Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Is TV really the root of all Evil?

I love the blogging world. Really I do. There are some amazing stories and families and women and ideas and support that can come from the internet. However there is also an insane amount of pressure I feel too. Now this could just be me, but I doubt it. Does anyone else feel incredibly inadequate some days when you read about something other "bloggers" are doing and make you second guess your choices as a parent?

For me lately I feel this way with TV. Everywhere I look, read, listen etc., is saying oh get rid of the TV you won't even notice it is gone. First, my husband works for the cable company, as part of his job requirement we have cable, (along some of the bells and whistles like DVR and half price Pay Per View), and oh yeah TV pays our bills (weird right?). Second my husband likes TV. He works hard and enjoys watching TV at night. 'Nuff said about that.

At our house we don't watch what I feel to be an overabundance of TV. However my children do watch cartoons and Leanna grew up with Clifford, Little Einsteins, Dora (she knows all of her numbers and colors in Spanish which I think is cool) and Word World and Hudson he unfortunately has grown up with Spongebob (I HATE THIS SHOW), Diego (he now has an insane curiosity for animals) and Sesame Street and Veggie Tales and Backyardigans (this was both children really).

There are occasions we watch the news with the kids. This very morning a little boy is missing and we were talking about it while we waited to hear the weather for the day. I live in a world with good and bad and I want my babies prepared for it. Hudson and I had what I feel to be a pretty good conversation (he is 2 you know) about why we never go outside without a mommy or a daddy (or a Ms. Beth, or Grandma Kathy, or a etc. etc. etc.) and how when you are outside by yourself it is dangerous (we live by creeks and crazy driving teenagers which is just ugly trust me). This situation (which has me praying so hard for this little guy, his mom and his dad) is ugly and not fun and confusing and hard to deal with but it is soooo real. Yet, this news story (and TV watching) gave me another window and an in too make a point and a have an example and visual right there to start a conversation to my children.

I feel sometimes TV is valuable too. If used and enjoyed the right way.

However that is the beauty of this "bloggy" land. New ideas and help as well as disagreements and different opinions. What do's and do not's does your family have with the TV?

1 comment:

smac said...

Good post Shay! I've too seen a lot about TV lately. I think our family kind of lies somewhere in the middle. We like tv/movies and enjoy having time together as a family to watch movies or time for Will and I to just kind of veg out. I do think though that in some famalies tv/movies become the babysitters ALL the time.
I'd be the first to admit that on rainy days or if the girls or crazy and I don't feel well we watch more movies than normal. But that's not the normal everyday thing. I don't think tv is going to hurt anyone...I'd argue it's more what we're watching than necessarily how much we are watching.
We've been kind of forced to experiment with this lately. When our cable was more than we thought it was worth we made the hard decision to get rid of it. And I mean HARD. I was angry about it for a little bit. I'd come to LOVE that little gray box that sat atop my tv and allowed me to record tv whenever I wanted and more importantly allow me to stop real time tv. That box alone was probably more important to me than the actual cable programming. Most of the shows Will and I watched were network shows...anyway...the reason I had such a hard time was this feeling of entitlement. I felt like I should be able to have this thing. it had to go.
For our family it was not worth the money. Now if I was you Shay and got it for cheaper or free I'd be all over it and we'd probably still have it.
Right now we have no tv channels at all. When our cable was up we didn't want to spend the money right away to get the converter box and antenna so we waited. 3 months later we still don't have them and I honestly don't miss them. We have super high speed internet because of Will's work so we just watch all our shows online. Will has it set up so we hook up the computer to the tv and can still watch our tv shows on our actual tv. It works for us. I do miss watching the news sometimes, but honestly I didn't watch it that much before hand anyway. We also rent movies and stuff from the library which is great and free. We also utilize redbox as well. This summer once all our shows are over for the season we might get netflix, but I don't know. I kind of like the freedom of having time to read and do other things.
I have found with the tv channels suddenly unavailable I get a lot more done. I'm not as tempted to sit down or let Lily just watch one more show. It's been kind of nice and freeing in a way for us. Now that's just our family. And I'm in no way anti-tv I guess to answer your question in a very long way.
I do think that sometimes kids are allowed to watch things that aren't necessarily age appropriate just because it's on.
Growing up my parents would always tell us, "just because it isn't bad doesn't mean it's good." I would get upset at them for saying that, but it's really true. Will and I just try to be observant of how much they are watching. We remind Lily that watching tv and movies is a privilege not a right. Tv and computer are one of the first things to go when she's acting up and having a bad attitude.
Like I said that's just our family and what we are finding works for us. I'm sure it will continue to change and shift as different seasons come.
This was way too long sorry!! Not even sure if I made sense. Lily came up here 3 times to ask me something in the middle. :) Good stuff Shay!