On the evolution of children’s programing.
I remember the cartoons that were on the air when I was a child. Woody Woodpecker was my favorite at the time. Looney Tunes, Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street.
I became a mom very young. I was married at 16 and had my first child just shy of my 18th birthday. I had my second child at 19, and my last child at 24.
Over the last 12 years I have watched how cartoons have evolved. My older children are fans of the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon cartoons.
My youngest daughter is almost 4, and she watches PBS shows during the day, and as a stay at home mom, I watch them, or at least listen to them on a daily basis.
In this day and age, with all the emphasis on “Green Living”, I have noticed the positive life choices and information that is being shown in the shows for the younger children on PBS. Just today while watching “Arthur” there was a heavy emphasis on Yoga, and meditation. I have also noticed other things that are becoming a main focus, such as recycling, helping animals, taking care of nature, and how our careless actions impact the environment at large. Several shows also have been showing children how to survive in the wild, with lessons on how to identify animal signs in the woods, how to build a shelter from inclement weather, how to build a fire, how to find food in the wild, and how to protect food from scavengers. The show “Fetch” which is geared toward pre teens, has shown many episodes on how to survive in the wild.
Most children spend 80% or more of their time indoors, especially with all the game systems out there today, and it is refreshing to see the shows encourage the children to get up and go outside and explore and play. It urges them to use their imagination, which is something we were always good at when I was growing up, but now, thanks to video games and fantastic movies and things, it seems to be harder for today’s kids to use their imagination, because they have all these things that provide them with the fantasy without them having to think of it themselves.
I am blessed with 3 children who have wonderful imaginations. My oldest daughter is a wonderful artist, and my son can make up wonderful stories, while my youngest daughter has wonderful tea parties and little plays and scenarios with her stuffed animals, and our cats, who are oddly willing participants. I feel fortunate to have such talented children, and they are all very earth conscientious. They all find recycling fun, and just last week my eldest daughter submitted a class project that showed the benefits of recycling for the community that we live in.
I watch my youngest daughter mimic the things she sees on her programs, like dancing, and exercising, and the yoga today. She is a very loving child, gentle, and sweet, and it shows me that I need to encourage and nurture such things in her, as she is showing a natural fondness for them.
In closing, I think it is wonderful that some of today’s programming geared towards our children is giving out such a positive lesson. After all, our children are the ones who will be responsible for our wonderful Mother Earth when we are no longer here; shouldn’t we all be teaching our children how to care for their home?
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