A national survey commissioned by classic cartoon network TELETOON Retro and conducted by market research firm, The Strategic Counsel, shows that Canadians view cartoon-watching as a positive experience that facilitates family bonding, fosters well-being and builds memories between kids and parents. These findings counter the common misconception that television is mostly used as babysitting tool for busy parents.
With respect to bonding, eight out of ten Canadian parents (79%) report that they love watching cartoons with their kids. Almost nine out of ten Canadian parents (87%) declare hearing their child laugh while watching cartoons gives them a great feeling and 86% of parents state that it gives them time to relax with their children.
On the contrary, less than half of Canadian parents (43%) have used TV as a reward or a bribe and just over half of Canadian parents (56%) have put cartoons on TV to entertain their kids when they need to get stuff done.
“In the busy world that we live in today, we are always looking to make positive connections with our children. There are ways to find those moments in our everyday activities that we may have not thought of, like cartoon-watching,” said Dr. Oren Amitay, Registered Psychologist and Parenting Expert. “Classic cartoons in particular provide this connection in that they allow a parent and child to share a common experience that is familiar to parents and appealing to both. Parents recalling fond memories of waking up early on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons with a bowl of cereal are far more likely to join their child than to use the TV as merely a substitute babysitter.”
The survey coincides with today’s launch of TELETOON Retro’s brand refresh that reflects the network’s new positioning as a top entertainment choice for families, delivering fun through laughter and timeless character to kids and parents wanting to spend more time together. Conducted among over 1,000 Canadians in January 2013, the survey revealed that cartoons are ubiquitous in Canadian homes, with 98% of Canadian kids aged 3-10 watching cartoons at least once per week, 80% of Canadians parents watching once a week and 91% of Canadians having watched cartoons as children.
In addition to the family bonding associated with cartoon-watching, survey respondents reported benefits to their general well-being. Almost all Canadians (95%) agree with the commonly-held belief that laughter is good for one’s health and overall well-being and 85% stated that as children, they found watching cartoons comforting when they were sick or had a bad day. Nearly eight out of ten Canadian parents (76%) declared that their own children take comfort in watching cartoons when they have a bad day and 74% went so far as to say that watching cartoons is a good way for kids to forget about their worries.
The study also demonstrated that a majority of Canadians see cartoons as important in building childhood and family memories. More than four out of five Canadians (86%) reported having very fond memories of watching cartoons as children, while 85% Canadians believe that parents who watch cartoons with their kids are building great memories with them. Furthermore, nine out of ten parents (88%) surveyed hope that their children will have fond memories of watching cartoons together with them.
Regional Differences – English Canadians vs. French Quebecois
Interestingly, the study revealed significant differences between French Quebecois and English Canadians.
Quebecois have a stronger sentiment toward cartoons than English Canadians
83% of Quebecois versus 68% of English Canadians believe that watching classic children’s cartoons is a great way to relive your childhood.
84% of Quebecois versus 73% of English Canadians believe that watching cartoons is a good way for kids to forget about their worries.
93% of Quebecois versus 82% of English Canadians state that parents who watch cartoons with their kids are building great memories with them.
90% of Quebecois parents with kids aged 3-10 versus 73% of English Canadians parents with kids aged 3-10 stated that cartoons help stretch their kid’s imaginations because outrageous things can happen in them that are not based in real life.
90% of Quebecois parents versus 80% of English Canadians with kids aged 3-10 claimed to watch cartoons with their kids at least once per week.
Quebecois are more likely to agree that watching cartoons allows them to relax with their child and are more likely to hope that they are building fond memories
99% of Quebecois parents versus 88% of English Canadian parents with kids aged 3-10 state that watching cartoons with their children gives them time to relax together.
96% of Quebecois versus 88% of English Canadians with kids aged 3-10 say that they hope one day their child will have fond memories of watching cartoons together with them.
Quebecois are more likely to get excited when sharing classic cartoons with their kids; English Canadians are more likely to get nostalgic.
88% of Quebecois parents versus 78% of English Canadian parents with kids aged 3-10 say they get excited when they can share a cartoon from their childhood with their children.
78% of English Canadian parents versus 61% of Quebecois parents state that watching cartoons from their childhood with their children makes them nostalgic.
The study also found notable differences in attitudes towards cartoons between men and women.
Women are more likely than men to recall watching cartoons as a child and have fond memories of doing so.
93% of women versus 88% of men surveyed recalled watching cartoons as a child.
89% of women versus 83% of men stated that they have fond memories of watching cartoons as a child.
Mothers are more likely to feel that watching cartoons together is quality time.
77% of mothers versus 67% of fathers state that watching cartoons with their child is quality time.
84% of mothers versus 76% of fathers state that watching cartoons with their kids brings back good memories from their childhoods.
Women are more likely than men to watch classic cartoons with their children.
84% of women versus 75% of men watch cartoons from their childhoods with their children.
Mothers are more likely than fathers to feel that cartoons help stretch their kids’ imaginations.
76% of mothers versus 64% of fathers stated that cartoons help stretch their kids’ imaginations because outrageous things can happen in them that are not based in real life.