May 24, 2021
Every parent has had that comedic moment of shock when their innocent three year old yells out a profanity when their block tower crashes to the ground. Before this moment, it was easy to believe that the child wasn’t really paying attention to what was being said on the TV, or listening to every word that their parent quietly muttered when the pot on the stove boiled over.
Guided by Albert Bandura’s social learning theory, psychologists have long urged awareness of the tendency for behaviors to be transmitted from parents and peers to children. Most parents, however, know from first hand experience just how quickly behaviors, good and bad, can pass from parent to child, or from one child to the next. “Monkey see, monkey do” is the often cited adage, reminding us parents to be mindful of the behavior we model for our children, and watchful of who we allow into their lives.
For concerned parents wanting to maximize positive input, selecting the right shows for entertainment can be an hugely helpful step in minimizing problematic behaviors. Oftentimes a positive role model on TV can become a reliable way of exemplifying good habits and strong character traits to impressionable children. Here are eight of the top shows that model character to young children, particularly for those in preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school.
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