Like many parents out there, I've spent entirely way too much time watching programs aimed at an audience 20-plus years younger than I am. I know an embarrassing amount of songs and sing-a-longs, and I can name all of the characters in my son’s favorite shows, too. I consider it a parenting rite of passage to have such a wealth of kid’s television knowledge, and I’ll be honest: sometimes I enjoy watching them. One in particular is my favorite, and I’ll tell you why: Doc McStuffins addresses real issues. While some cartoons are nothing but bright colors and noise, there’s substance to Doc McStuffins that kids (and adults) can grasp at any age level.
After a marathon of watching Doc when my son was sick — because every human loves binge-watching when they don’t feel well — I noticed just how awesome the show really is. They tackle such important life lessons and challenges in a kid-friendly way without making it seem like a “very special episode.” I thought it would be really great to take some of the best teaching moments from Doc McStuffins and her fictional parents.
Obviously I couldn’t recreate the whole talking toys and stuffed animals part, but I really wanted to capture what is at the heart of so many Doc McStuffins episodes: embracing individuality and not being afraid to use your voice. My partner and I already try to be as supportive as we can when our son faces challenges or new experiences, but I really wanted to make a conscious effort to recognize when those types of situations arose.
I wondered if I would see a difference in my son’s self-esteem and mood if I tried to be like Doc McStuffins’ parents for a week.