I used to be "that mom". You know, the mom who thought she would never let her children watch too much TV.
I was a preschool teacher, remember, so I was used to managing a room full of preschoolers, while also facilitating specific learning activities. But what I didn't envision is trying to manage five children (ages 7, 5, 4, 2, and 1), that are all wanting to do age appropriate stuff, while at the same time, doing laundry, making lunch, planning my late night grocery trip and finding the appropriate coupons, picking up what seems like a hundred toys that find their way on the floor, changing diapers, sneaking in sips of coffee because I'm running on about 5 hours sleep, helping the 2 yr old "go potty", while spelling "tornado", finding lunch burning in the oven, sending someone to the "time out" step for hitting, taking a book away from the baby as he rips the pages, then fishing the marker lid out of his mouth...you get the idea.
So, sometimes, if I really need to get something done without too much interruption, we have TV time. And sometimes, when the children wake up at 5:30 and I'm slightly grumpy because I didn't get to bed as early as I should have, we have some TV time. And Tuesday nights are "Daddy works late" nights, so it's movie night (with popcorn!) And when the kiddos are sick, well, those days PBS is my best friend. Most days I try not to abuse it, but we are getting into cold and flu season, and when one (or more) of the five is really under the weather, TV often helps us get through what could otherwise be a some very, very hard days. Just being honest. Please tell me some of you can relate.
Anyway, as hard as it sometimes is for me, for the months of November and December..
3. Turn Off the TV (as much as possible)
As I mentioned in the previous post, the onslaught of holiday advertising has begun and most times, the target is our children. Now, we don't have cable or satellite, so it's a little bit easier for me than most to limit what and how much the kiddos watch. For those of you who have the fancy DVRs and whatnot, you could just skip commercials, which is really a good idea all the time anyway. It's a blessing for us that PBS doesn't even have commercials:) But even without commercials, once the pre-holiday programming begins, children can become totally consumed with the thoughts of Christmas presents.
And the fact that everything has characters on it these days...Now stop right there, I'm not totally anti-character. I, myself, was a hugh Strawberry Shortcake fan back in the day. And Smurfs and anything Disney and Care Bears...the list could go on and on. But to give you an example-we have a Blues Clues Memory game but my crew saw a Toy Story Memory game at Target and well, apparently, the Toy Story Memory game would be SO much better, because it's Toy Story.
Sorry, no can do. It's still Blues Clues memory at the Shoe house. Don't think the Lil Shoes are immune to "the Gimmies". We just do what we can to keep it to a minimum. What I'm trying to say is, don't feed the "I want" monster. Limiting TV and character exposure, as much as you feel you can, helps keep "the Gimmies" manageable. We still watch some TV during the months of November and December and we enjoy many of the Christmas specials (especially Charlie Brown). But the reality is, children can't WANT what they don't even know exists. So we try to keep the TV off, as much as possible. And we avoid the toy stores and malls like the plague:) Another way that the Shoes try to AVOID "THE GIMMIES" next time...
"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good" -Psalm 136:1