Very First Episode of Sesame Street: How Much is No Longer Allowed?

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In my lectures I often point out that it is NOT our imagination — our expectations and fears for our kids have changed dramatically in a relatively short time. To prove it, I note that at the beginning of the “Sesame Street, Old School” DVD, which features highlights from the first five years of that show, a warning appears on screen: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.” As if today’s preschool child is nowhere near as independent, smart or competent as the ones of yesteryear.

Today, I’m presenting us with another artifact: The very first episode of Sesame Street. If you get a chance, take a look and jot down the things that are now considered too hard, too dangerous, too risque, or too independent since a 1969 childhood:
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Can you tell me how we got so far from "Sesame Street?"

Can you tell me how we got so far from Sesame Street?

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50 Responses to Very First Episode of Sesame Street: How Much is No Longer Allowed?

  1. Andrew January 7, 2016 at 12:26 am #

    “May not suit the needs” isn’t quite the same as saying it is harmful for, or even to hard for children. I am willing to believe that we’ve learned a lot about childhood education in the past 45 years, and maybe we have better educational material for kids (or better suited for kids).

    if someone says that a Toyota Corrolla is better suited as a commuter car than an AMC Gremlin, they might not just be trying to coddle you with those “airbags”, and “crumple zones”. It might be that we’ve learned a lot about building cars in the meantime.

  2. James Pollock January 7, 2016 at 12:40 am #

    I got about 3:30 in before we hit the showstopper. Encouraging a 6-year-old girl to watch a grown man, er, muppet, take a bath. That’s just not going to fly with today’s parents.

  3. Wendy W January 7, 2016 at 1:32 am #

    Letting a little girl wander the neighborhood with a strange man, and even go into his home, would certainly not be encouraged today.

  4. MichaelF January 7, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    It’s all in the expectations and how they changed.

    Children’s shows have changed over time, early on kids wandered Sesame Street without parents we even watched the show without them! I am old enough to remember when this first started. Honestly, at first I found it boring and only watched it on rainy days when we could not go outside.

    Kids on Sesame Street went to see Mr Hooper and bought stuff on their own, just like we did!! Adults were adults and acted normally. Although if you watch something now like Power Rangers you NEVER see adults, unless they seem befuddled or as needed for plot; something you might not get in younger shows, or something like Sesame Street. Even along the age groups there are things that are allowed and not.

    For contrast I recently saw details on an old children’s radio show from the 1930’s https://archive.org/details/Magic_Island_201505

    On this show they go over some details like:

    How to convert fathoms to feet.
    How to convert latitude and longitude degrees to miles.
    Respective power levels and ranges of mobile and stationary Radio stations.
    Ham Radio enthusiasts
    The characteristics of magnetic, light, sound, infra-red, ultra-violet, and radio waves.
    The altitude range of the stratosphere.
    The history of Greek mathematicians.
    The theory behind radio triangulation.
    Submarine technology, speed and range.
    Early Television technology.
    Nautical navigation.

    Something you will NOT find in even tv shows of today.

  5. pentamom January 7, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    Andrew — except that no kid is going to be physically crushed by watching an old episode of Sesame Street. I realize it’s just an analogy, but that’s kind of the point — the different between a new Corolla and a 1982 Gremlin is actually significant in important ways that could be harmful. Where’s the parallel for it being actually *harmful* to watch old episodes of Sesame Street?

    You might say a Commodore Vic 20 may not suit the needs of today’s kids, but would the warning be necessary? What would be the harm in letting a kid play with a Commodore without a warning?

  6. Doug January 7, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    Play with a Commodore without warning? Good gods, he could learn how to program, which would lead to learning about math (real math, not the touch-feely math of lattice addition and “I think I got the right answer so I get credit even though I believe 2 + 2 equals 7). Math could lead him down all sorts of dangerous paths, from accounting to statistics, or even something as damaging as astronomy if he took it far enough. Those guys at CERN? They’re playing with the world’s largest particle accelerator, and it has the theoretical potential to open a black hole on our planet.

    So yeah, maths are bad, and children should not ever be encouraged to play with anything that could lead to the destruction of the world.

    Because if it could happen, no matter how remotely, we should take action to make sure it doesn’t happen.

