Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get?
How to get to Sesame Street
Partial lyrics of the Sesame Street Theme (1971)
As a kid who grew up in Manila, Philippines during the late 70’s and 80’s, no day was complete without watching an episode of Sesame Street. We had five television channels back then[i] and not a lot of other options. But re-run or not, we were always entertained (and learned) from those daily Sesame Street episodes.
Years past and the public television program eventually had to make compromises in order to reach today’s generation of children. Episodes that were once brought to you by the letters T and V and the number 31 gave way to specifically themed episodes such as “How to prepare a child whose parent is going to be serving in the military abroad.”
It was that specific.
It was what Sesame Street had to do to survive.
Introducing Sesame Street to the next generation
Shortly before my son was born, I made it a point to collate[ii] a complete 15 volume set of The Sesame Street Library (with Jim Henson’s Muppets). The intention was to incrementally give him the volumes once he learned how to read. Well, when that time finally arrived–a was a bit dismayed that he wasn’t as enthused as I though he would be.
Not that I blamed him. After all, he is a part of the YouTube generation where properties like Fortnite, Minecraft, ROBLOX, and Five Nights at Freddy’s carries a certain degree of reverence.
What can be done?
Well, there is no simple answer to that.
Despite the challenges of technology and current trends/interests, it is still my job, nay mandate, as a parent to introduce relevant practices, beliefs, or interests to my child. Coupled with a certain degree of consistence, predictably and routine–it is my hope that he will appreciate what I am trying to teach him at that point and embrace it in his own way.
It is a framework that goes beyond Sesame Street–and well it should.
But I feel that pointing him towards Sesame Street (and the subsequent values that they represent) would be an excellent place to start.
[i] Chanels 2, 4, 7, 9, and 13.
[ii] To the best of my ability.