TV: Love to Hate it, Or Hate to Love It?

I like pop culture.  It’s silly, often funny, and almost always a great way for me to escape reality for a while.  When I think of the positives of TV, movies, and other sorts of “screen activities,” I think of stress management (laughter) and the making of fun memories (sitting on the floor of the sold out theater watching Dirty Dancing and wishing I were Baby).  But of course, there are many negatives to screen time too, especially when kids (and adults) spend a large part of their days and nights forgoing other activities (exercise, social interaction) and instead sit glued to a screen.

I was recently interviewed for this article on the website About Kids Health.  The reporter, Jonathan Link, did an outstanding job of highlighting the pitfalls when kids and families spend too much time in front of a screen.  I provided some tips about how to cut back on TV and other screen time, and talked a bit about my own experiences during Screen Free Week a couple of years ago.  Read the complete article here.

How Daycare Can Help Children with Depressed Moms

In my recent post about moms criticizing other moms, I wrote briefly about the new study finding that daycare helps kids with depressed moms.  To read more about my thoughts on why this might be the case and how else we can support moms (and all caregivers) with depression please click over to Your Mind. Your Body. This is the blog of the American Psychological Association for which I also write (though not as regularly as I write here).  Let me know your thoughts!

Depressed Moms, Daycare, and Mom-Bashing.

Have you seen the buzz about the recent study finding that childcare might help protect the kids of depressed moms from later psychological and behavioral problems?  It’s all over the internet, including on blogs like CNN’s The Chart and the American Psychological Association’s Your Mind. Your Body. (disclaimer: that one was written by me).  If you want to read more about the study and its important findings please read the original article in the journal Pediatrics, or one of those blogs.  If you want to read about where one conversation about the study took me, then read on.

A girlfriend and I started out talking about the study, and ended up discussing why moms hate each other.  Oh sure, there are some moms who feel genuine love and support for one another, but there are many out there who really dislike one another, too.  And along with the dislike comes a host of other feelings, including: jealousy, contempt, and resentment.

How could a conversation about depressed moms lead to one about mom-bashing?  Because as soon as I see the word “childcare” – I know there will be a fight coming soon.

Childcare is great!

Childcare is awful!

Childcare is dangerous!

Childcare saved my children!

The comments are endless.  Why do we presume to know how how other moms should raise their children – and worse – actually say it out loud?  If we really cared for the other moms around us, wouldn’t we support them in their decisions, rally around them when they struggled, and hold our tongues when others started to gossip?  I contend that truly supporting moms around us would be another great way to assist the kids of depressed and happy moms alike.

So what can we do to turn this culture of mom-bashing around?  How can we be more supportive of one another?  Stop talking about each other. Quit gossiping, putting down, second guessing, and under-cutting the moms around you.  If you hear others do it, walk away.  If you read a blog post with nasty comments, close the page.  Whatever you have to do to stay positive and supportive of the other moms out there – and yourself in return – it’s worth it.

Want to read more thoughts on how to assist all kinds of moms and caregivers?  Check out my post on Your Mind. Your Body.