Last week I read an article about what the latest ‘in’ thing for middle-class parents is. Apparently, middle-class parents are not letting their children watch television. I can’t make my mind up whether I should be in awe of these parents or whether I should be weeping for their deprived children. I do know mums like this. The ones who claim that their children don’t watch any telly, but secretly I have never believed them.
I mean how is that even possible?
In a picture that went with the article there was a young girl happily playing Monopoly with her mother. I then knew that I couldn’t believe anything that this mother said.
“Why” I hear you shout!
Well we all know that no one plays Monopoly happily. In our house it normally ends in near fights, tears and sulks. Some of those being my actions. I’m a sore loser.
So I am going to stand up, take one for the team and bravely admit that I do let my children watch television. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all of the time, we aren’t the Royle Family (yet) but the TV can be a mum’s saviour.
Here is why I won’t be stopping my children from watching television:
- The television can act as an emergency babysitter for when you have to jump in the shower, unload the dishwasher or go to the toilet. Basically, doing anything that you don’t want destroyed or hindered by little ones.
- The television helps calm little ones that are tired and grumpy from playgroup and school.
- The television is educational. I swear that oldest could speak spanish because of Dora. I know what you are thinking and yes I am very proud of that parenting achievement. Sarcasm aside the television does have many educational benefits, such as where I failed in trying to get Youngest to recognise her shapes the television succeeded. Yes, Youngest is proof that the television is a far superior teacher.
- We live on a teeny tiny island. The telly is a window to the world. It helps my children understand that the world is bigger than a postage stamp.
- It tells my children when to go to bed. They don’t listen to me but they listen to the television. The end of CBeebies is the signal for my children to get up those stairs pronto.
- If I am ever ill then the television makes for an excellent substitute entertainer, whilst I quietly weep and vomit on the sofa.
All of the above are very valid reasons for owning a television but I am now wondering if there are ever any benefits to not owning a television.
Here are the reasons that might tempt me to sell our television:
- No more watching Peter Rabbit. Again and again and again and again.
- No more watching Frozen. Again and again and again and again.
- No more arguing between Oldest and Youngest about whether they watch Frozen or Peter Rabbit. Again
and(you get the drift).
- I would no longer have annoying telly tunes in my head. The hot dog dance anyone? It drives me round the bend and let’s not get started on the Tospy and Tim theme tune.
On balance I think I will continue to let my children watch the telly. I am a strong believer that in moderation the television is just fine. My children also like to get out and explore the outdoors. They enjoy arts and crafts, reading and board games too. There are many benefits for letting my children watch television, namely my sanity.
What do you think about no television for children? An April fools joke? Genius or madness?
*After writing this post I had a twitter chat with Jen from Mum in the Madhouse (check out her blog here), who told me that she is going to start having #signoffSundays . The idea is that you have no phones, tablets and PC’s. This sounds like a great idea and I am wondering if we should give it a go and throw telly into the mix too. What do you think? Without a doubt the kids would be fine, I would struggle. Am I brave enough to try? Watch this space!*