Dear HBO & “Sesame Street Producers:
Is it true? Did you really fire long-time beloved people – Bob, Gordon & Luis – from the cast? I read the article “Sesame Street Axes One, Two, Three Favorite Human Characters” on nydailynews.com and I still can’t believe it. I am hoping that it is somehow wrong.
Your educational experts must know that today more than ever, children need to be learning from people. Children need to be experiencing the verbal and non-verbal communication that only people can provide. It is fun to watch non-human characters on television and other screens but only humans can teach young children about human interaction. I have read research about the impact of screen time on the speech development and non-verbal communication skills of young children. Take the people out of “Sesame Street” and you take an important learning tool from children. The interaction of people on your show was one of its best features.
Children also need to learn that people older than them have value. Older people can impart wisdom, can answer their questions and can be relatable. I provide professional development for early childhood educators and I conduct parenting learning sessions. In my experience, there is a universal feeling that children today do not respect adults and authority as they did in the past. It is true that the past wasn’t perfect. I do not agree with many of the discipline techniques of generations who didn’t know better. I know that we are living in a better time because children are more than seen but not heard. I do recognize however, that though children are treated more kindly today, families are spread further apart and children often do not get as much time with their elders to learn that they are important and should be honored. The characters of Bob, Gordon and Luis on “Sesame Street” were fine examples of the value of experienced adults.
Yes, technology is a part of their world. I know that it is wrong to fight the progress and adults must accept the role that technology will play in their lives now and always. I have even written blog articles and provided interview information in an effort to get people to stop bemoaning the role of technology in their world and learn to work with it. People, young and old, should be on their television shows modeling the responsible use of technology. Surely, Bob, Gordon and Luis could model technological moderation, use of technology for research and other benefits.
Please tell me that it isn’t true – or at least provide those of us who value developmentally appropriate practice WITH human, multi-generational interaction with a good reason for firing these people who have devoted their careers to our children.
Cindy Terebush, CPC, CYPFC
Early Education Consultant, Speaker & Author
Certified Youth, Parent, Family Coach
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