We recently made the
insane excellent decision to eliminate TV from our house. Entirely. At least for the kids. I’m a grown up. After a long day of teething babies, dirty diapers, crazy tantrums, and cooking/cleaning/cooking/cleaning/cooking/screw it, I deserve my hulu time.
I have to say, it’s been kind of awesome. I’ve cheated here and there by letting Goo use my phone when I’m truly desperate, but for the most part, TV/electronics are a thing of the past.
Goo still gets mad if I say, “No,” to Dora, or Wonder Pets, or what have you. There have been tears and tantrums. But. There has been an astronomical increase in creative and active play. More reading. More coloring. More pretend grocery shopping with the play food. And maybe some real food if Goo can sneak the refrigerator door open.
A large influence behind this decision was my desire to not raise my children to be couch potatoes. Brutal honesty: I was a couch potato. Also, we don’t have the money for sports, or dance class, or gymnastics. We live paycheck to paycheck, and there isn’t anything left over for that kind of thing. I carry around guilt because of that, and the intermittent feeling that I’m failing my children, but that’s another post altogether.
That means enhancement activities have to happen at home and church. And although I’m sure there will be an entire generation of bilingual toddlers thanks to Dora and Diego, I’m not really sure that qualifies as enhancement. Especially since the only words they learn are “hola, vamonos, abre.” By eliminating the TV I
effectively lost my mind encouraged their creative development. And there may have been one other small contributing factor to this decision.
I hate play time.
There, I said it. I confessed. I feel release.
I love my daughters more than anything on this planet. I would do anything – and I mean anything – to help them. That includes the things that are hard on me. Eliminating the TV was not fun. Playing pretend games that use exactly .000001% of my brain capability is not fun. For me anyway. Some people love it. More power to you. I envy you.
I knew that going unplugged meant at least a few days of behavioral objection. And ultimately, a lot more time spent coloring, playing with barbies, and building towers. A very big part of me was not looking forward to that. But the part that loves my kids was. This morning, I colored a picture of the Wonder Pets with Goo. We complimented each other’s color choices. We shared crayons. She was in heaven. Then work time came, and we pretended to go shopping for clothes by picking up the dirty laundry and putting it in her toy cart for transport to the laundry area. Added bonus: I started teaching her how to sort laundry. I was in heaven.
Before we went unplugged, that never would have happened. I would have looked at the mound of dirty clothes, promised myself a hot cup of coffee if I finished, and plopped Goo and Smush in front of the TV so I could get it done in peace. Yet shockingly, I did get it done in peace. It took a little longer to finish, but in the long run, it was worth it. The laundry is getting done, and Goo is developing
an early aptitude for doing the chores I hate a deep sense of love and encouragement from her mother.
I totally think I deserve a reward for the sacrifice I’m making for the betterment of my girls. Maybe a trip to TJMaxx. Shopping is totally active play.