  7. Havva January 7, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    Oh fun. I have been meaning to compile this list ever since I got the DVD. Just the opening credits has (horror of horrors) children playing unsupervised on a paved playground without fall matting. And there is graffiti so clearly it is not a perfect town from 1950’s TV fiction.

    Perhaps the part that today’s parents would most want to keep away from their kids is the “over, under, around, and through” segment. For those who haven’t seen it a group of kindergarten to preschool kids run around their neighborhood alone with one kid who can’t seem to follow any directions (or even speak clearly) having various difficulties in playing follow the leader. For part of this they seem to be going through a construction sight with the kids going through a drainage pipe of approx 2ft diameter. And over a set of saw horses. The youngest goes under and knocks a full bucket down.

    And I just love how the cartoon character apparently being forced to read that warning seems stunned and reads it in a voice of ‘I can’t believe it says this’ tries to put the script down and gets ordered in a rather exasperated ‘I know it is stupid’ voice to “Just read it.” Then after reading it, he steps away and starts saying “You know, back when I was a kid…” and that exasperated voice cuts him off again. It’s pretty clear to me that the people had to actually put the warning in thought it was dumb.

  8. Powers January 7, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    The warning is there because episodes of Sesame Street are carefully vetted for age-appropriateness and educational goals. Since standards have changed — not all for the worse, as Lenore implies — the old episodes may not meet the same goals as newer episodes, or they may not even meet the same goals they were intended to meet originally, due to improved understanding of how kids learn and absorb information.

  9. lollipoplover January 7, 2016 at 9:47 am #

    Monkey bars?
    Riding a tricycle without a helmet?
    Are they playing in a parking lot?
    Did that much older boy actually touch and pick up that toddler and push her down a metal slide?

    I’m only 20 seconds into the theme song and the Red Flags as to why it won’t suit the needs of today’s preschool child.

    Monkey bars (and slides)=Death
    Preschoolers in most areas are required to wear helmets and generally play in inspected and approved play spaces and are driven or pushed in a stroller to and from these places. None of this running through the neighborhood streets.
    And that boy that pushed the girl down the slide would surely be addressed and likely banned from future playgroups (because all of the moms witnessed this encounter) and labeled *aggressive* or diagnosed with ADHD.

  10. BL January 7, 2016 at 10:22 am #

    @Doug
    “Play with a Commodore without warning? Good gods, he could learn how to program”

    Yeah, I can’t understand the idea that today’s kids are “tech-savvy”. The vast majority can only point and click, or (more cynically) point and drool.

  11. pentamom January 7, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Powers — but so what? I could possibly see such a statement on the package or something, so that people realize what they’re getting, but a warning that pops up every time you load the DVD? That’s for things that you should actually be concerned about, not merely things that might not be what you expected.

    Having it pop up on the screen every stinking time suggest that it’s something that really matters to the well-being of your child, not merely helpful information.

  12. Brian W. January 7, 2016 at 10:58 am #

    I don’t have time to watch the entire thing right now, but it didn’t take long to find the first few items: 14 seconds in: girl on tricycle without a helmet. Twenty seconds: little boy “man handles” a girl at the top of a slide without anyone freaking out. Thirty seconds: girl on rollerskates without a helmet. At this rate, we’re on pace for a few hundred items. 🙂

  13. Ann in L.A. January 7, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Let’s see, 7 violations just in the opening credits:

    Climbing too high on the monkey bars and getting down in a non-approved manner. (Probably over asphalt, and not a rubberized surface.)

    The tricycle has all-metal handles, without a soft rubber grip–a child could get impaled on the end of it!

    Taking hands off the trike’s handlebars!

    Not wearing a helmet on the trike.

    Bullying a smaller child into going down a slide she doesn’t want to go on.

    Physically assaulting the girl (including touching her in a sexually-deviant manner) to force her down the slide.

    Rollerskating without a helmet and elbow and knee pads.

  14. JP Merzetti January 7, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    lord love a duck(even if it is a rubber duckey)
    There is absolutely nothing under the sun, moon, rain or stars wrong with anything about any episode of SS….
    (and I’ve gone to Andromeda and good riddance!)
    What a world of blankety-hypocrites, escuse my Romanian.

