Every time I take my kids to the pediatrician I look him dead in the eye and I lie. It’s not intentional–it just comes out. Invariably he asks me, “How much TV do the kids watch?” I, through stutters and sideways glances, reply, “Um, not much. You know, like, uh a little in the morning and um, a little in the, uh, evening.” I know he knows I am full of crap and that I am totally under-guesstimating the amount of TV our household watches. He can tell. It’s written all over my face. Plus, the serenade by my two year of a Yo Gabba Gabba medley is a dead give-away.
After talking to other moms about this subject, I realize I am not the only under-guesstimater and that the amount of TV my kids watch is in the range of normal on the Continuum of Couch Potato-ness. The TV’s not on 24/7 but it’s on enough to make me flinch each time the pediatrician asks me about it. Some days, depending on my workload, the tube is on more than I would like, mainly because I have to get work done and it’s the easiest way to placate them. So to combat my feelings of guilt, I try to choose programs that are educational and simple, so at least they are learning something, especially since the doctor also emphasizes the importance of “benign” programming. So as long as by “benign” he means full of song and jazz hands, we’re good.
My top three favorite “benign” shows for the kiddos are:
Originally created in the Land Down Under, this musical, technicolor odyssey is performed on a stage with a live audience of sugar-highed kids, and is the latest craze in my home. Every week the show has a different theme, and within each episode lessons are taught via the five highly-animated thespians who sing, dance and over-emote their hearts out. Be warned there is a six minute cartoon called “Ready, Set, Learn” that opens the show, which my kids make me fast-forward through every time (don’t even get me started on the fact that my kids have never had to sit through a commercial or a slow song ever in their lives).
With kitchy plot lines and over-zealous acting, this Nick Jr. show elicits eye rolls from me left and right. However, once the music starts, I’m up just as quickly as my kids, boppin’ around and “going bananas.” The songs are fun, upbeat and will most definitely be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. “Great Day” and “Loco Legs” are two of my faves.
When I first saw this show my initial reaction was “Heck no!” And, “Wait a minute, didn’t I share a glow stick with that guy at a rave in the 90’s?” But after round three of hearing “There’s a party in my tummy, so yummy, so yummy” I was hooked and so were my kids. Plus any show that features Jack Black in a unitard and Biz Markie beat-boxing is a winner in my book. Despite the odd-looking characters, this rather psychedelic show has great messages for the kids like “Don’t Bite Your Friends” and “Don’t Stop, Don’t Give-Up.” It even brings us to tears once in awhile.
What are top “benign” shows you let your kid watch? And have you ever fibbed to your pediatrician?