I suppose I could call TV one of my triggers. If I hear too much noise, my anxiety increases and I begin to lose my patience little by little. I can only watch television if it’s educational (i.e. stuff on National Geographic and PBS), calm (i.e. nature shows), or funny (i.e.The Office). And, I can only watch in short spurts.
With Emily and Andrew at the age where television is the best tool to keep them occupied while I clean or navigate the bed rest thing, it would be easy to allow it to suck up our whole day. Except that I would turn into a grumpy, impatient mom in an instant. So, I’ve made rules for them and for me.
The kids can either watch one Disney movie (that I have already watched with them and feel comfortable with) or a few shows on PBS. I adore PBS because it doesn’t have commercials and it teaches the kids so many things – math, science, spelling, reading, etc. All together, the total viewing time may not exceed two hours a day. I, also, do not turn on any adult-themed shows when they are awake primarily because, you know, they are adult-themed.
There are a gazillion shows aimed at kids on TV, so I have a limited few that I let the kids watch (because they don’t bug me). These include, Super Why, The Cat in the Hat, Dinosaur Train, Sesame Street, Word World and Word Girl.
I realize my strict viewing rules seem unnecessary and even ridiculous to some people, yet it works for me and my kids. They seem happier and more eager to play with toys and read books when the television is not on. I am also happier when the house is filled with playful noises rather than TV noises.
And that’s how television works at our house. Do you have any rules? Favorite shows? Favorite movies? Share!
(Please don’t take this as an attack on you if your kids watch different shows, more than two hours, or whatever. This works for me and I would never, ever judge you if something else works for you. Remember, this is messy parenting – there are no right or wrong parenting methods. Except beating, but I think we can all agree on that.)