Is that little one watching Television? Don’t you know they tell you how risky that is, how it destroys imagination, and how very necessary it is to put a strict limit on the amount watched?
Well, yes that little girl is watching television (probably Curious George since that is her “must see”). And yes, I have heard all the things they have to say. And if you had asked me a few years ago, I would have wholeheartedly agreed. Back then I believed a lot of what they had to say. I was actually on the path to becoming a “they”. But something changed. I had a baby, and with that came this mothering instinct. This instinct guided me on many things from how I fed my baby to how I slept with my baby. It felt good. But it also scared me sometimes, and I tried to ignore it. This big gut feeling was making me question things that are not really supposed to be questioned in our society. Things like vaccines, things like discipline, and things like freedom.
I fought the questions for a while, some longer than others, until I just could not let myself ignore it anymore. I researched, I read stories, I read books, I questioned myself and questioned some more, I networked with others, I prayed (and prayed and prayed), and I talked with my husband and then decided how we felt, how we wanted to live.
The television offers so many good things, that I couldn’t possibly believe excluding it from our lives was the right way (before this point I had basically stopped watching too, because she might see it). I love to watch cooking shows, shows that are about my interests, and every once in a while a show that makes me laugh. So does my daughter.
I am still not one to have the tv on all day. It just doesn’t fit in with all the playing outside, coloring, playing with babies, dancing, reading and cooking, building (and knocking down) towers and peek-a-boo games we do. But there is something special about the way her face lights up when I turn on her favorite show or the way we cuddle when we watch a movie, or the way we instantly get up and dance when there is music in the program.
I will admit, as much I believe in freedom, I was still a little scared to turn on the television for my girl. Those doubts lingered in me, they had been deeply ingrained. But there is no decrease in her imagination, no evidence of brain rot. She continues to grow and learn and wonder.
I recently read someone advising against it because “there are other more stimulating activities available”. You know what my first thought was? Who wants to be constantly stimulated? We all need to just relax sometimes, and the television is perfect for just that.
This post was written back in 2011. This cute baby is now 5 and still watches TV. She has survived and thrived 🙂