I never thought I’d be the kind of mom that used television to pacify my kid. Of course I also never thought I’d be a stay at home mom for this long either. As cute and fun as Ashton is, I get bored and want to work on projects, job search, etc. during the day. Or just be able to lay down and shut my eyes.
Anyhow, I first discovered BabyTV during a free preview weekend. I recorded several shows, which Ashton took an immediate interest in. No harm, right? Well then I found out that it only cost $5 per month to subscribe. Cool.
At first we’d just watch shows at bed time. They were guaranteed to put him to sleep in a half hour or so. Well, as the shows became more familiar, they became more stimulating. They no longer put him to sleep, but are useful for getting him to sit still and wind down. I often find myself using this prior to naps, as well as bed time.
I think we’re now averaging 60-90 minutes a day of kid TV, and the repertoire has expanded to include Sesame Street.
On the one had I feel very guilty about this. All the parenting guides advise NO television for children under 2. The claims are that it makes kids ADD. I personally believe that most cases of “ADD” are really just kids whose personalities/learning styles don’t conform to societal norms – in fact the kids are often gifted and just bored. Still, no parent wants to do something that might cause harm. On the other hand, the television keeps me sane, he loves it, and I realize that my kid is going to grow up in a media obsessed generation whether I like it or not. Ashton still enjoys playing with toys, reading books, and flirting with anyone and everyone, so I don’t feel like it’s interfering with his attention or sociability.
I guess all I can do is keep some level of balance. And I’m sure he’ll continue to throw tantrums when I turn the TV off, but maybe in time he’ll learn that there are limits to all things.