    Not to mention abslute experts in nonsense. (save us from those…)
    2016’s child can blunder upon no end of ridiculously unsuitable garbage constantly all over what constitutes contemporary mass (hysteria) media (loved and adored by millions of millions) and this is just fine and luvly and business as usual…
    but back in the day (those Jurassic eras) we were all fiends in human shape who didn’t know better than how to properly raise a child and not a shrinking, shrieking violet?
    Um – we raised adults. (I have a few of those to prove my point.)
    Not infantilized blithers who get all crapped out by a constant stream of 10 microagressions per minute.
    Back then kids grew gonads (and other gender specific body parts) thick skin, and the ability to think critically while actually being able to enjoy a relatively free and relaxed childhood. I remember.I was there.

    And kids survived.
    Kids thrived.
    Somebody somewhere wants to deny the heck out of that. I’m not buyin’.
    Once it was actually fun. Now it’s risk.
    (whereas the risk of now trying to grow up and earn the credentials necessary to buy an American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand or British Dream gets lost in the wash….pass the bleach, someone.)

    We wince, we cringe, we shrink and cry….at the very thought of an incorrect childhood….one not carefully choreographed into a perfection of precise newthink…..one of adult bedazzlement over risk-aversion and securitized guarantees and warantees and pride of promises to deliver….just exactly what?

    All of the very best of childhood fiction adventure stories, the classic ones….would never be written now. The kids wouldn’t make it past the first page….(sort of like Bambi meets Godzilla.)
    Only the real Godzilla…..is now become the idea that no kid anywhere of any age can persue the activity of a free thought without the Monitoring Machine.
    There’s a bogeyperson behind every notion………………….just as a science fictionalized theo/ideo-ocracy forgets entirely how easy it is for a newly invented intelligence to become that dumb, chum.

    Raising my brood in today’s world woulda worn me out. Mighta landed me in jail.
    Instead, I had a lot of fun. (So did the kids.) It was a blast.
    And it was all legal.

  15. lollipoplover January 7, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    I grew up in the ’70’s but didn’t watch Sesame Street. We had one TV in the family room and I was the youngest, so my siblings programs had priority over mine or mom’s soap operas. She smoked menthol cigarettes INDOORS and drank Tab and hosted weekly card games at our house where no kids were allowed. We played outside almost every day with the kids in the neighborhood (a more suburban Sesame Street), had a dinner bell, drank Kool-aid (remember those commercials?) to wash down sandwiches on white bread lathered with mayo. I can’t recall any neighborhood kids who had weight problems, asthma, or allergies. I didn’t go to preschool or have any dedicated educational activities, but I was loved, well-fed, and happy.

    You would think with all of our technological advancements and superior knowledge of raising children since 1969, we’ve developed better standards for everything- nutrition, exercise, tobacco-free homes, and preventative medicine. Yet today’s kids have the highest incidence of chronic diseases: Obesity, diabetes, asthma, allergies, anxiety and depression disorders, ADHD, prescription drug abuse of any generation.
    Chronic conditions that seriously impact their health and well-being at very young ages. I know we many now be safer than ever before, but at what price?

  16. m January 7, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    A male teacher *horrors* touching a female child, repeatedly, on the head, back, waist, and arm.

    Children playing unsupervised. (repeated images, oh my!)

    No safety gear

    A metal slide

    A strange lady inviting a child to her house for milk and cookies

    A little girl with a skirt short enough to show her panties, and multiple images of a children bathing. (We are all now pedophiles for watching it)

    A child shoveling snow without supervision

    A child walking in the rain without supervision

    Only adults present are not the parents or guardians of the children

    Children petting large farm animals without an adult in sight

  17. Warren January 7, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Andrew,

    Better educational material? Sesame Street took basic math, spelling, pattern recognition and so many other things and made them fun. Sesame Street covered more things that kids need than any other show out there. From the basics to complicated social skills.

    I challenge anyone to find a show that covered as much, in an entertaining, interactive, fun way as this show.

    People have to realize that this show was not meant for school age kids. Back then there was no youtube or on demand. This show was for those preschool age, and the occassional sick or snow day viewer.

  18. John January 7, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    I hadn’t watched the video yet but the funny part is, despite of all the “risky” behavior these kids were embarking on as described by all of you on this blog, I’m willing to bet you that all of these kids turned out just fine. Now if they didn’t, I highly doubt it was because of what they were doing in this video!

  19. Doug January 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    The show “Blue’s Clues” was started by some Sesame Street staffers who thought there were better ways to teach children, using the data that had been compiled over the decades since Sesame Street started.

