I guess that’s why they call parenting selfless

September 24th, 2008

Eww, it’s been one of those emotional rollercoaster days at work. Someone gets all rude about something then I get all revved up. But now I think, what am I even worried about here? There are so much bigger things to worry about in life than someone being snippy over some detail at work. So, there, I am done with that.

I’m also working on a little research on how much TV kids should watch. Well, I knew the answer. They don’t need any and they say none for kids under 2 and about 1 hour for kids older. I figured these things, but after pouring over different research I’m feeling really bad about the recent mornings where Ella watches cartoons for 15 minutes while I get ready for work. And we often have the TV blazing at nighttime as well – not that she’s watching, but there’s also question about whether background TV could lead to attention deficit as well. And then there are those nights when she just doesn’t want to go to sleep and I pull her into bed with me and we lay watching TV for a little while before I put her back in bed.

Oy. The thing is it’s HARD to get up before 6 a.m. four days a week, after three days of 8 a.m., to get Ella and I both ready, and drive all over two counties avoiding stupid road construction that’s taken a YEAR for a grand total of 45 minutes to arrive at work at 7 a.m. So I love that extra 20 minutes of sleep I get from letting Ella eat her breakfast and watch a cartoon while I get myself ready.

And we love TV. I admit it. I love reality TV. I love sitcoms especially. How I Met Your Mother, New Adventures of the Old Christine, Entourage … I can’t wait for Desperate Housewives to start back up this Sunday.

I’m a believer in moderation. When Ella’s a little older, I’ll let her watch a little TV each day. But I do see how I’m making hard habits to break. And I do see that she doesn’t eat as good a breakfast when she eats it with TV. And I’m trying not to start the habit of dinner in front of the TV, so that’s only confusing matters.

So I guess I know what I want to do. Get up earlier and not let Ella watch TV in the morning. And at night, I think we should watch our shows after she goes to bed. It’s not that big of a deal now, we can go play in the backyard or to a park. But, this is going to get tricky in the winter. And I think we better get stricter about her 8 p.m. bedtime, or it’s only going to be harder.

4 Responses to “I guess that’s why they call parenting selfless”

  1. Misty on September 25, 2008 5:54 pm

    I too struggle with this dilema. I will say, now that Jake is in school, we don’t watch any before school (because they watch and don’t get ready) and with activities and things, he doesn’t have time to watch shows. So on the weekends we are a little more lax on how much time. Riley watches a little more in the morning because he isn’t in school and it allows me to take a shower, or get something done. So I think it’ll work itself out, don’t stress too much.

  2. Erin on September 26, 2008 1:05 am

    That is good to know Misty. It does seem to me like moderation – and the right shows are key!

  3. Karly on September 27, 2008 3:42 am

    I watched “Sesame Street” and a few other programs pretty regularly when I was a kid and I turned out OK. Right? :-) I think if letting her watch a little TV makes you more relaxed, she’ll benefit from that more than a little TV will hurt her. I can’t wait for “Desperate Housewives” either. I’m curious about the flash forward!

  4. Kevin on September 28, 2008 4:42 am

    I don’t think TV is that bad, but it’s what you watch. But you are totally right that playing with your kid is way better then having the TV babsit them. Joan Ganz Cooley, the founder of Children’s Television Workshop, used to say, ‘I can give you two hours of good television a day.’ She was referring to Sesame Street and Mister Rogers Neighborhood. It’s sad that cartoons are all the rage, and parents don’t want to show kids real people (or puppets), sharing and explaining feelings and important things that can help child development.

    “We were saying when we started that we were interested in the cognitive development of children, primarily. Letters, numbers, preparing them for school. I think Fred would have said is that he is interested in the affective development of children. The psychological and emotional development of children. So we saw us as operating in more in two different spheres. So I think the two shows in some ways are closer, but still extremely complimentary. And children deserve those two shows.”

    Joan Ganz Cooney – Founder of Children’s Television Workshop (Sesame Street)

    If you’re worried about television for your kids, contact your local PBS and ask them to also air Mister Rogers daily. Show them stuff that makes them a better person.


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