After last nights, tantrum before bed, one where Madison demanded over and over to watch a “Moona,” better known to all of you as a movie, I was ready to throw the TV out the window. Why? Because its easier in some ways to blame something, anything, than it is to really face a challenge head on and yet deal with it in a peaceful, loving way.
The TV was not the problem, we the parents were the problem. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and lose sight of what really matters to us as parents. My first approach was to wean Madi from the TV, which was not all bad and had it not been for the advice of the most kindhearted friend, that’s where this would have all ended.
Forcing myself to come up with other solutions and ways of distraction actually brought out some really great fun and moments of intentional parenting that have sorely been lacking in the stress of the Holidays, work schedules, and two weeks of off and on again sickness. Instead of TV, we listened to music, we made a snake house out of a cardboard box complete with marker decorations and stickers, and the whole family piled into her tent for a morning snack. All things we would have missed had I simply turned the TV on when we woke up.
But before we throw the TV out the window, let’s fast-forward to an afternoon play date, to a mom to mom discussion, to the realization that TV is not the enemy. To understanding that following your child’s lead may even lead to some TV time and – gasp – that’s ok! I am not advocating using your TV as the babysitter 24/7 but within reason and with parent interaction it can be a way to connect with your child. Sometimes the connection may be through the imaginary play brought on by a certain scene or idea from a favorite show and sometimes like tonight, it can be a time to cuddle and chat before a peaceful, tantrum free, bed time.