This post was written as a PAIL monthly theme post.
I am way behind on writing this month’s theme post – it’s due TONIGHT. I’ve been out-of-town – on the road – parenting solo. I didn’t think my little road trip would impact this month’s post, but it has. You see, when you solo parent, some things just have to slide. Like your TV rules.
We were at my sister’s house north of Chicago – the sister with FOUR kids (3 of them being (just turned) 4, almost 2 (October), and 4 months). She is a great mom, and let’s face it, with 4 kids, you do what you have to do to stay sane. And one of the things she does is allow TV. This had me a bit worried before we went for our visit.
B and I do not watch TV. It’s not that we’re all weird and against it because it’s wrong or we think it makes us stupid – we just don’t watch it. We have other things to do (like hammer away on our computers). We used to record shows (maybe 3 shows) but then our DVR computer broke and we realized we didn’t miss it, and that was 4 years ago. We don’t have any premium channels because we don’t need them – because we don’t watch TV*.
This drives my parents insane.
I grew up in a TV-loving house. My parents have always had the TV on ever since we were young. We
sometimes almost always had the TV on during dinner (but hey – we ate dinner together every night as a family so I’m not passing judgment here – most families didn’t eat together like we did and we were lucky!). My parents have a TV in every room (and two in one of their rooms) and are proud of that. At any given time in my parents’ house, at least two TV’s are always on (and there are only 2 people living there), and many times, there are three TV’s on. The best part is that the majority of them are tuned in to Fox News (and I am passing judgement with that sentence. HA!).
B and I have made a conscious decision to limit Matthew’s exposure to TV. He does watch Law and Order with me. Or I should say, he plays in our room while I fold laundry and watch a re-run of Law and Order. I worry that one of his first words may be “perp.” HA HA! But beyond that, the boy does not watch TV. We refer to it as “the lighted box” when he does see the TV (at my parents’ house) but the truth is – he just doesn’t care about it. I figured it was because we were watching adult shows and nothing that would interest him.
So here I was at my sister’s where the TV is on a few times a day. And GASP – they let the kids watch Sponge B.ob. I wasn’t sure what to think of that but then I realized I didn’t need to think about it because Matthew didn’t pay it any attention. He was more interested in the glowing cable box than the huge TV with colors dancing all over the screen. I noticed that my sister’s kids didn’t care too much about it either. All the thought I’ve put into this whole TV thing, and my child does.not.even.care. Amazing!
We have decided that Matthew can watch TV, just not the commercialized stuff. Nature Channel, you bet. Sesa.me Stre.et (and yes, I know that’s highly commercialized), that’s fine. The Wig.gles, sure (because this kid loves to dance!). We just don’t want him watching mindless cartoons and things that provide no value at all.
I think this plan will work out because we just don’t watch TV ourselves. If we watched TV after he went to bed, then we could have a problem on our hands. However, we just don’t. We’d rather rent a movie or work on our computers (which is a whole other post).
And.. this plan will work out because we just cancelled our cable. We were paying for something neither of us used – and we are thrilled to be saving that money each month. (Poor?) Matthew will be down to just broadcast channels when he does start watching TV, which is just the way we like it!
* When B is out of town, or sometimes during the day, I will watch a re-run of Law and Order. I do, and always will, love that show (all varieties of it)!