Many of you have read Cheeseslave’s post on why she doesn’t limit screen time for her daughter. I shared it on my Facebook page to see where my audience is on the topic.
It’s not a popular topic, but it definitely impacts our life. I’m sure we’re not the only ones.
I know there are a million and two arguments against TV watching, and I completely understand how it impacts a vast group of people. We’re not part of that group.
Katie and TV
Let me say just how lucky we are with Katie. She is an old soul. Gentle, kind, eternally happy, with a harmonious wisdom well beyond that of an 4 year old. She brings joy into the lives of all who meet her.
Because of leaky gut and food allergies, her thyroid and adrenal glands do not function properly. She still gets tired very easily even though we are on a healing protocol. When she needs a break from life, she usually watches TV.
It is the only way she can fully relax. I steer her toward books, coloring, or listening to music as an occasional trial but it doesn’t allow her to recharge her batteries.
I know. I know. It sounds impossible. I assure you it’s a very real issue.
On her own terms, she has unconsciously dubbed TV as rest time when she doesn’t feel her best and reading as play time when she’s happy and well. I think she’s one smart cookie for that association. I have always been a voracious reader, so I like to think I passed that on to my best girl.
Confession: I also still deal with fatigue issues and sometimes use the TV babysitter to keep her occupied when I can’t get off the couch. We snuggle together when she needs company and then she’s off and playing again.
The Girl’s Got Skills
Katie has a wonderful imagination, especially when it comes to the shows she watches. She will play for hours with her “friends” from TV land. Being an only child who gets car sick and exhausted easily, she is not up for too many play dates these days and lets her imagination pepper her daily friend count.
I don’t worry about her abilities with the abundance of TV she watches. She is a spontaneous learner and surprisingly learns a lot from TV.
I have had to learn to step back from my academia-style of learning and take her lead. Instead of pushing her to learn all of her ABC’s, she was more interested in writing whole words at 3 with the 15-20 letters she did know.
She still can’t fully count to 20 (what is with skipping 14?), but she can tell me that 10 + 2 = 12, understands the concept of subtraction, and can read and write a handful of words. I am currently spending my days spelling every random word under the sun for her learning pleasure.
At 4 years and 2 months, I’m very happy with her level of skill building. Hmm, I’m doing the bragging mom bit, aren’t I? Forgive me. I’m a proud mama!
Anywho, one final thing to leave you with is a comment from the Cheeseslave post that resonated with me –
Lisa C August 30, 2012 at 5:31 PM
My son’s creativity is fueled by the movies he watches (though I used to be afraid it would stifle it)- he plays more creative, imaginative games when they are based off movies he’s been watching. It’s like how some (most) authors are inspired by what they read. Their creativity is fueled when they read other writers. Anything that opens the world and makes it bigger can contribute to creative life – maybe you’re not seeing your girls as being creative when they’ve been watching movies. Also, young children imitate a lot. It’s not *all* creativity – and I think a flux between creativity/activity and passivity is helpful and necessary for healthy development. Growing brains need restful processing time. Movies can be a creative way to achieve that.
And that’s my take on screen time in our house.
Photo Credit: DearEdward, twicepix