Television Coma


Without an ounce of exaggeration, the T.V. is on everywhere we go here, day and night. In the lobby of RMH, in the dining hall, in the hospital lounge, in Maddie’s hospital room that we share with roommates… we cannot avoid it.

And whenever it’s on, Renny turns into a boob tube zombie.

Literally, he zones out with a glazed look on his face. As every meal we consume is accompanied by a cartoon or other “kid friendly” program, it’s become increasingly more difficult to get him to focus on whatever it is he’s supposed to be doing. A spoonful of cereal pauses in mid bite for more than 5 seconds. A question is asked once, twice, three times before it’s answered. A glob of jelly dangles precariously off his chin until it can no longer defy gravity.

The main culprit: Sponge Bob Square Pants. *Sigh* I honestly think this show is hilarious. But I have to wonder what’s happening to my son’s brain when he almost unconsciously chants “Sponge-Bob-Square-Pants” during the show’s opening theme song.

My weariness in this new-found addiction stems from our desire to limit the amount of Warren’s television viewing. To bring it into perspective, we don’t even own a T.V. at home. Before our time here, we only watched shows on Saturday mornings (thanks to YouTube) or occasionally sat down for a movie at the computer. Now I feel like he needs to go through some sort of detox.

Sure, I watched T.V. as a kid. Tons of it. Really, I can kick many a butt in “Pop Culture” categories of trivia. But my educational training and research lead me to believe that programming nowadays is not the same as what we used to watch. And I don’t mean that in a “wow, it’s really improved!” way.

I don’t want him to be completely ostracized from his peers when they’re chatting around the water cooler about the good old days of Dora the Explorer episodes. But it seems to me that most people seem to keep the television on all the time and consume hours upon hours of mindless shows just because they’re there. Like they just can’t turn it off and wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they did.

It’s gonna be quite the shock when we return home and back to our normal routine. I hope he can recover.

Have I offended anyone? (I hope not.) How much T.V./movies/video gaming do you allot for your kids?

8 thoughts on “Television Coma”

  1. I know Calder is only six months old, but already I hated how he was drawn to it, if it happened to be on. Now we wait until he goes to bed to watch. So, he doesn’t watch any. I don’t have any problem not watching during the day and the few things we do watch, we can watch after bedtime. I know Jason has a harder time with this. He likes to watch sports live. I don’t see any reason for Calder to start watching TV in the future.

    Along the same lines I hate fast food. I didn’t really have it growing up and I can’t eat a McDonalds hamburger without a stomachache. Honestly I would be ok with him showing up at kindergarten not knowing TV characters, Does that seem harsh?

  2. We also have no TV (something we plan to carry through forever), but I’ve never thought about “stunted social development” or whatever you want to call it with kids who can’t identify with what everyone else is talking about.

    Hmmmm, I’ll have to think about that. I do have every intention of denying my children the opportunity to watch The Little Mermaid IV, Beauty and the Beast X, and Aladdin XX. I draw the line at crass commercialism.

  3. I must confess, I myself watch a LOT of TV, but I like to think that once Evan is old enough to control what we watch, I’ll be able to shut it off. I can’t stand the disney channel. When we were at the RMH, it was tempting to take our food up to the cafe just so we wouldn’t have to sit through more HannahMontana! 🙂 Good luck with the transition.

  4. Ditto! We don’t own a TV either, but enjoy watching movies occasionally on the computer, as do the kids. Colby is also a total TV zombie whenever he gets in front of it. One thing I’ve thought of though, is if we continue to abstain from TV, I have to find a way to teach my kids how to choose good shows when they’re at another kids house when they get older. I don’t want somebody else teaching them!

  5. we aim to keep it at the AMA recommended max of 1 hour of screen time per day. i personally find that strategically using it during showering time and dinner prep is a LIFESAVER! No fighting, no crying…It is magic for calming the bewitching hour. :0)

  6. Henry didn’t watch any tv until after he was two, but when he stopped napping and we added oliver to the mix, I need something to entertain my kids long enough to let me take a shower on a daily basis. The boys watch about 1/2 a day while I take my shower and get ready. It is either a pbs kids show or some show I’ve gotten from the library about trucks, planes, trains, etc.

  7. I really try to limit what TV I watch, and most the things I watch are in the evening when Owen is asleep. But when I have had the TV, it’s AMAZING how Owen reacts to it! It’s like a magnet! ESP. when it’s on a channel with cartoons, he is just SO taken by it! He just STARES at it! And he’s only 8 months old. Josh and I will keep it on the channel for maybe a minute or less just to awe at the power the TV has on young kids minds. Then we of course turn it off and laugh a little. I really don’t want Owen to get in the habit of watching so much TV!

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