Childrearing

The Food Network Is The New Secret Family Channel

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Even if you let your kids watch channels that aren’t necessarily considered adult, the commercials can quickly have you thinking otherwise. Parents who innocently watch sports with their children can attest to having to explain what Viagra is once the game breaks. But given that children’s channels pumps kids full of ads for toys and commercial-free channels, like HBO, are generally considered unsuitable for children, what are your options? According to one mother who recently tipped me off, it’s the Food Network.

Although the station does have commercials, they skew older for things like cars, cleaning products, and cooking accessories. No matter what time of day, kids can tune in to the intricate preparation of meals with all kinds of gadgets and instructions. Food is also so tangible to children and doesn’t require any abstract thinking or allusions that often bother children when watching “grown up” shows. Children are also, in my observation, drawn to activities that involve a ritual of some sort. Stirring batter, preparing pans, melting chocolate chips — these processes fascinate kids. Best of all, there’s no foul language, sex, or violence so feel free to walk away from the TV without worrying when you should cover their eyes.

Given that there’s no plot to these shows may put off some children (I would have rather done my math homework when I was little than watch people cook). But it seems like a pretty substantive alternative for many parents who want to leave the room for a minute or two.

1 Comment

  1. Mollie Hemingway

    May 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Amen, a thousand times.

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