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To TV or not to TV

This is the ongoing — and sometimes heated — question with parents.

Growing up in my house as a kid the TV was on. Not all the time, but we watched it and enjoyed it.

We also played sports and read. TV was not a mutually exclusive activity in our house and this was a good attitude towards the pastime. I remember when we moved from our dial TV to a new TV with a cable box attached with a long cord and push buttons — one for each channel. And the options appeared endless!

When the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with their recommendation that children under two years old not watch any TV, my son was young and I balked. How in the world was I supposed to get dinner fixed? He would sit quietly in front of the TV and watch his Baby Einstein videos while I got dinner on the table and told myself he was observing something educational. Eventually, he moved on to Curious George.

OK, truth be told he was a Curious George addict for more than one year. We all could recite them by heart. And then there was Nemo. I can STILL recite that by heart.

During my daughter’s first year of life I stuck with the same routine. Or at least thought I was going to stick with the same routine. Except that she could care less about TV. Her place while I was fixing dinner was on my hip. And it still is. And my hip is sore.

She claims to like Dora and Nemo and Monsters, Inc., but after about five minutes she is in the kitchen holding her arms up. My son has discovered something new that trumps TV, his Leapster. And since there is at least a little educational aspect to it, we go with it.

I suppose given my adolescence with TV, my non-opposition to TV and my son’s early childhood, I am surprised to find the TV being as neglected as it is in our family. I still enjoy it. But after a long day at work and preparing for the next day, doing a little blogging, keeping up on Facebook, TV has taken a backseat. My TiVo is full of shows I promise to sit down and watch someday, and we continue to record Curious George and Dora in some hope that my hip may someday get a break and my daughter will watch something while I cook dinner.

Or she may just become a professional chef and be able to say she was learning to cook since before she could walk.

How do you approach TV in your family?