Friday, August 27, 2010

It's like fingernails on a chalkboard, only it's purple

When it comes to TV, we are a pretty restrictive household.  I am very, very cautious about what our girls see, and what they don't.  I don't show things that have villans or scary scenes to the kids, I fast forward through things that I know will cause nightmares in Bethany and I keep a close eye on what shows they are watching if the TV is on.

We also don't have the TV on all day.  That's not to say there aren't days when I'm being lazy and want to sit and knit while watching a movie with my kids so I don't have to clean up the dishes screaming my name from the kitchen exhausted beyond belief from two little girls not sleeping at night (ps. they have mastered the art of the nighttime, tag team.  One will wake, go back to sleep, leaving enough time to get my freezing cold tushie back under the covers, then the next will wake up and so goes the battle).  But on a day to day basis, they get a few short kids shows in the morning as I ready us for work, and then that's it.  Sometimes when we get home from work, I'll pop a movie in for them to watch as I make dinner, this is mostly to distracted them from standing in the kitchen asking me 40 times over for a snack 15 minutes before dinner is served. 

That, is pretty much it.  We learned a long time ago, that TV after dinner is counter productive for many reasons.  The first being Bethany was getting all sorts of night time dreams that were wakeful.  They weren't always scary but they'd work her right up, making it difficult for me to coax her back to sleep.  After a quick examination of our habits I concluded the evening TV show she'd get with her Daddy was the cause.  We cut it out and voila the worst of the dreams vanished.  It's also a good thing for us to have the Boob Tube off after dinner, because quite often that's the only time the kids see Corey and to take that precious hour or two and spend it zoned infront of a flashing box (and when I say zoned it's not my kids who'd zone out....ahem Corey)  is an absolute shame.

I totally didn't start this out with the intention of sharing our whole electronic use plan, I get distracted.  The thing is, and maybe it's just me, but whenever I start talking about a parenting decision we're making that can be controversial (because I know there are many out there who are anti-TV) I feel the need to jusify myself.  As if, I need to prove to everyone that I'm not a horrible parent.  N-E WAY....

(aside: This is NOT a judging post.  I am not saying we are doing it right any more than I am saying we are doing it wrong.  If you chose to allow your children to watch TV for 18 hours a day, forcing them to stay awake for the Crazy Craft lady at night because you believe your exposing them to all types, that's your business.  I wouldn't chose it for our girls but, whatever.  This is strictly TV from they eyes of one Momma.  And how I feel it has it's place, like everything else, in moderation)

The list of shows I absolutely will not let our kids watch is getting longer and longer.  In the Night Garden - this is just Teletubbies the remake in my opinion and doesn't promote any intelligent thought from my kids, Toopy and Binoo because they annoy me and I don't like their behaviour, the Playboy channel - because I don't want my girls to grow up to be strippers (and because I don't want to see that....can you imagine what that would do to my self esteem - flush!), you get my drift....

But of all the shows I won't let them watch, or swore before they were born I would never have on my television, one has come off time out.  For years, I baby sat a little guy who loved this show, and I learned to loath it.  Not because the lessons were bad, in fact they are good, not because the kids weren't polite, in fact they were almost perfect, not because there is a bad guy who provokes nightmares in the grandest of schemes, the only bad involved is the acting.  No, I didn't have a solid parenting reason, my reason ran in terms of shear annoyance.  The kind of annoyance that makes me want to stick my head in a hole and scream for mercy.

notice I've made this photo as small as possible, in an attempt to make him DISAPPEAR FOREVER

However, my kids have fallen in love.  If you haven't guessed it by now I'm talking about Barney.  That's right, you heard me, my kids watch Barney (hangs head in shame, pure shame).  The thing is they love Barney, and while most often I manage to avoid it all together, there are some times when nothing else is suitableish so the big guy it is.  His lessons are still good, his manners still impecable, his voice still annoying, his costume the thing Mommy night terrors are made of.  I relent because I love my girls and have every confidence that they will out grow this stage, I leave the room because I don't think it would send the right message throwing laundry at the TV screen in an effort to make him SHUT UP already.  (please note, I do not rent Barney DVD's, nor will we own one.  I will burn any Barney paraphernalia that should come our way - even if you think you're being funny.  This is as far as the B-train goes).

It's one of those things that drives this Momma crazy but for now, since the time spent watching is so small, I relent and hope and pray that one day, my kids too are parents themselves and are subjected to the annoying big purple punching bag for the sake of their children.

What about you?  Is there any TV your kids must have?  What about ones you just can't handle?  I can't be in this alone, do share!

ps.  Don't forget the GIVEAWAY over at OFS Reviews.  Enter, Enter, ENTER!

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