Our daughter is about 22m, and so far she has hardly seen any TV. However, we don't want to make TV a forbidden or illusive thing, since we think it is totally fine in moderation, and so I've started looking for decent children's programming. Since my daughter loves animals, I thought I could try starting with animal documentaries and/or animated movies about animal characters. However, I've been pretty frustrated with what I can find on netflix (we don't have any actual TV, just access to TV/movies through netflix, itunes, and hulu) and so I was looking to purchase some other options, but I hate to do that when I can't see it first to vet it! Here are my main issues with the kid's TV I've seen so far (this also crops up far more than one would imagine in books, but at least those I can read first!):
There is a ton of violence in kid's programming - not just physical violence, but people (or animals!) behaving in particularly nasty ways to one another, putting each other down, etc. This drives me crazy. I really don't want my daughter exposed to that at this age, and I certainly don't want her imitating it.
There is also a ton of both overt and subtle sexism and racism in so many programs that I hadn't totally accounted for. I don't want to expose my daughter to any program where traditional gender roles are repeatedly shown as the main or only model or where the main characters are mostly male, and I'm very uncomfortable with the way that characters from various groups on these programs often seem to reinforce one narrow stereotype of what people from that group are like. I thought I could avoid a lot of this with animal shows, but they still seem to reinforce all the same societal norms as stories that involve people. When she is older, I feel that we can talk about all of these things and teach her to enjoy stories while also being conscious of the presence of these kinds of bias, but right now I don't want any of these messages being instilled in her subconscious, especially since she will see it enough on the playground and out in the world!
I was hoping that some of you might have some suggestions for either TV shows or movies that might be avoid gender/race/ethnic sterotypes and also promote good non-violent healthy ways of relating to one another?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post!