Our mommy group met today at a nearby restaurant for one of our snack and chats. One of the topics that came up is what does “Natural Parenting” mean. I think everyone has their own definition of natural parenting, for us it means that we try to use as much organic food as possible, especially with the kids, we use cloth diapers on our daughter (we used them on our son until he was a little over a year and then his bum just rejected them completely, we tried everything and nothing except disposables would make his butt rashes go away, even trying taking a break and going back to them after he would clear up) we prefer wood/natural made toys but have other ones as well, and we don’t let our children watch television with the exception of college football and have little contact with technology as a whole. You’re probably asking what’s so special about college football, but it really comes down to that we LOVE the Big Ten (GO BUCKY!!! or as my husband would say GO Hawkeyes) and it’s just nearly impossible to keep a toddler’s attention diverted for an entire football game. Of all of these things, I probably get the most slack and questions about why I don’t let my children watch television/play on the computer/have leapfrog pad thingys etc.. Here’s the thing I don’t judge you and the fact that you let your children watch tv so please don’t judge me because I don’t. Clearly we use technology, I am writing a blog. Further, admittedly I’m a technological junky and Jeff is even worse, so perhaps people judge us because they think we’re hypocrites. But here’s the deal, I’m an adult, I can be a technological junky. I can also recognize my dependence on technology, my limited ability to entertain myself without it and I know how much of my work day is spent in front of a computer.
If all parents were polled about what drives their parenting style, I truly want to believe that most of us want better for our kids. So for me that means I don’t let my children watch television or have much contact with technology as a whole. I hope that instead they will learn to use their imagination more, make up games, sing songs and learn to play on their own and entertain themselves without the constant need for technology to do it for them. Because I know what their future is like. So many jobs are completely dependent on technology, the world is dependent on it almost to the point its scary. So let them be little I say! Let them enjoy being kids and not having their day spent plugged in. And for the most part it has worked. Brecken plays by himself and can entertain himself. While I type this he is in his playroom by himself making a boat (he just yelled this to me) out of his Duplo Legos. See there’s some plastic. Further, as an added benefit we don’t have to deal with a lot of the marketing that comes along with television watching. Brecken is blissfully unaware of the majority of all Disney characters and other mainstream children’s characters. This can make shopping trips a whole lot easier and when he finds something he wants, I know it’s because he truly likes it and it appeals to him not because a commercial told his sponge of a brain that he had to have it. So there’s my rant, if you think I’m crazy that’s fine. Some days I truly wish I let my children watch tv, because I’m not going to lie, to a certain degree it can act like a babysitter and would probably give me a few minutes or hours to do whatever it is I need to do. But then I remind myself, is that really a good reason to let my kiddos watch tv, and for me it’s just not enough. I’m not everybody, so if you let your kids watch tv, I totally understand, there’s even some great shows out there with PBS and those that really focus on an educational component and learning. So let’s make a pact, if you let your kids watch tv I won’t judge you and just because I don’t let my kids watch tv, you don’t judge me.