One of my least favorite advertising slogans is NickJr.’s “It’s like preschool on TV.”
No NickJr., no it’s not.
It’s actually nothing like preschool, unless the only objective is exposure to number and letters.
Last time I checked there weren’t talking guinea pigs at school to befriend. And if I’m wrong, I’d love to know where your kid goes to school because I’m looking to make Kellen the next Harry Potter. Quite frankly, after watching the Wonder Pets, I’m a little afraid of bringing home the class pet for fear it’s going to fly through my house on a makeshift sailboat-plane.
But seriously. As a former teacher, the teaching “objectives” listed before each show make me cringe a little. The purpose of Olivia is to share and care through the television? Or is it to listen to a whiny pig?
My biggest concern about the slogan is that it’s actually very misleading. I am certainly able to figure out that my child shouldn’t be going to TV preschool, but there are people who allow their kids to watch hours and hours and hours of children’s programming using it as a makeshift preschool. In doing so, however, kids aren’t using their imaginations, aren’t learning how to ACTUALLY share and care, and aren’t spending time outside (getting Vitamin D and/or working off their mac and cheese).
There is no opportunity for generalization, which is a critical skill at this age. Watching a cartoon character express being mad and then being told to use his words does not translate into actually being able to do that anymore than watching Steve skadoo makes my kid able to shrink and fly into a book. I would venture that watching TV instead of interacting causes children to be LESS likely to be able to effectively navigate their emotions appropriately.
It doesn’t mean I don’t let Kellen watch Blue’s Clues or Dora. And I do think kids learn from TV and from technology. I just wish they’d take that damn slogan away. Because it’s not like preschool. Not at all. And next thing you know our Congressional representatives will decide that if kids can go to preschool on tv, why can’t we just create national programming and forgo education altogether (of course they’d have to rethink that funding issue with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting!).
Excuse me, but my son is not spoiled. He’s two. No. He’s two AND A HALF. And that, I promise you, is worse on a magnitude that far exceeds the six months between the two ages.
Now, let me talk for a minute about his behavior, which most days resembles the dragon he swears he hears hiding in his tube slide. It is grossly inappropriate FOR.AN.ADULT. The other day he thought it was funny to scream tiny staccato screams, sounds so loud that they caused the passenger seatbelt light to flash (and beep) even though no one was sitting there. If anyone over the age of seven got in my car and did the same thing, we would have problems that probably would involve the side of the road. But he’s two (and a half).
The thing is, he drives me crazy (and I tell him as much to the point that when I clench my teeth and groan about anything he says, “Mommy going crazy”). So why don’t I do anything about it? Well, thanks for asking.
I know you’ll be shocked.
The reason he acts the way he does is precisely because we set boundaries. It is a very rare event (though not altogether unlikely) that a child screams and throws himself on the ground because you gave him the very piece of candy that he so loudly demanded. Nope. He screams because I didn’t. When we leave the Little Gym and he’s crying because he didn’t get to jump on the “crack,” I still make him walk himself out to the car, even if it involves fifteen minutes of me leaning up against a door until he complies. If he can’t calm himself down at home, he goes into his room until he can. He eats what I make him for dinner. I don’t cook Mac and Cheese just because my two (and a half) year old thinks he runs the show.
Nope. My child isn’t spoiled. He’s just two (and a half, in case it wasn’t clear). If he still acts this way when he’s fifteen, then you can pull me aside and question my parenting. Until then, leave me the hell alone. And keep your mouth shut.
I’m so excited. I just signed a lease for a small office space about seven minutes from here. No more working from home, which hopefully means more work will actually get done!
Kellen is going to be transitioning to full-day, everyday school starting in May! (If I weren’t so opposed to all-caps, that last sentence would have been in them!)
It only took two and a half years after the fire, after Lyme, after Kellen’s birth to return to a job. And not just any job! It’s going to be my own company. All of the stuff I’ve done as side projects the past couple of years are going to come together to create this really fun, creative space for me.
I really want to share more. I know I’m being kind of secretive. But we aren’t fully incorporated yet. And I’m going on a health-related trip the end of the month. And we are still working on lining up the other people involved in this venture.
I will share more soon. I promise. But for now? I’m just really excited to be rejoining the working world and minimizing my exposure to two year old tantrums. Those go away, right?!