We braved our first children’s concert over the weekend and I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t have high (if any) expectations on how Charlie would cope. The idea of him sitting in a concert hall without wanting to go nuts up and down the aisles was not something I was overly confident about. Sprinkle a dusting of stimulation overload and I was well prepared for the whole event to go south. Armed with a ziplock bag full of snacks we entered the auditorium and Charlie immediately had this quizzical-what-the-heck-is-going-on look on his face. The room was full of toddlers dressed to the nines in their Giggle & Hoot merchandise (cha-ching) and many carrying magic wands that I suspect are meant to be used for twinklifying the sky rather than poking out the eyes of their parents. Needless to say, for the full 55 minutes, Charlie sat on MM’s lap and was utterly and completely mesmerised by the whole thing. Watching him, watching the stage and pointing to Hoot and Hootabelle was cuteness personified.
There’s plenty of negative press about children and screen time and I’m pretty onboard for most of it. I do limit the amount of time Charlie watches any kind of television and his days are certainly full of activity and park action so a bit of Giggle and Hoot in the afternoon is perfectly fine and let’s not forget that somewhere in the day I need to get stuff done. Funnily enough, I like listening into some of the shows that he watches (and by watch I mean, 5 minutes here and there) and quite frankly when the alternative is reality TV or the news there’s lots to be said about the benefits of ABC Kids. In fact, there’s a few life lessons we could all take from switching to channel 22 every now and then so here are my thoughts.
Lessons in life according to children’s television:
Change isn’t a bad thing. Charlie and Lola – Seriously cute show about a boy called Charlie and his little sister Lola. I love that the parents get a mention every now and then but that it’s always about these two and their friends. A recent episode entitled “Everything is different and not the same” has Lola returning to school but struggling with the changes a new year bring. She discovers that the desks are different, the school smells different and she has a different teacher. Lola has to learn to adapt to these changes. Sound familiar? We know that everything must change and with that comes some fear but change creates new opportunities and allows us to learn and grow. Most of us fear change because it takes us out of our comfort zone. With Charlie’s help, Lola learns to embrace change and the new things that it brings.
Celebrate the little things. Giggle & Hoot – There are loads of different segments that form part of this show and one of them is called Super Giggle and Super Hoot. The theory is simple – every little thing can be a super thing. It’s basically about celebrating everything. Let’s face it, how many times do we hear this as “grown ups.” Don’t sweat the small stuff, celebrate the big and little wins and be grateful for your friends.
Be authentic. Giggle & Hoot – (I’m a fan, I know). Hootabelle can teach us a thing or two about being ourselves and being comfortable in our own skin even if you are just a little eccentric. Life is too short to wait for old age to wear purple.
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. Everyone deserves a little magic in their life and this animated show is all about it. One of the main characters is Nanny Plum (nanny, housekeeper, teacher) and she mostly takes care of Holly. She has taught her to not be afraid to use the skills she has (magic) even though in doing so often comes with great risk (mostly that things can go wrong.) A good lesson for us all don’t you think? Use what you have and don’t worry about making mistakes.
Of course I can’t reference ABC Kids and not give Peppa Pig a mention but here’s the thing. I don’t have any lessons I can pass on to you that I’ve picked up during an episode of Peppa Pig. She has however taught my son to snort.