Today was the 2nd day in a row that the kidlets have gone without TV. It started out as me being tired of Max watching TV, and Elisha at times, too, (although to be fair, she doesn't watch TONS) but now... well, I was thinking last night about WHY I let them watch TV.
I can honestly remember the very first time I turned the TV on specifically for Max. It was a few months after she was born and I really really needed to get a load of laundry hung up. In retrospect (like, 3 seconds ago) I don't know why I didn't take her in her bouncy seat outside to watch me hang up laundry... I just didn't think of it, I guess. Or maybe the mosquitoes were bad that morning. Either way, I turned something on for her, went out to the carport (in full view of the living room, the screen door was closed, the wooden one open), and hung laundry.
I can remember it so well because I always SWORE I would NOT be one of THOSE parents who let their kids watch TV, and esp. wouldn't use it as a baby-sitter. Yet another example of why people without kids really shouldn't be making "I'll NEVER" statements.
Okay, so, why do I let my kids watch TV? Why do I turn it on just for them? Well, I think that, for me, it's out of selfishness and/or desperation. Sometimes one, sometimes the other, occasionally both. However, I realized last night, after a full day without it on, that it was actually MORE freeing to have it off. Huh? That doesn't seem to make any sense, does it?
Here's why: when I would turn it on, there was first Max making a request, and then changing her mind at LEAST twice before something actually started. Then came Elisha standing in front of it so she couldn't see. And he would turn the TV off. Or the xBox. Or the DVD player. Or one of them would get ahold of the TV remote or xBox controller and mess around with it enough to make it impossible for them to watch whatever it was that they had been watching. And let's not forget Max deciding a few minutes into whatever it is that she changed her mind AGAIN, taking the DVD out, bringing it to me, and asking for a different one.
All of the above would require something from me- turning it back on, stopping Elisha, cleaning the disc so it would work again, stopping Elisha, hitting play once the disc got to the main menu, stopping Elisha... you get the idea. And, more often than not, one or both of them would end up back wherever I was.
I HAD been doing it to buy some time- wash dishes, get dressed, put on make-up, prep dinner... but with the interruptions and them coming back out to see what I was doing or "help" me, it actually wasn't helping at all. In fact, thinking over the last two days, it has helped MORE to have it off. The kids have been fighting less, we've been playing more together, they're using their imaginations more, playing with their toys more, and I've STILL been able to get everything done that I'd like to do. Sweet!!
I'm not saying they'll never watch TV again. Or that the no-TV thing will end on a certain date. But for now, they're doing just fine without it, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it! (Can you believe that "ain't" didn't get that red squiggly line under to indicate that it was a misspelled word??? I'm APPALLED!)
The exception has been youtube music videos. Esp. since BOTH kids are totally hooked on this one:
Max and E's favorite song... at the moment...
How can you say no to THAT?!?!