formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, April 6, 2009

HGTV... the New Sesame Street

When Ryan was little, I didn't let her watch much TV. We stuck to PBS for the most part and eventually moved on to a few shows on the Disney Channel. I looked for educational programs that showed diversity, as I wanted her little world to be filled with a wide variety of people from the start. Sesame Street, I found, was one of the best shows, with a cast of all ethnicities (and Muppeticities, too).

Television is still limited and I monitor what she watches pretty closely. When she wants to watch a 'grown-up' show, I determine whether or not it's appropriate and if I let her watch, I do so with her so I can answer any questions she might have or clarify any situations she might not understand. My goal is still (and will always be) to show her diversity and help her to understand that while everyone might not look or live the way we do, it's all good.

And I'm happy to say, I've found the absolute best network on television for diversity... HGTV!

Ryan and I watch it All.The.Time. She shares my interest in architecture and interior/landscape design and HGTV is a 24/7 visual flood of programs about just those things. We have spent entire rainy Saturdays in our pajamas, overdosing on House Hunters, Curb Appeal, and various kitchen, bath, and backyard design shows. But even better than seeing how professional organizers and designers fix other peoples' home issues is seeing the huge variety of people showcased on the network.

HGTV shows people - real people - from all walks of life... all professions... all incomes... all ages... all ethnicities... all sexual-orientations... all family situations. The focus is, of course, not on the people... it's on their living situations... but, of course, you can't help but notice the homeowners/seekers, as they are the ones who want/need/hope for the home of their dreams. And I love it when Ryan sees a multi-racial family and remarks how beautiful their children are; or when she sees 2 men looking for a house together and asks, very matter-of-factly, if they're brothers or a couple, and how the answer, no matter what it is, is met with "Oh, cool." I love that blended families, or families who have adopted children outside of their own race, or families with 2 dads or 2 moms seem completely normal to my daughter. And I love that HGTV doesn't shy away from showing everyone, regardless of whether or not their lifestyle meets the ideals of the 'majority'.

It makes me very happy that Ryan can turn on the television at any time and (safely and honestly) see how our world is made up of a huge variety of people and how we all want, basically, the same thing... home... a place where we feel safe and comfortable and loved... no matter who we are or what we look like. And I love HGTV... my new Sesame Street.


mo.stoneskin said...

It makes me a little sad, you mean HGTV has superseded Sesame Street? Could you not at least have them both on?


Watching shows with Ryan sounds a smart move. We plan to do that with ours when they are old enough.

dec0r8or said...

I've thought the very same thing about HGTV, Diane! It does seem to be the only channel out there that isn't specifically geared toward white, black, or hispanic cultures. It makes me sad sometimes to realize just how biased TV networks can be--and the stereotypes?! Don't get me started!

I think it's wonderful that there is a channel like HGTV that isn't afraid to show us "real" people, albeit sometimes in "unreal" situations. (I have a friend who was featured on an episode of House Hunters--funny stories about feigned "reactions" to wallpaper and paint colors.)

I take every opportunity to share my all-encompassing compassion for EVERY human being, no matter the color of their skin, or their choice of sexual partner, with my daughter. I'm happy to say it's rubbing off! (I daresay she may grow up to be a crazy liberal like her momma!) Go HGTV! And of course, Yay, Sesame Street! :D

Jane! said...

THAT is exactly why I can't have cable. I would HGTV myself to blindness!
When my oldest daughter was little, the only thing she watched was Alice in Wonderland. I figured that would decrease her need to dabble in halucinogenics at a later age.
Hey, so far it's worked!

Okay, totally non-politically correct, but have you ever noticed that a homely white person and a homely non-white person usually have the most beautiful children?
Why is that?

Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

That is inspiring. It makes me so happy to hear of a parent being careful to teach diversity to their child, instead of recklessly and carelessly teaching hate. And, oh man, do I love me some House Hunters?!

Protege said...

