My Evolving Philosophy on TV and Kids — and A Live-Action DVD My Kids Love

ErinsPhilosophyTVTo say you evolve as a mother is the understatement of the century. Before you become a mom, you have this idea of what kind of mom you will be, what you’ll feed your kids, and the philosophies you’ll have. Then once your kids are born, a lot of it goes out the window as you figure things out on the go. It’s trial by fire, and you’re just trying to survive.

I laugh at my pre-kids self now because that self had no idea what was coming. She didn’t want her kids to watch TV. Then when her first was born, she worried about the TV she was watching while nursing. Oh, it all seems so silly now. My philosophy on TV has probably changed the most. I read the recommendations that kids aren’t supposed to watch TV, and I took them to heart. And then I got pregnant with my second — and got exhausted — and Sesame Street became my best friend. I choose to stay at home with my kids, but when you’re with them almost all day, every day, sometimes you just need a break, a reliable distraction — and TV fits the bill.

I’ve had to stop feeling guilty about it. My theory goes that my kids are better off watching a little TV when I’m trying to get dinner ready than being left to their own devices to get super creative with ways to destroy property and themselves, like climb up onto the fireplace mantel or do cannonballs off the back of the couch. Besides, shows like Little Einsteins with their world travel, art and music coverage even have me learning something new, so it can’t be all bad!  So I figure as long as I’m reading to them, letting them play outside, and letting them run around with lots of TV-free time, some Jack and the Never Land Pirates isn’t going to stunt their growth — too much.

So when an email about The Tails of Abbygail landed in my in-box, I thought I’d review a copy so my kids could get a bit of a break from Disney Junior. And honestly, I couldn’t resist this face:

abbygail585
Abbygail, the lesson-teaching dog.

I also didn’t want to resist the play on words: tails/tales. I’m a sucker like that. So this morning, after an extremely rough night with my toddler who had gone temporarily insane and forgot what “sleep” meant, I popped in the 34-minute DVD, Dreams Come True, and watched it with the kids. The movies feature real animals, so I knew my kids would love it, and they did. The creator narrates the story, so it sounds like a book being read, with the bonus of moving pictures.

As soon as it was over, my daughter asked me to play it again. In the one we watched, there is Abbygail the Jack Russell Terrier, a pink-colored bichon frise, a dog with an eye patch, horses and more. All of the movies have sweet stories with lessons about manners, stranger danger, being a good friend and more. My kids especially loved Abbygail digging for buried treasure and riding a horse. Seriously, a dog riding a horse … that’s going to be a hit with any kiddo!

Has your philosophy on TV changed from before you had kids? What are your kids’ favorite movies and shows? —Erin

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