I’ve got to respond right away to this, lest I go on a moment longer coming across as a snobby, screen-time judgey-pants. This is why a co-blog rocks. I have someone to keep me in check and show me how my writing can be interpreted. And, for the record, I have lots of things I thought I’d do—or ways I thought I’d be—as a mother that I’ve totally dropped the ball on. Maybe that will be a future post.
I should have clarified in the Star Wars post that my issue with the viewing is not about the glazed-over, open-mouthed, twitchy-fingered state my kids go into whenever they are in front of a TV, computer, or Apple product. They watch stuff. In addition to Cars and White Christmas, they watch at least half-a-dozen shows using i-Tunes on our computer. (Where I can, at least, keep commercials away from them. The first time they saw a commercial they were totally confused. It took a lot of explaining.)
You’re spot on, Katie, with the connection you made between our conversation about faith and my post about what the kids see—about the narrative they fit into. It’s not the time in front of the screen I’m worried about. (What do you think Sola does while I write blog posts? She can’t dance around the house naked all day…) It’s what’s on the screen. So, the half-dozen shows the boys watch are geared towards kids who are several years younger: Kipper, Max and Ruby, The Backyardigans, etc…. (Those readers not familiar with these shows… well, I don’t know why I’m addressing you because you probably stopped reading this blog several weeks ago.)
Anyway. The whole “screen time” thing is one of those big issues in parenting that began with good intentions and has spawned into a guilt-inducing, divisive topic. I didn’t mean to fan the flames. I guess what I want to do is invite anyone, parent or not, to consider what growing up with TV and movies has done to shape our perceptions of what is “normal,” or not worth questioning, when it comes to what we see. Watching something through a child’s eyes, seeing it not only for the 1st time, but also with the rawness of “pure” processing, helps me remember that just because I’ve been repeatedly exposed to something doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be questioned. Princess Leia in a gold bikini and chains included.
I love your pastor Tim’s prayer. Based on what you’ve said about him, I think I have a crush on the guy. But not in an inappropriate “married mother-of-3 has a crush on a pastor she’s never met” way; more like the way I have a crush on E.B. White, who’s been dead since 1985.