Thursday, August 16, 2012
Don't let the title fool you. We are not going TV-free in this house. Not just yet.
Like many parents, I have a love-hate relationship with the television set. I admit that it has come in handy over the years as a "babysitter" for the kids during busy times like dinner time. I also like to sit down at the end of a long day to watch a show myself. Usually my husband and I watch a movie or catch up on episodes of TV shows on Netflix. We are up to date with Weeds and Breaking Bad now, and I've been told to move on to The Big C.
I also hate the television and the kids shows that my children watch now that they are a bit older. They are so sarcastic. Don't get me wrong. I like a healthy dose of sarcasm, but hearing those TV voices for more than a short time makes me want to stuff my ears with cotton balls or scream.
Yesterday, I told my son he couldn't watch TV or play any video games all day, because he had said some really not-very-nice things to me the night before. We have been pretty busy this summer, with a road trip, many day trips and some days at the cottage. But, if he is home alone without friends to play with, the TV is his first choice of activities.
At one point yesterday, he was in the basement. Suspicious as I am, I made a trip down to find out if he had quietly snuck the TV on. But no, terrible mother, he was only making a creation with Jenga blocks.
He invited me to join him for a game of air hockey. My girl was out walking the dog with her dad, so we were able to enjoy a few minutes of time together.
When the other two returned from their walk, we all decided to play a few rounds of Hungry Hungry Hippos.
Usually, when the kids are watching TV, I am on the computer, doing laundry, cleaning, etc. Yesterday, I was reminded to take the time to have a little fun with the kids.
In author Katrina Kenison's book, Mitten Strings for God (Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry), she writes about her family's decision to turn the TV off altogether. While I certainly admire their decision, we will continue to attempt to strike a balance between TV time and "time better spent" on music, art and family fun.
Kenison writes, "I cannot tell anyone to follow in our footsteps, I can only urge you to examine your own family's relationship with television. And I can report that we have found our lives to be challenging, interesting, and full without it. In fact, once the TV screen went dark, the rest of life took on a brighter hue."
She adds, "There have been times we needed to remind our children that the world is full of other good things to do, but rarely. Our boys discovered that for themselves."
What about you? How much time do you spend watching TV?
If you have children, do you set limits on their TV-watching time?