Now that the boys are both three years old, we are letting them watch 30 minutes of television a day. We have a bunch of old videos that my sister gave us and we have some DVD's that were given to us as gifts so the boys have plenty from which to choose. I have started having my quiet time and reading my Bible during this 30 minute period so it is actually working out very nicely for all of us.
But here is the thing. Once their 30 minutes are up and we turn off the set and they start playing again, they frequently start pretending many of the stories or scenes they saw in the video/DVD. It is amazing how much they remember and I am surprised at how often they will say something or pretend something that is new to me and I'm thinking "where did they learn that". I will ask them how they know that or where they saw/learned it and they tell me what video/DVD it was on. It is incredible what the remember. They do the same thing with books we read too.
Now, thankfully, the videos/DVD's that we have are all very wholesome and have good messages. Some of them are Bible stories, many are Barney and then we also have a hodge podge of Winnie-ther-Pooh, Veggie Tales, Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, Madeline, Lyle Lyle Crocodile, etc. However, after watching my two three year olds running around pretending and reenacting scenes from what they have seen, I cannot understand how on earth people could say that television, movies and video games do not impact children.
We are very careful about what the boys watch. I don't want them watching anything that is scary or aggressive. They are aggressive with each other enough already. I certainly don't need to add to it. If something is the least bit scary they don't want to watch it and I am glad. They are great sleepers and I want it to stay that way. I really dislike most scary stuff myself so there is no way I would let my kids watch it, especially at this young age.
There are been several times when they finished watching their 30 minute video/DVD and they ran and asked me to read a book about something they were watching. Today we read Stone Soup after they had heard the story told on a Barney video. Oh, and they love to sing the I love you, you love me, we're a happy family song. It is so cute because they want to hug me and each other when they sing it. What a cute cute age three is turning out to be. Now if we can just get that potty training thing down, we'll be doing great.