We got rid of cable tv today -- which means, no tv at all because we don't have an antenna either.
Don't panic -- we have a dvd player -- but the constant temptation to watch pointless crap had to go (and by pointless crap I mean The Real Housewives of Orange County
I said we would never get cable because if we did, I'd watch too much tv -- we did, and I did. How many times can you watch the same episode of Top Chef
? And more importantly -- the tween shows had to go. We really only allowed Hannah Montana
-- we are mostly still into the Nick cartoon stuff, but between the commercials and the times my kids weren't actually watching, "it just came on" and they were "just about to turn it off" -- some very snotty attitudes were seeping in.
From the first time I saw a Mary Kate and Ashley video I haven't gotten it -- I don't get what's supposed to be cute or cool about talking sassy at people. I don't mind a clever wit against a bully, but that's not how most of these shows go -- they're more like 'how to be a mean kid 101'. And not that the tots the show is aimed at need to be digging deep into heavy issues, but they don't need schoolin on how to be superficial and mean spirited either.
Again, I point back to Hannah Montana
, because there you go -- you can take a 3rd grade load off and be entertained for half an hour and the kids are good natured with the rivalry stuff. And with dvd's there's no commercials :o). Kids of the Mary Kate and Ashley videos age should stick with Blue's Clues.
I seemed to have stepped on my soapbox -- wasn't where I was going with this but as long as I'm here I'll tell you of the first time I lost a battle of parenting vs. the influence of the tube -- it was back when we still had an antenna and before cable and I had PBS kids.Arthur.
turned my kid on me. The episode was about name calling -- D.W. called someone stupid, or vice versa and people were upset and then things got worked out and all ended well on the show.
Well, not for me -- my kid was fascinated, she was 4-ish and didn't get what had everyone on the show so riled up -- she asked me many questions until she glowed with understanding. Did she walk away with the message the show was going for?
No. No she did not. My child picked up on the fact that certain words have the power to make some things go down and shake some people up.
Now, of course I didn't ban Arthur from the okay list, but I did take that experience as a big heads up to not underestimate the influence of the tube. To this day, consequences be damned -- when that kid gets mad, the "stupid" gets yelled at someone. And granted, they all pick it up sooner or later and we parents have deal with the name calling issue and other issues of right and wrong, but I'd rather it be later and not because of the television.
And with any luck maybe they will never be exposed to an MTV dating show. If they do though, hopefully they will have the kind of foundation in place that will cause them to be sufficiently repulsed. Serious.
Labels: it's like telling an alcoholic they don't have to quite drinking altogether -- but just not to drink so much