Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mom-Approved Shows for Toddlers

The first five years of a child's life, the formative years, are fundamentally important because it's in these years that basic learning and development take place.  Everything we expose our child to, no matter how small and harmless it may seem, may have a big impact on how our little one turns out to be.

My husband and I can't always be with our Lia all the time because of work, that's why we make it a point to tell our two wonderful helpers at home how we want them to act and talk when they are around our baby, and why. At two, Lia easily picks up things she hears and sees, and we don't want her to imitate things that are not good. We also choose the videos she is allowed to watch, albeit for a very short and supervised screen time. You'll be surprised at how some popular children's programs can be, in reality, not suitable for kids as they show bad manners that the kids might copy (e.g. disrespectful behavior towards the parents, throwing tantrums when the characters don't get what they want, etc.).  This even prompted me to post a question in an online mommy community forum that I'm part of.  I asked, what TV shows or Youtube channels do you approve of for your toddlers and why? A lot of titles came up, and the list below made the top ten.

1.   Mother Goose Club

2.   Super Simple Learning

3.   Little Einstein

4.   Little Baby Bum

5.   Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

6.   Word World

7.   Hi-5

8.   Doc McStuffins

9.   Wonderpets

10. Storybots

Lia has watched only two of the ten --- Little Baby Bum and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood --- the latter being our super favorite of all the shows she watches.  Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is an American-Canadian TV series for preschool-aged kids that teaches emotional intelligence and social skills. It uses "strategy songs" to reinforce the theme of the episode (e.g. being thankful and appreciative, sadness, anger, etc.) and help children remember the life lessons.  Because I watch Daniel Tiger with Lia, I know these songs by heart, too, and I even get to apply them when I feel certain emotions! Hehe.

When I'm angry:
When you feel so mad 
That you want to roar
Take a deep breath 
And count to four 

When I'm disappointed:
When something seems bad
Turn it around, 
And find something good!

When I'm sad:
It's okay to feel sad sometimes;
Little by little 
You'll feel better again

There are lot more songs from Daniel Tiger, here's a compilation of some here:

You see, TV may still have its benefits, but only if there's a limit set for screen time and there's adult supervision. The makers of Daniel Tiger even said that the values taught by the show are sure to be learned by kids if the parents 'discuss' with them the lessons to help the kids process. These are their tips on what and how to talk to their children while or after watching the show:

  • Point out the good things that TV characters do. If Daniel Tiger shares a cupcake with a friend, tell your child that you love it when people share. 
  • Repeat the lesson being taught by the show. If Daniel Tiger calms himself down by counting to four, help your child do the same the next time it’s time to calm down. 
  • Ask your child questions about content in order to get them thinking about how they can apply the lesson in their own life. If Daniel Tiger isn’t sure about whether or not to apologize, ask your child what s/he would do in that situation.

This just means that we, parents, need to be intimately involved in the things our children do, especially their TV viewing.  Please don't just plop them in front of the TV screens for some 'quiet time,' regardless of how tempting this may sound to tired moms and dads.  Who knows, you might just pick up a lesson or two like I do. :)

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