Friday, August 29, 2008

THAT Mom: Advice Needed

First of all, thank you for reading my last post and for the sweet comments. It's a little scary to put something out there that is personal and meaningful when I usually just talk about Charlie and random things, so thank you.

Now, for my mom question. I've been going to the gym about three days a week for a class in the mornings. Every time I have come to pick him, he is ready for his nap and they have put him in the swing where he is either a)asleep (which usually NEVER happens- I swear that boy is so alert that he will not sleep unless it is in HIS bed and dark and quiet) or b) swinging peacefully with eyes half open waiting for mommy to come take him home so he can sleep.

Well today, I went to pick him up and they had him in the swing as usual, but this time, the swing was turned around to face..... a TELEVISION!!!! Do you see where I'm going with this??? He was watching CARTOONS!!! My four and a half month old was watching cartoons. And they laughed, saying "oh he just loves cartoons, he's been watching them for the last HALF HOUR!!!!"
Let me explain to you something about my child. I have already mentioned how he will not fall asleep if there's anything going on around him. He loves moving, flashing lights and colors with sound. The most movement and body turning he has done has been to strategically turn himself to see the T.V., whether its the news, Oprah, or even C-Span if it was ever on in my house, I'm sure! But does he need to be watching it? Can he actually get into a television show at this age???

Here is a picture of him at one of our playdates using his friend sweet little Emily so that he can see the T.V. Do you see it? The blank stare? The mouth hanging open?

I KNOW that kids watch T.V. And don't get me wrong, I love watching T.V. And as a school psychologist, I do not believe that letting children under 2 watch an occasionally television show is going to cause ADHD. BUT Charlie is too young to get into the plot of a tv show. He has no idea what's happening, he's just staring blankly at all the lights and colors moving across the screen! And to let him mesmerize himself like that for 30 minutes??? I cringe.

So what do you think? Do I say nothing, and let them get through the hour of my workout however they can and not worry about it? Or do I make myself into that mom that makes a big deal and says I would prefer if my child did not watch the T.V. for the hour that I'm gone and that they may actually have to keep him entertained in a more creative, interactive way?

Ugh, I think I already am that mom. But please, let me know what you think.


Joni said...

There's something familiar about that look in his face. Oh yeah, it's just like the expression on Papi's and Uncle Andrew's face when the TV is on! Hurry, Bethany - save yourself and turn off the TV!

Taylor and Dacia said...

bethany- BE THAT MOM!! if they are not going to put in the effort to help him go to sleep, then they should be entertaining him. there is no excuse for a 4 month old to be watching tv.

i am totally with you on this one...don't risk not being THAT mom. charlie deserves for you to step up on his behalf so he doesn't learn to get drunk on tv like the rest of the children in America... (can you tell you hit on a hot topic of mine?) eek...don't mean to offend anyone reading this, but i just want to encourage you that if you aren't comfortable with him watching tv--then say so!

also, i didn't get to comment on your previous post, but i'm so proud of you and i'm glad you were able to minister to the woman! :-)

Emma Days said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emma Days said...

Hey B!

Oh, I know that stare! :) At our old church, sometimes the TV would be on the WHOLE time. And Emma is one to have TV-tunnel-vision!

I would REALLY not want my little baby watching cartoons! So I really understand. (However, I am not against TV altogether. Emma gets 20-30 minutes in the morning, after we have read books and done a "learning time" and maybe a short one in the afternoon. But I am really picky about what she watches and I like interactive things like Dora or Mickey Mouse, because they ask her questions and keep her from just staring. haha.)

I'd go ahead and be THAT mom. I have done many uncomfortable things for Emma's sake - sticking up for her even when I felt REALLY silly.

You can always blame it on the pediatrician! haha. "Well, his pediatrician says no TV until ..."

Good luck! You are a great mommy!

Megan Lagoy said...

The question isn't whether we all agree on the use of TV for babies or's really what you, as his mother, are comfortable with. Clearly you are not comfortable with him watching TV right now and that's all that matters. At your next drop-off (and perhaps each subsequent one as well), you could say "I'd prefer if he didn't watch TV today." You don't have to appologize or explain. You're his mom and you get to call the shots. If they don't comply...then you'll really have to decide on your next move. You're an awesome mom.

Bush Family said...

Who cares if your THAT mom...I'm THAT mom too! If you don't want Charlie watching TV tell them. In my opinion they are not doing their job! Always do what you think is best for Charlie! And I agree...TV is definitely not the best especially when he is at such a discovery age!

619 Barnett Blvd. said...

bethany- Hey ok so I have a diffrent look on it... Rhain Grace does watch tv, but only what "I "allow, and for the small amounts that "I "put it on. I will be honest and say that we do watch alot of Baby Enistine(sp??)(the 3 month ones) and I use it for a learnig tool, and I love them!!

"You" are however the mom of Charlie and you should never question whether or not to say something. He cant speek for himself and if you dont know one will. He is yours and you choose what is best for him. If you dont agree with it tell them... Oh and to think this is just the begining of lots of hard desions for the next 18+ years!!

Teri Dufilho said...

bethany, you are an AWESOME mom!.....just always go with the "still small" voice as God guides you in mothering this precious child.... there's always a season and time for everything, and you can gently let them know you feel it's not beneficial to him at this time.... you go girl... (stuck in the 90's!)...... charlie is blessed to have a mom that cares about every area of his life....

amy o said...

Bethany, There are always going to be things that other people do with your child that you will not agree with b/c no one can raise Charlie like you can, that is why God gave him to you. And it is okay to tell the caregiver what you expect while he is in their care.

Brooke is just now getting into tv and understanding what is going on at age 2. And I also was firm on the tv, it was off except at night...gotta watch greys (without brooke)!

Maybe try the parent/teacher conference method...two postives, negatives, postive!

Robin said...

That look on Charlie's face is familiar... I think I've seen it on a few boys at my house.

As long as you don't become the mom who won't allow her child in a room with a television (don't laugh, I know one), go with whatever you think is best.