5 Reasons Parents Need To Watch the Olympics

Reason 1: It’s better than Kid-TV.

I’m not sure what your least favourite kids-TV show is, but we prefer to be patriotic in our loathing. On Canada’s homegrown Treehouse TV, 4 Square is the most despised program in our household, especially the segments featuring four dancers in unitards. If you don’t know this show, cross overly enthusiastic adults with the Teletubbies and put them in luge outfits. Add annoying music that snakes its way into your memory, and you have fodder for driving the sanest person loony.


Much like how Pavlov conditioned dogs, my husband taught our kids to turn off the TV before the 4 Square music starts. Once the TV screen flashes orange, Vivian and William sprint for the off button like two speed skaters accelerating when the gun is fired.

I mean, seriously, if I want to see adults in form-fitting uniforms, I’ll turn to the Olympics, thank you very much.

Reason 2: It reminds you that life with kids is one big event.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, there is so much repetition involved in parenting that there could be a Parenting Olympics. In fact, life with kids seems to be one big event that never ends, or so my mother tells me.

Following the Olympic torch relay? Try taking twins to the zoo or a mall without a stroller.

Carting lots of equipment? Try taking a road trip – or doing a simple errand – with two toddlers. Hello baggage, literal and metaphorical.

Coordinating the Opening and Closing Ceremonies? Try planning a kid’s birthday party these days, which has made the word “theme” a dirty word in my house.

Living on the edge? Try driving a minivan on a freeway when your daughter’s favourite stuffy has tumbled under a seat.

It’s safer to watch The Olympics with your butt on the couch.

Reason 3: It gives you more to aspire to than post-bedtime silence.

I’m a sucker for Olympics commercials. They’re almost as tear-worthy as ads for Hallmark or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Or the winner of the final showcase on The Price is Right (I have a friend who tears up when someone wins).

And when (or if) that Canadian anthem plays, I may tear up. I figure it’s a healthier outlet than crying while my son has a tantrum in the middle of the mall (an actual event earlier today). It’s also more socially acceptable to sob in the privacy of your own home rather than outside Build-a-Bear while your son is writhing on the floor for twenty minutes.

Reason 4: For 17 days, it gives you something to talk about other than your kids.

If I watch the Winter Olympics, I will have something to contribute to conversations other than stories of how my lack of sleep is driving me batty. Not that I have many conversations with adults other than my husband, but still, even if I’m talking to him, I can say things like, “What did you think of that triple Salchow?” I will feel like an expert momentarily, until he tells me it was a double Lutz.

Reason 5: It’s an excellent way to exercise.

I don’t care what people say, but you can exercise while watching TV. I cannot watch downhill skiing without clenching my abs and leaning into the turns. I cannot watch a men’s or women’s gold medal hockey game without doing a few hundred squats from rising off the couch in excitement. And if Canada doesn’t win both hockey golds, thousands of us will be balling in a corner, in a nationally-inspired yoga move, also known as Child’s Pose.

The yoga pose Canadians will adopt if our hockey teams don't win gold.

Watching the Olympics just may be the original Wii Fit.

Here’s to putting the kids to bed early so I can watch even more Olympic coverage.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Case, used under a Creative Commons ShareAlike License

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