Having been advised to seek explicit teaching of emotional concepts for my kids, I’m really excited to discover a new show on ABC3 called The Next Step.
These high school kids are elite dancers, so there is a background of hard work, focus, teamwork, creativity & discipline, and fabulous dance scenes.
But what makes this show really worth watching is that every encounter is then analyzed. Like the “dairy room” of a reality tv program, each person will quickly explain what they were thinking or how they were feeling at that moment. This is a spectacularly good way of showing kids how the things they say have an emotional impact on others.
There are examples of honesty, joy, curiosity, connection, misunderstanding, lying, tact, cluelessness, stubbornness. The emotional range is spectacular. The story is engaging and never patronising. You also see characters change and grow over time.
Over the season, characters live the consequences of their bad choices, and many grow to be better people. The show has real depth, the characters are varied and highly engaging. And dance is just a visually stunning way to rest your brain while you are processing the last encounter.
We’re currently watching a few episodes each night after dinner. I’m watching with the kids, I provide occasional context, and my presence generally sends the message that they can ask me about these kind of interpersonal issues if/when they need to. My boys both LOVE it, and tonight we watched with an older friend. So I can confirm that I knows boys aged from 6yo to 10yo who love this show.
So look into it. You will be glad you did.