Tuesday, August 18, 2009

About TV...

We allow our toddler to watch TV and I'm not at all comfortable with that. I don't want to create house rules that make him anti-social or rebel and go full throttle in the direction of the off-limits thing. But I also don't want to mess him up in any way by TV watching.

The teachers and parents at the Waldorf school down the street are adamantly against TV.

A mother of three told me that you are so over worrying about TV watching by that third kid.

A mother/write/Zen teacher wrote that TV is a surrogate and you should know this when you allow it into your child's life.

When my day with the children starts at 6:30am and my husband is either working late or on travel, it is so nice to put Elsa (9 months) down at 6:30 pm and sit with Arlo (2.5 years) on the bed while he watches a cartoon and I read a magazine, allowing us to coast to his 7:30pm bedtime.

Tonight, with my husband away, I entered that 13th hour alone with the kids very, very tired. Problem: I took away Arlo's TV privileges because he hadn't followed through with my instructions earlier in the evening. To my surprise, I was able to suck up my tiredness and pull off a very enjoyable and mellow evening with Arlo.

I put Elsa down at about 7 pm, then Arlo and I went down to the playroom to "cook" in his wooden kitchen. We made play soup, coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches with his play dishes and then sat on the couch and pretended to eat and drink. We talked about what we did throughout the day and we talked about things we could do tomorrow.

At 7:35 we headed upstairs to his bedroom to read books and sings a couple of songs and then tuck him in. He was perfectly happy to end the day with no cartoons and I felt better, like we had used that small bit of time to connect instead of zone out.

I'm not ready to go TV-less, but I am pretty darn satisfied with tonight's experience. Maybe tomorrow we'll try for two nights in a row.

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