Thursday, June 18, 2009

How watchful are you?

CityMama wrote an interesting article yesterday about her under-10-aged kids and television.

If you've been reading for a while, you know that I'm pretty mindful of what the kids watch.

We aren't into the kids watching those kid-focused stations like Nickelodeon or Disney or Cartoon Network. Why? Because I can't stand all those commercials. You know what I'm talking about. Those commercials publicizing all that unnecessary stuff. Products I don't want to buy the kids. Junk that I don't want cluttering my house.

Thankfully, the kids know not to ask if they can watch Nickelodeon or those other stations. Why? Because when we moved to this house about four years ago we told them that we don't get those stations. That we'd have to pay extra for those stations and we're not doing it. Yes. The kids can SEE those stations listed when they're looking through the guide. But if they enter in one of those stations? A window comes up in the middle of the TV asking for a code. And I told them that we don't have an access code for it since we don't pay for those stations. Yes. I set up a "parent" code for those stations. And the kids think it's there because we don't pay for those stations. Ha! Yes I'm a sneaky one.

Of course, when we go visit family the kids end up watching those stations. But that limited exposure to the commercials when we're visiting is a far better balance than if we let them watch those stations here at home. They get less exposure to certain elements we'd rather not have them exposed to.

We really don't like the behavior of the kids and the animated characters. Have you ever really watched Sponge-Bob?All kinds of sassy there. I'm not okay with the excessive sassiness. If I let them watch that show? That would be the same as me "okay'ing" the behavior. You know? I can barely handle the kids when they're tired and cranky. I don't need any additional tv inspired sassiness to elevate their bad behavior. I think I'd lose my she-ite regularly if my kids started displaying any of the behavior they saw on those programs.

What BigSis#2 laughs at is that I will let the kids watch Animal Planet most any time of the day. I can handle animals being analyzed. I can handle the animals hunting and eating each other. The animals have to live. I'd much rather the kids learn about animals than learn about how mean people can intentionally be towards each other. That people choose to be horrible to each other. For no good reason.

Now where do you stand on letting kids watch tv?


The Amazing Trips said...

I have four children born in under three years. Sometimes, when I'm trying to cook dinner and I have little ones hanging on my legs ... television is not only the BEST INVENTION EVER, it's my best friend.

To me, it's all about moderation. And finding nonviolent, educational programs. Or, you know ... anything by Pixar.

Grace said...

If I need the kids to be pre-occupied I do sometimes turn on a long-forgotten DVD. I know what you mean about trying to fix food with little ones underfoot.