Monday, April 30, 2012

Confessions of a Lazy Parent...

Regardless of my body's protest, I woke up early this morning to face the decision I adamantly made last night. I have been making comments for about a week that it needed to happen, my family all heard my series of rants loud and clear...although they didn't really acknowledge them or agreed with them.
My family, including myself, is in a very unhealthy relationship.... with the television. I feel like I (more than Lupe, because I am home with the girls the most) have nurtured and allowed  this relationship that I have always said would NEVER happen in my home.
I am not sure why Tenly's lazy refusal to read last night is what finally broke me, but it did.
Tenly did not even know that children's shows really even existed much until she was about 2 years old. I welcomed the "help" of the black box after Gianna was born, there were moments that I embraced the convenient baby sitter as if my long lost friend. Therefore, Gianna has almost always been aware of the TV.
I was still cautious about how much they were around and exposed to it. Also, closely monitoring what they watched (FYI: Just because it is a cartoon does not make it appropriate for a child.). Regardless of my intentions, over the years I find that "distraction" in our home WAY to much!
How I, we, ended up here I am not quite sure. It would be convenient to blame it on my children or my husband. But, since my kids only do what I allow, and I am home with the kids way more than my husband- I have to take full responsibility.
The reality is, I have become a Lazy Parent and conveniently hired Nick JR, Disney JR, and Sprout to babysit way to often. There is no getting around the convenience and ease of having these "babysitters" at our remote fingertips- but we parents also know that it doesn't make it right.
I am embarrassed that I have dreadfully become " of those...", the thing I always said would NEVER happen. I declared, proudly, that my kids would always be surrounded by books, puzzles, crafts, games and a parent sitting by doting on their every word and action.
To clarify, Tenly and Gianna are not glued to the TV- their imaginations are to big and energy to robust for that. But, they are in front of it way to much. They both LOVE reading books and doing puzzles and crafts and cooking- why aren't I capitalizing on that? Because somewhere along the line, it's become to much work- that is shameful.
Several months ago, Lupe and I found much of our time together was spent catching up on DVR. To help, we removed the TV from our bedroom (some are shocked we had one in there, and some are shocked that someone can live without a TV in the bedroom) and are so glad we did. We do not allow a TV in the girls room- and never will-so, in a way it was a double standard. But, although that helped, I (Lupe may disagree, lol) still feel like we should be able to function without the invasive 3rd party. My friends, Annette and Bobby, in Texas made a change not to long ago to benefit their family (they have 3 beautiful children). They "cut the cable" and eliminated TV from their home, and the results are more reading and family time- not such a bad thing! I have some friends in this area who only allow an occasional movie or DVD, and they and their children have lived to tell the tale, lol!
Today, when Tenly arrives home from school, I am going to apologize to both of my girls for being a lazy mom and allowing the television to steal our moments from us. The excitement of the many things we can do that are so much better to fill the void is hopefully going to spark them. I am a much better parent than this and am fully capable of caring for my children without allowing "that thing" to be constantly interfering.
We are not cutting the cable or getting rid of the TV, but it will have specific times of when it will and will not be watched. Our family time will be filled with fun and entertaining each other instead of depending on the black box to fulfill our every need. I am going to press for "No TV Monday's", on this day the TV will not go on at all.
Funny enough, today (and all week) it is suppose to be raining ALL DAY! Talk about getting creative! We've made it through with making collages, doing puzzles, dancing, reading many books, and a little cooking. Although, Gianna is losing patience with me typing at this computer, so it's time to wrap it up.
LAZY- I despite that word and hate it associated with me. So, the change begins- it is going to take work and probably hearing some whining  along the path- but it will be worth it. Taking responsibility and making a change, I believe it is one my girls will thank me for one day......well, it better be!

1 comment:

  1. Awww I have always watched more tv than my daughter. I still do but she has discovered the dvr and now that she is old enough to be left home alone what can I do? lol

    I grew up with a healthy relationship with the television so I was not too worried. The only thing I did not want was to have the endless video or movie playing obsession.

    My limit was one and done. I am a single mom and we homeschooled so there would have been less structure to counter act our downward spiral should it have come.

    Now the only tv in our house is in my room and my daughter lives on her Andriod phone.