On this episode of the Tilt Parenting Podcast, I talk with preschool television show creator, executive producer, writer, and show runner, Angela Santomero. I first met Angela while working on Blue’s Clues, a show that she, incidentally, co-created, and we’ve been friends ever since. I wanted to bring Angela on the podcast because not only do we share a lot of core beliefs when it comes to parenting, but the shows she’s creating are having a powerful impact on young children who are wired differently.
In this episode, Angela and I talk about why children’s TV can be so powerful as a tool for education, the merits of screen time for young kids, the research foundation behind all of Angela’s shows that ensure the lessons and messages are landing with kids the way they’re intended to, and why some children’s TV shows can be a great way to present social and emotional learning opportunities for differently-wired kids.
About Angela: Angela Santomero is the creator of many preschool TV shows including Blue’s Clues, Super Why, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Creative Galaxy, and Wishenpoof, and was the host of The Parent Show with Angela Santomero on PBS. She has a Master’s degree in Child Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University with a sub-concentration in Instructional Technology and Media.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- What the research says about the merits of educational television programming and media for kids
- Why some social / emotional strategies on preschool programs are especially sticky for differently-wired kids
- How some shows are trying to incorporate social stories that can support differently-wired kids’ social thinking about things like friendship challenges, anxiety, and aggression
- How parents can capitalize on social learning opportunities presented by preschool programs
- How approaching parenting from a playful perspective helps ground in social learning
- How you can use your child’s interests in fictional characters to encourage social thinking
- Angela Santomero’s website Angela’s Clues
- Blue’s Clues (Nick Jr.)
- Super Why (PBS Kids)
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (PBS Kids)
- Creative Galaxy (Amazon Kids)
- Wishenpoof (Amazon Kids)
- Daniel Tiger Becomes a Boy with Autism’s Guide to Social Life (article from New York Times’ Motherload)
- Dr. Deborah Linebarger (University of Iowa)
- Dr. Daniel Anderson (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
- Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania