Monday, February 28, 2011

Easily intimidated?

Maybe intimidated isn't the word for what I experience, but I don't quite know what to call it.  It's the feeling that maybe I should be doing things someone else's way, even though I know in my heart that that way really doesn't jive with my belief system and who I am as a person and a mom.  This feeling must be followed by a stern talking to that I give myself to remind me that I'm doing ok as a mom.  That my children aren't complete beasts.

When I took N and G to the library a couple weeks back, there was a table near the check out with books on child discipline and parenting, so I grabbed one that looked interesting, Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World by Jill Rigby.  I could tell after a quick glance that it was too religious for my taste, but I figured I could skip those parts.  And all the prayer stuff wasn't even what got me thinking that maybe I should do things differently.

It was the tv stuff.

I admit that sometimes I have the tv on just for noise (for me).  Just to be able to get some things done; to keep N and G from fighting or keep G from stomping on M's head when I am trying to fix supper.  We don't have cable or satellite service, so all my kids get to watch is PBS and things that I've deemed ok on Netflix instant stream.   All G or PG shows/movies.  If I turn on the news, I only watch for the weather and then I switch it back to educational tv....because there is far too much sad/depressing/anxiety-inducing stuff on the news.  

But reading this book and it's reminder to turn the tv off has forced me to think a little more about when and why I turn the tv on for the kids.  And for how long.
And that is probably a good thing.  

When N was a baby, I was a tv nazi, fearful that her perfect little brain would turn to jello if I allowed the tv on.  And then I had a nervous breakdown, perhaps from being inside with my baby with no tv to distract me from the weight of being around a baby all.the.time.  So I have lightened up a good deal just for my own effin' sanity.  

I don't think any of the kids are gonna be screwed for life for watching too many episodes of Fetch!  With Ruff Ruffman or Toy Story 3.  

That's my story, and I'm stickin' with it. 


Kelsey said...

Hey Carrie,

I don't recall if I already commented on your imagination post... but I was thinking of TV when I read that too.

I think I am extraordinarily relaxed about how much TV my children watch (and actually Michael doesn't like it much). I think I am fairly picky about what they watch. Harper has watched a ton of TV between my grad school then bed rest then the infant hood of an extraordinarily needy brother. She has certainly watched more than her recommended amount. BUT she's smart, creative, and physically fit. So sometimes I think all the brew-ha-ha about TV is overrated.

I DO think it is good to be mindful of it though. My general rule is that I make more of an effort to turn it off when Harper argues too much about turning it off - like that's my cue we've been watching too much.

Sorry to ramble in your comments section!

Keri said...

I struggle so much with the whole TV thing. In my ideal world, we wouldn't even own one. Yet I've actually become attached to some of my kids' favorite shows and I LIKE for them to watch them...not to mention, it's so daggone easy to say "yes" to turning on another show or video.

On the other hand, I'm a firm believer in kids engaging in activities that use their minds and imaginations, and TV is pretty much the opposite of that, so I fight with myself a lot over the TV issue. I mean, sure they do learn stuff (from the well-chosen programs, anyway). But taking in information while staring at a monitor isn't the same as actively exploring, doing and thinking for themselves.

On another subject, I think it's good that you were willing to give the book a chance even though you could tell it didn't fit your philosophy. (I haven't read that book, but I've heard good things about it.) I try to pick up parenting books that look interesting even if they're not written from a Christian worldview, because I figure I can always glean the good stuff and ignore the stuff that doesn't fit.