Friday, February 5, 2010

Too Busy for TV

8:00 a.m. - Curious George
8:30 a.m. - Curious George on DVR
10:00 a.m. - Dora the Explorer
10:30 a.m. - Sesame Street
11:30 a.m. - Word World

Whose morning looks like this? Surely, not MINE!

Okay. Well... sometimes. Once in a while, we might spend a morning primarily in front of PBS Kids or Sprout OnDemand. And you know what? I feel GUILTY on those days. I feel like I am not doing my job as a mom. Unless I am deathly ill, was up all night with a sick child, or have some other sincere reason to park it in front of the glowing rock in my living room, it's really of no benefit to watch that much television in a day, let alone a morning!

Generally speaking, we watch about one kids' program a morning. It's usually Sesame Street, although sometimes it's Curious George. Some mornings we don't watch at all, and yes, some mornings it's on for longer than it needs to be. I rarely, if at all, turn the TV on for myself during the day, with the exception of catching up on something like American Idol while folding laundry during naptime.

I don't think TV is bad. I think it's extremely easy to allow it to become a bad habit, though. I have to be honest and say that I was pretty darn proud up until a few months ago that my daughter watched, at maximum, one TV show a week -- maybe two. Although she enjoyed it when it was on, it wasn't something she "loved" necessarily, and could be just as happy playing or reading books. And now, being a young two, she is asking for it. Daily. Multiple times a day. Multiple shows. She knows where the DVDs are kept and how to get them out. She'll bring me a Maisy or The Wiggles DVD and ask me to play it for her.

Ugh. I hate that we're starting this already.

Sometimes I can easily redirect her, but with that ever-growing independent toddler attitude, she wants what she wants WHEN she wants it! And that is more frequently leading to TV time battles.

My girl LOVES to read books. She loves to color and do stickers. She can play forever with her play kitchen, waffle blocks, and dollies. She's learning to put together puzzles. I just introduced Play Dough to her for the first time a couple weeks ago, and that's been a hit ever since. So how I do foster the love of reading, playing, and learning, rather than default to the TV all the time?

We're going to be too busy for TV. We're going to find other things to do throughout the week. We'll take advantage of outside programs when we can, but we'll be creative at home, too. It's going to take some work, and it's going to take some preparation in advance... but I think the result will be fantastic for both of us!

I am not anti-TV by any means. We will still enjoy Sesame Street and some others at times. Maybe not every day... maybe once a day... but hopefully not much more than that. :) I know I've seen her learn things through watching certain programs. She's learning shapes, letters, numbers, and vocabulary from Sesame Street. She's learning math and science concepts from Curious George. Remember -- TV isn't bad... it's the habit that it can become that can be bad.

So... will YOU be too busy for TV? :)

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