Sesame Street: Danger on Steroids!

Oh Readers — Remember when this was not a subversive, watch out, don’t EVER let this happen to your children video? When kids could ride around, get lost, ask for help, talk to strangers and have adventures without anyone accusing the parents (or PBS) of being negligent, crazy, or worse? 

Kids on TV: Adventurous or In Danger? (Depends on What You Watch)

Hi Readers! This little note just got me thinking. Read it and I’ll give you my thoughts. It’s from a guy named Barry Jacobs in Brooklyn and here’s his blog. — L.

Dear Free-Range Kids:  I hate the media. Watch shows aimed at kids on Nickelodeon or Disney– they show kids with amazing imaginations, doing things with unbelievable freedom, having exciting adventures and almost always being smarter than the adults. When parents are shown, they are usually genial characters with vague, but obeyed, authority.

Compare that to the network news aimed at adults: Kids are stupid and need to be watched 24/7 or they will stick all ten fingers in electrical sockets.

No wonder society is so screwed up! We tell the kids one thing and the parents something else. — Barry

Lenore here. I think there’s even another angle: Sure, Disney and Nickelodeon  SHOW kids having adventures. But the networks really exist to keep kids SITTING ON THE COUCH.  So their aim, in the end, is the same as the news shows’: Keep everyone inside, watching the screen.

And in the end, much as I hate the “if it bleed, it leads” mandate of the news shows, it irks me even more that Disney and Nickelodeon and even PBS purport to celebrate an active and  imagination-filled childhood while actually working to undermine it, by feeding kids a constant diet of crack. Er…kiddie shows. (And let’s not even get into the fact that almost all of those shows have product tie-ins — Disney supposedly sells 40,000 different princess items. So they are basically out to capture our kids’ imagination, money and childhood. ) But otherwise, they’re great. — Lenore

have adventures! “] have great adventures!”] have great adventures!”]