For viewing pleasure, we use the TV to watch DVDs or Netflix. Our older son is now a whiz at getting Netflix queued and ready to watch (it requires somewhere between two and four remotes to do this but being a child of the modern age — even one who didn’t see a TV screen until he was three years old — it’s as if he were born with these remotes programmed in his head).
One Saturday morning several months ago, in a show of sheer exhaustion, I suggested our boys watch some cartoons. The rationale behind my scheme? My husband and I would then get at least 20 more minutes of sleep.
In a very short amount of time, this has become a solid Saturday morning (and occasional Sunday morning) tradition in our home. It’s embraced by everyone with equal fervor.
Yes, I was the person who said (before having children), “My kids will never watch a TV show without me sitting there next to them.” I think I even claimed that I would preview every show they watched. Just. Not. Realistic.
They do have to confirm with us that the cartoon they pick is appropriate before they watch it, but as I catch some extra sleep I am anywhere but next to them on the bean bags, watching the cartoons.
And, eight years into the parenting gig, I’m okay with that. A little autonomy for them and a little extra sleep for us? That goes a long way in creating a happy family.