Thursday, July 29, 2010

Television and my children

I came into work today exhausted.  My 3 year old decided to wake up at 4: something, right after the baby had gotten up.  Jack doesn't really understand that at that hour his voice does not need to be as loud as he is at a park. But since the baby had just been up I was somewhat coherent.  Per his request I got him a drink and a poptart. Then I was off to the gym.  But to keep the rest of the house sleeping I turned on Sesame Street and left him content on the couch.
I don't think that there is any harm in that. But as I checked my work email this morning right there smack in my face is this article form WebMd saying that too much TV is harmful to tots.   As if I don't already feel the guilt de jour of being a working mommy now I have this. I immediately sent the article to my husband.  Who by the way, is a teacher and is home with 4 boys this summer. I felt that I could warn him of the eminent danger of tv watching today.  How does my mind allow me to get caught up in this?  I doubt he will read it.
On average in the summer, if the weather is poor, I would say our boys watch about 2-3 hours of tv a day. Now although that number is slightly alarming its not all at the same time. Lets use today for example.  Jack will be awake from 4:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. with an hour nap.
That is 15 hours.   He has already watched 1 hour of tv
add a half hour before his nap,
a 1/2 hour while we make dinner, now we are up to 2 hours.
Then about an hour before bed.
To me, that doesn't seem like too much. What this article failed to discuss is what the kids are watching. I'm certainly not going to put him in front of a True Blood episode, or even icarly for that matter.  Its, Dora, Yo Gabba Gabba or Baby Einstein. I don't have any expectations that this will do anything but entertain or relax my nocturnal little boy.
Yes, in an ideal world I would have my house set up in the most Montessori natural setting for my boys, but that world, is not our world.
Plus, I enjoy watching them laugh. Life it too short to cut out a little cheap entertainment once in awhile.

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