Oliva dancing to opening song of Miles from Tomorrowland
Mommy Life

Parenting Lessons from a Cartoon Show

Olivia has recently started watching cartoon programs from Disney Junior. Sometimes, she is able to sit through the entire 30-minute program. Other times, her attention span is split to watching and playing simultaneously.

At her age, she’s able to identify who the characters are. She probably does not completely grasp the essence of what she is watching at yet. If I’m not doing anything relevant (or not yet sleepy when watching at night), I sit down and watch with her.

“Miles From Tomorrowland”

This program is one of the shows we watch prior to Olive’s personal favorite (“Goldie and Bear”). Miles From Tomorrowland is about a boy named Miles and his family who lives in outer space because his parents works for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. The family is basically assigned to different missions every episode with the intention of bringing other species together in the universe.

What I’ve Learned

I have watched several episodes, and oddly, I was able to pick up a few parenting lessons from the show:

Don’t forget to praise your kids

Miles’ parents are the type of mom and dad who do a great job at commending their kids. If the kids were able to think of a good idea, the mom or dad will comment “Blastastic idea!”. If they were able to play a musical instrument (no matter how imperfect), the mom will say “You play great!.”

Since our little ones are just starting to learn about their surrounding, they experiment on doing things via trial and error. Once they become successful in their endeavors, say, they were able to finish a simple puzzle, giving them praise is a good motivator. If they feel frustrated, let us continue to guide them until they succeed.

Let’s make it a habit to praise our own, no matter how big or small their efforts were. In our case, we tell Olive that she did good if she was able to identify a picture, or if she helped us clean up her toys without asking. Sometimes, we even applaud her own unusual way of dancing.

Of course, don’t over praise. Give credit where it is due.

Encourage your kids to do “missions”

Since it is a cartoon show, everything they do is possible. Miles’ parents allow them to do minor space missions, letting them fly a small spaceship to explore a planet or rescue an alien in distress. These missions allow the kids to acquire knowledge (like discovering a new specie) and develop their skills (like doing “space surfing”).

In real life, I think these “missions” can develop our kids’ ability and independence. In our case, we could assign Olive to help water the plants or assist us in putting back her toys in order. Or, we could ask her to self feed using the spoon and fork the right way.

I’ve been thinking of giving her a “mission” to encourage her to use the potty. However, I think it would fall under a different training ground. 😝

Believe in what they could do

Miles’ parents are very supportive with their skills and talents. They are their number one boosters when the kids participate in a space race contest and science invention fair.

Kids are born different. It’s up to us parents to discover what they are capable of. We have to follow our child as they gradually unravel their talent, intelligence or skill. We should always be there guiding and cheering them on.

Ask how their day went

In the show, the parents always ask their kids how did their own mission go and if they are doing okay.

For us parents, let’s make it a point to talk to our kids after our day at work. Check out what activities they did during the day or what they have learned in school. Always start a conversation with them no matter how mundane or trivial. That way, it would become easier for them to approach and open up their feelings to us by the time they grow older.

Be a good influencer

Miles’s parents have shown their hospitality even to their weirdest (and obnoxious) guests. They treat each specie with due respect regardless of how they are being treated in return. Likewise, they also see to it that they do their job with integrity, so the kids could emulate them.

We should become a good role model to our kids. We should display kindness and respect  to every person we meet regardless of who they are. This way, our kids will be able mirror our values and behavior when dealing with other people at home, in school, or just anywhere.

We should always bring out the positive side and see the good in every person we meet.

Put It Into Action

Aside from dancing together to the opening song, I think it would be great to explain to our little one, as young as she is now, what values we pick up from what we’re watching. Apply these lessons in real life and make it a point to ingrain the learning to our children.

Again, let us be good role models to our children, as this is way better than what it is from a cartoon show.

I am a wife to Francis and a mother to Olivia. I am an avid reader, but a frustrated writer. Maybe considered a millennial, but very much of a "manang".

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