Posts Tagged ‘to watch or not to watch tv’

Better Than TV

I know how easy it is to get sucked into TV. We canceled our cable years ago because we would spend so much time watching ‘stuff’. With 2 of my 3 kids at home with me during the day I wanted to avoid relying on the TV as a toy or an object of distraction (though when I have to make a call or I’m under the weather the TV becomes my kids’ best friend), so we have a rule there’s no TV on during the week.

The one exception is Fridays. On Fridays the kids can watch TVO Kids or CBC Kids or sometimes PBS Kids from the US if the weather’s nice. It’s kind of a treat for them (and me).

But today was different. Unlike other Friday’s the kids decided to watch something else. They decided to watch men hanging from the old oak tree in our backyard, juggling branches and chainsaws. You don’t hear me complaining (until my 5-year-old son decides he want’s to practice swinging from the trees ‘just like the guys’).

JuiceBox Jungle: I want my (M)TV

Sitting here working on my computer, my kids in front of the TV, I can’t help but ponder the following JuiceBox Jungle clip and wonder about my parenting skills. And I’m not the only parent caught in this situation (check out Diary of a WAHM on her thoughts)

[juiceboxjungle height=”327″ width=”320″ video=”iframe/embed/68752_2009-03-13-122952″]

More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle

I never, ever let me children watch TV. Along with working from home and taking care of the house, I stimulate my three kids with creative, educational and fun activities. In fact we don’t even own a TV since all I would do is dust it.

[RRRRRIIIIINNNNGGGGGG– sound of my alarm clock going off and waking me from my dream state]

Okay, yes I’d like to be one of those parents who could say I don’t let me kids watch TV and still keep a straight face. And though I may not admit to it openly to other parents, I do, on occasion let my kids watch the box [gasp].

Now we don’t subscribe to cable or satellite so usually what we do get is the public broadcasting stations like TVO or PBS. So at least I can be assured my kids won’t be bombarded with commercials.  But even with commercial free television too much viewing can have an impact on my kids behaviour. Like a drug, they get hooked, craving more and more. And when they stop, yikes, the withdrawal can be painful for everyone. But sometimes it can’t be avoided:

Have a conference call for work and want to avoid the sudden outburts of urgent questions like why is the sky blue? CLICK on goes the TV

Trying to cook rice on the stove top, baste pork in the oven and make a tossed salad without having to mediate who was building with the blue LEGO first? CLICK on goes the TV

That being said, we do have TV Fridays. Assuming all homework is done, the kids are allowed to watch TV after school on Friday; a treat to kick-off the weekend. Friday’s aside, I like to avoid TV viewing with my kids as much as possible. So on those occasions when I’m caught in the TV / NO TV dilemma, I weight out the the options. Which is the lesser of the two evils? What will it be today? Screaming, fighting kids while you’re trying to get something done OR screaming, fighting kids after you’re done and when you’re ready to handle it. Decisions. Decisions.

You can see more parenting videos on JuiceBox Jungle.