Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When to Say "Yes" or "No" to TV Programs

The book Amanda is reading is called Who Lives Here?
It's a pop-up book published by Playmore and Waldman.

The other night Amanda said the silliest thing to me. “I’m going to get full of fire and I’m going to destroy the bad guys!” She demonstrated this by shooting her arms out in front of her and curling her fingers like claws. Obviously, she’s been watching too many of her brother and sisters’ TV programs. Secretly, I was impressed that she had used the word “destroy.”

When I had the three bigger kids, I was very strict with what they were allowed to watch even when it came to cartoons. Our youngest at the time was Samantha. She was more sensitive when it came to certain programs than Amanda is. I think it has to do with Samantha’s personality more than with my protectiveness, although I’m sure people will argue it the other way. Whatever the case, I’m less strict about what Amanda watches. Her siblings are that much older than her and I can’t tell them not to watch programs that relate to their age just because she’s there.

The previous weekend, however, I didn’t let Amanda watch the family-friendly movie that her three older siblings were watching. The movie was Nancy Drew. It has a so-called haunted house in the story and Amanda is still too young to distinguish between fiction and non-fiction. I didn’t want her to get scared or have bad dreams, so I put her to bed early and let her look at books instead. (She still corrects me and tells me that she’s “reading” and not “looking.”)

As a parent, it's very important that you decide what your child may or may not watch. Each child is different, so the line you draw must be fitting for that child. As the child grows and matures, that line must also be adjusted.

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