Wednesday, May 5, 2010

no tv! no dramma mamma

Lord help the mothers of 6 year old girls.

Yeah I understand that this does not seem like a worth while problem someone would ask the great power above for help with, but this is what I have needed help with so I'm assuming their are other mammas out there, who have seen the transformation from sweet cuddly helpful five year old daughters to bratty obnoxious little beings who have discovered sarcasm.

With our oldest we breezed through all the stages other parents talk about, teething, terrible twos, the "how come?" threes. Bed time night training at four. These all came with relative ease. But then school came at us. And I am not talking about the sweet, circle time, hold hands 5 year old kindergartner either. I'm talking about the "your not coming to my birthday party" grade one. Yup 24, 6 year olds crammed in and guided by one capable and patient adult.

This is when I feel children start to develop control over their relationships, they aren't just friends with their mommies coffee buddies, kids. They are friends with their peers. And with this comes tattling, hurt feelings, bossiness, and occasionally and i do mean occasionally actual playing.

I had noticed my daughter crossing her arms and stomping her feet when asked to do something she didn't like. The lip pout accompanied with the sit and somber when things didn't go her way. It was the talking back that really rattled my chain. The learned sarcasm and the basic "well duh" tone to her voice made me grit my teeth. How am I going to convey politeness to my child when her actions made me want to scream and shout. I was sure this was brought on by school yard bantering.

So I patiently tried to use my words, sometimes breaking down and mimicking her. Anything I could to to get her to understand respect, all to no avail.

At 6 she is no longer willing to sit and watch the backyardigans with her little sister. And as the senior she basically controls the boob tube. So my four year old is also watching the likes of miss montana, and alex the wizard, all of whom I learn talk to there friends, parents, and siblings with the snotty tone I had grown to loathe. Could this be true? I am providing my children with the bad influence?

As a child we had always had TV. We watched or we didn't. And maybe because back in the 80's and the 90's their weren't whole networks aimed at entertaining kids. I don't recall the heroines of the shows to have a constant sarcastic attitude...... or maybe i am wrong.... i was in love with Zach from "saved by the bell" and he wasn't exactly kind and thoughtful of Mister belding. Hmmmm tv is a bad influence after all.

I went back and forth with this thought for awhile. The final straw was when I heard my precious four year old use that same gratting tone and thats when I pulled the plug on the tv.

I cancelled cable. I didn't tell the kids. One day there just wasnt tv. I stocked up on disney vhs's and a bunch of dvd's. I set the kids up with there own computer and they have wii. Im not depriving them of entertainment. I'm just not going to have the so called "family" Channel on at all hours of the day, London Tipton's entitled attitude will not be a constant influence on my kids.

Now your probably wondering did this even help... what does my husband have to say about losing his constants sports updates. How am I surviving with out my greys, or survivor.

It did help. My kids have never complained about no tv. Although they are eagar to watch whenever we go to there aunts or grandparents. Occasionally I will put a show on the computer. I have found them playing more. Building couch forts and pillow rooms. The snotty tone has dissipated and i hear love and kindness in its place(alot more of the time anyways).

My husband watches all his shows online. No commercials. You can watch sports live on the Internet. We have found that we spend more time together, curled up watching the latest episode of community or mantracker. We haven't gone so far as to hook one of our many computers up to the big screen but I am tempted.

No TV. Saved Money. Better Family. I probably wont be TV free for ever but I am enjoying my experiment now.