Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Value of Relaxing

I was perusing the early posts of this blog and was amused to discover some posts from when I was trying to give up TV. I had to smile, because it's three years later, and I'm still debating whether or not to give up TV.

Sometimes, though, everybody just need to relax: You, the spouse, the kids, even the dog. And frankly, TV is a great way to do that.

I know, I know. Technically, it's not a great way to do that. Studies have shown there are a lot better, more efficient ways for your brain to relax. But nothing feels quite as laid back and low key as just chilling in front of the TV.

We watched Air Bud and then Hercules, which has what I consider to be cartoon violence and for some reason, my daughter gets a kick out of it. Mostly, I don't let her watch it, but every now and then I watch and episode and she claims to watch it, but mostly she plays.

At one point, I asked my daughter if she wanted me to read to her or just watch TV. She loves reading, but she opted for the TV. I think she needed to feel free to do her own thing and chill, too.

Just last month, I said I wanted to cut back on the TV. And we have. But this wasn't mindless, "hey dinner's over so we now watch TV." This was a deliberate decision to call off the work hounds, call off my errands and just be together. None of us felt up to much - I suspect my daughter might be on the cusp of a stomach flu - so we watched TV, with Sweatpea sitting in my lap while I rocked and hugged her.

I think what matters is not so much the TV itself, as the message it sends my daughter - which is that even her parents are going to be 'off' for tonight. She knows we're relaxing. When we read or do other things, I get antsy and end up doing work or otherwise being busy. When we watch TV, we all slow down, sit and just be together.

Of course, my daughter and I also have the ability to talk and interactive, even with the TV on. My husband does not. Plus he was sick, so he went to bed early.

It was a relaxing evening, and I can't help but think TV was a part of that. Are there better ways? Sure. But nothing says total sloth like TV night.

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