We, like many modern families navigating a media-filled world, worry about our kids getting too much screentime. Newsflash: we do some stuff differently. How we view TV, which we do a lot, is no different.
We don’t watch commercial TV, except Qubo (which is bad enough). Yes, this means NONE of us watch commercial TV. (Hulu is my friend, and only after bedtime.)
We don’t set limits on TV viewing, as long as other things that need to happen are happening, like homeschool, tidying up, bedtime, eating, and, oh, *playing*.
Hunh? Yeah, you read that right. Where my BFF insists that when TV is on that her kids are sitting down watching it, we’re just the opposite: if they are all sitting glued to it, it had better be something really educational, otherwise I’ll turn it off. I want the kids to treat it like I do radio; mostly just there, keeping me company *while I do something else*, but if some measures or lyrics capture me, I listen (or dance!) for a minute, then I’m back to what I’m doing. My serious listening is for NPR interviews and commentary, just like their serious viewing is for Magic School Bus, and Alfred Hedgehog.
Television *can* be worth watching with full attention, but when it comes to television for entertainment’s sake, I want it to be *accompanying* my children entertaining themselves, not doing it for them.
Footnote: Beara really thrives on a sound-rich environment. She’ll run the Sinbad movie over and over again, for maybe six hours, but *none of them are watching it, and all of them are playing better*. Beara is obviously listening, though; she’ll sing some of the more complex elements of the soundtrack over and over to herself, for the next month or more.
It works for us.