10 Lessons Kids Can Learn From George Jetson

As the patriarch of the titular Jetson clan, George Jetson is an instantly-recognizable animation icon. This classic character, created by the Hanna-Barbera studio in 1962, has been a television mainstay for a half-century; in that time, generations of children have watched him learn valuable lessons while gleaning a few of their own. Here are ten lessons that kids can learn from George Jetson.

  1. It’s Not Easy To Be a Grown-Up – Despite the high-tech trappings, George’s life has much in common with that of an adult in today’s world. Stress about finances and responsibility for a family cause him to worry; kids watching can learn that being an adult doesn’t necessarily mean escaping all of your problems.
  2. The Workforce Can Be Difficult – For children who have no experience with working, watching George make his way through the trials that come with a tyrannical boss and being part of the labor pool can help them understand their parents’ work-related stress.
  3. Everyone Deserves a Second Chance – Though George Jetson’s boss Mr. Spacely fires him regularly, he always recognizes George’s value and gives him a second chance. This is a great way for kids to learn the value of forgiveness.
  4. Patience Is a Virtue – Though Mr. Spacely almost always grants George a second chance after firing him, the fact that he’s almost always fired as a result of Spacely’s harebrained plans remains. Patience might not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking of George Jetson, but kids can see that he’s exhibiting vast stores of it by not lashing out at Mr. Spacely.
  5. Even the Everyman Can Be Groundbreaking – While The Jetsons was set in a then-distant future, George Jetson was still a bit of an “Everyman” character. Kids watching can learn that even an Average Joe has to be groundbreaking: The Jetsons was the first program to be broadcast in color by ABC-TV.
  6. Privilege Doesn’t Eliminate Stress – Despite the “modern” conveniences at George Jetson’s disposal, he still regularly exhibits symptoms of stress. Children can pick up the idea that even the privileged have their own challenges and sources of tension.
  7. Computers Create Their Own Chaos – More than one episode of The Jetsons features a plot device made possible by the hilarious malfunctioning of a computer or robotic component. As modern society becomes more tech-dependent, kids can learn a humorous lesson about the new set of complications that progress can bring about.
  8. Chronic Complainers Even Exist in the Future – In the world of the Jetson family, many of today’s menial tasks are handled by computer or robot. The “back-breaking” three day work week that George Jetson must take on is a great example of how, even in a highly-coddled future, constant complainers will still exist.
  9. We Are a Product of Our Times – The first season of The Jetsons, created at the height of the 1960’s space craze, shows a definite emphasis on outer space and planetary science. The second and third seasons, which were written and aired during the computer-fixated 1980’s, places a much greater importance on the computer and robotic technology available to the Jetsons. This is a powerful example of how even “futuristic” fiction is shaped by the social mores and conventions of its time.
  10. Even the Absurd Can Become Reality – Among the far-fetched contraptions that were part of George Jetson’s everyday life are things that have made their way into real life; big screen televisions, treadmills, video chat and massaging recliners are only a few examples. Kids who understand that these products were fantasy items at the time of the show are able to see how technological progress makes the most far-out ideas possible.

Regardless of the setting, kids always can learn lessons from the figures like George. If nothing else, that providing and caring for your family, earns their love and respect in return.