Excerpts of Erynn

a blog about… nothing in particular and everything at once

Kill the TV? January 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erynn Sprouse @ 11:43 pm

This afternoon, Jaden, Ean and I were hanging out. Not that typical, really, but Jeremy and the twins had gone out for some groceries and a family movie night flick (Sunday night tradition) so it was just the three of us. I turned to Jaden and asked him what his favorite thing is about being alive. With this kid, I had no idea what to expect. There’s no telling. But what he did say was NOT what I’d have hoped, had I been hoping at all.

Top of his list? TV.
I was shocked! Now, to be fair, his daddy and I were next, closely followed by his three brothers. But… seriously? TV???

We keep a close guard on what our kids watch. Scooby Doo is a do not. Go, Diego Go! is a go. They can explore with Dora or bend air with the Avatar, but Sponge Bob and his square pants are banned. There’s a definite time limit too. One hour. No more… unless they’re sick… or driving me to t0 the brink of insanity… or I just have to get this or that done… or… well, honestly, we make far too many excuses and they probably see more TV than we realize. Still, I’d say we have it in check (or would have said prior to this conversation).

We don’t have cable or satellite any more; we just have Netflix. I like it that way because they don’t see any commercials. Seriously cuts down on mommyigottahavealerosis, that most obnoxious and worldly of diseases. It also means that one kid show= 20 minutes and in their allotted one hour, they can have three shows. They usually watch first thing in the morning and really only during the week. Jeremy wakes up with them; I sleep in with Ean. Jeremy turns on a show for them and when I come out, they finish up whatever show they’re watching and that’s it for the day. Occasionally, I let them watch one show after nap, but usually not. The thing is, they bug me all day long about wanting to “see a show.” Mommyigottahavealerosis may be largely exterminated, but Mommycanwewatchitis is alive and well.

Add my conversation with Jaden to an article I read on PluggedIn  as well as the latest posts by some missionary friends and I think we’re headed for a TV-free week. Maybe even a screens free week. No computer games (even educational, since that’s all we have). No Wii. No movies. No TV. I don’t know if we’ll go quite to no screens just yet… maybe a bit too much to take away the kid’s favorite part of the day AND other electronic entertainment just like that. One thing is for sure: this has to change. I’m not okay with TV being my kid’s favorite thing about being alive. Not even close to okay.

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3 Responses to “Kill the TV?”

  1. Seedborn Muse Says:

    You now have an e-mail on other subjects to know how I think on parents who weren’t homeschooled adjusting to homeschooling their kids, but I think that’s part of what’s going on here.

    The world you have given Jaden is different from the world you had. Consequently, the significance of TV time to Jaden is different from the significance it had to you at that age. Assuming for sake of argument that it was part of your routine as a child (and you, like I, know the deleterious effects of when TV is part of a routine), it’s not routine for Jaden and it sounds like it never has been.

    I of course have 0 clue about the propriety of a TV-free week one way or the other. But just as TV might mean something different to him than it did to you, so might its removal. Your parents removing TV would have different cause and effect than you removing TV.

  2. SuSu Says:

    Remember also that he is young. Many things you think about and are grateful for are things he takes for granted — life, parental love, etc. because he has never been without them — can’t conceive of life without them. His world is simple and a little TV in the way you have it controlled, is, IMHO, not a bad thing. It provides variety and a little different point of view — make the TV a light lesson by asking him what’s going on, what’s the issue, how could it be handled differently, or if you mute the sound what story are the pictures telling, etc. to engage his critical thinking skills and make the TV a beneficial thing to supplement his education.

  3. Chelli Says:

    You’re stepping on my toes now, Erynn :) We watch waaaayyyy too much TV in our house! I don’t like it, but not sure what to do about it. It just makes things so much easier on me, so I guess ultimately it’s lazy parenting….*sigh* Just something else to feel guilty about as a mom.


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