May 28, 2006

ARTICLES: The ABC of kids' TV

The ABC of kids' TV

28 May 2006

Kids' TV has come a long way since Sesame Street - or has it? Grant Smithies investigates.

Without kids' TV, I would be a dead man by now. Sleep- deprived to the point of unconsciousness, I would have fallen asleep at the wheel or perhaps dozed off while eating breakfast and drowned in my own milky muesli.

You see, my two year-old daughter Rosa wakes up early. Really early. 5.30am early. The house is dark as the inside of a cow. The street is deserted. Even the birds in the trees are still sleeping, which earns them my bitter envy.

So I do what tired parents have done since children's morning television began. I flick it on. I set my child up with something to eat, turn on Play School or Hi-5 and get another hour's sleep while my child learns her ABCs, one-two-threes and - as lots of these shows are Australian - an array of poisonously cute little songs about koalas, kookaburras and kangaroos.

Parents with similar habits will know that this extra hour's kip comes with a certain amount of guilt. What if the shows your child is watching are utter shite? Shouldn't you be up interacting with your child, keeping them company, reading them books?

We want to believe that the shows our kids are watching are educational, or at the very least, not doing them harm. And it turns out we're right, so long as we choose age- appropriate shows.

FULL ARTICLE AT,2106,3682751a1869,00.html

Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
Youth Media Consulting GbR
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
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