Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is tv ok?

A long winded way to ask "is tv ok?" ...

Last week Magoo had himself an atrocious play date while I attempted to catch up with a gorgeous friend - without letting the steam emenating from my ears interfere too much with our conversation.

Hey, catching up with girlfriends - or finishing a sentence/train of thought when our children are present is a challenge at the best of times.
It's near impossible when your (one, easy!) child decides that your friend's child is not to touch ANY of his toys, puzzles, furniture, oxygen...
Painful, humiliating stuff.
I'. Must. Re. Mem. Ber. He. Is. Two.' stuff.

Anyway, my poor friend left with her beautiful, smiley, sharey boy and I was left with my #$%&^** darling. I. Must. Re. Mem. Ber. He. Is. Two.

I dared not yell my frustration out for fear of bringing in the neighbours or smack for fear of bringing in DOCS, so I silently stomped about the place until a little voice squeaked
"ABC Too Mum?"
"Mum, ABC 2 pweese?"

In the past month "ABC Toooo" has become part of my little Magoo's (hopefully 200+ word) vocabulary. I'm not sure how as I've never referred to it and it is (was, I should say) rarely on in our place.

No, no, no. I'm not a pious television hating parent who sits saint-like playing with her child every minute of every day.
I'm just a DVD putting on parent who has no problems with The Wiggles, Bob, Play School and Thomas - so they grace our screen while I shower, clean, cook, pay bills, prep school or zone out/cuddle right there beside Magoo.

I think if you go overboard on totally banishing things that are ingrained in our society (like some idiot box, a bit of junk and copious pairs of shoes - just me with the shoes thing?) then you're likely to create a monster. A desperate tv seeking, junk food swiping, shoe envious monster.

But lately, Magoo is requesting "ABC 2 pweese" intemittently from the minute he gets up in the morning until he hits the pillow at night. I can trace this new obsession of his back to the influence of the gym creche, Nanna's place, my bout of food poisoning & lack of energy one day or plain old Daddy. I don't have a problem with it. He won't get any more screen time than he normally would - I just don't have to put those DVDs in and out, in and out, restart, open, wipe fingerprints off, retry, in and out, yep, that's a scratch, told you not to touch them, try again... you know the drill.

On the day of 'furious anger following diabolical social interaction' I slowly and calmly replied through gritted teeth that ABC 2 would not be going on at all for the rest of the day. I may have also said that ABC 2 would never be going on again if Magoo treated people like he had that morning.

So we remained televisionless for the day and it wasn't that big a deal.
For Magoo.
Who, incidentally was an absolute angel the next day -  and watched ABC 2 after breakfast and before dinner (with many hours in between the two!!) as a result.

I spent the next few days wondering how television had become my discipline tool, my 'reward' or 'incentive' I guess.
Ew. I don't think I like it.
I didn't think televsion was that important to us.
I don't want it to be.
We even have an old, small by modern standards, fat back television.
We just don't get into tvs like that.
I like to think we're active, sporty, get outside folk.
But that's a lot more fun (and practical) in Summer, isn't it now?

Lou over @ Sunny + Scout posted a little while back about getting rid of their television completely. Just the thought made me uncomfortable!
So, I guess we're more television dependent here than I thought - or like to think.

How do you feel about 'the idiot box' at your place?

Shar :-)


Posie Patchwork said...

Totally agree on the dey the television = them wanting it more!! My children are not big television watchers, never have been & come school holidays, when it's like snowing outside & the perfect thing would be to cuddle up on the lounge with a movie, i can't pay them to sit down & watch a movie. At least he's chosing something harmless but maybe try documentaries too - it's all part of learning. Just don't beat yourself up about it. Some parents freak out about computer time, when they use them so much at school, it's part of the cirriculum & you'll get behind if they're not IT savvy. So long as they are fit & healthy, with the ability to socialise (2 is not the age to be judging him, you're right, he's just 2 & will have those days, especially for an audience outside the home, just to keep you guessing) he'll be fine. Personally, i can't stand listening to ABC television & my children would prefer Myth Busters are little ones, so at least i was keeping my science degrees valid. Love Posie

Anonymous said...

Know exactly how you feel, I felt like World's Worst Parent when read that kids under five shouldn't watch more than an hour a day! Crap-a-doodle!
Don't know how I'd get anything done if I had to cram it all into a measly one hour while the kids were quiet and not demanding my undivided attention!