I need some parenting advice regarding the television: I hate it, but sometimes I need it, and I hate that I need it . . . to babysit my kids. I've been feeling pretty proud of myself because for about the past month or even longer, Sami was rarely if ever watching t.v. On days that she wasn't tired for a nap, or maybe once in a while on a weekend evening, I'd let her put on a show. But other than that she wasn't asking for it, didn't seem to even remember that there was a Big Red Dog right there, in her living room, just waiting to be turned on. She had reached this stage of independent play and imagination that is what I had been waiting for her entire life. Then one morning, in desperation, I made the mistake of asking her if she didn't want to watch a little t.v. (probably so I could have just a few more minutes online . . . stupid, stupid), and now Clifford's got her back.
I site one of the reasons I hate the television so much from one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver, who says, (from her website), "She counts among her most important early influences: the Bookmobile, a large family vegetable garden, the surrounding fields and woods, and parents who were tolerant of nature study (anything but snakes and mice could be kept in the house), but intolerant of TV."
So I have a question: what rules have you come up with regarding your kids and television? Any ideas for what to do instead of turning on the tube? I'd love some advice on this one!