The ABC’s of Parenting returns! I’ve put off writing this post because I’m afraid I just can’t do justice to what I think is probably the best television show ever created. Here’s why I think EVERYONE (not just kids) should watch Sesame Street:
- It was the first show ever to use actual research about children’s needs, attention spans, and interests and use it to create programming that is meaningful to children.
- It’s deliberately aimed at both children and parents, so they’ll watch together. There is some truly hilarious stuff on Sesame Street that children don’t pick up on. How brilliant is that?
- Historically the show has tackled issues that are important to children, that require delicacy and deliberate thought, and which help families talk about difficult subjects. Examples? The death of beloved Mr. Hooper. Friendship between races/ethnicity. Having a new baby. Sept. 11, 2001
Sesame Street debuted when I was five years old. I remember the hype surrounding the upcoming new show, and my excitement when it finally aired. I was a devotee from then on. By my junior high years, the show was an institution, and though I was as image-conscious as anyone that age, I still LOVED Sesame Street and wasn’t afraid to admit it. For my 13th birthday my friends gave me a surprise party, which included the most awesome gift ever – two Sesame Street albums. We grooved to “Rubber Ducky,” “Somebody Come and Play,” and “C is for Cookie” all night long. Yes, we were dweebs. But we were discriminating dweebs.
There were a few years after that when I didn’t have time to watch my favorite PBS program (well, next to Mr. Rogers, which is a post for another day). Then when I was 18 my baby sister was born, and I got to make friends with new characters, including Elmo. Another dry spell set in for a few years before my own babies came along, and then I was right back in there with them every day, excitedly waiting for the song to start every morning: “Sunny day, everything’s A-okay!”
The program has evolved over the years, always in response to needs of children as time has marched on. And I’m looking forward to having grandchildren in my life one day, so I can sit down with them and invite Bert and Ernie and the rest of the gang into our family room and our lives.