A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The process by which Doc diagnoses and treats her patients teaches kids critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Each story has reassuring messages about going to the doctor, as Doc tackles many of kids' common fears (getting a check-up, having a shot, etc.) in a friendly, non-threatening way.
Doc McStuffins makes a concerted effort to forego stereotypes. Doc and her family are African American, Doc's mom is a doctor, and her dad is the kids' primary caretaker, who's often seen tending to naptime or cooking dinner while Mom is at work. Doc's interactions with her stuffed friends reflect preschoolers' vivid imaginations and greater awareness of people's jobs through role-playing. Additional themes include communication and courage.
Positive Role Models
Doc's parents encourage her dreams and desire to follow in the footsteps of her mom, who is a successful doctor. As a role model herself, Doc is patient with her younger brother and always willing to lend a hand when he runs into trouble. She demonstrates compassion, empathy, and curiosity.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Doc McStuffins is an animated preschool series that sends excellent messages to kids about imaginative play, caring for others, and problem solving. Kids see 6-year-old Doc taking initiative to "heal" her toys, which typically involves replacing batteries or re-stitching a seam, encouraging independence and a can-do attitude. The fact that the show centers on an African-American family whose parents take on reversed gender roles (mom at work, dad at home) reflects society's diversity, and Doc's kid-friendly health tips are good reminders about basic personal hygiene.
Is It Any Good?
This thoughtfully crafted show caters to preschoolers' increasing awareness of themselves and the world around them by centering on a bright, curious young girl who likes to help her friends. Doc McStuffins wants to be just like her mom, and she's learning that there are many things that are within her power to fix. She's a great example for young kids, who can walk through the process with her as she uses critical thinking to diagnose her patients ("What is the problem?" What are the clues?" "How can I solve it?") and nurse them back to help. The show also inspires kids' imaginations through Doc's interactions with her special toys and her clinic's magical nature.
Centering on an African-American family with reversed gender roles (mom works full-time and dad stays home with the kids), Doc McStuffins makes a great effort to reflect the diversity of modern family life. Need another reason to love this series? Kids might be slightly less leery of visiting their own doctor after viewing the experience in the show's non-threatening light, thanks to Doc's careful attention to her patients' physical and emotional needs.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.