I have a feeling this could be a controversial week at Tech 4 Mommies. A lot of people feel very strongly about the topics I’ll be discussing. That is why I’m setting up a Twitter party tomorrow night for us all to discuss it! If you participate in the Twitter party you will be entered to win a Logitech Harmony 300! I just ask that everyone respect other people’s opinion and we can all voice our opinions with dignity and class.
I preface this post with the disclaimer because MY opinion is probably an unpopular one. Or maybe I’m not as in the minority as I think…
I love TV. I love movies. Just a few steps into my house and you will see how much I love TV & Movies. It’s really one of my husband and I’s favorite thing to do (well… almost) after the kids have gone to bed. We just sit on the couch and watch a movie.
One thing that my husband doesn’t understand about me though is that even when I’m working or writing my blog, or paying the bills, or basically anything, I like to have the TV on. I enjoy the background noise. Especially if I’m doing something like the bills or blogging, I’ll put on one of my favorite shows that I’ve seen. So I don’t really have to pay attention to know what is going on. Since I enjoy this background noise… our TV is pretty much on all day. It’s not like we are sitting in front of it WATCHING it all day, it’s just there and on. The kids come and go, I come and go, my husband comes and goes, the dog comes and goes…. and the TV continues on. (Here’s where I’m probably going to lose my mom card, right?)
Here is my philosophy with kids and TV. I really don’t limit what they watch. They still get outside and play, they still go up to their rooms and play. They read books, they do everything else that kids should do. I actually find that since it’s on all day they don’t ever feel the need to just sit in front of it all the time. If a part interests them they may wander over to the TV and watch, and then move along when a commercial comes on. It’s the same thing that I do. If there is something I want to see, or a favorite part of a movie or TV show, I’ll stop what I’m doing and check it out.
So since my TV is on all day of course my children have watched TV BEFORE THE AGE OF TWO! GASP! Here is what I don’t like about those studies that absolutely forbid television before the age of 2 (and YES, I’ve read all the studies). There are very different types of “watching TV”. There is the “sit the kids in front of the TV and let them go comatose”… or there is the “sit with your kids, spend time with them and talk about what’s on the TV.” We would do this with my daughter and Baby Einstein all the time. I would sit with her, and when they had a dog on the screen I would say “dog” and point at the screen. It was interactive. I will admit though, I work FULL TIME, FROM HOME, with NO HELP (except for when my husband doesn’t have to work until later). The TV is my only saving grace some times. That is when I save the super special shows that I know my kids love and will sit down and watch at least most of a full episode. I once wrote on my personal blog that Noggin was a gift from heaven for ill parents.
So I’m sure I’ll be judged for having the TV on all day, but I will say this… my 4 year old reads at a mid-year first grade level (according to her preschool teacher LAST YEAR). She can do math, and can navigate a computer probably better than my Mother (sorry Mom). Yes, she has the TV on as background noise for most of the day, and yes she probably watches way more than she should. The difference, I think is whether or not the parent is involved in the child’s life. Is the TV a tool to help educate, and give Mom a break once in a while, or has it become something they are propped up in front of as a means of ignoring the child? THAT is where it can be dangerous I believe.
So I’m ready to take the beatings! I’d love to hear from both sides of the argument! Later today I will post the official details of the Twitter party for tomorrow (sponsored by Logitech), where we can have an in depth discussion on this and the other topics I’ll be addressing this week with regards to kids and games and other technology! Commence discussion in 3…2…1…
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com