The Catharsis of Childhood Wonder

As more teens appear to revert back to childhood by means of children’s television shows, the question of “why” remains.

Bluey is one of many shows that has been popularized by a wave of teen mental health struggles.


“Bluey” is one of many shows that has been popularized by a wave of teen mental health struggles.

Claire Satiroff, Columnist

Television shows such as “Hilda,” “Bluey,” “Adventure Time,” “Gravity Falls,” and the “Amazing World of Gumball” have all become increasingly popular with teenagers. Though watching these shows may appear innocent, there are other, more serious, matters at hand. According to Mental Health America, 15 percent of teenagers have reported feeling suicidal and many other have felt extreme pressure or anxiety in their daily lives. Regardless of correlation or causation, it’s a trend worth noting. It is evident that many teenagers have used watching these shows as an escapist method.

Children’s television shows are specifically made to be easy to watch and have a straightforward message. This makes them a simple and quick way to escape from reality. Many teens may also feel drawn to television shows, such as “Bluey,” because of the healthy parental figures that it displays. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “Bluey” has become ABC’s most successful series ever with around 170 million viewers.  Additionally, Parrot Analytics states, “Bluey” has 29 times more demand than an ordinary television show in the U.S. “Bluey” displays a type of parenting called gentle parenting, which is comprised of empathy, boundaries, respect, and understanding. It is notoriously known that many teens may feel suffocated or undermined by their parents and many may lack familial stability in their lives. In an effort to get what they do not have in real life, they resort to children’s TV shows.

This is not the only factor that contributes to so many teenagers resorting to children’s television shows. Many may feel that their ordinary lives are boring or uneventful and they turn to these shows in order to add excitement and adventure. Additionally, it may be an escapist method in order to revert back to childhood for means of comfort. As homework and worries about college pile up on teens, mental health worsens. According to Evolve Treatment Center, 31.9 percent of teens have reported feeling incredibly anxious. In order to escape these feelings, many can default back to childhood, where times felt easier, by watching the television shows they grew up on or that are reminiscent of simpler cares.

It is apparent that many teenagers are undergoing excessive amounts of stress, anxiety, and depression. In order to feel a greater sense of security or control, they find escape in watching children’s television shows. Though this action may appear to be as simple as someone simply liking the show, it is not always so straightforward. Always remember to check up on your loved ones. Understanding the roots of the newfound adoration of childhood shows can point us in the direction of improving mental health as a whole.