Wednesday, January 11, 2012
A couple months back the girls got a television in their playroom. I wasn’t excited (to say the very least) and had always said that there would be no TV outside of the one in the living room. I had already caved and put a DVD player in the van to make traveling to visit family less of a nightmare (which I am thankful we did) but I was not ready to embrace this change. The girls loved it; they could watch their dance movies and thought they had their own little movie theatre. It didn’t really affect our daily lives and I even had to admit it was nice when I didn’t have to watch Bella Dancerella for the hundredth time. After a while I started to notice a negative influence though. Kaitlyn quickly became addicted to the television. It seemed as though all she wanted to do was sit on her little bench in front of the screen all day. She’d wake up and want to turn it on; she stopped hanging out with us in other areas of the house and would even knock on the screen when it wasn’t on. Even if we were watching a Christmas movie together as a family she’d want to go sit by herself in the playroom and watch her TV. When we got back from Christmas and it was still all she wanted to do I’d finally had enough.
One of the very first acts for the New Year was to take the television back out of the playroom. We took it out while the girls were napping and put up the teepee they got from grandma and grandpa in its place. Immediately upon waking Kaitlyn went straight to the playroom then began asking “Where go?”, but we told her it was gone and within a minute she was fine and had moved on. We both breathed a sigh of relief that there wasn’t going to be an issue adjusting and life could get back to normal. The girls haven’t missed it at all and I am happy to have a little less television in our lives.
I’m not trying to say that television is evil and bad for kids (though I know a lot of people do). The truth is we like TV, maybe not as much as the next family but for us it still has its place in our daily rhythm. The girls and I like to ease into our mornings by watching a little PBS together in the recliner. We enjoy watching Super Why and Dinosaur Train and that is perfectly okay, for us. Television time is one of the things we’ve chosen to make a non-issue in our home (which is how I was convinced to allow the television to ever be put in the playroom to begin with) but I do place a limit of sorts on how much is viewed. By only have one television in the main area of the house it is much easier to control what and how much is seen. We also don’t have cable or satellite so that means when we are watching it is on PBS. Once we have started out day the television goes off and we go on about our business. We turn it back on in the afternoon to watch Wild Kratz which Kinsley and I both enjoy watching together. We actually learn quite a bit from these shows and they have given us several topics to research and learn more about. I think, if used properly, television can be a great aid to a homeschooling (or not) family. We choose to view it as a learning opportunity in addition to a source of entertainment.
Though there are definitely times we use it just for fun. We’ll pop some popcorn and put in a favorite Disney movie and cuddle up on the couch (or a “port” in the floor) together. I’ll also admit to the screen being on a lot more during the winter when we can’t get outside nearly as much and I’m okay with that too. For us it was simply a matter of finding a balance that worked for all of us. How do you handle screen time with your children?
at 1:18 PM