This has been written about on so many blogs I read and even on television programs themselves that I was hesitant to write about it. But since we have a pretty loyal following, I wanted to ask you. How much TV do your kids watch and is it a problem for you?
I find the media, and by that I mean computers, VCR’s, DVD players, iPod’s, cell phones and such have really changed the way kids “play” now. My kids had Sesame Street at noon followed by Mr. Rogers and a few cartoons in the late afternoon. That was pretty much it as far as TV watching went. They had Saturday morning cartoons and that was a few hours on Sat morning. There were “programs” such as The Dukes Of Hazard, The Incredible Hulk, Night Rider and such that were on once a week. But pretty much, cartoons weren’t on all day long like they are now.
When I have my grandchildren here, I find they would rather play. If the TV is on, I find that it’s more of a background noise. My oldest grandson Bailey would never ask me to turn on the TV if playing outside was an option. He will get up in the morning and watch it until we’re up but that’s about it. My granddaughter Trinity is just getting into the Hannah Montana and H2O type shows but they aren’t on “all the time.” The youngest, Christopher, likes the TV on but he might stop and look at it once in a while but he’d rather play. With him, it’s watch it now and then. I think he likes the commercials more than programs.
None of them ever ask to go on the computer. I have to say that when they are here, they would much rather play outside pretending things. They go “hunting” and they can play pretend things all day long. They swim, play in the HUGE sandbox, make forts and well….just pretend things. When I first heard of “webkinz” I asked Trinity what they were and she’d never heard of them. I guess they are little stuffed animals and kids play with them along with a website where you play games and “buy” things for them. Kids as young as 5 are playing them. There are also websites where little girls can go play “dress up” and you dress dolls on-line. Now, given the choice, there is no way Trinity would rather put clothes on a doll on the computer versus her own dolls in their own clothes that she does “for real.” Bailey would much rather go “hunting”, (pretending) “for real,” than do it on-line. Or play sports. If he could play ball “for real” there is no way he’d rather do it in a game either on-line or a video game. He’d like the video game if for “real” wasn’t an option.
Yes, I have been guilty of using the TV as a babysitter for both my own kids as well as the grandchildren but that’s really only if I need to shower or am cooking. I guess I’m saying that I used it as a time filler.
So what about you and yours? What are your feelings about all the technology today?