From the very first moment a woman finds out she’s pregnant two things set in- guilt and worry. She worries about her baby being healthy in the womb, outside the womb and generally for the next 100 years of it’s life. Next comes the guilt. Is she eating well enough during pregnancy, will that glass of wine affect the baby, or that sneaky cigarette she had? She breastfed for only a few weeks, a few months a few years. Her babies had formula. Her babies slept in her bed till they were 2. They all had dummies until they went to kindergarten. She’s giving them too much sugar, not enough fruit, not enough calcium, too much gluten…for F’s sake! And this is just in the first few years of the child’s life.
Then they start school and the guilt and worry continues. I don’t know about you, but ever since I became a mother the constant comparisons and endless judgements from other women seemed to be hitting me from every angle.
And just when I thought I had finally got my shit together, out comes another article that tells me what I’m doing wrong, again. This time ‘research’ shows that kids are watching too much TV and in fact if I want my offspring to be gifted and speak a gazillion languages then they shouldn’t be watching any TV at all. Yes, you read correctly AT ALL!!
In fact here’s a little snippet for your amusement:
‘After school, we usually go straight to the park to climb trees, feed the birds or ride her bike,’ says her proud mother Janina.
And when Shantia wants to unwind? ‘She listens to Beatrix Potter audiobooks borrowed from the library.’
Someone please explain to me how you go straight to the park to climb trees and prance through the dandelions after school? Every mother on earth knows that after school is strictly for getting the kids a quick snack of sushi from the local shopping centre to keep them quiet while you do a frantic dash of the supermarket to get ingredients for dinner.
Or how about if you’re a working mum and you pick up your child from after school care and only have a short window to feed them, bathe them and get them into bed before you all lose your shit! Where’s the time for feeding birds?!
And I challenge you to give me the name of one mother who hasn’t given her child an iPad or TV time so she can make dinner, fold laundry or just have a shower without an audience!
Apparently parents that don’t own a TV are seen as being of higher intellect than those that do. It’s like a status symbol that you can flaunt to other mothers at school pick up.
Today, it seems, the ultimate status symbol and hallmark of a pushy parent is in not owning a television set.
Such parents are catching on to what a lack of TV supposedly says about your intellect. It suggests they are parents who enjoy high-brow pursuits, rather than bingeing on box-sets.
Wow! Aren’t parents made to feel guilty enough without now telling them they are dumb because they watch Netflix? What happened to supporting everyone’s choices and letting parents know they are doing a great job instead of constantly bombarding them with new ‘findings’ of how they’re damaging their children?
The article goes on to state that these children that never watch TV are far more creative and imaginative than those that do.
Other advantages are creativity. Both boys have always been complimented by teachers and other parents for their imaginative flair, for their musicality and for their sense of adventure. They sing and whistle and are both brilliant story-tellers — making them up as well as reading them.
I just want to add here that my boys could whistle from the age of 4 and story telling is something they can do with their eyes shut. It has nothing to do with how much or how little TV they watch and everything to do with what a kick arse job my husband and I are doing at raising them. Period.
Read the full article here.