15 January 2007

Thoughts on TV

I never really watched TV growing up. It's not that my parents restricted it, I just, for whatever reason, wasn't that interested. There are some exceptions: I went through a cartoon phase in third grade or so, an MTV phase when it first came on when I was in sixth/seventh grade, and I was a devoted Little House and Facts of Life fan. But overall, not so much TV. I was and still am a big reader instead.

As an adult, I'm the same way. TV just doesn't hold much interest for me. I get my news from the paper (online) or NPR. It never occurs to me to turn on the TV as background noise when I'm home. We don't have a TV in our bedroom.

My exceptions as an adult are sports (I LOVE to watch baseball and football) and 24 (spoiler, but for anyone who watched last night: how hardcore was it when Jack bit that dude in the jugular!) I also like to watch some TV shows on DVD via blockbuster.com. Lately I've been into Scrubs and the next show I want to check out is Grey's Anatomy. Oddly, I like medical shows (you'd think I'd get enough medical crap in my real life) and legal shows.

When we had the twins, I was all high and mighty about TV. Our kids were never going to watch TV! It poisons your brain! It makes you stupid! It's lazy parenting! To a certain extent, I still agree with those statements and I don't plan to let the twins watch unlimited TV. But, in my nearly seven months as a parent, I've learned a few things. Never say never. Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to keep your own sanity intact. A little TV can go a long way to keeping a baby calm, quiet, and happy.

So the twins watch TV. I don't mean that I plop them down in front of the TV while I do other things. But if I want to watch the Pats game, they might go in their exersaucers near the TV with me sitting close to them with the game on in the background. Or the three of us might hang out on their play mat in front of the TV with the game on. It's scary and fascinating to me that they will actually watch the TV for long (in baby terms) periods of time; yesterday Riley chewed on a cup lid and watched the entire halftime report during a football game, happy as a clam. He'd been quite crabby all day, so the fifteen minutes of quiet concentration was a blessed relief.

I do worry that TV is addicitive and that all those colors, lights, and movement can mess with babies' brains. But at the same time, I need to cut myself some slack. Some days they don't see TV at all. Some days they see more than I'd like. I'm going with moderation in all things. For now, that's the best I can do.


Yankee, Transferred said...

A little TV never killed anyone. My kids watched a little as tots, and have none during the school week UNLESS THEY ARE MAKING STRAIGHT "A"s. So they hang out in front of it when they can on the weekend. Which, with sports, is very little.

critter said...

Main danger in letting your kids watch TV is that...they'll become Pats fans. Dear lord.

Like you, I'm not a big fan of TV. Dad, however, did turn me into a Yankee fan via TV. Be.very.careful.