The same happened with Kyle, who at four and a half was suddenly reading. How could that be? Yes, he was read to -- perhaps more than Amanda, since she also read to her little brother, but as far as "instruction," he got less than Amanda did when she was his age. After looking at the shows he was watching more closely, I decided that shows like Word World and Super Why definitely had a hand in this. Once again -- thank you PBS!
But let's be honest -- the real reason that they watch TV is that it keeps them entertained.
Nick Jr. recently moved Blue's Clues to 7:00am and 7:30am, so Kyle in the last few months, Kyle discovered it for the first time. It was always one of my favorite kids' shows, so this thrills me. There's a lot out there, and most of the preschool offerings don't bother me at all (I could probably do without uber-excited Dora, but I don't want to kill her or anything).
The show that I really cannot stand is Spongebob. When Amanda was a preschooler (and an only child), I strictly limited her TV fare to the excellent preschool programs on Playhouse Disney, Nick Jr. and PBS, and Spongebob did not fit into that line up. However, as a mature 10-year-old, she recently started watching it (at the advice of her friends), and guess what -- her five-year-old brother joined right in. I try to limit it, and I really hate listening to it.
She was not only limited to preschool fare when she was a preschooler, but really didn't get into the whole Disney tween shows until she was almost 10 (an actual tween!). At that time, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Phineas and Ferb were introduced to our household. And truthfully -- I love them. I'll even pause and watch if I'm channel surfing when I'm home all alone.
Shortly thereafter, we became acquainted with Hannah Montana (who I also enjoy), and iCarly (very funny), The Wizards of Waverly Place, and True Jackson VP.
And because Kyle is always around, he also watches these shows. I am glad that I limited Amanda, and I still limit him when she's not around, but although these shows are above his maturity level, they are probably fine.
And along with the "How do you watch" question -- again, no TiVo here, so we just watch what is one when it's on. Kyle used to watch some Thomas DVDs, but he's mostly been a live TV watcher. Both of my kids preferred television shows to movies, and even when they did watch DVDs, it was of a TV show.
But I recently discovered that Netflix Instant Access has several seasons of iCarly, Hannah Montana, and the Suite Life, so Amanda's enjoyed that some. I DO like being able to encourage them to be discriminating -- to use their TV time to watch something that they really want to see, not just what's on at the moment -- and this has helped us do that to an extent.
Maybe I'll make some sort of TV chat a weekly Friday feature. I like the interaction that I got last week. So I ask you: What do your kids watch? What kids' shows drive you nuts? Which ones do you actually look forward to watching?
Edited Friday night to add a link to Beck's post (from October 2 because I'm a horrible blog-reader lately) on the same subject. She gives a play by play of each tween show, including if there are any good-looking men worth watching. Ha.