Two items I ran across on the web today have me thinking.
1. The first is a story about the cable channel named PBS Sprout. http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/03/11-11
If you are not familiar with it, just think "All PBS, all the time". Well, make that all PBS children's programming, all the time. Literally - it runs 24/7. A charming little show is on in the evening hours called (aptly) The Good Night Show. It seems to be built around the idea that a slower pace of programming with a host to guide the viewer along might be conducive to sleepy-time. Well, because so many American parents have apparently become a bit dependent on the show, now a whole contingent of parents are saying "PBS, stop showing this progam, because now my children are STAYING UP TOO LATE watching it".
I have to be honest and say I had one, singular reaction to this story:
If you don't like your kiddo watching t.v. at bedtime, find that switch that turned the t.v. on and reverse the process. Turn. It. Off.
But no - instead, a vocal group of parents is requesting that the show be taken off the air. "Advocates for children" are stating that Sprout is exploiting the trust of parents by the mere fact they have a show designed - by all appearances - to be sleep-provoking.
My children do not have t.v.s in their bedrooms, and they do not watch t.v. while going to sleep (unless they happen to nod off during an episode of "Big Love" -- I jest, I jest). So this is not a problem I can readily identify with. However - if any one has an argument to make in favor of removing a harmless t.v. show rather than simply shutting the blasted t.v. off - please be my guest and make it. I'd love to shoot arrows through it. Again, just kidding - but honestly, I cannot see a justification for this argument. Am I being thick-headed?
2. I subscribe to Google Reader, and one of the blogs/sites I follow is "Metrodad". I ran across one of his posts today, and perhaps as a result of having been on this parenting road for the last 14+ years, I found myself absolutely howling with laughter at his responses to many parenting questions he states folks shoot his way. See for yourself: http://metrodad.typepad.com/index/2009/03/all-your-parenting-questions-answered.html
I particularly like the idea of encouraging newly minted married couples who believe they are ready for a kiddo to get a puppy first. I do just that - folks who say "Oh, we just cannot wait to start a family!" after having been married for 15 minutes are prime candidates for me to say "You know, a puppy is a great way to gradually accustom yourself to what life is like with an infant - up to a point". And usually that point comes when the new parent realizes that the baby cannot be put into a crate like a puppy - at least, not in any states I know of...