Now before you all report me to the PC Police, let me explain my New Found, U-Turned philosophy. Before I had children I was one of those Pre-Parents who arrogantly (it has to be said) and confidently announced that no child of mine would ever be plonked in front of the evil box. Not that I had anything against TV per se – there was and is nothing more I love than curlng up of an evening with a glass of vino and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s just I figured that TV would have absolutely nothing to offer a child that would be so entertained and taught and enlightened by moi!
How preposterous us pre-parents were! Actually I was fairly strict at the beginning and the TV was never put on before Daisy went to bed for her first 18 months. And then I needed to feed my new baby which Daisy took great exception to and suddenly Dora became my new best friend.
Now four years on, I still have some issues with TV – I only let them watch taped stuff so they don’t get exposed to adverts. They get half an hour at lunchtime (although I have to confess in my pregnancy fog of late, that might have been extended to an hour when that sofa gets a bit too comfy for my weary self), and half an hour at bedtime.
So admittedly we all know TV is good for us parents – a little in-house babysitting so we can send an email or make the tea. But I also think it does have value for them too. At least, my girls’ current addiciton is. Who’d have thought a little pink pig called Peppa would make parenting so much easier? She’s fiesty (but polite), curious (and smart), sociable (and kind), loving (and funny). Her family are a little madcap but they also do lots of everyday things – Peppa goes to school, she loves her friends (and falls out with them), her family go on outings, they talk about stuff, they have lots and lots of fun…. and they teach my girls quite a lot! Now I’m able to say things like “well Peppa always eats her dinner”, and Daisy says things like “Peppa goes to the museum, can we go?” We even dealt with riding a bicycle the other day because Peppa had finally managed it!
Now everything I need to explain I can use Peppa as our perfect example. Admittedly English hubby is less enamoured and I’m secretely delighted that Mummy Pig is rather fantastic and Daddy Pig is a bit of a bumbling idiot……. but, his payback is that my little Irish girls now talk with a perfect English accents! Ah, how I eat my pre-parenting words as I curl up on the sofa with the girls. TV is good. Now, where’s the damn remote.