Thursday, 12 February 2015

5 days... No television...

My children are telly addicts, I admit it. Even Iz at 5 months old will arch her back and crane her neck to see what's happening if I dare to have her sitting facing away from it.

*wiggle* *squirm* I want to see the TV!!!!!
Previously I blogged about the impact MTV could be having on Doof but that was during the good old only-one-child-to-juggle days when the TV was not on that much and we only narrowly exceeded the AAP's super strict guidelines...

Then Iz was born. And suddenly I needed a million more pairs of hands. And at least 2 more bodies. And another lap. It's tough for you, toddler and baby when you're trying to breastfeed one, cuddle the other, have a glass of water so you don't get mastitis (again) etc etc. So TV can be a godsend. Entertains D while I feed Iz. Or while I make his lunch. Or load the washing machine. Or dishwasher. Or... anyway, you get the picture.

But somewhere along the way the TV lost its "off" button. It was just on all the time. Constantly. Peppa. Ben and Holly. Frozen. Ice Age. Timmy Time. All on constant repeat. And D started to ask for TV all the time. Every time he walked in the door. Even if he had friends over to play. Not good. 

So I set us a challenge. 5 days. No TV. Cold turkey. 

[for the kids obviously. Once they were in bed we could watch as much Storage Wars and Say Yes to the Dress as we liked :)]

So how did it go?

So much better than I could possibly have imagined!

When D came down in the morning of the first day he asked for TV. I simply said "TV not working, broken". He looked at me and then as if to double check said "TV holiday?" which is what he says when anything goes away. I nodded and he trotted off to find some toys to play with.

That first morning he played with his toy kitchen and rearranged all the food. He found a threading game he hadn't used in ages. We went out for a walk and read some books together. At 10.30 we had about 3 minutes of "Frozen now!" and then "TV broken". And that was it. In the afternoon he played with his alphabet magnets, made a collage with some stickers, built a den out of the sofa cushions and went for another walk. No more mention of TV. And much better quality play, which he instigated himself.

Doofy's Den
DVD boxes were the closest he could get to TV ;)

And so the pattern continued over the next few days. It was amazing - no background noise, D playing with toys he hadn't looked at for months (and *properly* playing with them, getting engrossed and going down to a deeper level of play because he wasn't constantly distracted by the TV) and most surprisingly of all, no real protests from him about the lack of screen time... To be honest apart from just stating "TV not working" a few times he didn't even seem to notice it anymore.

Learning his alphabet

The only concession I made was him being allowed to play on my iPhone during Iz's feeds. He didn't always do it but if he asked when I was breastfeeding then I did let him. But 5-10 minutes of listening to nursery rhymes on an iPhone versus 12 hours of TV? Not even comparable.

So what's happened now?

I'm ashamed to say since finishing the 5 days, the TV has crept on a bit. Mainly in the mornings between 7 and 8 (when we're all a bit brain dead - Iz is not a good sleeper!) and in the evenings just before bath time. Yes ideally I'd like the TV to never be on but the most important thing now is that we think about it more. It is no longer background noise - we either have it on for a finite period to watch a particular program, or it is off. 

No square eyes here anymore :)

Quality sibling bonding sans TV :)


What do you do about TV? Do you have rules or just go with the flow?

No comments:

Post a Comment