Saturday, October 1, 2011

Seems like yesterday

If my kids watched TV for hours each day, I might not be a good person to listen to about this, but I'll say it again: Unlimited access to TV and to food in my house has produced kids who only watch TV when they want to, and who only eat what they want to eat which is NOT a bunch of candy.

Holly asked for broccoli Tuesday. I bought some and cooked it before I knew she had gone to her friend's for an overnighter (she got the invite and left while I was shopping). So yesterday she asked about it, I reheated it and brought it to her at the TV where she was playing a game, waiting for the Simpsons to come on. She finished that bowl of broccoli, salt and butter, and asked for more with less butter.

I cooked the rest of it, and she ate most of it.

When The Simpsons ended she was done with the TV.

This isn't theoretical broccoli or TV, it was yesterday.

[It was 2001, ten years ago, but I wrote it the day after it happened.
Holly was nine years old.]
photo by Sandra Dodd, totally unrelated to the text,
from a display at the Victoria and Albert museum
of art from defunct or dismantled churches
(click it, and then click that for more detail)


  1. The introductory clause on this one has been nagging at me for a week now: *What if* my kids watched TV for hours a day? Why would that not make me a good person to listen to about this? Does it mean I've failed, or does it just mean that I will trigger the hypothetical questioning parents' anxieties more than reassure them?
    In our case, it's computers, which I think the average parent would equate with television and it's many hours per day, most days. I check in if I notice a lot of random surfing going on and ask about boredom. I offer alternatives as often as I can think of ones that seem like they might appeal, sometimes they're accepted, often they're rejected.
    But still and all, they are staring at screens for most of their days, at least at this point in their childhoods. Should I not speak up about unschooling because of this?

  2. "Staring at screens" is a harsh way to describe a range of activities. If they're learning, they're learning.

    Rather than offer activities while they're already doing something, maybe talk about things to do later that day, or the next day, so it can be planned around.

    The top paragraph in the post doesn't say you shouldn't speak about unschooling. It says that I know kids can and will do other things because mine did. (Not just mine.)

    If there are lots of options, no one will do one single thing all the time. And if a person has a favorite activity (playing Minecraft or watching music videos or whatever it might be), they're getting something out of it, or they would turn it off and do something else.

    This isn't really the best place for long discussions, but in case you haven't totally read up the whole TV section lately, it's here:


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