In this TGON podcast episode, I’m getting to combine my two loves in life: The Game of Nerds and childcare. For those who don’t know, my day job is as a childcare coach and nanny for families in the San Francisco Bay Area. All my nanny kids know me as the nerdy nanny who is fluent in superheroes and television shows. Marie happens to be a fellow nanny and podcast co-host of sheNANNYgans Podcast. We sat down to chat about our love of and expertise in children’s television.
The pandemic has caused a lot of parents to lean on television to survive the day. This episode isn’t to shame anyone or remind you of what the official research says about kids who watch tv. If anything, this episode is to give you more quality options and remind you of what’s really important. After all, the most common question I’m asked is what are some good educational shows for my child to watch? Marie and I dive right in and talk about some of the shows that we grew up loving. We were children of the ’90s so Nick Jr and Nickelodeon shows were staples. A lot of it was frankly slapstick comedy that went way over our heads. Blues Clues was about the only educational thing in there along with Teletubbies and Barney. But that’s the sad reality of children’s television choices today, there is an overwhelming amount of shows out there and only a few are actual gems.
As a mother and nanny, I went into motherhood with the “no screen” mentality but that was quickly thrown out the window when the pandemic hit. The staples in our house are Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Bluey, and Daniel Tiger. The one thing I have become aware of since becoming a parent is which shows Marvel is watching vs how much she’s watching. The choices though are endless and parents are overwhelmed. At the end of the day, it comes down to knowing your kid, their age, and what they need. Sometimes you need educational goodness and other times you need mindless garbage to escape it. Let’s be real here when was the last time you watched an “educational” show? If you are looking for great education children’s television shows, I’ve put together a great list for you.
Sesame Street is always my go-to good show. With over 50 seasons, you seriously can’t go wrong. We do discuss how scary the first few seasons are in terms of Big Bird’s looks and how creepy Elmo was in the beginning. I express my love for Gonger and Monster Foodies. We also note how the new pop culture references and celebrities are getting parents hooked. I eventually convince Marie to check out The Late Show with Elmo, and she continues her rant about how The Count is the most underutilized character on the block. We talk about the pros and cons of HBO getting Sesame Street, and at least both agree that Sesame Street looks good with HBO money.
If Sesame Street is my go-to show, PBS would be my go-to network. We have both the PBS video and game app downloaded and are huge fans. It is available to everyone and FREE, but it houses a lot of amazing series. Most of the television shows are based on book series, which could help foster good reading skills. Kids are more motivated to read and learn if it’s with a character they enjoy. Some great series to watch are Molly of Denali, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, Cat in The Hat, Arthur, Curious George, Super Why, Clifford, to name a few.
There are some problem shows and questions we still can’t answer after years of torture. Here are the highlights:
- Our problem with Toodles and how everyone is Mickey Mouse’s bitch. Mickey if you want something done, do it yourself.
- Calliou, that whiny bitch. There is an understood rule in the nanny and parent world that Calliou is the absolute worst. He’s whiny. He’s horrible. Thank God he’s canceled.
- Peppa Pig, just as annoying and whining as Calliou and frankly, looks like a penis.
- Cocomelon, we still don’t understand the appeal of it. I’m just thankful my child isn’t obsessed.
- Blippi. Thanks to moms all over the world. Blippi has become weird. We also have a long discussion about how much we dislike Youtube and how it really shouldn’t even be installed on children’s devices. Unfortunately, there is nothing “safe” about this app. Children can easily access videos or see content that they aren’t supposed to on this app even if it’s set to children’s settings.
Our discussion ends by talking about as a parent or a childcare giver, you should ultimately be aware of what your child is watching. Be engaged and ask yourself “is this age appropriate?” Each parent is allowed to parent how they see fit, but a eight year old shouldn’t be seeing Deadpool. Common sense should rule here. If you are unsure about a show or movie you child is asking about, you don’t have to give them an answer right away. You can research the show, ask questions, and get recommendations. By giving them a reason why they can’t watch other than “I said so” they are less likely to fight you. It shows you took their idea into consideration and gave a reason why they can’t watch. But at the end of the day, give yourself a break. You won’t have all the right answers, and the kids will be fine.