    You’ll find the influence on most childrens’ programming today, namely asking questions of the viewer and giving time to answer, as well as repetition.

    So yes, Sesame Street is dated, and better cognitive development information has supplanted the format. But my preschooler still watches the old episodes of sesame street (when he’s not interested in cartoons).

    If one is interested in learning more, Malcolm Gladwell does a decent job of explaining the triumph of Blue’s Clues in “The Tipping Point.”

  20. sigh January 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    Awwwww… Mr Hooper is so YOUNG.

    And that grown man is TOUCHING CHILDREN that aren’t his own spawn.

  21. Robert January 7, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    I had the same reaction watching Leave it to Beaver. Felt like it was a show from an entirely different culture.

  22. sigh January 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    And folks, Sesame Street was not just about math and reading. It was about social development, perhaps more than numeracy and literacy.

    The reason it’s set in a “dodgy” neighbourhood with cast members representing the racial “rainbow” and everything being about the same duration as a TV commercial was to engage very young children who didn’t have every advantage. You know, the ones being left home all day to watch TV, perhaps. The ones whose parents couldn’t read themselves.

    It was purposely designed to have humour that adults would find funny at the same time kids were laughing at something else. All of the pop culture references were very deliberately sculpted to meet goals of getting parents and kids watching together, to get kids socially prepared for school and give them some basic skills so they’d be ready that way, too.

    Blue’s Clues has nothing to do with addressing real issues of life like Sesame Street did. When Mr Hooper died, they did not replace him with another actor in the role. The entire “community” mourned him openly on the show, modelling healthy celebration of someone’s life after their passing, and acknowledging that death exists.

    Powerful stuff.

    I believe education means a lot more than the alphabet and counting. Sesame Street did give me a huge jump on learning to read, but it also inspired me tremendously as an artist and a musician. It taught me about my world. It introduced me to many things. Living in the midwest, the footage of New York City was very exotic and interesting.

    I loved that show. I have the old episodes on DVD, and Electric Company as well. CTW made huge contributions to kids in the 70s and 80s… I was one of them!

  23. Papilio January 7, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    Since I read this website I’ve wondered the same when watching Matilda. Just how fast would CPS be on Harry and Zinnia Wurmwood’s doorstep if this were real and happened today? 🙂

    “Sesame Street took basic math, spelling, pattern recognition and so many other things and made them fun.”

    And totally fascinating, if that picture of two-year-old me on the tip of the couch GLUED to the screen is any indication…

    I just googled “on the tricycle” with some variants, in Dutch. Saw dozens of little kids on trikes (and a couple of adults, too) – two or three of them wore helmets. Heh heh…

  24. malka January 7, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    Thanks!! Fascinating & fun. I sang along =) Who is the woman who declares Wanda the Witch is weird?

  25. Anna January 7, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    As I recall from my childhood, tricycles are so irritatingly slow it would be nearly impossible to incur a serious head injury, I would think. Do modern parents really put a helmet on a kid for tricycling? I actually don’t see that in my neighborhood, though that could be because the children of nervous parents are inside watching TV instead of outside tricycling.

  26. Kristin M January 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    How is it that all of these “adults” raised children (among asphalt paved play areas) to become adults that both they AND their current children need everything bubblewrapped, plasticised, soft, cushy, and non-impaling. These same adults now (at least in my generation of growing up in the 70-80’s) had metal (usually rusted or galvanized) play sets, cemented into asphalt playgrounds, with no helmets, pads or any sort of protective gear.

    I remember clearly being about 7, and riding home from a friends house who lived about 8-9 blocks from my house, on my pink huffy bike (again, no helmet or pads) I fell off, I got hurt, I cried, limped home, showed my mom. She cleaned me up as best as she could, and took me to the hospital. I had about an inch and a half wide, deep laceration. I got 2 stitches, and they sent me home. I still have a fairly large scar from the experience, but (and here’s the kicker) I lived and I’m still ok. I didn’t die, I didn’t get abducted on my way home (I remember no one even stopped to ask if I was ok) my mom continued to allow me to ride around my neighborhood unsupervised and unpadded, no helmet and I continued to play on blacktop playgrounds. I continued to get cuts and scrapes and I continued to BE OK. My mom didn’t sue the DOH for allowing me to get hurt on a public street, she didn’t sue my friends parents for letting me ride alone. She didn’t sue the dr for leaving me with a “horribly disfiguring scar for the rest of my life”.
    I played with things I probably shouldn’t have (like pointy rocks and sticks) and continued to imagine they were other things (like magic wands and money). There was no “little tykes” or “second step” gigantic plastic monstrosities that constitute today’s toys. And I even sat in the back of a car at early ages WITHOUT SEATBELTS, or booster seats, (or airbags), and again, I’m still alive. I hate what parenting has become, and I can’t wait til our 20+ acre property is livable, so I can let my daughter run outside and climb on trees (real ones, not the plastic padded one in the cushy mall indoor play space) I can’t wait to let her make mud pies and play in the open air, unsupervised (except maybe during hunting season). Am I a bad parent for wanting that for my child? Freedom, decision making, independence, fresh air? HELL NO!

