During my journey of motherhood, I’ve learned I’m a middle of the road mama. I don’t really classify myself into a single style of parenting. I take what I like from each style and leave the rest. I try not to judge what others decide to do because it’s their family. Besides crying it out and working out of the home, I would say the biggest judgement I’ve received is letting my kids watch tv.
I’ve watched enough “Honey We’re Killing the Kids” to know unlimited screen time is not good for anyone. I’m also a big proponent of getting outdoors. But one of the things I hope to teach my children is to enjoy everything in moderation. In my parenting and life philosophy, small amounts of ice cream = necessary. Large bowls of ice cream every day followed by potato chips and soda = taking it too far.
We’ve adapted the same attitude with tv. We let the boys watch one or two shows per day and we always watch together. If we’re not actively watching tv, the tv is off. We record only shows both the parents and children like so we can watch the shows together. We don’t watch commercials. We talk about the shows afterwards. We learn the songs and sing them together. We learned sign language as a family by watching Signing Times. Watching tv is a (semi-)passive activity we do together as a family that balances out the active activities we do such as walking to the park, playing in the backyard, and enjoying time outdoors.
As with anything else in parenting, I believe there is no right or wrong way to parent. I would like to teach my children that you can have a healthy relationship with tv, video games, computers, chocolate… anything. For me, the way I choose to teach that is to teach by example. I’d love to hear other’s thoughts on why they do or do not let their kids watch tv!