July 17, 2012 by Melissa
I feel like I let my girls watch too much tv. I let Lucy watch 1-1.5 hours of PBS in the morning while I get the house cleaned up, get ready for the day, and get Alice down for a morning nap. There are other times when I use that black box for help-if I can’t keep the girls entertained while cooking lunch or dinner, I turn the tv on. If Chris is out of town, like he is this week, I put movies in at night to help with that hard time of day when I need to get Alice to sleep but still have a toddler needing attention, and the house to clean up.
To be fair to myself, I monitor what’s on the tv, limiting what they watch to Curious George, Wild Kratts, sometimes Sesame Street, or Chuggington, or Little Einsteins. Lucy is a fairly sensitive child so I pay attention to what she’s watching in case there’s violence of any kind, or characters being hard on one another (which is surprisingly common on kid’s tv programs). But at the end of each day, I am riddled with guild that I had the tv on at all. This is my job, isn’t it? Being a mom to my kids, interacting with them, teaching them. Not letting them veg out. I just need breaks throughout the day. Doesn’t every worker get that? When the girls nap, and it’s usually at the same time in the afternoon, I spend that time deep cleaning, or prepping for dinner, or baking something. It’s a break from the kids, but not from the work of the day. I don’t know what that means anymore.
Am I causing irreparable harm? Are they going to be not ready for kindergarten because I didn’t spend an hour extra every day teaching them? Or are they learning from the public television? Who the heck knows. I turned out fine and the tv was on all the time when I was growing up. Well, “fine” is used loosely here…if fine means ridiculously self critical.
Do your kids watch tv? How do you do it if they don’t?