Welcome to what I’m hoping will be a regular feature, which is getting a great foot on the ground here by being a week late. But last week, I had a life to run, a 4th birthday party to plan, some cake to murder…whereas this week, there’s just life.
So, with the knowledge that we’re starting out on the Fourth Thursday, rather than the Third, let’s talk TV.
We’ve done a fair amount of talking about television and media aimed at our various kids already, which I’ve summarized below. It’s a natural discussion, since many of us – certainly I – take a fairly liberal stance about television and screen time, while also being keenly aware of the cultural messages our kids get from media aimed at them. My general feeling about screen time in general is so long as sleep is happening appropriately, grades are kept up at ability level, and the kids are still doing other things – playing outside, playing with each other, turning off the television/game/movie/wev on request – if it lets me get a cup of coffee before I’m expected to mess with Play Dough or supervise bike practice, I’m a happy mom. I try to be pretty non-judgmental about how much people let their kids access media and I likewise try to be respectful of known limits. The tv is not on during my 4-year-old’s parent-attended playdates at our house, unless we specifically discuss wanting an interactive viewing of, say, Frozen. When my 10-year-old started having non-parent-attended playdates, in addition to offering up that we have two cats and no guns, I ask about food and screen limits. Is it okay if they have cookies/any dietary restrictions? Is it okay if they encounter Lego violence via the Wii? (My answers: food is fine and at your own risk; nothing rated M/no Call of Duty type stuff.)
So, part of what I want to do here is open up a larger discussion –
What are your feelings about screen-time?
What are your big concerns about messaging – stereotypes; covert religion; class messaging?
Which is the bigger privilege – avoiding popular culture entirely or being particularly selective?
And perhaps most important –What shows/movies/games/apps would you like to see us discuss/dissect?
I promise to be more substantive next month, but in the meantime, here are some of our Grounded takes on television and movies and our kids’ experiences with them (with apologies to anyone who I’ve left out because their posts weren’t tagged “Media and Technology”):
The Wonder Pets by Em
Sesame Street by Alexandra
Arthur by Alexandra
Mr. Mom by Louis Doench
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood by Deek
Adventure Time by Em
Veggie Tales by Louis Doench
My Little Pony by Mombot