A week ago, I returned the kids' books to the school. I thought this would be as good a time as any to take a break. I thought we would screw around outside in the nice spring weather, make a trip or two to the river to fish or swim, sleep late, whatever. The kids have taken this vacation as an opportunity to vegitate in front of the television. Both Friday and Saturday I had to kick them off the tv and tell them to go outside. It wasn't unbearably hot out there, or raining or anything, they were just being lazy.
Previously, my attitude about television is, they can watch whatever they want as long as it doesn't violate my content restrictions. I don't like sex or drug references, or anything scary enough to produce nightmares. I rarely watch the news after my oldest daughter started having nightmares about masked people bombing our house. The newspaper is so much better, since you can read and think instead of just having information force-fed into your brain. Previously, my decision to let my kids watch any television program was based on if there was anything wrong with it. Back Yardigans? I don't see anything wrong with that. Ed, Edd, & Eddie? Nope, nothing wrong with that one.
I'm starting to realize that just having nothing wrong with them is what's wrong with them. Sure, those programs are fun, and sometimes pretty funny too. A girlfriend of mine argued that the Back Yardigans encourages imagination. Honestly, I can't see how showing someone else imagining encourages you to imagine stuff yourself. Why would you when you can have your imagination spoon-fed? Things children can touch and manipulate, without being told what they're supposed to be doing with them, encourages imagination. I'm sure almost any child would rather be having fun than watching fun.
This morning, the tv went off. They can watch something that really is stimulating or educational, or they can find something else to do. After 10 minutes of complaints about not being able to watch Cartoon Cartoon, they're now playing with Legos, inventing a game that I can't possibly understand. Now if I could just find some sort of programming guide so we don't miss something that really is worthwhile...