Media, especially television, has gotten a bad reputation for years. There has been plenty of research on all the negative affects of electronic media on your child due largely in part to the influences media has on early cognitive and academic development. However, there are ways to manipulate media to have a positive effect on children, which these TV programs in particular have taken to heart.
A topic rarely discussed in parenting magazines is the advantages of television for children two years old or younger. As long as the program is constructed well, appropriate for their age and directed towards education, toddlers and infants are able to learn about real life scenarios simply by watching TV. Sesame Street is a wonderful example of just such a show. You may recall the show from when you were a child and consider the program old news. On the contrary, Sesame Street continues to make headlines as it perfects its system. Research shows that young children who watch Sesame Street have larger vocabularies that follow them all the way into high school.
They also improved in science and English and overall enjoyed higher grade point averages than those of their peers who had not watch Sesame Street. Rarely does a show encourage a child to read, however, children who watched Sesame Street were found reading more books, working to achieve higher goals, pursuing creative endeavors and to participate in extracurricular activities. It’s great for children and entertaining for adults. Within every episode is a celebrity guest star as well as literary and social references thrown in just for the parents in the audience to enjoy.
My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic
Frozen wasn’t the only thing written to empower young girls. In a world where catfights rule daytime television and even commercials turn women into products, what can a parent show their daughters that will be appropriate, affirming and positive? My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic is just such a show. In the newest incarnation, the writers and developers scrapped the overly adorable animation, cheesy songs and simplistic story lines.
These ponies have their own goals, desires and struggles. Together they discover the power of friendship in daily life and in high stakes. From the very first episode, these girls each have a distinct personality, used to solve problems and fight injustice. (Almost like adorable super heroes for girls) Best of all, not one of them mentions any crushes they have or their weight. My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic has entertained girls as young as two all the way to grown ups so you can watch this show with your child without going crazy.
How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon was a great movie. In fact, you’ve probably seen it a million times and have nicknamed your black cat “toothless.” The developers of the movies didn’t stop there. They also created a TV show with the same quality plot development as the movies. A fantastic show for boys in particular, each story follows the struggles of the vulnerable yet creative Hiccup. His character and all the struggles he faces shows young boys they can be sensitive and strong all at the same time.
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