Why I’ve banned Bing

My children don’t watch an enormous amount of television, they never really have. The main reason for that is because we are usually out and about doing things, and don’t have much time for sitting in front of a screen.

I’ve also written before about my concerns over the impact of screen time on behaviour. That said, as Libby approaches her first term at primary school, I worry that I’ll be disadvantaging her if I don’t let her use technology. As a result, I invested in an iPad so that she would know how to use it, because she’ll be working on one at school.

Since then, she has been playing on children’s educational apps and has also been watching a little bit more television. Both girls like to watch cBeebies in the mornings before breakfast. They watch it in our bed, so we know what they’re watching. This also means we can help them to work the iPad, monitor each programme and discuss any issues it throws up.Why I banned Bing - it's making my children whiny so Bing can bog off.

Why I’ve banned Bing

Both girls have their favourite programmes, but if there’s nothing in particular that one of them wants to watch, they often default to Bing. Let me tell you a bit about Bing. He’s a giant, talking rabbit, who is looked after by a little woollen creature called Flop. Flop looks like he’s perhaps supposed to be an ant.

There are various other characters that appear on the programme, including Sula the elephant and her carer Amma, Pando the Panda and his carer Padget, and Bing’s cousins Coco and baby Charlie. The stories are all very low-key, nothing much happens but they all result in something that Bing sees as a bit of a drama.

I checked out the Bing website, and apparently, the stories are supposed to be reflective of the trials and tribulations of being a pre-school aged child. Flop is supposed to be the voice of reason, helping Bing to deal with situations and cope with negative emotions. And the programme is supposed to help children to deal with their own issues.

Well I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t help. It doesn’t help in any way, shape or form. It’s awful. And what’s more, it is making my daughter awful.

We have always brought the girls up to know that they can express their feelings and tell us anything. But they also have to behave politely and respectfully to parents, teachers and other children. If they don’t like something they’ll tell us, and we’ll put things right if we can, or explain why we can’t.

What they don’t do is whinge, whine and strop. Until now. Since starting to watch Bing, Libby has started to behave terribly when she doesn’t get her own way. She mimics Bing’s voice, and even comes out with some of the phrases she’s heard on the programme. Coincidence? I think not.

So my question is, which came first – the chicken or the egg? Bing or the bad behaviour the programme claims to be dealing with? In our house, Bing came first and bad behaviour followed.

So from now on, Bing has been exiled. Lia is still allowed to watch it occasionally when Libby is out, as her behaviour hasn’t changed. Libby has been banned indefinitely – and probably forever. Since the ban, her behaviour has improved slightly, but she seems to have got into the habit of whining. So at the moment, she is having no screen time at all.

It’s quite nice to alter our routine, spending more time playing with their toys or outside. But I know that screen time will soon creep back in. I just hope that the Bing-induced behaviour doesn’t last, because I want my little girl back. My polite, kind, generous, confident and happy little girl.

And Bing can bog off.Bad behaviour, whinging and whining. And why Bing can Bog off.

15 thoughts on “Why I’ve banned Bing

  1. Louise

    Bing annoys me too! I don’t understand why CBeebies insist on having characters who don’t speak properly. I get that toddlers often mix up their words, but I don’t want to hear cartoon characters doing the same. Urgh!

    I hope Libby’s behavior improves for you soon 🙂

    Louise x

  2. Lauren Belle du Brighton

    Ahh no! I love Bing, would much rather the kids watched that than peppa pig! That made my 2 year old love the word no and be mean to her brother. I really like the little issues that each episode tackles in bing, and wish I had the parental patience of Flop!
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  3. Natalie Streets | DiaryofUEM

    Aww its a shame Libby hasn’t reacted positively to Bing, we found if we were in the same situations then we could ask Oliver what Bing did. Most recently the cat episode has been a great help, him seeing that cats need to get to know people before they let them stroke etc. Squirting toothpaste, handwash etc out was another ‘not too much, just a little bit will do’.

