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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kids' Shows and Adults' Sanity

Our kids watch too much TV. I'm not really going to apologize for that; it is what it is. We have several categories of shows the various kids enjoy, some of which the parents like too. Trouble is of course that the kids - being kids - thrive on repetition and the adults - being adults - just don't want to watch the same things over and over. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that the kids have a TV (DVD and VHS only, no reception) in their room, but complicated by the age and interest spread.

Baby Shows - these are the shows Lizzy likes, and considers to be hers. There are others, but these are at the top of her little list (in no particular order):
  • Busytown Mysteries (on Netflix Instant Play)
  • Blue's Clues (she has no opinion of the Steve vs. Joe issue)
  • Dora the Explorer (but never Diego; she thinks it's for bigger kids)
  • Ni Hau Kai Lan (yeah, Dora in Chinese, with whinier Companions to the Heroine. I know)
  • Super Why (but not Word World)
  • Sid the Science Kid (animated Muppets in a science-based Montessori school? Rock on!)
  • Wow Wow Wubbzy ("it's so funny, mama!")
Big Kid Shows - these are shows that Abby likes. Again, there are more, but these are the big ones (in no special order):
  • iCarly (and due to iCarly, we let her watch Fred the Movie. It was awful and we're not watching that again. Totoally not appropriate; thankfully most of it went over her head)
  • Wizards of Waverly Place (and pretty much anything with Selena Gomez)
  • Teen Titans (especially Raven)
  • Powerpuff Girls (especially Blossom)
  • Jackie Chan Adventures (especially Jade)
  • Assorted other shows - Danny Phantom, Ben 10, Fairly Oddparents, Spongebob Squarepants, Samurai Jack, Ninja Warrior, et al - that spend a month or so on the Hit Parade and then drop off. Does anyone else sense a Girl Power theme in the five shows she really likes?
Everyone Shows: most of these are shows that all of us like, but those on Animal Planet and a movie or two, are those that Leanna introduces to the younger two on the weekends she's here:
  • Phineas and Ferb (because Laston practically is Phineas grown up!)
  •  Dragon Hunters (French anime-style cartoon)
  • Assorted Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks movies
  • Animal Planet shows, Born Free, etc (Leanna is our wild animal SME)
Grownup Shows: these are mostly shows we like that the kids will sometimes watch:
  • Sesame Street (yes, I do like it better than the kids do. So what?)
  • Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (yay Marvel!)
  • Young Justice (yay DC!)
  • Wheel of Fortune (Abby: "it's like hangman, mom!")
  • Food Network Challenge (Abby: "that's the one with the cool cakes!")
This list makes it sound like the TV is on all the time. It's not. It's on a lot on weekends, but only an hour or so on weekdays as a rule. If someone is home sick all bets are off of course, but generally speaking it's 60-90 minutes on weekdays, and more on weekends. We are finally getting to the stage where the youngest can play with minimal adult supervision though, so the adults can reclaim the living room TV. I'm ready.