Big Morals on the Prairie

Last night we created a little oasis of homegrown tranquility in the Berg household. Big wet snowflakes fell from the sky as we gathered around a crackling fire in the living room. We then stepped into the Amazon Prime time machine and watched another episode of the first season of Little House on the Prairie (1975).

If you’re looking to escape to simpler times, and treat your family to a moral power wash and social media detox, I heartily recommend revisiting this classic television series together.

We began watching the series on our family vacation in Colorado, perhaps inspired by our old western mountain surroundings (even though the show is set on the prairies of the midwest). The kids immediately took to the real-life drama and everyday struggles of the early pioneers.

Unlike today’s loud and fast-paced Pixar or Disney movies we watch together, these episodes move at a slower and quieter pace so that we find the kids asking us questions about “the old days” as the show happens. It’s the best kind of interactive learning and family bonding.

I’m also reading the books to Abigail at bedtime, occasionally skipping past the 3 or 4 pages describing the nitty gritty detail of every step of smoking meat or sowing a dress. :)

Last night’s episode was the Ingalls girls’ first day of school since moving to town, and the girls face the snobby antics of Nellie Oleson for the first time (but certainly not the last). Mrs. Oleson is equally as nasty to Ma when she comes to sell her eggs at the store, insisting that she pay less for the brown eggs.

Pa, adoringly played by Michael Landon, is a much needed positive role model for today’s dads, who have grown up watching too much Homer Simpson and Hank Hill. In each episode, Pa and ma gently but firmly instill Christian values in their children, and Scripture is quoted often in such scenes.

So, friends, as we move into a long, dark winter full of uncertainties and challenges, and many cold and snow nights trapped in doors with our families, let me commend this classic television for young parents out there in need of some healthy screen time.

For more, read 10 Things Pa Ingalls Taught Us About Life.

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