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on unplugging the “tube”.

April 15, 2010
tags: childhood, commercialism, family, Seth, simple life, tv
by Hannah

I have a confession. When I was pregnant I said to myself (and probably to others a few times as well) that I was not going to let my child watch television for at least the first two years. At all.

Well guess what people? My little one is only 14 months, and has definitely seen TV. More than I would like to admit actually. It is probably the one thing I feel the most guilt about as a mom, and yet if I am making dinner or answering an important email, or just going to the bathroom or… (fill the blank with just about anything that doesn’t directly involve a toddler), and Seth is not having it, I switch on the TV. It allows me to do what I need to do. He is distracted by it. Maybe this isn’t sooo bad, but then sometimes I leave it on for a while. Because it’s nice to be able to get things done.

I am not justifying this, I know how bad it is for him. I know I shouldn’t let him watch. That’s why I’m writing this. TV time, especially at such a young age, has been linked to lower IQs and attention spans, lack of creativity, lack of brain and language development, commercialism and materialism, and obesity (those are just a few). Yes, these things even apply to “educational” programs.

I have decided that while this is still my habit, rather than his- before this gets out of control and I have a TV-addicted child… I have to stop. Just turn the damn thing off. and leave it off.

There are so many other ways to distract him and keep him occupied. He is really easily occupied actually. Even when he’s “watching TV,” most of the time he’s not really looking at it anyway, he’s playing (and yet he’s still absorbing it, I can tell). And most of the time the thing I want to do isn’t really that important, and I can wait to do it when he’s occupied on his own or he’s napping or Manny’s around.

I want this to be a TV-free household (with the exception of a movie for me and Manny sometimes after Seth’s gone to bed). I would so much rather fill our days with lots of time outdoors, gardening, baking and doing art projects when Seth’s older, and with reading and music… things that enrich our lives and his childhood.

All of this leads me to also think about the time I spend at the computer, too. It has come to be quite a lot, and not all of it is completely necessary… But that, friends, is another day and another post. :)

p.s.- You might notice, I got a little tired of my blog banner today and did a little redesign.
I love design- I’m always getting new ideas and tweaking and changing the look of my online spaces.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. shona cole permalink
    April 16, 2010 3:15 pm

    oh I said the same thing, but when I had one kid I needed DVD’s for 1/2 hour in the morning to have a shower and clean the kitchen. He just didn’t want to be alone and putting on Baby Mozart was soothing for him!!! now he is 9 and in 6th grade, a super smart kid and he still watches something a day (we don’t have TV, but we are committed movie watchers). I think if we are controlled in what they watch (ie good content) and in the amount of time, not just have it on all day or even at their demand, then it can be OK. I find if my kids are cranky or I want to dinner without help then it is a good calmer. Some days we also have no media day, that way they appreciate media time too. I could go on and on, but they are nearly cleaning up their craft and we are off outside!!!!

    oh, thanks for the blog visit :)

  2. colourherhope permalink
    April 19, 2010 8:35 am

    I’ve been meaning to comment, sorry it took me a few days! I agree with you! I grew up in a household that did just this, unplugged the tv. We didn’t have even basic cable and honestly, we were SO creative. We used our imaginations a ton. I remember becoming a teen and being a little upset with my parents though, but that might be a teenage thing. I think the only thing I would have changed, is not being so dang legalistic about it. I wish they would have taught us boundaries with tv instead.

    Now our goal is to have it off, but not to be over the top. I think it’s good to teach boundaries rather than just take something completely away. Now I am an adult and I had to learn boundaries with TV because when I got my first apartment I found myself watching tv all of the time with roommates!

    Right now we’re living with my grandparent’s, temporarily, and in the evenings they have the TV on all. of. the. time! Their life is scheduled around what show is on that evening… Thankfully Chase isn’t (yet) interested in it! Sometimes he will sit and watch baby einstien but even that only keep his attention for a few minutes. . . i wonder though, what will happen when he is older?

    great post, thanks for the challenge!!


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