10 Lessons Kids Can Learn from Weird Harold
Most notable for his clumsiness, mismatched socks and ever-present mustard colored blazer, Weird Harold is a member of the gang from the animated TV series Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids. He is tall, skinny and plays a harp in the junkyard band that’s made with bed springs. Like the rest of Cosby’s Fat Albert crew, Weird Harold provides his share of life lessons for kids. Here are 10 of those lessons:
- All things in moderation. In the episode Video Mania, Harold returns a wallet to its owner, but then blows the reward money he receives playing a video game. Borrowing money from the gang to pay for his obsession, he gets himself in a jam, and learns about moderation in the process.
- There’s more to lose than money when you gamble. In Heads or Tails, Harold develops a gambling addiction and falls in with the wrong crowd to support his habit. He learns his lesson the hard way when he talks the gang into betting on a “sure thing”. Kids learn about the risks of gambling.
- Responsibility and honesty in the workplace. Do Your Job Right Harold gets a summer job at an ice cream parlor, and he’s faced with a choice: treat his friends to free ice cream or be an honest, trustworthy employee. Lessons for kids include abusing one’s friendships, as well as being an honest worker.
- Generational differences and getting along. Harold has to share his bedroom with his Uncle Marcus. The culture clash and invasion of his space is almost more than he can bear until he learns to appreciate his elder relative and his values.
- Don’t judge people by their money or their background. Harold’s romantic interest, Violet, is afraid to let him see where she lives out of fear that he won’t accept her. This is a very interesting study in class distinctions and misconceptions.
- You can overcome your weaknesses with perseverance. Harold doesn’t let his clumsiness keep him from taking part in athletics with the gang. He isn’t the best, of course, but he still plays games and the gang accepts him despite his lack of athletic ability.
- Sometimes weirdness is just a matter of perspective. Weird Harold may be a bit unusual in some ways, but he fits right in with the rest of the gang. Each friend knows that they are different and that it’s easy to see those differences as being ‘weird’. Kids can learn that being unique doesn’t have to mean getting left out or ridiculed.
- Sensitivity and Acceptance Perhaps because he’s known as Weird Harold and knows what it’s like to be on the fringe socially, Harold tends to be one of the first people to accept newcomers to the gang or the neighborhood.
- Drugs and alcohol are destructive, to the users and their loved ones. Weird Harold witnesses first hand through friends what happens when a person is hooked on drugs or alcohol. He knows that it’s a path to self-destruction, and has intervened on behalf of friends.
- A loving family is worth its weight in gold. Weird Harold has a close-knit family, and he knows that he’s loved and cared for. It illustrates the importance of having a support group – friends, family, teachers, who can identify a potential problem and head it off before it becomes a problem.
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