We've gone back and forth over the role of TV in our lives - at times, completely shutting it out, and at other times, welcoming it in. For our daughters, we've tried to see TV as something "special" - not a must have, but a treat.
The last show we watched together was the French election debate between our national leaders in Canada. Before that, it was the English debate the night before. Before that, I can't remember. Probably some show in March break just to take the edge off the holidays (for me - not them!).
When we don't watch TV, there are many great things that happen. Like this:
a "folding tissues into houses" workshop that Eden led,
handiwork during our 4-month France sabbatical (which included a sabbatical from TV!),
playing school, Peter Pan, travelers to Bali, dog owners, and many other adventures and escapades.
We have had some good TV times, but the videos that we all like are few and far between. I'm not a big fan of Disney animated films for my kids because of the portrayal of the "bad guys." Inevitably, one of them finds the movies too scary, or has a nightmare that night that was directly related to the story.
We've also had some bad TV times - mostly bad because of the behaviour afterward. Poor doesn't even begin to describe it. They just want more, more, and more. When we give a little, they beg for more.
There are some movies that we've watched over and over again. Some of the best experiences have been when we've read a novel together of the same title first. Here's a list of the movies we've come to love:
* Mary Poppins
* The Sound of Music (just up until the end of the performance at the concert hall)
*Families of the World series: We watched "Families of Canada" and learned about a girl who takes 2 buses and a ferry to school in Nova Scotia!
* Little Travelers: These 2 American girls are right around the age of my girls, and they've lived in several different countries for 3 month stints. My kids love learning about other countries through these movies. I love how their style is kind of home-movie-ish and natural - not over-produced. They've inspired me to edit some of our home movies, particularly ones from our travels.
* Curious George
* Magic School Bus
* Disney's Peter Pan (an exeption to our experience with other Disney animated flicks)
* Rodgers and Hammerstein's/Disney Cinderella (great musical)
* Wizard of Oz (a bit too scary for us still :)
* High School Musical (love the music, but the teenage angst is a bit much at times)
* Jump In (love the double dutch skipping, but the teenage angst is a bit much at times)
* Charlotte's Web (so, so sad when Charlotte dies)
Adult shows we've enjoyed in recent years: The Office, Glee, and Chuck. Fun, funny, entertaining.
I'm not convinced by the argument that violent TV/video/whatever media doesn't produce violence. I know my own reactions - when I see a suspenseful movie, I go out of the theatre and look twice down every back alley. It influences the way I see the world, at least for a couple of hours until it's out of my system. When I saw Charlie's Angels in the theatre years ago, I came out ready to kick some serious butt, imagining my jumps and kicks being suspended in mid-air for several moments.
What we eat matters, and the media we digest matter too. And so we're picky. And you? What are your favourites? Not so favourites?