Tool Time Is Not Just a Show on TV

Share via

Dear Vicki: Oh, great, now one more group of strangers is telling me how I should raise my kids.

Did you see in the news last week that the American Academy of Pediatrics said that kids under 2 should avoid TV and older kids should watch much less?

Look, I don’t just plant my kids in front of the set all day, but if “Teletubbies” didn’t come on in the morning, I’d never get to take a shower.


Vicki, I work hard, both in the home and at an office, but this just feels like more pressure and judgment to me. What’s your take?


Dear Ms. Video: I, like you, have a certain resentment when people who are not living my kind of life tell me how to do it.

For example, I’d love to see how you pediatricians manage to do your work, volunteer in two kids’ classrooms, lead a Brownie troop, have an active sex life with your mate and not turn the darn TV on once in a while.

Yeah, I suppose it would be a great world if we parents could all devote all our time to rearing our kids, but that’s never been the case throughout history, and it’s not going to begin now.

If the docs want to remind us that what goes on in our kids’ minds is as important as what goes into their heads, OK--but I don’t want to be told what either should be.

That said, let me mention that I happened to take my 7-year-old and 11-year-old and their friends to Home Depot a couple of weeks ago, and the employees there have been patiently teaching us to build a fort. I’m talking “floor joists,” real nails and a power saw!


My kids haven’t picked up the remote control in days.

Sure, I have to supervise the tough spots, but they’re out there hammering away right now as I write this column.

And you know what, it doesn’t take a doctor to tell me it’s better for them and more fun than TV.

* Vicki Iovine is the author of the “Girlfriends’ Guide,” a columnist for Child magazine, and mother of four.

* Every Sunday, she’ll answer questions about family, parenting and relationships. Write to her at Girlfriends, Southern California Living, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053; e-mail