Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reflections on "Tuning into the Media Tuning into your Kids"workshop

Our two day workshop in Palo Alto labeled, "Tuning into the Media Tuning into your Family" was a great success. Families with young children were eager to discuss and reflect on how they were using the media in their homes. Everyone in the group was so open to suggestions and ideas. We followed up our evening program the following morning with over 30 families. We set up 15 stations with simple, easy to try "unplugged" activities to do with children. We will be featuring these activities over the next few weeks on our blog.

Our two day workshops allowed me to pause and check in with my own family and how we were doing in the "unplugging" department.

It was interesting for me to think about my  family ten years ago and now. When my children were under ten years old, I felt I could completely control the media in their lives. My husband and I made a plan and we were pretty consistent on how we stuck to it. Our kids in a week watched about an hour of TV on Saturday mornings for the purely selfish purpose of Ron and me wanting to sleep in on Saturdays. It worked out beautifully until middle school came into our lives. It is funny that no matter how good things feel they have to change, life marches on and you simply have to join the march. Our oldest son never really desired or cared to be plugged in, however our second child really felt she needed to be up on the latest shows so she would have something to talk about at the lunch table. My initial thought was, "tough luck-fitting in is not so important". My tune quickly changed when I thought about all of my child development training and understanding the mind of an adolescent girl. I guess that statement in itself is an oxymoron. None the less, I changed the rules for her and created a few new rules. At first we allowed her to choose one show with the stipulation that we would TiVo it and I had to watch it with her. She agreed and four years later the compromises have continues as my 16 year old is up to about 3 weekly shows. I only regularly watch two with her now, much to her eye rolls and "oh moms" as I add commentary to each episode. More on that later.

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