As you know already, SpongeBob SquarePants is a big deal in my house lately. We have been watching so many episodes lately that Howard and I actually got excited when the new “Goo Lagoon” episode came on because I believe we’ve seen almost every old episode now (at least a dozen times).
I know what you’re thinking (or at least what most people think) – SpongeBob SquarePants is inappropriate. I was even told at the McDonald’s playground recently that I should not let my child watch the show because it is RUDE. Of course, this was right after the lady’s child reached into my son’s Happy Meal (almost touching his food) to see what toy he got, but that’s a whole other story.
On one hand, there are a few inappropriate moments from time to time on SpongeBob SquarePants, but I use those as teaching moments and for the most part, we have really found several Life Lessons that I would like to share with you.
Lessons Learned from SpongeBob SquarePants
1. Being “normal” is not always a good thing.
Last night we actually saw another episode that we hadn’t seen yet called “Not Normal”. In the show, Squidward tells SpongeBob that he is too silly and rambunctious and he should be more normal. SpongeBob changes things about himself and watches other “normal” people and suddenly he’s round with a small nose and no buck teeth and he goes around asking others about the weather and how they are doing. He doesn’t want to play with Patrick and he can’t cook his Krabby patties right. He ends up losing his job and his best friend, but makes a friend (briefly) in Squidward. However, after a short time, even Squidward finds him boring and tells him to be a little more fun. Of course, it all works out in the end and SpongeBob turns back into his old self, but here’s the lesson in all of this.
Who wants to be normal? Being yourself and having confidence in that is a trait that I want to instill in my son. As you may know, my boy is a little bit silly and rambunctious already. He is confident in his silliness and loves to laugh and make others laugh. I recently went to eat lunch with him at school and we all ate outside. He was climbing on my back and yelling, “hey guys, look at me”. He revels in his silliness, but he also knows when to tone it down (most of the time).
Besides, my daddy always says, “What is normal, anyway?“
2. Enjoy your job, no matter what you do
SpongeBob is a fry cook (think McDonald’s burger flipper), but he loves his job. He works in a fast food restaurant, probably making minimum wage (since Mr. Krabs is a money-grubber), and most of us would think of this job as boring or demeaning or just not something we would want to do. We may think this is something that you do to get through high school and on to college, but most people probably don’t think they want to grow up and make a career out of being a fry cook. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want that and I know people make a great career out of it, but you know what I’m saying…right?
Anyway, SpongeBob loves his job. He is always looking for ways to make his Krabby patties better and he lives to serve the customer a quality meal. We should all be this way about our work. I want my boy to know that whatever job he’s doing, he’s working for the Lord first, then his family, and finally for his own personal gain. I want him to enjoy what he’s doing, no matter what that might be. Now, again, I’m not saying that he should or shouldn’t strive to be a fry cook, but I want him to seek enjoyment in every job he does. For those of us who have found our calling in our work, we are the blessed ones. However, if you’re still looking for that dream job, enjoy what you’re doing now and take the steps to move on or move up while loving what you’re doing now. You would be surprised how quickly things improve when you love what you do.
3. Be a Loyal friend
SpongeBob’s best friend is Patrick and they do everything together. Patrick is not the brightest starfish in the ocean, but SpongeBob always sticks by him, no matter what.
Loyal friendship is one of the most important traits I can teach my son. I have been blessed in my life with an amazing long-time friend and another who, although she strong-armed me into being her friend, are both loyal and would be by my side in an instant if I needed them. Friends are important and being a good one is essential in life.
4. Find the good in everyone
A lot of people don’t treat SpongeBob very nice in his world. Squidward basically hates him even though they are neighbors. Patrick is not so smart so he’s not always “good” to SpongeBob. Mr. Krabs is just a money-grubber so he treats SpongeBob like a lowly employee. Anyway, you get what I’m saying.
But, SpongeBob can always find the good in someone and celebrates that good in all of his interactions.
Every single person my boy ever comes into contact with will have some type of good in them. Finding that good and celebrating it is an amazing trait to have and I hope to teach my boy how to find that good in everyone.
5. Be Imaginative
As I mentioned, SpongeBob is a silly little sponge friend and he is always going on some type of adventure with his best friend, Patrick. They sometimes have to come up with their own fun and they always find a way. From jellyfishing to bubble-blowing to just being silly, they use their imagination to have fun, stay busy, and be themselves.
Since turning six, my boy’s imagination has really blossomed. He has learned to play by himself at times and learned to be creative in his play with me. Of course, the downside to that is his nightmares are more vivid and he finally lost his love of zombies and replaced it with a terrifying fear of zombies now, but it is great to see that he has a huge imagination. Like SpongeBob, he can be silly and creative and fun and imaginative.
So…what do you think? Have I made my point or do you still think I’m crazy for letting my boy watch the show?