Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Whatever Happened to Good Children's Television Shows?

Lately I have been babysitting a two-year-old for a friend and that has got me to watching children's television in the afternoon. It has made me realize that there is a definite lack of good television shows for children preschool age children.

When I was a child I watched The Mickey Mouse Club, Sesame Street and Romper Room. Shows that had me dancing all around the living room and calling out numbers, colors and shapes.

Today's children watch shows like Spongebob Squarepants, Max and Ruby and Dinosaur Train.

I cannot say that I was entirely impressed with the lessons that those shows were teaching.

Spongebob Squarepants has a lot of humor that is much better suited to 12-year-olds than pre-school age children, but it seems to be the show that the two-year-old asks for the most.

Max and Ruby is, at first look, a cute show about a bunny and her little brother bunny and their lives. The episode I watched, however, showed the little brother bunny being devious with shifty eyes as he got tubs of sherbert to take to his bath and proceeded to dump each into the water and make a nasty mess that left him dyed various colors. I'm not sure what lesson the show was thinking to teach children other than it was okay to make messes and dump sherbert into their bath water - again and again.

Dinosaur train seemed to be a good show, but I was not sure about showing a mother dinosaur that freaked out if her children went more than arm's length away and how it was better to let the children climb up onto a high cliff. Not that I think children need to be kept right at a parent's side at all times, but does a child who is the age that the show is made for actually understand the concepts it was teaching? The concepts seemed to be aimed more at the parents of those children than the children. And wouldn't playing in a park on age-level jungle gym toys have been better to show the children than that is is perfectly safe to be climbing a 20' cliff with a sheer drop into the ocean?

Maybe I am turning into an old biddy.