Watch TV With Your Kids

Does this scenario sound familiar? It’s the end of your workday, and you are tired and stressed out. You are in the kitchen, opening bills and figuring out what to do for dinner. Your kids are not around, but you can hear the drone of the television, so you know what they are doing. Now, on top of everything else, you feel guilty. You’d like to be spending some quality time with your kids. You think you ought to be taking them out to throw a ball around, or baking cookies together, or initiating an art project, but you are just so tired.

If you feel concerned about this situation, you have good reason to, for there are several problems brewing here. You have no idea what your child is watching. There’s so much physical isolation, you’re hardly ever in the same room together. And there’s also psychological distance; you don’t know what your child is thinking about or being exposed to, and your child knows you have no clue. And of course, there’s all that guilt.

Here’s an easy solution. Occasionally, at least once or twice a week, walk away from your household chores, and go watch TV with your child. This is most easily accomplished if your child is watching TV in a common family area, such as the living room. If kids have TV in their bedrooms this is still do-able with only one child. Still, why not make it a house rule that your child watches TV in the living room during “family hours”?

As soon as you sit down on the couch with your child you are sending the first, most important message. You are putting your child first, before household tasks! This is a big deal, and even if you don’t spell it out to them, they’ll notice; but you could casually say “I was loading the dishwasher but I realized I really wanted to spend a little time with you.” Believe me, your child will appreciate this, even if they don’t show it right away.

Finally, you are in a room together with your child, and you are doing the same thing! Younger kids will gladly and readily accept your presence, and you can snuggle right in with them. Depending on the time of day, bring snacks! Now you’ve got physical closeness, and for a young child who has had a tough day at elementary school, snuggling up with Mom or Dad is very welcome. No matter what has gone on at school, whether there’s a tough teacher, a bully on the playground, or no one to sit with at lunch, recharging in the safe haven of a snuggle with a parent is a huge relief, and a reminder that you are there for them.

Every time I accompany my Baby Moon for her show, she will show her happiness and I can really feel it.

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