Column: Uh-oh, the 5-year old learned how to work the remote

'Raising Prescott'

Watching our kids learn something new every day while growing up is an exhilarating experience to say the least, but what if discovering those new skills begins to interrupt mom and dad’s sleep patterns?

Every morning this past week, I’ve awoken to a bright light shining down our hallway only to find my 5-year-old son sitting blissfully on the living room couch at 5 a.m. watching television.

That’s right, 5 a.m.

At first, I thought we left the television on accidently the night before, but as the days went on … there he was like clockwork, watching his favorite cartoons before the sun had a chance to peek its head above the horizon.

Now, keep in mind, we don’t have cable or satellite, so he’s not just hitting the power button and kicking back before school starts. My son must complete several steps with a 98-button remote to not only turn the television on, but fire up Netflix (or Hulu), find the correct account and navigate through hundreds of shows to find the one cartoon he’s in the mood to watch.

So as a parent, do I give him a high-five for being technologically savvy, or scold him for waking up the entire house by watching television at an inappropriate time?

Maybe a little of both?

Either way, I’m a stickler for television and the correct time to watch. It’s not that I don’t like watching television, or enjoy hanging out with my children and watching a good movie.

But first, there are more important things in the world that need tending to, such as being rested for the day and making sure he’s fully alert for school.

Chores, homework and cleaning up your general space (like a bedroom) are other tasks that need completion before sitting in front of the boob tube.

Maybe I’m just old school? I grew up in a time when there were a list of chores posted on the fridge before any child could ever relax, much less flip on a show.

And we never dared ask mom to watch television in the middle of the day during summertime, because a dark cloud would quickly gather above her head with lightning bolts streaking out of her hands before you’d ever get to enjoy the next “Dukes of Hazzard” episode.

It’s what was required of us as kids growing up, a badge of honor so to speak. Having the television on was a special occasion, even if our parents used us as the remote.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier, the Prescott Valley Tribune and the Chino Valley Review. Follow him on Twitter at @SportsWriter52 or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email bbergner@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.