  27. lollipoplover January 7, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    Reminds me of this:

    http://highoctanehumor.com/here-are-17-reasons-kids-from-the-80s-are-tougher-than-kids-today/

  28. Catherine Caldwell-Harris January 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    @lollipoplover so funny thanks — thanks to all of you for your summaries and diverse input, so interesting.

    I read this site every day because being a free range parent is lonely.

    I am out with my kids in the rain while they examine how “boats” they have created (wood and leaves) float down the side of the road to drainage pipes (I mean, we all donned rain gear to go out after they begged and pleaded). No one else is out playing in rain.

    My kids and I bike to school. No one else does (that I see).

    We take the bus. Very few children on the bus.

    We explore the neighborhood; we explored a garbage dump. No other kids were there.

    Very few children anywhere; one barely even sees kids in yards.

    After the rose Parade in Pasadena the kids demanded to play on the empty bleachers; it was an hour of fun on their terms (climbing on the underside, hanging). No other kids were there or even in view.

    When we are out on bikes and scooters I let them go anywhere (well, almost) they want. They climb on statues, scooter down bridges, practice walking on walls. No one else does these things (obviously).

    And when I say it is time to go home — the wailing ensues! What the boys want is more time to be out exploring.

  29. Suze January 7, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

    First… did any of you know that Sesame Street was actually made to appeal to inner city kids who may not be getting properly educated? Thus the reasoning that it was set on an inner city street. I heard this on a documentary about the show.

    Now, it didn’t even dawn on me to pay attention to what was happening in the intro for the show. I was just singing along to the song; my bad.

    I was like most and don’t have time to watch the whole thing. But I was under the impression that Gordon knew Sally from school (since he is a teacher) and she happened to just move into the neighbourhood thus he was showing her around. He knew her to some extent. That’s just my take on it. But, no today doing that would not fly nor his wife offering her to come over later to their house for milk and cookies.

    *sigh*

  30. Mapuana January 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    In the intro alone I counted at least 15 “parenting faux pas” in our current culture…egads we really are that of control as a culture right now

  31. SanityAnyone? January 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    Where’s the hand sanitizer?
    Where’s the life sanitizer?

    No railings on those cement step.
    I think I saw a few kids getting a Coppertone tan instead of slathered with zinc.
    Possible grooming of Sally as she is introduced by a lone male to several other lone males, some of whom are bathing. Lots of touching and pet names like “pretty lady”. Offers of sweets.
    No “two-deep” coverage for Sally.
    Poor Big Bird – no “Warning, Low Overhead” sign and padding in his archway.
    Depictions of bathing children.
    Forced labor by minors instead of after-school enrichment.
    No trigger warning before scary crocodiles.
    Culturally insensitive pigs.
    Laughing off caffeine exposure.
    OMG – Bottle feeding!
    Heavy cisgender stereotyping.
    Pushing diabetes-causing soft drinks as an acceptable drink for children.
    Non-habitatlike zoo settings and no evidence of animal enrichment activities.
    Creepy Uncle parlor games like the quarter-behind-the-ear trick.
    Again with the sugar rush, Cookie Monster!
    Obsession with pointing out who or what is not like the others, probably leading to inequitable treatment.

    We worry way too much these days.

  32. Suz January 7, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    The saddest thing I saw on here, was where milk comes from! There are very few dairy farms that come close to what they showed on here. Most dairy cows live a tortured life on factory farms. My older kids were raised in the 80’s and it is a shame how things have changed. My younger child has had a very different life. He was born in 1996 and I have felt like I have Big Brother watching me from the minute he was born.

