Life lessons from Dora the Explorer

Now let me make my first point: we do not own a television set. Beloved Husband and I are not great fans of the tube, we have better things to do with our time. A few years ago we received the annual TV licence demand for £140 and realised we had only turned the set in twice in the previous year. That’s £70 a watch – not good value. So we ditched it. TV licensing persist in sending demands and threats – they clearly do not believe me when I say we deliberately chose not to own a TV set.

Poverty indicators, Idle Parent, Aric Sigman

I set this information out first just so you know I’m not continuously relying on the electronic babysitter.

However, we do own a small portable DVD player and a laptop set up with iTunes. We also have quite a collection of children’s DVDs.

Beanie Girl’s first TV character discovery was Dora the Explorer. I like Dora. She’s not too pink and frilly. Everything is an adventure whether it’s taking books back to the library or visiting penguins at the south pole. And she has some very sage advice:

“Let’s stop and think” (one this Mummy would do well to heed more often),

“Who do we ask for help when we don’t know which way to go?” the map, obviously.

“Never, ever give up” (Beanie Girl seems to have taken that last piece of advice to heart).

“Seatbelts, so we can be safe.” Very useful that one. More than once I have invoked Dora’s name to persuade a recalcitrant little girl into her car seat.

I still believe that too much TV makes us fat, miserable and stupid, (not to mention broke), but I am making room for Dora in our lives. She’s entertaining. She has wisdom to impart. And she comes in very useful when I need 20 minutes’ peace to cook supper!


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