I was recently finally reading through a ton of paperwork I got from the school a while back regarding my gifted child. Most of it was very helpful and I think the school overall does a great job in trying to keep gifted children from getting bored and in helping their families understand and navigate their giftedness. However, there was only one thing in the paperwork I disagreed with. I do not fault the school solely for it though as this thought is common in our society. There was one part where it showed things successful people do and things unsuccessful people do. All of it made sense to me, except that under successful people was “read books”, while under unsuccessful people was “watch TV.” Do not get me wrong, reading is great. I mean this site is based on a book I wrote. Also, I am sure they do not mean if you ever watch TV, or have that you will be unsuccessful. I think I get the main point they are trying to make. If you sit and watch TV all day every day, I would guess that is not the best for you physically and mentally.
I personally have always watched a lot of TV and still consider myself to be successful. I also do not think if I had not watched as much TV I would be even more successful, or would have gotten there faster, or would get to whatever more success might await me in the future faster. I could be more successful, but I still do not think TV has held me back from great things. If anything, I think it has been a great stress and anxiety reliever at times, and I think I have learned a lot from it. I have not only been educated from TV and movies, I feel I have gained traits such as empathy from it as well. It is also so nice to relate to characters at times and realize someone wrote that for a reason. You must not be alone in certain thoughts, feelings and experiences. It is also a great opportunity to bond as a family sometimes. We love family movie nights! We also love board game nights though.
I did read a lot when I was younger. Eventually when I was forced to read for school though, I lost interest for a while. These days I do not enjoy reading Fiction as much as I used to, and I prefer Non Fiction now. I still prefer TV and movies over both though to be honest. Maybe my book will eventually be made into a movie, or at least a made for TV movie or a TV show, for those of you who feel like me. My daughter loves to read and always has. She is getting to that point where she is forced to read more for school, so that same temporary loss of interest I had, may be coming soon for her.
I feel like parents worry too much about screen time. Don’t get me wrong, I know every child is different and I am not telling anyone how to parent their own child. You may need to restrict screen time for some. I just do not think parents like me should be shamed for not doing it. I just never had this done to me and do not do it to my daughter. I of course said I was not going to get her a cell phone until a certain age. This quickly changed the second time her school canceled after school art practice without telling us, and she ended up getting off the bus and my mom was not there. I think she was only 8 or 9. She is now 12. At 8 or 9, she not only got a phone, she got a smart phone because the cost for the plan was the same. She did not use the internet though. She had no desire and my husband had everything parental controlled. She just played free games on there sometimes but she always knew to ask first if she could download them etc. She eventually got a mini iPad as well. We never restricted them and she never used them obsessively. I almost feel like restricting them makes them want to use it more.
Of course now that she is older she does use electronics a lot more, but up until recently they were only a last resort when she had nothing else to do. We still do not have to worry about what she gets on that she should not get on, because she comes and tells me about everything she does, or makes me watch it one. I know this will probably soon change. The teenage years are coming. She has been out of school lately due COVID-19 and is already staying up late and sleeping in like a teenager. I did that too as a teenager, but I don’t do it now. Maybe occasionally on vacation, but I usually cannot lay in bed until the afternoon like I used to, or I would not be able to move. I did learn to enjoy naps in college though.
Being productive is great, but it is also important for my daughter and I to have down time. We both need it to recharge and it makes more productive at other times. If I had been raised with a strict schedule and little or no screen time, I feel like this would have affected me negatively honestly. I have hit some bumps in the road in life for sure, but I have yet to link of any of them to watching too much TV. Despite all of that screen time, I graduated college and had my own insurance and a 401k at 21, owned a house at 22, and was a manager by 25. I have since been an HR Director, self published a book and blogs, have been a wife and mother and a preschool teacher.
I am at a point in life where I am making the least amount of money I have made in a long time. However, I am also at a point where I have the potential to make more money than I ever have, and more importantly I am happier than ever. Early in our marriage, I was often the breadwinner. My husband was still in school when we first got married. Over the years he has been repeatedly promoted and is now in management and is expected to continue to move up in the ranks. I am very proud of him, and guess what? He watches a lot of TV too.
Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook, or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here. Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor