Yesterday morning my husband and I made a rather shocking spur of the moment decision to box up the telly and put it away. I say shocking because I am still rather shocked! I’ve been suffering a constant nagging guilt about the creeping increase in the amount of TV my 25 month old daughter has been allowed on weekdays (she doesn’t watch on weekends except half an hour Sunday mornings) since I became pregnant. There were some long hours when I had morning sickness and struggled to get off the lounge in the first trimester and while it was only age appropriate ABC for Kids or DVDs, it kind of set a precedent and one I wasn’t every very comfortable with. Now almost 8 months on and I have to admit it has become a real babysitter, especially in these last weeks of pregnancy, allowing me to get some chores done, cook dinner or just have 30 minutes down time for myself. I am not beating myself up about it but I do think it has become too fast an option for me, and the guiltly feelings are getting me down. I don’t believe it’s good for her.
I recently started subscribing to a great blog which just a couple of days ago posted here about TV and the fact that this family doesn’t have one at all. Shocker! So I guess that little seed was in the back of my mind on Sunday morning. I was explaining my concerns about our daughter watching too much TV and suddenly I blurted out, “why don’t we get rid of it altogether??” We rarely watch it ourselves and often find it’s on of an evening for the sake of it, and we’re falling asleep in front of some depressing documentary or other for no particular reason. But I was kind of half joking, and therefore rather taken aback when my husband immediately said “ok, let’s do it!”. Ten minutes later and it was gone. Oh my!!! We have said we will do a one week trial and see how we go.
24 hours in and no issues but we have a Sunday / Monday weekend so I’ve yet to experience the end of a 12 hour day solo with my beloved Miss M. I am to be honest more than a little trepiditious!! I’m not focussing on the negatives of TV to get me through, though. I’m aware that there are many studies and advocates for both sides of this often contentious topic. Rather I want to take a positive approach and look at the good things it may potentially bring to our family life. I’ve done a bit of research and I’m hopeful that this decision might actually make daily life easier, not harder. I’m reading about toddlers Miss M’s age who have a much longer attention span for independent play than those who watch a lot of TV, and mums who are no longer having to deal with screaming demands for The Wiggles. No nagging guilt and worry about the potentially harmful effects of the mighty google box is an added bonus. Sounds good to me!
If you have any tips about learning to live TV free with a toddler (and pretty soon a newborn), please share!
Blogtoberfest 2012, 8/31