Children’s television is a secret pleasure for many parents – a chance to put your feet up and grab some much needed sofa time. If you’re lucky you might even fall asleep for a few precious minutes. All under the cover of bonding and spending quality time with your loved ones.
And, of course, many of us also use the telly as an ‘electronic babysitter’ – letting it entertain our kids, leaving us free to make the dinner, do the chores or catch up on our hobbies. (We’re supposed to feel guilty about this, but as Spiked’s Jennie Bristow argues, there’s nothing wrong with ‘electronic babysitting’ – our children benefit from relaxing in front of the telly just as adults do).
Sometimes we even have the time and energy to properly watch children’s television with our children. This can be surprisingly enjoyable, as shows like Sesame Street, Pingu and The Clangers have adult appeal, sometimes by design, sometimes by accident. It can also be very depressing, as the quality of much of what’s on offer is dismal.
But while children’s TV comes in for a lot of stick these days, I would argue it usually for the wrong reasons. More soon…