The last few weeks have been an ongoing experiment. Yes… I finally gave in and turned on the television. Mind you, this was with great reluctance and a huge shift in my parenting style.
Over the course of the last 3 weeks Brase has been introduced to Sprout on American’s Public Broadcasting Service, PBS. This channel has an amazing lineup of programs for pre/post kindergartners. The Sunny Side Up Show and Fireman Sam were my programming choices. They focus on calendars, dates, birthdays, safety and relationship building. I had specifically limited Brase’s viewing time to 15 minutes during week day mornings. In actually, program selection was based on the time Brase rose from bed each school day. I thought this would be a calming activity to help ease him into his day.
I must admit Sprout’s programs are cute and entertaining. As an adult, I was even drawn to the characters and story lines. I liked everything about Sprout! That being said, I even broke my own time limiting rule during an early school dismissal day. On that occasion, we tuned in for a half hour of Sesame Street.
As weeks passed, reality set in and all my original fears came true. At week 3 of this experiment; it became a struggle to turn off the television. Tears and tantrums were brought on by my requests to turn it off. Brase also wanted more programming time in the afternoon. He would point to the closed television cabinet and says, “Pease.”
I am passionate about everything that involves my son. The one thing I have been most passionate about, from the beginning, is NO television. My motto… The alphabet should be taught by parents and all of Sesame Street’s characters need to stay out of the equation!
The benefits of television are far outweighed by the negative effects. Television viewing promotes sedentary behaviors, isolation and lack of responsibility. It programs children to regurgitate information and look to fantasy rather than reality. Television is a drug that sets children up to fail.
Brase has already transitioned back to his old morning routine. He plays with cars and trains while being my constant bathroom sidekick. He imitates sounds as toy roll across the tile floor. Words spout from his mouth and there is a never ending range of requests with every step he takes. As a parent, this is the kinda of learning and creativity I want to promote. In addition, it’s a little more time consuming but well worth the investment in the long run.
My bottom line… You only get one chance at raising your child. Give it your full attention!