Please Don’t Kill My Television

December 18, 2010

How could something that brought us Jem and the Holograms be bad?

My children watch Saturday morning cartoons.  Yes, dear readers, this means that we do indeed own a television and that my kids watch it.  I can’t imagine that anyone who has ever even accidentally glimpsed at this blog finds this information at all shocking, so I’ll go easy on the apologetic attempts at justification.  Let it suffice to say that my family watches TV, in moderation but still a fair amount, and we love it.

Saturday morning cartoons in our house aren’t exactly that … the kids don’t sit in front of whatever animated programming is generally offered on network TV.  Instead, Saturday mornings are the time when I loosen the usual weekday television restrictions.  During weekday TV time, the kids can pick a movie or one of about five shows we’ve deemed acceptable (of tolerable educational value/age appropriate.)  On Saturdays, the options expand, not into programming that is inappropriate, but into shows that we don’t usually allow simply because they annoy the grown-ups in the house.  Additionally, the kids are allowed to exercise their bizarre, all-consuming need for repetition, meaning that I find myself saying things like, “Sure, you can watch the dragon movie a third time in a row.”  It helps that I secretly also want to watch the dragon movie for a third time.  (What?  It’s really good.)

I know that screen time doesn’t exactly make the cut for a child’s hierarchy of needs, but I also know that Saturdays suck for me.  My kids get up before 6 am, and my husband spends the entire day at work for the sixth day in a row.  A mama needs a break, and a pot of coffee and our television provide that for me.  I also take solace in the fact that my best friend from high school watched Saturday morning cartoons throughout her childhood, and she went to Yale and then to medical school and now she’s  going to be a doctor, so the risk of long-term television-induced damage can’t be that high.   Plus, the studies out there are kind of all over the map and not always particularly well done, which means I’m on my own for this one.   And left to my own parenting devices, I’m spending the morning with Dora the Explorer.  I mean, she is bilingual.

-Meryl at the Goose

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4 Responses to “Please Don’t Kill My Television”

  1. Diana Says:

    I love this post!
    We limit TV, but we do enjoy some, do not consider it to be the road to hell, so to speak, and in general, try to take a balanced approach to life.

    I too, grew up watching a marathon of Saturday morning cartoons, with limited access during the week, and while I haven’t been to Yale, or become a Doctor, I do feel I grew up with a healthy attitude toward TV…I watch little these days, but enjoy a good movie here and there, and various series (commercial free courtesy of Netflix), and still manage to be creative and functional.

    I think you deserve the Saturday rest!

  2. Alyssa Says:

    Agreed – I was uptight about tv watching for a while but come on, as long as they’re watching wholesome stuff and it’s not keeping them from running around and doing other important things, then it gives us all some much needed down time “apart”. Glad you said it!

  3. Theresa Says:

    Love it. T.V. allows me to have personal hygiene in the morning. Also I am one of those parents that got sucked into the Your Baby Can Read cult. You won’t see any videos posted on YouTube of my little genius reading flashcards, but his verbal skills are phenomenal and he can sight read 30+ words while I shave my legs! Win win! Don’t hate- moderate.

  4. carole rubin Says:

    Meryl,
    I’m so glad that the kids watch Dora the Explorer.
    My sister-in-law’s brother wrote the music for Dora and for Diago………
    Love reading your blog.
    Carole Rubin


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