Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TV is a curse, not a blessing

I have had numerous comments on my blog posts lately about putting on the tv as distraction for my kids. Unfortunately in my house, tv is a curse, not a blessing. Let me explain.

Meg and Drew would watch tv all day if I let them. Well, that's not true; Meg would watch tv all day. Drew really can't sit still that long. The twins don't sit still unless strapped up in their high chairs. That is not the issue though. The issue stems from what happens AFTER a movie or short show is over. The kids are fine during their movie. As soon as it ends, the insanity begins. First, they fight over who is going to turn off the tv and/or DVD player. Inevitably there is pushing and shoving involved. Or there is lots of screaming (and not just by me) over whose turn it is to turn off the tv.

After that situation gets resolved by lots of yelling by me, Meg and Drew resort to antics that are indescribable. The refuse to do ANYTHING. They don't get up off the floor, they don't go play, they don't do anything. If they do manage to go play, they fight. Constantly. They're rude to us. They're rude to each other. It's unbelievable. It's frustrating.

I wish I could say that those antics happen every so often. But I can't. They happen every single time the kids watch tv. The kids rarely watch tv anymore because of it, but they don't seem to understand WHY they can't watch tv as much as they'd like. And on the days when I forget myself and let them watch a couple of things, I end up paying.

It's sad, really. The kids have great movies that they could watch if they could BEHAVE when they were over. Even Drew acts up after some Little Bill and Meg isn't even around. I have no idea why they act the way they do. I'm at a loss as to how to handle it besides keep up my ban on tv. (However, when I don't get ANY break from them at all because they can't watch tv, the fighting is even worse, but that's beside the point, right?). Annie and Izzie are deprived of their Sesame Street video that they LOVE because their older brother and sister haven't figured out that their actions affect everyone around them. And honestly, I feel like a bitch most of the time because I have to say no so often.

Parenting kids is tricky territory. There is a fine line that you have to tightrope walk on~the line between punishment and setting a good example. Unfortunately with my kids, I spend too much time on that line. I'm not saying I want to be a parent who lets their kids rule the roost, but I would love to be parent who doesn't have to constantly punish her kids. So far I haven't managed to find a happy medium. Maybe when I do my house will be a happier place to live.


LoriD said...

I think this winter is getting to everyone! I have to limit my kids' tv too. And computer time, for that matter. We have a chart for the older two that shows who gets to pick the shows when if they can't agree (e.g. Monday AM - Bart; Tuesday PM - Lisa) If there's any fighting or complaining, the tv goes off for the rest of the day. I'm a mean mom too!

AndreAnna said...

The less rules they have, the less they can break them. Have a free-for-all and see who survives! LOL

I'm with Lori, this winter is sicking the ever-loving life out of my soul. I need it over fast.

And Charlotte is actually BETTER behaved on a day when I don't plop her in front of the TV and she uses her brain to entertain herself.

Robyn said...

I feel for you. Some days, I don't know what I'd do without a 45 minute break from my electronic babysitter!

While he doesn't act differently after watching TV, he DOES repeat things he hears (like whining exactly like Caillou)and tells us he has done things that he saw on TV. So, it's PBS Sprout and Disney Channel ONLY in our house!

Astarte said...

Oh, man!!! That stinks!!!!

Does your TV have a timer setting? I think a lot of newer TVs do. Maybe if you wanted to reward them for something, you could turn on the TV for a specific amount of time, and then it would turn itself off. Isn't it ridiculous the lengths kids will go to in order to one-up their siblings?!