Back in July of 2012 I wrote a well-intentioned post entitled Is it OK for My Baby to Watch TV? In the post I quote the author of a book called Brain Rules for Baby that explains scientifically why TV is no good for kiddos. After reading the book, letting my first child watch TV was almost akin to letting her drink a can of beer. The information is interesting, researched, and valid, but I now humbly admit that if watching TV is like having a beer, I have two very drunk children.
Maybe I could abstain from the wonders of the TV-babysitter if we were still in the good ol days when people lived in neighborhoods and you could send your child “out to play” or if I lived in a village with all my aunties and grandmas, sisters, and mom and cousins that could hold my baby for hours on end. But it’s just me in this small urban apartment taking care of two lovely, but very needy children. The disdain I used to have for the creators of these catchy childhood programming has turned into love. Love that I can turn on Harry the Bunny for my three-month old to keep him quiet while giving my two-year old a nap. Love for the genius creators of shows that teach the alphabet so that I can at least tell myself my daughter is learning to read while I have time to myself to fix lunch, or finally put on clothes so I’m not answering the door in my underwear when the Amazon guy knocks.
There is a time for everything, and when it’s possible to survive the day-to-day without television, I’ll turn it off. But if it’s survival we’re talking about, then it’s time to turn off my guilt and turn on the TV.