Tuesday, March 8

turning off.....

Around this time last year, I made some changes, and it mainly revolved around the black box

The Television.

I decided, quite spontaneously that I just could not stand it any longer, and that it was controlling our life more than I ever imagined.  Of course it all happened unintentional, once the two little people in my life work out how to use the remote control and change channels.  And then ABC had to go and make a whole separate channel for my little people that was available practically all day.

Dont get me wrong - my children weren't watching copious amounts of TV - and this was the issue.  They would turn it on and Playschool, or Postman Pat, Giggle 'n' Hoot or Elmo would blast at my face, and then in about 5 minutes they would be running around doing something else, leaving me to have my morning cuppa singing I'm a little teapot!!

So I switched off - no more day time TV.

ahhh, the bliss.  I thought it would be hard.  I mean I started just before last winter, but it was surprisingly easy as each time I had a request for the television, I would counter it with;

"yeah, but do you want to do this (play outside, get the train set out, ring Nonno, make cupcakes, or go for a walk) instead?"

And usually the answer was in favour of my suggestion.  Given my children were hopeless TV watchers in the first place, I didn't feel this put me out in any way either.  It's not like the TV was allowing me to get things (dinner, washing, chores, phone calls etc) done anyway - So for me it wasn't a burden.  Hubby and I also agreed to keep the TV off until they were in bed so no more early news (too much distress!) and NO TV whilst having dinner.  Again, bliss!

Now we are a year in and this morning I read this article entitled Turn off the screen and tune into fun and I felt a great sense of relief that I have already made this decision and that it is the best situation for my children.  They do watch TV occasionally - mainly from a little collection of DVD's that we have - but on average, they might get through one DVD a week.   I was amazed reading the article that television and "educational" dvd's are considered ineffective and can actually delay learning, especially language learning.   The findings suggest that the more TV a child under three is exposed to the higher chances of developing attention problems by age seven. I'm not sure if I entirely believe this.  I had no basis for making my decision last year, but I'm glad I did.

My children have an array of activities at home to keep them occupied, plus our extra activities that take them out of the home. We listen to music most of the time during the day and I can see improvements in their concentration, their relationship with one another and their ability to make up games and really use their imagination when it come to play.

Have you made any changes at your house?  How are you going and was it easier or harder than you thought?


  1. Mine have never watched a lot of TV. There are loads of more exciting things to do. Every now and then I let them binge on the darn thing and they soon realise that it's not all that! x

  2. We too limit the amount of time our children spend in front of the box...luckily for us they would rather be playing outside in the fresh air.
    My problem is the computer...I really need to discipline myself with the amount of time I could spend on it...such a time waster and so addictive!!

  3. no tv until after dinner, clean up, and bathtime. this has always been the rule. so they get in a show a night. they like curious george, postman pat, and charlie and lola. i am okay with a little bit of television time as long as the show makes sense and is wholesome.

  4. Well done - I have made an effort this past year to cut down on TV viewing - I can not get rid of it all together - Tim is often away and sometimes ABC comes in hand when tying to get dinner on and I have cranky kids.

    I am also on a cleaning bust at the moment and am working on getting chemicals out of the house:)

  5. my kids are great TV watchers, they would sit motionless for hours on end. So we brought in a no TV during the week policy. On Sunday afternoons they clean their rooms, then they get a little marathon TV watching while the Mr and I have a wee rest...

  6. First up, the morrocan food in the previous post looks YUM!

    If my kids watch tv it is a video/dvd as I know what's on it. Or playschool. I will put it on if I need a break, but they dont ask for it. If it's not on for days they don't notice or care as they have each other to play with and their toys or go outside. I dont have the tv on during the day, or in the evenings until they're in bed and only if there is something decent to watch. Try not to watch too much tv. :)
    great post btw Brenda!

  7. Hi lovely! Bravo to you! As you know we don't have a tv (well we have one but it's not connected and can only watch dvds). Bijou loves a bit of play school now and then but like your munchkins would rather be outside, crafting or lost in her imagination. Would love to read that article though for those days when all I want to do is sit and veg out and am so tempted to put a play school marathon on. Hope all is lovely in your little slice of the world :) x

  8. We've been tv free for almost a year now too. North has watched 2 or 3 dvds, in fact i just recently let him watch Bambi and he was mesmerised (probably not in a good way). The only other time he's watched tv is on an airplane or at his grandparents house but now that we're interstate that never happens. He doesn't miss it at all but when he does see a tv screen I do notice that he is really intrigued. I'll probably add a few dvds in here and there spontaneously as he gets older. Congrats. It's not that hard BUT it is a serious commitment. It will always be easier to turn the tube on and let them veg out while you get things done. So, it takes a lot of self-discipline to stop yourself from doing it.

    xo m.

  9. well done Bren, i like your attitude.
    it is sometimes the easy option to put ABC on & get other things done but as ecoMILF said, it takes alot of self-discipline to stop ourselves doing that.

    I don't watch daytime televison myself so I definitely don't want my children doing that.
    Amelie does get mesmerised by the pull of the black box but Aidan really doesn't bother. They do alot of other things like you mentioned & they are outdoor kids so most of their time is spent outside.

    hope you enjoy your day tomorrow & this rain stops ♥

  10. This is something I'm going to try and do over the next little bit. But it's hard - my husband is from a TV-addicted family whereas I grew up with TV restrictions. But ABC kids is good if they're shattered after a days activities and dinner needs to be cooked. I just need to find the energy to try and get them doing other things instead of TV!

    Thanks for the inspiration.


Thanks so much for stopping by....I love knowing your thoughts and comments... xx