Jan 05

When my son and niece were little ones, my sister and I were really blessed in that Mom and Dad played such a significant role in our children’s lives.  My dad was a school teacher for many years and my mom, after having worked two decades, was able to stay at home after her grandchildren were born.  Dad, of course, was home during the summer months.  My sister would drop my niece off and I was usually right behind her with my son.  Dad was always waiting for them, as eager as they were to get their day started.  It never really occurred to us to ask what their mornings consisted of before Mom got up; we just knew an exciting adventure awaited them each morning as Dad greeted us at the door.

A couple weeks into one summer, my sister and I noticed an occasional chant of “Jerry! Jerry!  Jerry!”  Not thinking much of it, we’d laugh and blow it off.  That was until we overheard one of the conversations between our little ones.  We overheard my niece say, “Wait till Steve gets up on stage, he’ll straighten them out”.  Finally, it began to dawn on us they were watching Jerry Springer at some time during their days.  We asked our parents about it and got the reply we expected, “No! Of course they don’t watch Jerry Springer!  No one watches Jerry Springer in this house!”  Finally, after a bit of questioning and investigating, we realized part of the ritual every morning was “coffee hour” with Dad and his grandkids.  The kids had “white” coffee, which was milk while Dad had “yucky” coffee, which, of course, was black coffee.   They’d watch the old classic I Dream of Jeannie as they drank their morning coffee each day.  When the show ended, Dad would head out to the kitchen to fix breakfast.  The next show that followed the Barbara Eden classic was the Jerry Springer Show.  This, naturally, was where they were picking up that familiar chant.

It’s a big family joke now – my son is in college and my niece is getting ready to graduate high school.  They still get a kick out of how they pulled the wool over all our eyes that particular summer.

Many child care providers make television available during the course of their days.  Many incorporate educational DVDs and television programs while others will allow an occasional Disney cartoon during the day.  A recent CNN poll reported that nearly 80% of child care providers incorporate at least thirty minutes of television for the little ones in their charge.  The alarming realization, however, is that 12% of the day care centers polled admitted to allowing television to be viewed for up to three hours or more over the course of a single day.  While television and DVDs can play a role in a child care setting, as with most things, too much of a good thing is well, never good.  Do you allow television to be viewed in your child care business? If so, do you have a daily limit?  Drop us a line and let us know.

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