Is TV really the root of all evil?

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I will have to get back to you, I am watching TV……
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OK sorry… lets chat while there’s a commercial …I get this question all the time from fellow mommies and daddies. Why do “experts” insist TV is so bad for our kids? Limit the time every day? Well if I do that….OH LOOK Press Dough! I should buy that for him for his birthday, then we can spend some time together and make cool cookies!….Sorry where was I? Ok, so I need to limit my sons TV time each day. I can sort of understand how the “experts” feel. But at the same time…Nick Jr is “like Pre-School on TV” and it totally buys me time to…..OH….check that out! I did not even know they made Snuggies that have sports teams on them. Maybe I can buy my husband one of them for his birthday….. Ooops sorry… hang on while I turn the volume up so he can hear his show…… Back to the TV debate. I get the experts being concerned about the amount of TV we let our kids watch. Kids today do NOT get enough time outdoors. They do not have as much imagination or creativity as they used to. Right? I mean the fact my son watches 2 hours a day is apparently akin to murdering him… OH murder…I almost forgot…I need to program my DVR to record that special on serial killers….

This Box will kill our children….

On to the serious part of this conversation. Look, I totally understand why people may look down on TV and kids.  The above is an almost exact commentary from an ACTUAL conversation I had on the phone with a friend of mine a few nights ago. Between the two of us we were distracted by the shiny box about 30 times. I DO understand the controversy. Here is what it boils down to….

Letting your kids watch TV is not the end of the world. If it were not for the Qubo channel I would NEVER get anything done. EVER. With my husbands work schedule, and mine (I am a working momma) our house would NEVER get clean. EVER.  I can do what needs to be done courtesy of Nick Jr or Qubo. The  thing is, you have to watch what they watch and see what they see. Is it helping or hurting? As I have stated in the past…I do use TV to help me babysit my kids. But at least it is Qubo not FearNet. (and as an FYI to all people with Verizon FiOs, it should be channel 491 for you. You are welcome) 

My son’s newest obsession? Rescue Heroes. And as a result of that show he never ever fights me on using his seat belt. Thanks to that Moose thing in between shows on Nick Jr, he turns off lights and likes to help me sort the recycling. Thanks to Sid the Science Kid he got his last round of shots without a lot of fuss. Because the shows reinforce what values I, as his parent, am trying to teach him. My own mother in law used to get frustrated with TV. THEN she saw what I am letting him watch. And she started to ask him, where did he learn things… “Oh well I talked about it with mommy and daddy after we saw it on Diego.”

He knows all kinds of insane words and has a vocabulary of a 9 year old, at age 5. Why? Because I never ever tolerated baby talk with him, and because of a little show called WORD GIRL. He is learning his letters and life lessons from me. And a little reinforcement from Super Why is not going to hurt a thing. Thanks Alfred the Hedgehog for showing him to “deduce”. We made him a detective kit and went out and collected clues to find his missing Spiderman. I can not begin to thank the Jim Henson company and Children’s Television Workshop enough for a little invention called Sesame Street. It opened the doors to a whole new world of programming. All of which, if you keep an eye and ear on it, is really NOT so bad. Some of it is nothing but mind numbing horror and madness. Pointless drivel. But not all of it.

So this is what I say to the experts:

Dear Experts,

While I appreciate your concerns that my child watches too much TV, I respectfully ask you to shut the hell up. If I see he is not getting enough exercise or starts having behavioral problems I will re-evaluate my parenting skills. But to tell me TV is the cause of all his problems? You are full of shit.

Sincerely,
Mom-troversial

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About momtroversial

I am a mom who often parents in ways that are considered too old fashioned or too unconventional. My husband went through a major mental health breakdown and took me on the roller coaster with him. At some point we will get off this damn ride. I recently went through a series of life altering events that have made me re-think my whole outlook on life. I am trying to be the kind of mom my work as a career nanny should have prepared me for but it does not always work. I hope to impact the lives of others that I KNOW are living with the same fears, hopes, dreams, anger, pain, joy, and more. Suicide and ink and children and life. That's about it. View all posts by momtroversial

6 responses to “Is TV really the root of all evil?

  • Lisha

    I think it is less about the Quantity of television a child watches, and more about the Quality of programming they watch. My older kids watched Franklin the Turtle, Spot, Nova and Reading Rainbow. My little guy watched Dora the Explorer and Baby Einstein til I was sick of hearing the sound of Julie Clark’s voice. But look at them now!

    So if your 4 year old is hooked on reruns of Beavis and Butthead, then I’ll side with the experts. But if your 4 year old is speaking Spanish, then I’m standing with you, Mom-T!

    • momtroversial

      He is, in fact, hooked on re-runs of Beavis and Butthead as well as hooked on the good stuff. He knows how to work the remote and can put on Qubo all by himself. I feel he gets enough of the educational programming to offset the bad stuff. Apparently he was the topic of conversation at our last HOA meeting. I got a cute card telling me the neighborhood rep for our street took a vote and it was decided Hurricane is the smartest kid on the block. I was both shocked and happy and slightly embarrassed. I mean we have 17 kids on our street. And to think my almost 5 year old took that award over some of them was flattering. The rep told me it is because he is so well spoken. They love the fact you can have an entire almost adult conversation with him. 🙂

  • just another s-a-h-mother

    Absolutely right on the money! BoyGenius is the same … the other day he told HardWorker (after I had tried to limit her salt intake) that too much salt messes with your electrolytes. She just about fell on the floor. As long as it is smart tv and you are aware of how your kid processes it, I say it’s all good.

  • healiethellama

    I come from a home where I watched way too much TV as a kid. I see where the experts are coming from, but to say “All TV is bad” is an unneeded generalization; TV only becomes a problem with the parents fail to reinforce the teachings from TV, or fail to spend enough time with their kids and use TV as a replacement.

    Mom and dad, as hard as they tried, spent 99% of their time with my brother after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia/bi polar and the rest of their time on work, house cleaning, paying the bills, etc. The time they did spend with me was usually arguing or just watching TV. I don’t fault them for that; while I have no idea what it’s like to raise a child, I know from my experiences with my brother that it is very difficult to raise a mentally ill child in addition to a younger child that doesn’t understand WTF is going on. Our family was pretty healthy before his diagnosis, but after, it was like someone turned my little world upside-down. Before the diagnosis, my brother was my best friend; we spent very little time watching TV and spent more time wrestling with one another (we LOVED the WCW wrestling program) and playing outside. After the diagnosis, my parents purchased satellite TV to keep me preoccupied while my brother was in the hospital(s) and they were at work.

    I came home from school every day to an empty house and just sat down and watched TV while doing my homework. I’d grab a snack and watch TV, eat dinner and watch TV…you get the idea. That’s when it becomes a problem. While part of my issues came from my brother’s diagnosis, the other part was being raised on TV. You can love your TV, but it sure doesn’t love you back.

  • Leah Kaye

    Hehe all I’m going to say, is I haven’t had tv service since 2009 and I don’t miss it one bit! The reason we finally shut it off was because we were paying a buttload of dough for the same shows over & over & over. Damn re-runs! Without tv, we spend more time together & go out & do stuff. Its fun! But I still love you Mom-t<3

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