I grew up in a small town, so going to movies and watching TV was about one of the only things to do and a big part of my life starting at a very young age. With current research, though, and my experience with the television sucking time away from my life, I decided it was time we needed a change. My husband is also a movie/TV watcher, and had gotten into the habit of watching TV late into the night after my daughter and I went to bed. He is an amazing and talented artist, so I always was sad to see his time spent wasted on the tele. For a while now, I have wanted to go TV free for at least one month straight. Then, after my brothers high school graduation a couple of weeks ago, I listened to one of my favorite parenting experts, Janet Lansbury, podcast about TV usage in young children and it sparked our motivation to change things up at home. Shortly after I listened to the podcast, I listened to it again, except this time, my husband tuned in with me as well. I’m so glad that he did because a few days later, we moved our TV out of our living room and it’s now downstairs creating less temptation for everyone in the household, especially my little one.
It’s been over one week now that she has had zero TV, which I’m pretty proud of! Unfortunately, she is going to a sitter today and it seems TV watching has taken place during her past times there. I voiced my objection and I’m hoping that they will respect and support us in this decision. I have written a post about this previously, but in the past 6 months, TV has increased in our home to unacceptable levels- according to my standards. And with the research apposing young children watching TV, I plan on not having my daughter watch anything until she is old enough to distinguish between reality and fantasy, which is around age 8. At least, that is my hope. If we slip up and end up watching something, it will be pro-social (which is easier for young children to understand) or at least non-confrontational and we will watch it together so if something comes up like a confrontational scene that a young child can’t understand we can discuss it.
So far, this experiment is working really well and I am very happy to have changed up our living room. Instead of spending our time watching movies we have already seen multiple times or watching TV shows that have been engineered to get us glued to the screen, we are now listening to music, which leads to fun and comedic dancing opportunities with my daughter and movement, we have been playing more games together, and we are all reading more.
Before, our couch directly faced the TV making it very tempting to turn it on and become swept away for a few hours. It makes sense for this to happen when you are making your TV the main focus of the room. Now, we are enjoying each other more and creating more bonding and lasting memories together. Our living room is now a place to either relax or reconnect with each other. Plus, it’s summer time and I don’t want to waste away these beautiful days on TV… that can happen a little during the winter.