Besides the Health Care Summit, the big news out of the White House this week is that President and Mrs. Obama forbid their daughters Sasha and Malia from watching TV on school nights.
Mine: So what! This is news? I've been forbidding my kids from watching weekday TV or movies for years. Lots of moms I know have been. Not so much because we think we're exemplary parents by keeping our kids away from the Idiot Box (well, that's part of it).
My main issue is, with lessons, religious school, homework, after school activities and playdates, when do they have the time to watch TV during the week anyways?
The Obamas talk about their daughters' education in this month's issue of Essence magazine. As reported by the Associated Press, the first thing the girls do after school is homework. If they haven't finished by dinnertime, around 6:30 p.m., they pick up where they left off after the meal. And after that, they can read until they hit the sack. Malia's bedtime is 9 p.m.; Sasha's lights go out a half hour earlier, the President said.
Gee, I have more in common with the Obamas than I thought.
My son and daughter get picked up from preschool and after-school around 5:30. By the time they get home, get their end-of-day tantrums over with, and wash their hands, dinner is hopefully on the table around 6-6:15. If we're lucky.
After about 45 minutes of prompting, a time-out or two for food-playing or name-calling, the dishes go in the sink around 7 and homework begins.
Reading is always one of the assignments, if not a requirement of Mommy and Daddy, so that takes us to 7:45 or so. Time to wash and brush. Under the covers by 8. We barely have time to get it all done.
I realize this is the working mom's dilemma, not necessarily a stay at home mom's world where the kids have more downtime in the afternoon. But the statistics about kids and TV watching still baffle me. According to a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, children 8-18 spend more than seven hours every day on various technology devices, including TV and the computer.
That's almost a whole work day! I just don't get this. Are they not going to school? Do they just not need sleep? Somebody please tell me how they find the time because I'm about an entire season behind on The Office and I'd love to catch up.
Do your children spend upward of 7 hours a day on the computer, phone or Internet? How do they find the time?