  33. Havva January 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    @Powers, there is a vast gulf between “may not meet the same goals as newer episodes, … due to improved understanding of how kids learn and absorb information.” and “intended for grown-ups”.

    If that were really the case why wouldn’t the disclaimer say “All the fun, and learning, you remember from Sesame street was the result of careful research, and a good deal of play. But you weren’t the only ones learning and having fun. We were learning to. These first episodes were a great start, but with all we have learned, they don’t meet the quality standards we hold today. We invite parents, and anyone who is curious, to see how today’s sesame street improves engagement and education in our bonus feature “The Science of Sesame Street”. Now without further ado, we turn the clock back to 1969.”

    “intended for grown-ups” says something else entirely. And so does “may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.” For one it implies that “today’s preschool child” is actually different than a preschool child in 1969. It also implies that these would still present problematic ideas to grade school children.

    And what is the most problematic idea for a grade school child to encounter? The fact that most middle class kids today have less freedom at 10 than preschoolers depicted on Classic Sesame Street.

    My daughter has seen classic sesame street. She knows what I, and her grandparents, and her father did at 5. She wants to walk herself to Kindergarten, alone. She is perfectly capable, but it would have CPS on us in a hot second. How do you explain CPS and mass paranoia to a 5 year old? How do you get a 5 year old to really understand that the woman who lightly annoyed her by asking repeatedly where her mom was (and not accepting “over there” as an answer) was a real and present danger to her? That she was lucky her dad caught the scene. How, when she knows how perfectly healthy, normal, and developmentally appropriate her desires are, do you tell her that they are wrong for ‘today’s preschool child’ or even grade school child?

  34. EricS January 7, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

    Today’s mentality is about control and profit. As soon as companies and media start saying “these are dangerous for kids”, this world of sheeple lap it all up. This has been going on in corporations and governments since the 50’s. But because of technology, it’s far more apparent now. Because corporations and governments can now target sheeples anywhere in the world, in seconds. Same principle as systemic segregation. Mind control/brainwashing. It’s real. And if people don’t believe it, then the powers that be are doing a damned good job. lol

    I agree that we know more now about children. We’ve improved upon knowing about medical conditions, how to engage and inspire kids. But in other aspects, we’ve taken several steps back from where we were just 20 years ago. For every “good” that’s evolved since we were kids, there are several “bad” that follows. Such is the nature of human psyche.

    Take for instance, going to a male person’s house wasn’t an issue back in the 70s, even 80s. We’ve gone to neighbors’ houses for treats, and we all walked out in one piece. Unharmed, and smiles on our faces. But we also were far more street smart than this generation of kids. Also, these same neighbors were second eyes, and discipline for our parents. We couldn’t/didn’t get away doing “bad things”. These days, single males have been branded with a scarlet letter. And trying to discipline or correct unruly kids, will land you with a lawsuit and/or jail time. And the threat of losing your kids. I can guarantee most people won’t know why, when you ask them. They’ll just say, “well because the media says…”, with no further explanation or reasoning. Brainwashing. Sheeples. 😉

  35. dancing on thin ice January 7, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    I’m not worried about no bike helmets because they were basically security theater due to not offering much protection in the 1960s and just for looks.
    Modern models were introduced around the mid-1960s with child sized versions years later.

  36. Rook January 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    Heh, my first thought was that Sesame Street of 1969 would not be considered appropriate for today’s young’uns to watch because it isn’t in super-ultra-high-def where you can count every gritty nose hair and skin pore. I kind of prefer older films for that reason. The graphics just look too busy in modern work.

  37. olympia January 7, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

    You’ve gotta love Grace Slick and the Pointer Sisters singing the numbers- no way I’d deprive any child of mine of that. And if they’re putting warnings on this- are they putting warnings on all shows aimed toward kids made before 1985 or so?

    What is it with helmets on tricycles? I can understand them on bikes, as people can really get moving on them, but tricycles are um, rather sedate. Our neighbors put a helmet on their tricycling kid even though, from what I’ve seen, she’s never even actually peddling (her parents just push her).

  38. pentamom January 7, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

    Suz, I think “very few” small dairy farms is an overstatement. There are very, very many of them. Most of the ones in this area are small family farms.

