Blue’s Clues creator says parents can make the right choices for guilt-free screen time

This story is part of I’m So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

Angela Santomero


Angela Santomero is aware of youngsters and TV. With a sophisticated diploma in baby developmental psychology and educational know-how & media, the chief artistic officer of 9 Story Media Group has spent over 20 years plotting out award-winning instructional reveals for preschoolers — together with Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues and PBS’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Santomero sums up her total strategy to youngsters programming in two phrases: radical kindness. She says it is all about telling youngsters tales that get to the issues that join all of us. And she or he does that by creating characters who showcase kindness — to one another and to themselves — and who actively hearken to what youngsters must say and respect them. “If you happen to develop up with that degree of kindness, you actually will use your voice to alter the world,” Santomero stated in an interview for PJDM’s I’m So Obsessed podcast series.

However she additionally says it is about being good in regard to what your youngsters are watching. Researchers say kids spend as much as six hours a day staring at a screen — and that was earlier than COVID-19 led to high school closures and distant studying. However there is no cause mother and father ought to really feel responsible about having their youngsters screens — so long as they strategy display screen time by ensuring they’re selecting the high-quality media. She additionally says the most effective instructional programming fro youngsters prompts them to stroll away from their screens and wish to tackle actions in the true world. It is a idea she calls “view and do.”

Dad and mom have so many decisions, she says. It is about “utilizing media versus letting media use you. We’ve got the ability now to decide on what we wish after we need it … So what are we selecting?”

And in terms of selecting, she says mother and father ought to give it some thought as a wholesome inexperienced smoothie. “There ought to be one thing in it that is entertaining — the sweets, proper — as a result of we all know that they don’t seem to be going to wish to drink it if it is not there,” she says with amusing. “There’s the greens, the wholesome good things, proper, which is the training and the imaginative and prescient. After which the protein is that interactivity. Will we get them considering? Will we get them doing? Are we inspiring them?”

In a wide-ranging interview, I additionally spoke to Santomero in regards to the packages she’s been engaged on to showcase range, inclusion and neighborhood because the US goes by way of historic social change, and the work she’s doing with characters like Daniel Tiger — impressed by kids TV pioneer Mister Rogers — to assist preschoolers address frustrations attributable to the COVID scenario.

And naturally we talked about her obsessions: media, writing, researching and yoga.

Hearken to my total dialog with Santomero on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can too subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In every episode, Patrick Holland and I meet up with an artist, actor or creator to study work, profession and present obsessions.

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Connie Guglielmo