Kari Henley’s recent post on “over-parenting” was overwhelmed by overstatements – especially her suggestion that kids who watch nurturing TV shows like those found on PBS are more likely to be bullies.
I’ve devoted my career to creating and producing educational children’s television, including PBS’s “Super Why” and Nickelodeon’s “Blue’s Clues.” I’ve spent many years working with the nation’s top child psychologists, whose research clearly shows that children learn how to act and interact with others through a combination of instruction and emulating what they see and hear, a phenomenon psychologists refer to as “modeling.”
In other words: Kids learn by example.
“Super Why” and “Blue’s Clues” are both based on this principle. Each series strives to help kids learn reading and other key skills. The shows are also pioneers in interactive television. For example, the superhero characters on “Super Why” address viewers directly, asking them questions and then pausing so kids watching at home can answer. The goal is to help kids learn while they play along with the characters on TV.