And I’m not even joking.
I watch a lot of TV these days. Probably more than I should. But at least I can say it’s rated G. Or… what’s the one just under that? The one for toddlers where the voices are very sing-songy and the enunciation is painfully slow and deliberate?
That’s the one.
And you know, along with how to make ‘banana swirl’ and what the Chinese word for ‘jump’ is, I have learned a whole lot about the values in our culture today.
Have you ever thought about that? I mean, seriously, what our children watch (our tiny children) is word for word, scene by scene, exactly what the American culture of 2013 values and feels is important to instill in a child. Starting from birth.
True, it varies a little by show, character and network. But let’s be honest. There are some major themes- friendship, education, life skills, character and environment. Yes, environment is a major theme. A value. Every show we watch has at LEAST one episode where they have to clean up or recycle or save the Earth or all three.
Different shows emphasize different themes, but touch on all of them at some point. For example, Strawberry Shortcake is primarily a friendship and character show. Not a lot of educational stuff, but there was at least one environment episode… oh, and the kids don’t have parents. And there’s a baby that shows up on occasion, but not all the time, and we’re not sure where she’s from. What does THAT tell you about our culture?!
Team Umizoomi, on the other hand, is primarily educational, teaching Mighty Math Powers to toddlers and young children… because apparently our nation is behind on math skills, so we need to start them younger.
Ni Hao, Kai Lan (one of our personal favorites) is friendship, character, and education… in Chinese! Again, though, no parents. Just a grandpa.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, though, is the most adorable little show on the planet, loosely based off of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood that I grew up with. Here young Daniel Tiger teaches us about friendship, character and important life skills- like brushing your teeth and using the potty. All with some super cute songs. (shameless plug for Daniel Tiger… we love him)
So, according to my sources, the American people value recycling, math, spelling, friendship, having good character, and being able to use the potty.
Sounds about right.