The Best Single Mother On Kids TV

It’s a Llama Llama day

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The llama is a single mother. I don’t know what the flamingo is doing

Kids shows usually have invisible parents (like Paw Patrol) or a ‘typical’ mother and father (Peppa Pig). Movies are even worse, as Disney loves to kill parents in the first ten minutes, especially mothers. In a world of unicorns and talking animals, a single mother is the rarest creature of all.

Meet The TV Parents

Of the 10 most popular shows right now, most have no visible parents at all. Of the parents that survive, the highest mortality rate is by far for mothers.

This Parrot Analytics report tracks the most popular kids shows by viewership and social media. Spongebob, PJ Masks, PAW Patrol — these all feature kids having adventures without a wet wipe in sight.

Only three shows have parents as regular characters — Peppa Pig, Steven Universe, and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. Let’s look at those.

As nuclear as it gets

Peppa’s family is completely heteronormative, mother and father, and only the father works outside of the home. My kids love this show but it doesn’t represent modern, diverse families at all. Every family lives on a hill, and every home has a mother and a father.

Steven’s mom is a spirit but, you know, still dead

Steven Universe is much more open with gender norms, but still follows the trope of a ‘dead’ mother, who seems somehow embedded in Steven, but is functionally dead nonetheless.

While Ladybug has both parents, Cat Noir’s mother is inexplicably missing

In Ladybug And Cat Noir, Lady Bug has two parents (from two ethnicities). Cat Noir, however, has the classic missing mum, and a father who is also a super-villain.

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Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at www.indi.ca, or just email me at indi@indi.ca.