Tuesday, March 8
Around this time last year, I made some changes, and it mainly revolved around the black box
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?