So for many years I’ve always thought my kids were too dependent on TV. My husband and I (like many) had lofty ideas about when we had children and watching TV. Both of us grew up without much TV available and were very imaginative and self-entertained as kids.
But here we are… doing what we swore we wouldn’t do, because my kids think the TV has to be on. According to them, my children and watching TV go together like peas in a pod. The sad part is, we let them do it. And who could blame us? We were at work or school all day long and exhausted and spent when we got home. Sitting on the couch together cuddling while watching a Disney movie was not a bad way to spend the evening.
Sound familiar? I bet it does! LOL.
Now that I’m a stay-home mom, there are several bad habits like the TV level that I am on a mission to tackle, one at a time. I’ve successfully eliminated the habit of eating at the couch, and we eat together as a family now the way we always wanted to. No toys at the dinner table, and a few other habits have been broken.
TV though… the big one. It’s a very difficult habit to eradicate. I first started scheduling TV time, but that very quickly still turned into the TV being on for 5 or 6 hours a day. Note I said it was on… my kids tend to ask to watch a movie and then their attention span takes them elsewhere within about 20 minutes. But I don’t want it ON. I want TV to be a special treat, so my kids can work more on developing their imaginations.
So I finally did it and just cut it off entirely. A very dear friend of mine said something to me that really resonated with me and stuck with me. She wrote:
“I felt like I was creating an appetite to BE entertained by letting the kids watch so many movies instead of them learning to entertain themselves and find joy in exploring and making up their own activities.”
I really identified with that and could not get the statement out of my head.
So I went the same route and basically just banned it altogether except on the weekends. I found a handy rolling cart and put the TV, DVD player and VCR on it, and then it is now just wheeled into the spare bedroom in the corner. Once I get the video tapes and DVDs out, it will fully help it be the “out of sight, out of mind” process of destroying the TV habit.
Because truly, that’s what is is – a habit. I believe there are many habits that are very destructive but they don’t have to be habits, and if you can keep it from being a habit then it becomes an indulgence. I think in many ways, children and watching TV don’t always mix well, simply because those habits are too easily created in the young ones.
So we will see how it goes. The nice thing is I don’t watch many movies, and when I do I just use Netflix on my computer, so it will be easy for me to keep the TV out. So I guess that’s it! I’m kind of excited because Ballerina Girl is 4 now and the TV watching habit has been a thorn in my side since she was very small. Hopefully I will soon turn my TV watching children into imaginatively playing children. A mom can hope!
Update – Here is how it worked!