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Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Necessary Evil?

There are studies aplenty about the ills of television-watching. It numbs our children's minds, promotes ADD-type behavior and lack of ability to focus, and it exposes them to violence and other behaviors that they may not understand (at best) or will internalize. Television watching turns off creativity and our brain patterns match those of a sleeping person.

Some of us have found, however, that television serves different and magical purpose: keeping the child safe from harm.

See, some of us cannot always be with, near, or attending our curious, mischievous, or otherwise too-smart-for-his-own-good child. Sometimes we need to cook dinner (for example) or take an important phone call. Maybe we just need some time to ourselves with a good book, or maybe there is something urgent and we need a quick and cheap babysitter. We certainly don't want to be downstairs speaking to the plumber while our 3 year old is banging an upstairs window with a stapler he "found" in the office (read: climbed on a stool and 2 chairs to reach where he is explicitly not allowed). So what options are there?

AHA! There is TELEVISION! If we turn on "Bob the Builder" or "Amazing Barbie Adventures in Princessland" we can be pretty darn sure that our 4 year old budding-electrician will keep his hands to himself and our 3 year old butterfly who REALLY CAN FLY will stay put.

The magazines and papers who run studies on television clearly have not studied the effects of television on the overworked, underpaid, exhausted and REAL desperate housewife/mommy. If they did, they'd find that exposing children to television efficiently and effectively lowers mommy's anxiety level, helps her find time to do the things she must take care of, and generally helps her maintain a level of peace and tranquility that is otherwise difficult, if not impossible, to create.

So, pick your poison - mind-melting television or 3-ring-circus with terrorized-mommy in the middle. I'm at peace with my choice (in moderation, of course ;)


  1. I think it's more PC nowadays to say ADHD. I think ADD was rid of a while ago

  2. We don't have a TV, and it really is hard sometimes. I can understand the temptation. But there are ways to keep your kids occupied and safe other than watching TV. My kids are in the kitchen with me when I cook dinner, munching on cut up veggies, or "helping me." If the plumber pays a visit, I bring them down to the basement with me. I work and I can imagine it's different with housewives if they never have a minute to themselves. I treasure my commute because I'm all alone in the car. :)

    Those couple of hours before Shabbat can be really difficult, and that's when I sometimes put the kids in front of the computer and let them watch home videos of themselves being adorable. When that stops being interesting, I'm not sure what I'll do. I keep reminding myself that my mom raised 8 kids with no TV, so I can do it too.

  3. Hedva,

    To clarify, I refer to "television" as a generic term for ANY "zapping kids in front of a screen" so the family videos also qualify. :) Cooking dinner, plumber visits, etc. of course can be worked out by sharing time/space with the children, but the challenge is when your child is not inclined to join you there. What do you do when your 2 older kids decide it's more fun to go upstairs and experiment with shampoo on the carpet? What happens when the contractor needs to speak with you about your bathroom project, and your child is in the middle of a tantrum because his sister won't let him play with Elmo... and this is the 3rd interruption already? I'd offer my lap to calm him down, but I already have sister #2 sitting there... you get the picture. Sometimes life is just overwhelming and offering ANY sort of way to keep your child(ren) safe and quiet is a blessing.

    As for your mom, she certainly did a fantastic job with her brood, but I wonder what her life (and yours?) would have looked like if she had more time/space to herself?

    Note that those of us who can hire help are blessed and that is of course an alternative solution. But many of us cannot afford such a luxury... hence, the electronic babysitter and instant gratification on a screen!

    Thanks for your comment!

  4. Family videos are MUCH better than the stuff produced by Hollywood and Disney. I'm not sure how the ADHD applies with the family videos, but I hate TV mostly because I hate pop culture. Regardless, I'm holding out. I think it's possible to do it without the TV. I know lots of moms who do and although life might be a bit easier in the short term with that necessary evil, parenthood is all about sacrifice and this is one sacrifice I am willing to make. For now, at least. My kids are still pretty young. ;)