So is my generation of moms just looking for a different type of programming altogether?
I'm not so sure.
I'm not so sure.
In fact, I wonder about the extent to which cable networks like TLC have stolen the traditional audience away from daytime soaps, all the while providing the same form of entertainment, just with slightly different packaging. Indeed, the amount of time I spend each week with Stacy & Clinton and Jon & Kate (not to mention the fabulous Randy of Kleinfeld's!) certainly rivals the hours a SAHM 25 years ago may have spent with Luke & Laura or Reva & Josh. And both types of programming offer the same opportunity for escapism - and who doesn't need a little bit of that while folding laundry, scrubbing spit-up off the carpet, or preparing dinner? Either way, a mom gets the chance to live in a fantasy world for a few minutes between diaper changes.
But maybe the dwindling ratings of soaps have less to do with what we’re watching and more to do with what our kids are watching. While I can’t tell you exactly what my friends watch, I know – from the theme songs they belt out at the playground – that most of their kids have a close and personal relationship with Dora, Caillou (Big Boy’s personal favorite), and the other characters that populate Nick Jr. and Sprout. I certainly cheered the study from Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School that found that “while…increased infant TV exposure is of no benefit to cognitive development, it was also found to be of no detriment,” but I wonder if letting our kids watch too much TV is just another means of escape.
Where do you stand on letting your children watch TV? Why? What other strategies do you have for “escaping” during the day?