Why all TV rules will be off during the Olympics

Now that the winter games have begun, I decided it was time to refresh this post.

When we moved into our house there was a TV mount on the kitchen wall. I wasn’t a huge fan, but we attached a small TV and it became our only one on the main level. To be honest, it’s been great during meal prep (when the kids are playing in the other room) or after the kids are in bed.

I really don’t like having it on during meals. Sometimes I crack during breakfast but dinner time is where I draw the line – usually.

Just as we did in the 2016 summer Olympics, we will once again break the rules during the 2018 winter games.

I really enjoy the conversations we have with our daughter (big G) as we are watching – especially watching women compete for Canada. Here’s why:

Watching the games is a chance for us to demonstrate our Canadian pride: I’ve said it before, we’re a patriotic family in general, but I can’t think of many other times we can point at the screen and say “look G there is a Canadian” (in fact, she now points out any red/white athlete assuming it’s a Canadian) and then yell at the screen and cheer on the athlete. It’s exciting and I want to share that excitement with our kids (at 2, little g can even get in on the fun). One of my favourite videos is of big G, just 16-months-old at the time, cheering on the Olympians in the 2014 winter games; “Go Canaga Go!”

It’s probably the only time we watch women compete on TV: Isn’t that a sad statement? But it’s true. We often cheer on the Toronto Blue Jays and Ottawa Senators, so big G is used to seeing those men on TV but I think we have only watched a women’s hockey game with G once. During the last summer games G would point to the screen and say “look mama: it’s girls!!” It’s cool to watch her be amazed by these incredible female athletes.

I hope it lights a spark in our kids: I don’t actually expect my kids to be Olympic athletes but I do want them to be active. I want them to find an activity they enjoy and become passionate about it. When we watch these incredible athletes compete I think back to my childhood and how inspired I was after each Games. I remember sliding across the dance studio floor in my socks jumping and turning in the air as though I was a figure skater. I’m a terrible athlete but grew up dancing and spending as much time outside as I could. I would be pretty happy if watching the games inspired my children to put on their snowsuits and get outside!

There is a lesson about working hard and being committed: during the 2016 summer games, we watched the women’s mountain biking competition and my daughter turned to us and said: “I can’t even pedal my bike” with a pout. We explained that she will be able to pedal and when she figures that out she can learn to climb hills, scramble over rocks, and jump with her bike. We talked about how it just takes practice and a willingness to try (she’s not a fan of her pedals right now). She also hears us talk with amazement about what it takes for these men and women to do what they do. It really is incredible. We are in a serious “I can’t” phase so any chance to point out what you can do if you try is greatly appreciated.

I’m obviously exaggerating a bit when I say “all” rules are off. We aren’t going to be watching TV 24/7 (though, for somebody who typically can’t stand watching sports on TV, I can watch a lot of Olympic sports). Hopefully, we’ll all get the winter sports bug and create our own winter Olympics.

Go Canada Go!

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