Life is the best Educational Programming for Children

I have witnessed many people speaking of the negative effects of television on children and how the programming is so much better today than it was years ago. As a parent I do agree that the educational level of the children’s programming of today is at a much higher level than it was when I was watching Sesame Street, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, The Electric Company and The Magic Garden. The one important fact that we are overlooking is when these shows were in rotation on television, children were going to school for the first time at 5 and 6 years old. Preschool was not something that was as readily available as it is now, nor were parents feeling that they were successful parents only if their child was accepted into a prestigious preschool. Most mothers were at home with their children because the fathers were the bread winners. It was mother’s responsibility to teach us to interact with other children at the playground and how to sing our ABC’s. Families of today are two income families meaning that both parents are working and turning their children over to day care facilities who boast their voluntary preschool programs. We are ramping up the brains of our children by putting them into preschool programs as young as two or three years of age.
We need to have more educational programming because we are robbing our children of time to be on the playground, eat dirt, ride bikes and daydream. Researchers state that children need to feel involved in the program they are watching and so programs like Dora the Explorer and Blues Clues came to television. These shows are great at getting children involved, however, they have only become necessary because our children now have the need to be engaged more and more. We drive them from activity to activity without allowing them time to lie in the grass and stare up at the clouds. Is television a babysitter? Only if parents allow it to be. Educational programming doesn’t have to happen in front of a television, it happens all around our children. Take the time to speak with children about what they think, feel, desire and see happening around them each day. You might just be surprised at how intuitive they really are. I know I was. It is just as important to talk with our children about what they see happening around them as it is to talk with them about what they see on television.

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