Over the years I’ve gotten quite lax about TV watching. With four kids, I sadly came to rely on the TV to keep the kids entertained while I tried to feed the baby or get some long-neglected chore done.
I did have standards, but they weren’t great. I had no limit on time but I banned Sponge Bob after I saw a clip of one of his buddies complaining about homework being stupid. Never mind the fact that I actually agreed with him. Why should kids spend all day in school and then come home to do stupid worksheets instead of spending time with their family, whom they haven’t seen all day?
So after we decided to homeschool Caleb, I put the lock-down on the TV watching. No TV first thing in the morning. I think it puts him in a weird mood for the rest of the day. And the only approved shows are Veggie Tales and other approved movies or TV shows that I’ve deemed at least “somewhat educational”. Occasionally (or when Charlotte throws a tantrum that I have no time to deal with), they watch a Disney movie.
For TV we thankfully have a DVR. I love the DVR! I can’t remember the last time I watched a commercial. Who has time for commercials!? This has proven especially useful with some of the shows I let Caleb watch.
For example, we love Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman. One day, Caleb was watching a live show so he was forced to sit through the commercials. This Amazon.com commercial came on. (It’s involves the topic of homosexuality, so keep that in mind before you hit play with your little ones in the room.)
Thankfully, someone had posted about this exact commercial on Google+ the day before and I knew what was coming. I scrambled to the remote and paused it. Uncomfortable conversation averted!
So the downsides to allowing the kids to watch TV shows is that the kids could hear lots of bleeping and may be introduced to some inappropriate topics.
I’m going to start a series reviewing TV shows and documentaries. On my list: Yukon Men, Planet Earth, Little House on the Prairie, Bizarre Foods and Gold Rush.
Do you have a DVR player?
Do you have rules for TV watching?
What are some of your favorite “somewhat educational” shows for your kids?
Have you even let your kids watch a show that you thought would be safe, but wasn’t?