I had to google what HGTV was, I have never heard of it, but from your description and what I found on the net, I know I would love it.
I use my Sunday mornings watching channels or programs just like the one's you can see on your HGTV.;)
I love any kind of home improvement, decorating, design, gardening or cooking shows.;))

blognut said...

I knew I liked you. I don't like TV, but I like you. My kids don't seem to notice ethnicity, but my son gets the giggles over same-sex couples. We're still working on that one.

I used to watch TV with The Boy, and I still do if he's watching something other than wrestling, which isn't very often. AARRGGHH!

If you like all that Home/Garden stuff, can you come over and tell me what to do?

Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

I love HGTV also. I can watch house hunters and gardening shows and what not all day long.

Soda and Candy said...

Aww... so cute.

But isn't the point of TV to raise your kids for you? You are missing out by watching it with her!!!

(obvys I'm joking, I think it's great that you watch with her and monitor what she is exposed to).

Heather said...

One of my favorite channels, too. I wish I was as creative as some of those interior designers...
But seriously, I love that you're teaching her about diversity. I think that's wonderful. :)

Pearl said...

My only beef with HGTV is that it leads you to believe that you, too, could knock out a wall and put in a fabulous bay window.
I sometimes think my skills are greater than they actually are!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Very, very cool, Diane! Way to go! xxx

Jenera said...

We don't have cable but I love PBS. It's on more than any other channel. Not only for the kids programs but for everything else. We have four different PBS choices so lots of stuff.

When we've had cable, we watched Discovery Channel, History Channel, and TLC more than any other.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

When my two girls were little we lived in Canada (now we're back in the UK) and they had Barney. I remember a kid in wheelchair would be wheeled on then swiftly wheeled off when the dancing began and never seen again. Boiling and blood spring to mind!

Michelle said...

Yep very very cool!

I need to start watching some HGTV!!!!


blueviolet said...

It never really sunk in to me but you're absolutely right. HGTV is completely diverse! Good call on that.

San Diego Momma said...

Oh good Lord, I feel inadequate. I have been watching Spongebob for the past four hours.

My favorite line (thanks for asking!): "You are unworthy of instruction in the immobile arts."

I'll go now.

sherri said...

Rumor has it that Ernie and Burt are a "couple" you know.


My big beef is that on some of their makeover shows, they "decorate a room" for more money than what my house is worth!

"Design on a Dime" is more my style. "Curb Appeal" is my favorite.

Distributorcap said...

HGTV and Food Network -- the best television there is

Cathy Winsby said...

We used to watch HGTV all the time. Unfortunately when we moved the new cable company didn't have it in the mid-range have to get the 'elite and expensive' cable package for that channel! So now we watch Discovery.

PBS was my favorite when the kids were little....I learned alot from the 'Magic School Bus'. Lol.

Debbie said...

great tip!! I moniter my kids too and was SOOOO sad when they out grew sesame street and pbs!!

Musings of the Mrs. said...

I'm totally with you. I love watching HGTV, especially My First Place. I could watch it all day. I applaud you in wanting your child to learn about all types of people. I think that is awesome.

dianne said...

HGTV sounds really good, we have some programs like that here, I just love watching house and garden makeovers,house hunters, real estate auctions and gardening programs.

I think that it is nice that you watch the programs with Ryan, its great to broaden her knowledge of people and their lifestyles in the world. ♡

Shanna said...

I get a funny feeling I've told you this already but we LOVE HGTV at our house! I never thought about it providing diversity lessons but you're right! Such an interesting way to look at it :)

One of my new faves is the one where that short dark haired agent takes first time homebuyers around to find thier first home...and did you see the one where she spent WEEKS with the couple then had to hunt them down only to find out they just didn't feel 'ready' to buy!? Morons. Don't know why I can't think of the name of the show.

Then there's Property Ladder...that chick is NUTS.

Lisa said...

i was a terrible tv nazi when the kids where younger.
sesame street was a favourite.
I dont know abotu HGTV- this is the first i have heard of it xx