Thursday, March 1, 2012

Telling Lies | A Parenting Oops!

{Before I start today’s post, let me give a little background and share an aside about tv watching in our household…When M was first born, I was in the camp that absolutely, no way would she watch tv. ( I’m pretty sure M thought our tv played music and soccer games, nothing else.) Then as she got older and more verbal, she started talking about some children’s show characters and I discovered that some of the older kids in daycare watched some limited tv during the day and she was picking up on it. We (really I) eased up a bit and we introduced Elmo’s World when she started needing nebulizer treatments for her asthma. I still felt guilty about letting her watch tv, even something as benign and legitimately educational like Elmo’s World…then enter C into our lives and I completely gave up feeling guilty about letting her watch a little – very limited amount – of television. There are times when she might watch a little more than usual such as on very long car rides (most of our family live 7-13 hours away). We might pull out some Little Bear episodes for her to watch during those moments -- as a last resort -- when we hit awful traffic, etc.}

Okay…so now on to today’s post…

Mom always told me honesty was the best policy. And as with other important lessons from Mom, she is right.

For the past few days, M has been asking us to watch Olivia. We had seen a few episodes and thought the show was okay for her to watch. A few days ago, as we were watching the show, Olivia and her friends started teasing and were not being nice to other friends and no corrective action was being given. G and I freaked…panicked really. Instead of talking it through with her like we do with her other shows that have nice comfortable story lines about going on an adventure or taking care of a pet, we decided no more Olivia end of story no explanation.

M is very observant and smart. She kept asking to watch the show and we started saying that we didn’t have it any more. Today, I think she’d had it. She turned to G, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Yes, you do!”

Needless to say, we were shown up by our 2 year old, who showed us she is more mature than we are, and were vividly reminded that she is just as a much a member of our family as we are and deserves to be part of the conversation about why we aren’t watching Olivia (at least not right now).

I did fess up… “M, mommy is sorry I was not honest with you. Yes, we do have Olivia. You are right. But Mommy and Daddy saw an episode where she and her friends were not very nice to another friend and those aren’t the kinds of shows we are going to watch. Being nice to others is a good thing to be. Mommy and Daddy are going to watch some Olivia episodes. If we find other shows where she is being nice, then maybe we can watch them.”

M patted me on the back, did her shoulder shrug and said, “Okay, sure. Thanks!”

It was a tough lesson for her to teach us, but better we learn it now.

Anyone else had one of those parenting moments? How did you handle it?

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