A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this show out of Great Britain is a big hit with toddlers and preschoolers. It's never explained exactly what the Teletubbies are, but they're ultimately cute and benign. But the question comes down to this: How old should children be before they are introduced to television? The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend any TV time for kids under 2; that said, there are no content concerns within this show for the youngest viewers.
What's the story?
First and foremost, the obvious question: What are these TELETUBBIES anyway? Aliens? Children? Nobody knows, and no explanation is offered. Dipsy, Laa-Laa, Tinky-Winky, and Po giggle like toddlers, speak in partially formed words, and apparently live together without parents in their mushroom-shaped cottage. They bounce around, playing and pantomiming, and plenty of kids are enthralled by them.
Is it any good?
Teletubbies, though gentle and mild in tone, might be confusing to the youngest viewers: It appeals to non-order just when kids most require order to organize their formative mind. On the other hand, the show is non-violent, multicultural, and curious. It embraces love and play. It's slow and gentle -- though its emphasis on watching the videos that play on the Tubbies' tummies is a bit redundant.
In the end, although Teletubbies is unique and fascinating, it's not necessarily educational or important. You may want to decide whether it serves as a treat -- or a distraction -- before letting your child watch more than twice a week.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why kids are so enthralled by the Teletubbies (and perhaps why a lot of parents aren't!). Is it the colorful characters? Their special language? Their bright, fantastical world? The fact that they repeat themselves so often? What do kids learn from these happy, giggly creatures?
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