    As a matter of proportion, the big farms may account for most of the milk production, I don’t know. But it is far from true that small dairy farms like the one pictured in the show are rare. There are still thousands of them in this country.

  39. dancing on thin ice January 7, 2016 at 8:35 pm #

    A slight correction:
    The modern bike helmet was in the mid 1970s around 1975 with the child size introduced around 1983.
    Kids would have been laughed at wearing those padded leather caps from an earlier era.
    (I was researching it for a story I’m writing.)

  40. Eyes Rolling January 7, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    Well, how about the two grown men (Bert & Ernie) living together, one visiting the other in the bathroom during bath time and asking one another for the soap? Not quite Disney Junior programming, that’s for sure.

  41. beanie January 7, 2016 at 11:29 pm #

    Kids are in helmets on tricycles to get them into the habit of wearing helmets on wheeled vehicles. Necessary? Maybe not. But I think that’s a lot of the reasoning.
    My kids did tip over on their tricycles and they did hit their helmeted heads. Maybe the helmets were what caused them to tip over. . . hmmm. . . nothing like looking back at some of those early parenting decisions!

  42. sexhysteria January 8, 2016 at 4:36 am #

    Inviting a child to come into your home without the parents’ permission? Enticement or grooming for sexual abuse!

  43. sexhysteria January 8, 2016 at 5:33 am #

    A nude child bathing? That’s considered indecent if not pornography today.

  44. Emily January 8, 2016 at 9:10 am #

    I watched old-school Sesame Street as a child. I didn’t watch it from the beginning; it was in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but it was similar to the 1969 version. Anyway, I loved that show. I loved that it was meant for kids, but didn’t talk down to us. I loved that it was funny, I loved that the format wa similar to “grown-up” TV (storyline interspersed with “commercial” breaks, even though the “commercials” were really educational sketches), and my parents loved the pop-culture references. Now, my parents did make an effort to teach me and my brother to read and stuff, to get us ready for school, and later to reinforce what we learned there, but Sesame Street helped a lot too. I’ve seen the newer version since then, and it’s really not the same–it’s been “dumbed down” a lot (from a free-range point of view), it isn’t made to appeal to adults as well as kids, and they just keep rerunning the same ten episodes or so.

  45. AmyO January 8, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    We have these DVDs, and my daughter loves them. It is odd today that Bob shows a little girl around the neighborhood, then they all hang out in an apartment. Never once do we meet the girl’s parents. I was laughing the whole way through when we watched it.

    I can’t remember if it’s this episode or another, but there’s a scene where a group of kids do over, under, through, and around on a construction site. I’m assuming the crew was on lunch, and they’re climbing all over the wood piles and benches and scaffolding. It was a great visual.

  46. olympia January 8, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

    beanie- Yeah, I assume that helmets on tricycles is more about getting them in the habit than defending their brains. I can understand that, but I also believe in teaching everyone, even kids, the value of nuance. Yeah, tricycles and bikes have similarities, but one can go faster and is up higher. I don’t see riding a trike as being any more dangerous than being pulled in a wagon, and to my knowledge we aren’t requiring kids to wear helmets in a wagon. 😉

  47. Papilio January 9, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    @Beanie: “My kids did tip over on their tricycles and they did hit their helmeted heads. Maybe the helmets were what caused them to tip over. . .”

    Or the helmets were what caused them to hit their head. It IS easier to hit your head when it’s bigger (and a bit heavier).

  48. Mrs. H January 10, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    How does that girl in the opening credits not have on her “cartwheel shorts” under her dress? That’s a rule violation at my daughter’s public elementary school!

  49. Mrs. H January 10, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    @Havva, we’ve definitely explained both CPS and mass paranoia to our seven-year-old. She’s picked up on this idea in the culture that “there are strangers who are snatching children,” and I’ve explained how people get that idea from watching police shows on TV but that it isn’t true. And several times we’ve had to explain that we can’t let her do some things of which we know she’s capable because we could get in trouble. You’d be surprised, but kids can understand it (and it makes them an ally in a way — my daughter and I are united in thinking most grown-ups are nuts regarding such topics!)

  50. Tara January 14, 2016 at 8:43 am #

    I only had a minute so I watched the first 60 seconds. I could find something “wrong” in EVERY SINGLE SCENE! Children running on concrete, a grown man walking a little girl around, kids eating white bread–and while walking! Oh man, it is a wonder anyone survived the 60s.