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How we Screen TV for our Son

A lot has changed in the world of children’s television since I was the one watching it. I grew up with Sesame Street, Mr. Rodgers, Gumby and Pokey, and though some of these still exist, they are now accompanied by shows that were not even conceived in my childhood. Dora, Diego, something about Bubbles, are apparently all the rage. I’m not even sure if the Smurfs still exist, which is sort of tragic.

I realize there are a lot of opinions about letting kids watch tv and I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I will not pretend to ever be anti-tv, but I’m also not okay with Eli watching any/everything on it. I’m not here to debate tv watching, my decision is one I’m comfortable with, just to be clear. But the problem is, I have no idea what is and is not appropriate for various ages. And while I know that many of them are rated G, so technically they’re “safe” for all kids, I don’t think that I want Eli to watch just any G-rated show.

Enter my DVR.

Last week my husband and I decided to DVR a few different kids shows to see what they were like, what the educational vs. non-educational potentials were, and whether we were comfortable with our son watching them, and if so, at what age. We sat through Sesame Street, we sat through Dora, we sat through Ni Hao Kai Lan and a few others, that I scarcely remember because it was so much children’s tv.

And we did it while Eli was asleep. This is just another reason we love the DVR. Even more so because now the shows we are okay with him watching (just Sesame Street for now), we can record and watch anytime, instead of only being able to have the tv on for one very specific hour a day. And I’ll confess, I like the option of saving the episode so he can watch it more than once.

As he continues to get older, we’ll probably resample and start recording a few more programs for him and thanks to our DVR, we can make those decisions on our time and keep a firm grasp on what, if anything, our son watches on television. I know the shows have come a long way since my childhood, but I didn’t realize how far the technology had, too. And for that, I’m pretty grateful and I’m sure someday, my son will be too.

A big thanks to DISH for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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