Thursday, May 27, 2010

TV Time

Remember the poll about how much tv you let your kids watch?  Les Results:

37% let their children watch up to half an hour per day 
12% say an hour's alright
25% are allowing up to 2 hours
37% voted "Ve Haf a Schedule!"
0% were cool with 2-4 hours or unlimited access.  

Looks like most (or at least those willing to vote) are pretty sparing with the tube but I must say, personally, it is one fantastic reward/consequence tool.   I fall in the "up to 2 hours" category.   Go ahead, judge me.  There are days of even more than that, and days with none or little.  2 hours fly by on a Saturday morning while you're doing your toes, sipping diet coke and reading People while chatting on the phone.  Or cleaning up barf and looking up your horoscope while scrounging for Easter chocolate, as the case may be.

Yes I've read all the horrible things tv does to children (eg. childhood obesity, violence and branding),  and also some good advice about how to handle the spiritual vaccum that television can be.  I take heart that my kids enjoy Word World as much as Star Wars.

We currently allow some morning for those who stay in bed all night.  And if both of them stay out of ours, they get breakfast while they watch!!   Bribery, yes, but Daddy and I are luxuriating in more time and space without feet in our face, and we pay in permissiveness.   Like potty training with candies as a reward, I'm hoping the expectation of morning tv will fade into the background as they master sleeping in their own room.

On the other hand, there seems to be nothing (except canceled playdates) as devastating as hearing there will be no tv for the next 24 hours or even whole week.   The truth is that Mr The King is actually quite a fine kid without it---a slight nuisance,  but once he's pulled out every toy and game he owns and costumed himself in a hard hat, my nightshirt, a toolbelt, swimgoggles and rainboots to dance to his little brother's MJ playlist, he's been a happy, creative and engaged child.   Much as I'd hate losing the Me Time that them watching tv provides,  if ours goes on the blink I'm gonna replace it reeeeeeeeeeaal slow.....

I invite you to comment and to elaborate on how you manage your child's tv time...and Camille, I invite you to post your perspective.   How did you vote?

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