Seven years have passed since The Big Turnoff was first published, and television screens are more ubiquitous than ever, filling our walls and fitting nicely into our pockets and purses. While I feel blessed to have so much information and great entertainment…
Children and Television Posts
My husband, Bob, and I sent our son, Casey, off to college last month. We spent weeks preparing ourselves for the big moment, talking to other parents and getting lots of good advice. I knew it was important not to fall apart, but when the time came, that’s exactly what I did. I stood in front of my son with a torrent of tears streaming down my face while he tried to cheer me up, all the while barely able to contain his excitement about the adventure ahead of him. After giving him one more hug, Bob and I headed out of the dorm where I promptly burst into tears again.
It’s February and this is my first blog for 2011. (Who knows when I’ll write the next one?) I’ve been busy working diligently on my second book and going on adventures with my son, Casey. In my last blog, I mentioned that Casey became a finalist in the 2010 Canon Photography in the Parks contest. He ended up winning first prize, and as a result he received a new camera and photo printer. Since then he’s been planning our summer vacation to Glacier National Park. As always, he’s in search of exciting opportunities to expand his photo gallery.
For years the American Academy of Pediatrics has been saying that television isn’t good for babies and toddlers, and now, amazingly enough, Disney seems to have gotten the message. Starting this month, they’re offering refunds for their Baby Einstein videos. Of course Disney was pressured to do this, but if it helps parents learn the truth about so-called educational television for babies, I applaud the action no matter how it came about.
Recently I was on a radio show in Portland called Parenting Unplugged Radio. Naturally I love the title of this show, but it’s the hosts of the show, Laura and Todd Mansfield, who really make it a success. They made me laugh, they made me sigh, and then they somehow talked me into singing the beginning of the “Brady Bunch” song. (Yes, I still know it.)
I am sitting on the deck of an old log cabin facing the San Francisco Peaks outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. My husband spent nearly every summer of his childhood here. He and his siblings didn’t have television. They had books and board games and horses and forts they built from fallen branches. They also had parents who gave them the chance to run free—to explore acres and acres of prairie land, to wander through Aspen groves and climb nearby mountains.
I always assumed that children watch less television in the summer. I imagined that kids would be swimming, reading, playing outside and pestering their siblings all day, but apparently that’s not the case. Without school and afterschool sports, kids actually end up watching more television to fill the time, rather than less.
Well, finally another blog, and just in time for the holidays, a time when it can be difficult to cut back on television. I can remember many a Christmas or New Year’s Day with relatives when television seemed like the only way to keep everyone entertained and happy, myself included.
Well, I know it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog entry. What can I say? I was busy reading the seventh Harry Potter book, and then before that, I was speculating with my son and his friends about what might be in the seventh Harry Potter book. Will all of the main characters live for certain? And which of the other characters near and dear to our hearts will bite the dust? Believe me, this sort of speculation takes a lot of time, but lest anyone believe it’s not time well spent, think again. As far as I’m concerned, JK Rowling and I are both working to accomplish the same thing. She’s just better at it. How many other authors could get so many kids all over the world to turn off the television in order to sit down with a 759-page book and finish it in two days? No one!