Breaking the Rules–Part 2

11 Oct

As promised, this week I am discussing another rule-breaking topic: television. Before I go there, though, I want to talk about reading.

Karen Elliott, mother to 30-year-old Kenton and grandmother to his two young sons, Shawn and Wayne, has a strong opinion about reading. “One thing I think is CRITICAL, I have to say it twice, CRITICAL, is read to your children every darn day. I mean it. My grand[children] get books every day. There are loads of teaching opportunities for busy parents – road signs, labels, game boxes. And colors and shapes are everywhere,” Karen said.

I think these are fantastic ideas, and as I have learned with Hannah, it’s pretty easy to make a boring car ride educational by talking about colors and shapes we see out the windows.

When it comes to reading, Sarah Ledgerwood thinks her young daughter, Amelia, is definitely benefitting. “I believe that reading to her and explaining daily routines has contributed to her language explosion!” she said.

Reading is certainly a great tool for language development, and the proof can be found in spending just a few minutes talking to a child who reads (or is read to) on a regular basis.

Tiah Vagnoni, mother to 2-year-old Ricky, agrees. “It always puts a smile on my face when I see him flipping through the pages, ‘reading’ the book out loud,” she said.

While most parents would agree that reading is a terrific activity, there is also some value to television. I don’t think allowing your child to sit in front of it all day is a good idea, but Hannah watches Nick Jr. and PBS, and she has learned so much! She constantly surprises me! Lately she has taken up singing, so she is learning the words to many of the songs she hears on her favorite shows, such as Yo Gabba Gabba, The Backyardigans and Olivia.

Hannah also loves movies, but we watch them less often than TV shows, making them more of a “treat” for her. A few days ago, my husband, Sean, recorded Hannah while she was watching Shrek. Check out the video below. (By the way, that tattoo on her arm is temporary, I swear!)

Although I know Hannah enjoys watching TV, I would like her to watch it less often. This is something Sean and I need to work on together. But realistically, how can we expect her to stay away from the TV entirely when we watch it? That’s just not going to happen. In all honesty, though, I have found some great shows for children that have excellent educational value.

Many of my friends understand what I’m going through. “I swore he’d never watch TV – we even got rid of cable! Now movies are the only reason I get a break. Thank goodness for Dora,” Tiah said. I have to agree with Tiah. I’m often thankful for Dora, too!

Sarah faces a similar situation. “I swore she would never watch TV… now she is obsessed with Mickey Mouse clubhouse,” she said.

I know some parents are more strict about TV watching than I am, but I’m working on it!

“We all have the best of intentions for our children, but when it comes down to it… they are kids. The little things we let go of just don’t matter. That’s why we break the ‘rules,’” said Brittany Bruch Gould, mother to Jake.

“I think becoming a parent teaches us that it’s ok to break the rules,” Brittany added. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Brittany.

2 Responses to “Breaking the Rules–Part 2”

  1. karenselliott October 12, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    What Brittany said about becoming a parent “teaches us that it’s okay to break the rules”…so true. 🙂 Again, nice job, Joanne.

  2. mbtrotter October 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Get her playing Rock Band. That’s even better than TV!

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