Books, computer games and series all have one thing in common: they tell stories. However, clicking and zapping through media libraries and television programs, it quickly becomes apparent: certain narratives are repetitive and others are barely represented. Through this one-sided portrayal, there is a danger of seeing discriminatory worldviews as normal from childhood.
Children have endless questions and are constantly searching for answers that explain the world around them. Media use makes a significant contribution to how your child perceives the world.
In the media, the constant repetition of the same characteristics of a person, such as skin color, gender, origin or religion, gives us a very one-sided image of that person. This leads to the fact that we no longer question the images and stories conveyed, but accept them.
That’s why children need narratives that show that the world is diverse. Through access to diverse stories, children come into contact with different realities of life, issues, and perspectives.
And don’t worry: it’s okay to watch such one-sided movies and series. Rather, it’s about offering a variety of stories so that your child has the opportunity to learn about different perspectives on certain topics and representations. Thus, through exposure to diverse media content, your child can learn that people with or without disabilities, regardless of gender or skin color, can be heroines and heroes in stories
To support this and to promote an open world view, it is important to critically engage with the content of series, films and other media. The best case scenario is to look with your child at how one-sided or diverse the stories you’ve seen so far have been told and how the characters are portrayed. Then you can search together for a series or movie with diverse characters that you and your child like.
Below you will find a list with some suggestions.
The Peppercorns – A group of five children solves crimes. All five main characters show strength, courage and cohesion.
Moooment! – A series that deals with the issue of racism and discrimination.
Echt – web series on ZDFtivi (10 years).
Trio – A Detective Series.
A Lousy Witch – Friendship in a Witch School.
Dschermeni – A series on the theme of friendship.
Strong! – Short portraits about strong children.
Esme & Roy – Esme Tames Monster (4 years).
Hardball – A boy moves with his family and must adjust to his new school and environment (age 8).
Helium – (8 years).
My City of Ghosts – (Netflix).
Avatar – The Lord of the Elements – (Netflix): An animated series that features characters with various disabilities but does not focus on their impairments at all
Buuu.ch is a blog that presents children’s books and comics that convey diverse role models and avoid reproducing stereotypes or clichés.
Book suggestions for diversity-appropriate books for teens are posted regularly on CBJ ‘s blog.
Stories about Strong Girls can be found on this list of children’s books.
In addition, there are children’s books that deal with different facets of the topic of disability.
Something completely different is the Youtube series of the Deaf Association Munich, in which children’s books are read aloud in sign language.