I need help. Over the last few days I have been subjected to the kind of rubbish TV that kids are provided these days. Baby voices putting W’s where they shouldn’t be, beads of sweat on foreheads and open mouthed questions of “Huh?” while making a facial expression that would make even Einstein look like an idiot. And if I have to hear one more bratty child speaking back to their parent with an “Ugh, they just don’t understand anything” tone I am going to stab someone with the remote.
What happened to all the shows that actually teach children about life? About the things they are going to come up against in the real world, and preferably how to speak to an adult in a polite manner that doesn’t result in getting told off.
What happened to live action? Shows without stupid looking animals and sound effects for raising your eyebrows?
I feel like the societal ban on actually exposing children to the real world (or running them as “free range kids” as it is labelled these days) has now made it’s way into our homes and onto our television screens. As a society we seem to have gone from being scared of stranger danger or that kids might be exposed to a situation where they won’t know how to react, to actually spoon feeding them a completely unrealistic image of the world.
Look at the shows we watched when we were their age. I was watching Degrassi Junior High, a show that in its first iteration (I have only seen the odd episode of the Next Generation and I’m not impressed) covered topics such trying to be cool at school and accidentally making a bad reputation for yourself, finding your group and your way. As well as bigger issues like losing your virginity, suicide, drugs, abortion, teenage pregnancy and aids. I am not finding anything on TV these days like this and I have a suspicion actually wanting a teen to watch that kind of show is going to see me tarred and feathered for exposing them to something so serious. God forbid they read the books I was reading!
My stepdaughter is now 12 years old, and I’m finding it really hard to find a show that I don’t feel is young for her, that actually teaches her something (preferably) and doesn’t dumb it down. Children, especially tweens, are smarter than they are given credit for. They do not need everything spelt out for them and by providing it I feel like we are raising a generation of children who are unable to think for themselves. Unable to grasp subtlety or understand complex dilemmas.
However, I am not a full time parent. I am an occasional one, a stepmother, a peripheral parent, so it’s highly possible these shows do exist they’re just buried in the avalanche of shows where all the characters sound like a 4 year olds or brats and display the intellectual capacity of a cucumber.
Therefore, I’m handing my dilemma over to you. All the parents out there. Are there any good shows out there that meet my criteria? Am I asking too much? Should I be tarred and feathered for actually wanting a show that doesn’t dumb it down or encourage backchat?
Please, help me, before the cushion gets it!
What shows do you recommend for a 12 year old? What shows did you watch? Do you think kids shows have been dumbed down?
Tamsin Howse has written 179 posts.
Tamsin is a wife, stepmother and blogger with a passion for people and relationships, fashion and beauty, and an inability to successfully complete household tasks. Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of KiKi & Tea.
Follow on twitter: @TamsinHowse