Last week I saw a meme doing the rounds on social media saying…
‘Kids don’t remember their best day in front of television’.
I’ve seen it periodically over the last few years and, on the surface of it, this is a sentiment that I agree with. After all, when I think about creating ‘memory making’ days for my children, I think about holidays, theme park trips and snowball fights, rather than faces glued to a screen.
But actually, when I think back to my childhood, alongside the happy memories of family Christmases, woodland walks and road trips, I do remember some great days in front of the TV. Like watching The Three Lives of Thomasina whilst my mum did the ironing because she told me it was the first film that made her cry. Or being allowed to stay up late on a Thursday night after swimming to watch Red Dwarf. Or begrudgingly watching Pollyanna on a Sunday afternoon because I was bored and then loving it more than any film I’d watched before.
As for my daughter, there is nothing she loves more than cuddling with me on the sofa and watching a film.
When you ask her what her favourite part of an epic holiday to Vancouver was two years ago, she doesn’t say ‘the bike ride around the lake’ or ‘the trip to the aquarium’. She says it was watching Finding Nemo. In fact, that is the only thing she can remember about the holiday (reason 121 for why expensive holidays are wasted on kids). So, whilst I’m not saying every day should be spent in front of the box, we shouldn’t feel guilty if some days are. It is totally possible to create happy memories with a remote control and DVD.
And, while we’re at it, why does every day have to be about ‘making memories’? Not every day in life can be special. Some days are just about getting the washing done, or cleaning the bathroom, or taking a breather and staying out of the rain. Surely it’s just as important to show our kids that sometimes life isn’t all pond dipping and sunsets?
So let’s give ourselves a break. I’m the first to admit that, over the last few months, there have been days when I has watched ‘too much’ TV and I’ve ended the day feeling guilty because they feel like wasted days for her. But she’s still gone to bed happy and she’s still gone to bed feeling loved.