Support for PBS Parents provided by:

  • Arthur
  • Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Nature Cat
  • Peg + Cat
  • Pinkalicous and Peterriffic
  • Odd Squad
  • Ready Jet Go
  • Splash and Bubbles
  • Sesame Street
  • Super Why!
  • Wild Kratts
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Bob the Builder
  • Martha Speaks
  • Ruff Ruffman Show
  • Mister Rogers
  • Cyberchase
  • SciGirls
  • The Electric Company
  • WordGirl
  • Caillou
  • Oh Noah
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab
  • Maya & Miguel
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Clifford
  • WordWorld
  • DragonFly TV
  • ZOOM

Super Sisters

About the Supersisters

Jen, Kristen, and Patience

Three real-life sisters sharing their kids' antics, milestones and adventures through this crazy journey called motherhood. Find out more »

Join the Supersisters!


Join the Supersisters and help spread the word.


See our topics »

Home »

Surviving the Olympics

Posted by Kristen on March 1, 2010 at 6:30 AM in Raising Boys
Bookmark and Share


The Olympics makes me crazy. Exactly how many winter sports exceed speeds of 75 miles an hour? I'm sure Cousin Ellen could tell me but I'm loathe to ask.

The Olympics makes me crazy because it opens my children's eyes to an entire new world of dangerous sports. Someone recorded a few nights of coverage and the boys began to watch them the way they obsess about a favorite cartoon. There was a ridiculous amount of half pipe snowboarding. At one point on Twitter I openly wondered if a practice foam half pipe was cheaper that a couple of college educations.

There were all manner of questions about the luge and then questions about the horrific crash of Nodar Kumaritashvili (thanks for no warning on that one, NBC and then for replaying it excessively and unexpectedly before children's bed times). You can only change the channel so many times before you just call it a day and send the kids to bed early.

Bobsledding was perhaps the trickiest.

Ethan: Mom (pointing to the bobsledding icon on the television). Is that bumper cars for snow?
K: Nope. It's called bobsledding.
Ethan: Sledding?
K: A little bit like your sled except they go really, really fast.
Ethan: How fast?
K; 100 miles an hour. Faster than most cars.

He did a triple take. Literally. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen. The light bulb went on and he began to plot his own personal bobsledding adventures. For years I have had a dream to put a water slide in the ravine by my house but with all this snow, the kids instantly thought a bobsledding track would be a good idea. Luckily we sent them to bed before the succession of bobsleds flipped over and only the parents had to look on in horror as the helmeted heads bounced against the ice.

With that we move on to hockey and the kids crept down the stairs to watch from behind the wall, hoping we didn't notice. We busted them and they begged for hockey to be recorded. Then it's curling. Derek starts to explain curling to them in their hiding place and we all laugh because he doesn't know what he is talking about and clearly he never read wikipedia. He claims to have watched curling 20 years ago but I don't believe it. I tell the boys that they can take up curling ANY day. Oops, hockey is back up and there are long discussions about high sticks and fights.

We haven't slept in over two weeks and the only thing saving me is that we live in the mid-Atlantic and despite the winter of lots of snow, it will all be gone in a couple of days. Like the ending of the Winter Olympics, the dreams of traveling 100 miles an hour will be a distant memory. Or so a mom can hope.


Bob writes...

Instead of calling it a day and sending the kids to bed early because nothing "safe" is on tv, why not read them a book?

Karen writes...

They're boys, they crave the chance to test themselves. It's a good thing, it's why we walked on the moon and why the globe has been mapped, and you don't want to stamp it out or make them fee like you're horrified at their very natural inclinations. I say let them watch the bobsled crashes as a cautionary tale. They are going to take risks because their self-respect as male human beings depends on it-- the best thing you can do for them is make sure they have enough information to do it as wisely as possible.

Linda writes...

Is there where parenting in America is headed? It's not safe to watch the Olympics boys. Go to bed. Please! As the mother of 3 boys and the only sister to 6 older brothers, I say lighten up. I suppose you were making a funny stab at the topic, but it fell flat with me.

Richard writes...

Well, if they never see the accidents, of course it looks like a fun, safe sport :) Could be a good start of a discussion about why wearing helmets is a Good Idea, even on a bike or skateboard...

Natalie writes...

I can understand the writer's concerns for her small children, but it is part of history and tradition and as a parent of 5: 4 sons and 1 daughter, we watched the Olympics. The crash scene was only shown that day and from then on NBC refused to show the actual crash. All sports, including football, soccer, basketball at children's levels, have risks which should be discussed with children so they can learn safety. The Olympics have been televised for many years. If you felt it was too much for your children, then it is your responsibility to turn off the TV or choose a channel that does not show it, there are hundreds to choose from or as another person suggested, read them a book. After all, you are the gatekeeper to your home and what you allow in to it is your choice and responsibility. Primetime on many channels these days is not an appropriate choice for younger children.

Boys will figure out how to do all sorts of things even when you have turned off shows or purposely have not given them certain me, I've seen it. They just figure it out.

John writes...

I think Mythbusters is more dangerous (read more fun) for small boys to watch than the olympics.

Recent Entries

Support for PBS Parents provided by: