Video Killed the Creative Free Playing Imagination Star

Baby Evan is finally at the age where he’s starting to notice the television and it is making me a very sad panda. With a list of reasons kids shouldn’t watch tv as long as my arm and the revelation that even Baby Einstein is more like Baby Paris Hilton I fear it may be time to kick my viewing addiction habit. Or at least cut back. A little. Maybe.

If I was the kind of parent I feel like I SHOULD be, we would pack up this 60-inch monstrosity dominating our family room right now and I would spend my days listening to classical music while reading Voltaire (in the original French) aloud while Baby Evan recites his Latin verbs and colors inside the lines of his Art of the Masters coloring book. But first I need to find out what happened on Glee. And who wins Top Chef. And whether or not Tyra’s models will ever learn to smile with their eyes. And if this guy spins $1.00 on the big wheel. And if Chandler and Monica ever get married. Ok I know that last one but all those Friends reruns aren’t going to watch themselves.

We’re never going to be a tv-free family and I’m comfortable with that decision. I’m not using the tv as a babysitter for my 8 month old. I’m not relying on Dora or the Teletubbies or Barney to teach him the alphabet. I just need to find a balance between using television as a constant background noise to keep me from feeling isolated during the day and making sure Baby Evan’s first words aren’t “THIS….is American Idol!”

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9 Responses to “Video Killed the Creative Free Playing Imagination Star”

  1. Audrey says:

    I have the same problem of complete boredom causing the television to be on a little more than it maybe should. I have the compounded problem of being housebound now that we are down to one car and the weather is chilling up. Usually Ev ignores the tv unless there is music, but one way that I downplay the tv time when Ev is in the room is to watch whatever I want to watch on the laptop via Hulu. I can watch it while keeping an eye on him as he’s playing or, and more often this is what I do, I can watch it at night or during naps. I catch up on my favorite shows without worrying what he is or isn’t seeing.

  2. Emmie Bee says:

    I’m def in this boat as well, mama! I started to realize that Hudson is indeed WATCHING what I am watching! I have started letting him watch one episode of Yo! Gabba! Gabba! every other day- but the TV is pretty much constantly on in the background of our lives. I definitely struggle with the fact that I know it’s a bad decision to have the TV on at all- but WOW! Sometimes SAHM-ing is BORING. Like, sometimes, while Hudson plays quietly I reallllly get the urge to watch 18 hours of Law and Order reruns.

  3. Oh man, I have struggled with this for a while and now that Calder is ASKING to watch TV, I am starting to feel really bad about it. Since I too am of the constant background noise persuasion, I try to find stuff to watch that is at the most educational (I may be kidding myself) and at the least, not harmful. I find the long blocks of Planet Earth, Blue Planet and whatnot to be helpful since he really like animals. Or dinosaur specials on Discovery. For kids TV, NickJr (formerly NOGGIN) is where it’s at. Sprout is OK but it has commercials which I do not like.

  4. I have this issue as well, since when we’re home there is always either music or background tv. Should Ivy happen to fall asleep while it’s quiet (as quiet as Brooklyn can get) the tiniest noise will wake her up.

    I generally don’t use it as a main form of entertainment for her, but when I do, I’m really thankful for PBS kids. And I read her lots of books to make up for that 1/2 hour that Miffy the sweet little bunny entertains her while mommy does dishes/laundry/whatever.

  5. Erin says:

    I’ve said it before. Cutting back is good, but as soon as you pack up the TVs you will be homeschooling before you know it.

  6. Erin says:

    @ Emmie Bee — I get that same urge!!! the other day it was to watch all the episodes of the sopranos that were on demand in one day….Luckily the baby was REALLY sleepy that day. Or maybe all that talk of veal parm and wacking people is better than a lullaby?

  7. Amanda says:

    The music channels are a MUST in our house and Madison doesn’t really even care what we are listening to. That said Mickey Mouse makes a FANTASTIC babysitter when mommy is deathly ill on the couch and daddy is at work!

  8. Emmie Bee says:

    @Erin: Glad I’m not alone! :)

  9. Brigid Keely says:

    I do the same “tv as adult dialogue to keep me from going insane” thing. It was working pretty well until I noticed that Niko is, yes, distracted by the TV and watches it instead of trying to suck paint off the radiators, so I’ve been trying to watch it less.

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