahem...'least pleasant' children in your class who seem to find them the funniest...don't quote me on that though.

Marina Mon 18-Sep-06 13:47:11

I must admit we found the polarisation of good and bad a bit much and I think it is the big weakness in the stories - that Perfect Peter is such a squirt and Henry always wins in the end.
Ds got fed up with the formulaic aspect of the stories tbh, and the fact that all the children are named "sulky", "moaning" etc.
Although we both think there are some great comedy set-pieces in some of the books (the one with the "but I AM your mummy" for example).
I read somewhere that Francesca Simon defends the nastiness of Henry as cathartic read for children and sees no mileage whatsoever in the views that it sets a bad example...

batters Mon 18-Sep-06 14:23:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

batters Mon 18-Sep-06 14:25:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spidermama Mon 18-Sep-06 14:26:11

I think Perfect Peter's character should be less of an eejit. My dd always feels very sorry for him because he behaves so well and yet cops it.

I like HH on the whole but I also agree that it glorifies bad behaviour and makes it cool to be a bit of an arse.

So I'm torn.

ScummyMummy Mon 18-Sep-06 14:28:58

no. not the greatest books but won't turn kids into wrong uns imo.

We've just discovered the brilliant Varjek Paw in the house of scum, btw. Anyone else a fan?

tamum Mon 18-Sep-06 14:30:23

We've seen her twice at the Book Festival and though she seemed nice she didn't seem to have two different "shows" so to speak, so I don't think we'll be going again. I can't stand the alliterative names but apart from that they vary from the harmless to the almost-amusing. I can't say it seems to have encouraged bad behaviour, but I agree about Perfect Peter.

singersgirl Mon 18-Sep-06 14:36:10

I agree with Marina. Can't stand them and think they're rather poorly written/formulaic and lazy.

Don't think it makes the boys behave badly, but it seems a shame that some of Peter's quite sensible behaviour is vilified. DS2, who is the goody-goody in our house, has said in the past "DS1 is like Horrid Henry and I am like Perfect Peter", which I really don't like.

Marina Mon 18-Sep-06 15:05:57

Ds recognised more of Perfect Peter in himself too and was quite upset at how lampooned the guy was.
Will look out for Varjek Paw, scummy.
As far as boys in scrapes/mischief go, we prefer Just William, who can do really naughty stuff, but usually with good intent/justification, and who seems to learn something from most of his predicaments. And they are LOL funny at times too

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