Many toddlers are repeatedly exposed to Thomas the Tank Engine from train tables at local toy stores and to Elmo from the designs on their diapers. It is amazing how attracting these characters are to little eyes and ears.
It's more difficult to come to terms with the negative information that our son sees and overhears. Especially when one exposure is all he sometimes needs to learn it. With the summer in full swing, many parks and museums are overflowing with children. With so many people out and about, it's not uncommon for our son to see or overhear some extent of bullying or teasing. And when we are walking along University Ave or waiting in line at a store, he is also exposed to adults behaving less than ideally.
When our son sees or hears something that we wish he hadn't, we wait to see what his reaction is. Sometimes he is so engrossed in his current activity that he misses it. Other times he tries to repeat it or appears concerned. When our son is obviously affected, we talk to him about the phrase or behavior being "not nice" or "dangerous" and a more appropriate one that should have been said/done instead.
I'm sure this issue will only grow as our son gets older. What do you do when your "little sponges" are exposed to things that are less than optimal?