It reminds us how impressionable they are!
Although Madelyn and Scarlett’s performance is endearing, it also serves as a powerful reminder that children, even as young as one, are capable of absorbing and imitating what they witness in the media (and in real life, of course). While this sweet scene from Frozen is, of course, perfectly innocent, the images that many little ones are exposed to ought not to be mimicked.
For this reason and many others, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a parent or caretaker act as a “media mentor” for children. “Parents … should watch media with their child, to help children understand what they are seeing.”
We need to be not only aware of what our little ones are watching, but also present in order to explain what they’re witnessing and distinguish for them appropriate behavior from that which should not be imitated.
It wasn’t long ago that the AAP actually advised zero screen time for kids younger than 2, despite the content. For most parents, it’s a relief in this highly digital age that the AAP has since loosened the limitations on screen time. However, that’s far from an okay to plop our tots down in front of the TV and go about our business. As Madelyn and Scarlett have shown us, toddlers are incredibly observant and impressionable and without an adult present to explain, for example, what is and isn’t nice behavior, there’s no telling how they’re interpreting certain scenes.
Ultimately, we’re charmed by these sweet toddlers’ innocent reenactment. Their mom was clearly close by to monitor the content and document the adorableness, which has brought joy to millions. Let’s not forget, though, that to a naive child, it’s not clear exactly what can be innocently imitated versus what is not acceptable. That’s where an adult’s guidance becomes crucial.
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