5 reasons your kids should watch TV

March 22, 2012 in kids and technology,kids and tv

I am about to lose membership in the Christian blogosphere. Or at least lose the merit badge that goes with revealing your family doesn’t own a TV or if it does, you don’t have cable and only let your kids watch 30 minutes a week. Confession: We have a TV. We have a satellite with DVR. We love it.

Before I tell you why we love TV, there must be DISCLAIMERS: TV needs to be used with caution, with limits and with responsibility. TV is not a babysitter.  Kids who watch too much TV turn into lazy potatoes and perform poorly in school. Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyesight. Money spent on TV services could be spent on charity. TV is a dangerous device and must be used with parental controls.

Disclaimer done. Now, here’s 5 reasons we love our TV with DVR. 

Watching TV while hosting some of the orphans when we were in Honduras

1) My kids only watch what I record. My kids have no idea there is a TV schedule so they only watch what I record. And I record quality! They don’t even know we get over 100 channels or whatever the lowest package is. Every few weeks, I browse the listings, pick what we want our kids to watch and record. Current shows that we record: Little House on the Prairie, The Brady Brunch, Word Girl, America’s Test Kitchen (yes, they like to watch this show), Arthur and Stan Lee’s Superhuman.

2) Having access to TV but practicing wisdom with choices is a great life skill.  When my girls come home from school whining that they are the ooo-nn–lllyy  ones who don’t watch SpongeBob Squarepants or Wizards of Waverly Place, I can actually go watch the shows. Sometimes I report back with reasons they still can’t watch the show. Somehow, my effort to consider their wishes makes it all better.  Sometimes we watch half or all of an episode together. So far, such group viewings always result in a great conversation and agreement on why the show isn’t on our list.

3) Commercial education is important. Everything we watch is on DVR so we skip all commercials. When we get sidetracked and commercials come on, my kids are marketer savvy because I’ve trained them. I’ve taught them about how marketers can lie, spruce up, or enhance appearances of people and products. They’ve experienced a cool toy commercial and then bought the not-so-cool toy. We’ve watched part of infomercials and talked about how some are true and some, especially beauty or vitamin products, can find experts to pay to endorse their products. Commercial education is important.

4) TV can encourage passions. Our family loves soccer. We used our DVR last summer to record all of the women’s World Cup games. We analyzed strategies and shots. We had fun times with friends watching those games. I loved that my girls could watch female atheletes!

My youngest loves to cook. Sometimes we watch cooking shows with her to get inspiration. All of us are learning together.

Cousins. Watching TV. 

5) TV can create good memories. Okay. I know this statement is sounds blasphemous. But it is true. I love time spent together watching the Brady Brunch, laughing hard at Alice, and discussing the foolishness of Marsha’s constant crushes. Curling up on the couch with popcorn while we watch a recorded Soul Surfer, holding hands through the shark attack and smiling weakly at each other through tears–those are sweet memories. After viewings, conversations often continue for weeks as we research new people or things or refer back to TV characters and their jokes or mistakes. We spend time with our girls in many other ways. But we do enjoy our TV.

So, go grab your kids on the next rainy day and watch TV!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

redemptionsbeauty March 23, 2012 at 2:04 am

We watch TV at our house, I grew up watching TV – lots of it – and I think I turned out just fine. And I didn’t even have a DVR! It’s not an idol for me or any of us and we laugh a lot together in the evenings around the tube.


WhisperingWriter March 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm

We have the TV on all day in our house. Not always on children’s stuff though. But I don’t see a problem with it at all. My kids have learned a lot from it.


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