TV. We have such a love/hate relationship with it around here. For the past week or two, I've let Porter watch one short video before bed, but that's it. No more TV, movies or playing on the computer at all during the day. And definitely no more downloading games onto my phone. Seriously, I got a $4 charge on my iTunes account for Dora Saves the Crystal Palace the other day.
Anyway, this had all been a good thing. But it is something that Porter and I struggle with constantly. Porter loves TV. He loves the computer. He loves my iPhone. I think he'd seriously stare at a screen for a huge part of every single day if I let him. We don't even get television channels, but between streaming Netflix and DVDs and pbskids.com there is more than plenty to watch. And Porter does have favorites, but really he'll take anything. Anything at all. He watched a Jane Austen movie once.
And I don't think TV is evil. We have a big flat screen in our living room, and Bryce and I watch movies all the time after the kids go to bed. Plus, I'm on Facebook more than I should be. I think some computer and television can be educational, and I know that computer skills will be absolutely vital for Porter and Molly's generation. I'm sure that a modest amount of screen time is more than okay, and can give everyone a much needed break.
I just can't seem to regulate Porter or myself to this modest time. I kept finding myself letting him play a computer game while Molly naps, and then three hours later he's still on there. Or I let him watch a movie after breakfast, and he's put in another one while I wasn't paying attention. I meant to just get 15 minutes to take a shower, and all of a sudden, hey, I can do some gardening and cook dinner and check my email! Plus, Porter gets weird when he watches too much. Unable to entertain himself, whiny, sullen. Qualities that certainly come out regardless, but they are just so much more. It's kind of scary.
He watched a lot of TV on our vacation, and I think that got us started on some bad habits. On Porter's part, but also a lot on mine, just using it as a way to keep him quiet and out of my hair. So we just had to stop. He is still asking for it, but almost jokingly now. And when he's bored, he goes outside. Who knows exactly what's going on out there, but I know there's a castle in the woods and sometimes he needs the dog and a roll of toilet paper. Which makes me happy.
I don't exactly want to ban him from the computer forever though. Maybe once school starts again, we'll be in more of a routine? I just don't want to go down the slippery slope once more. How does everyone else handle this balance?