    We had issues with superheroes effecting Oliver’s behaviour when he first started watching them so we told him he couldn’t watch it until he learned that the TV isn’t real and it’s just something fun to watch sometimes. Then we tried periodically and it took a few goes but he watches avengers and Spiderman without issue now 🙂 I’m actually quite sad he doesn’t choose to watch Bing much any more, but we do still have references to it, ‘what’s next’ at bed time etc

    And when the s**t hits the fan, I channel my inner flop haha (who is a rabbit btw 😉 )
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  4. Sarah MumofThree World

    Well I never! Who knew it could have that effect? My 3yo niece loves Bing (it’s the only current kids’ programme I’ve even heard of) and now my nephew, who is 15 months is getting into it too. My niece’s behaviour isn’t great, but I suspect that’s just a 3yo thing and preceded Bing. It’s definitely not a good idea to let them watch too much TV in general though.
    I would highly recommend you don’t let them watch Horrid Henry or Tracy Beaker if Bing has this effect!
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  5. Agent Spitback

    Bing sounds scary!!! I have had to ban a couple of TV shows around here as it does affect behaviour and also, the language and mannerisms. It doesn’t help that sometimes the “bad” character is accidentally glamorised?

  6. vick I

    We have never seen bing but if its any consolation alba has recently changed from being my nice easy child to a horrible stroppy crying beasty….so it can happen without the help of tv!

    1. monsteridNatalie Ray Post author

      Ah that’s really interesting, thanks Vich! I think our girls would all get along quite well now, look forward to catching up with you all when we get around to another trip to Scotland where we can travel around a bit more.x

  7. Pinkoddy

    What a shame that something that has set out to be helpful has done the opposite. I did my dissertation on children and television so know very well how it has its good and bad points. Our kids aren’t allowed to watch certain things even as they get older – and know to turn over if something we don’t like comes on. TBF mine don’t watch too much either – computer games on the other hand…..

  8. Natalie

    My Harri loves Bing but if it affected her behaviour I would definitely stop her watching it. My girls don’t watch too much tv but I have heard my eldest say things that she could only be hearing from tv. I think its so easy to forget that Children can be influenced at such a young age.
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  9. Mim

    Despite the fact that Bing’s bad influence is causing trouble (which I hope does go back to normal), this did give me a laugh. Bloody Bing! You’re not the first person I’ve heard say these things – I’ve never really paid attention to it but I will now. I do suspect we’ll be telling Bing to bog off to ha ha!! x x

  10. Jenny - Monkey and Mouse

    I’ve never watched Bing, but I’ve noticed how my boys to react to different characters in TV shows. Mr O always seems to like the ‘naughty’ characters best, which is so annoying! He loves copying all the silly things they do and worst of all they say. Shouting out Yuck, disgusting in a restaurant is not the best… x
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  11. Catherine

    Oh gosh, I HATE Bing! He is the moaniest little whingebag ever, I wish that one day they would just do an episode where he’s well behaved and obviously learning from his awful behaviour! I can understand why they do episodes like this, although I don’t think they imagined it’d occasionally have the opposite effect.

    Ada is only six months so I just have Cbeebies on in the background for about an hour in the morning (she only really pays attention to the theme tunes) but when she gets older, Bing will not be allowed!

  12. Debbie

    Hi Natalie, I’m not sure I’d know how to work an iPad, so both Libby and Lia are way ahead of me! At first I thought your post was about Bing, the search engine (which I dislike immensely) , but then I realised that you’d written about something that sounds far worse; a whinging and whining TV character!

    Surely children’s program developers know that children are impressionable and tend to pick up bad habits much faster than good ones? I’m with you on banning Bing. You know your children well enough to have an inkling of the root of this recent change in behaviour. There is enough for your girls to be watching without having to watch a program that is obviously the cause of the problem behaviour.

    I hope the bad behaviour disappears as quickly as it appeared.



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