Sunday, 8 February 2015

TV or not TV?

Arlo's concentration face (taken while watching Peppa Pig, obvs).
I bloody love TV. It's one of my favourite things and always has been. From being woken up at 6am by my little sister to go downstairs and watch cartoons, coming home from school and watching back to back shows from Byker Grove to Neighbours and everything in between, or the tears shed at the final ever SATC at uni, it's always been a part of my life. I probably watch less TV now than I ever have done, partly because I have less time these days than I used to, but also down to the fact that honestly I just don't think there's much good on the box at the moment. (But not for long: new Walking Dead series starts TOMORROW and I am EXCITED).

So. TV has always been a part of my life. But it's now creeping into Arlo's life and I'm not sure how I feel about it. We've always had certain TV rituals for Arlo at a certain time of day, like an episode of In The Night Garden before bed, or when he was very little a bit of Waybuloo to fall asleep to in the pushchair (I'm glad that little phase is over because Waybuloo is seriously weird/ very annoying). But lately he's asking for TV more and more, and letting me know the specific shows he wants to watch at any one time. And if I say no it's not pretty. Tantrums happen if Arlo doesn't get Raa Raa the Noisy Lion on demand. He's started picking up my laptop and making little snorting noises to let me know that it's Peppa Pig that he wants (it's pretty cute and in honesty I do find that tactic hard to resist).

I know this is can be a devisive parenting topic, but I don't think there's any harm in a bit of TV, as long as we're talking about kids watching kids programmes. These are shows that are designed to teach and entertain little eyes, and if they're having fun and you get 10 mins to have a cuppa, then that's win win in my book. In truth anything that involves a hot cup of tea for me is essentially a win. I also think TV has a unique calming experience (again, with the right show) that is bloody useful if you've got a grumpy toddler who's trashing the kitchen cupboards or throwing lego at your head or climbing the bookshelves. It can be absorbing and offer a bit of down time. And that counts for you too, obvs.

So TV will remain a part of our routine, but I think I need to make sure I'm the one reaching for the remote, and not the other way round. Just like all life's best things (e.g. Nutella, Prosecco, episodes of Breaking Bad) moderation is key. I'm just counting down the days until I can introduce Arlo to the good stuff - it won't be long until we're lolling along to the Simpsons together on the sofa, and then I won't mind how long we watch for.

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