Our Love-Hate Relationship With TV
The first thing my preschool-age daughter does when she gets home is ask, "Can I watch a show?" In fact, the first thing my daughter does when she wakes up is ask, "Can I watch a show?" Truth be told, most of the time I'm happy to let her sit in front of the set. She goes to preschool from 9 AM to 6 PM (where she watches no TV at all) and by the time she gets home, she's exhausted, as are we. (After all, we worked all day!) My wife and I used to try to suggest alternatives. "Do a puzzle." "Make a card for Grandma." But nothing beats the pure zone-out pleasure of the tube.
In fact, dare I say that she learns stuff from TV? At 2, she could count to eight in Spanish thanks to Dora the Explorer. Now she's into Cyberchase, a show about math and science that's actually beyond her capabilities but that she loves anyway. We only let her watch "educational" shows ... OK, and SpongeBob, too (but mostly because I like it).
I admit there are times that I worry she's watching too much TV. I've read about all those studies that say the tube is ruining our kids and melting their brains. And it is trying when we need her to get dressed in the morning or eat breakfast and she can't seem to tear herself away from the screen without a fit. But banning TV would be counterproductive not to mention hypocritical. I mean, much as I'd like to believe that I could live without TV, I couldn't. (Life without The Office or hockey? I don't think so!)
So I guess I have to come to grips: We're a family of TV addicts. There's no going back now ... and no turning off the tube, either.