Choosing the Best for Your Children

All TV teaches young children something. Any program your child watches—whether Sesame Street or wrestling—teaches something but it is important to ask: what is it you want your children to learn?

Smart TV—TV that teaches—does so because it is a good match between the social, emotional, and cognitive developmental skills of an audience. A three-year-old is learning very different skills and concepts than a six-year-old.

Smart TV is grounded in child growth and development and each show on PBS has a curriculum—a list of things to learn. The producers, the stars, and the writers work together to make sure the storyline, the puppets and/or characters, the music, and scripts are built around a “hidden curriculum.” PBS gives you TV that entertains and teaches, too!

TV that Teaches
  • Encourages creativity and critical thinking;
  • Shows people getting along with one another and characters who respect each other;
  • Shows there are many ways to solve a problem without using force or violence;
  • Promotes a sense of well-being, a sense of feeling good about who you are;
  • Invites children to sing along, answer questions, dance, and join in the fun;
  • Allows time for children to think about the questions asked. For instance, when Mister Rogers asks “Do you know which one is an apple?” he allows time for the children at home to give their answers;
  • Reinforces the very things your children have been learning;
  • Inspires children to want to learn more; and,
  • Helps children feel good about their own and other people’s cultures, family routines, and communities.

Children watch you watch TV, too! Show them that you are careful about what you watch. Be a good role model. Talk with them about your likes and dislikes. And, don’t be afraid to tell them that some shows are for grown-ups, not children.

Choose Smart TV—TV that teaches!