Thursday, March 15, 2012

TV Time

Every once and awhile, I'll stumble across a blog post or an article or some real-life mom that champions the benefits of a television-free lifestyle. Don't let the kids watch TV, engage their minds instead! Create craft projects! Read stories! Sing songs! Go outside!

These encounters result in bouts of mom-guilt. I experience a gnawing fear somewhere in my intestines that my children are going to grow up deficient. While kids with good moms are putting on puppet shows and going on nature walks, my wee ones' brains are going to atrophy into some horrible grey sludge and they will never have any friends and they won't go to college and they will probably never get a job. And it will all be because I let them watch TV.

I then vow that there will be No More TV In Our House. We will have one TV-free day, my conscience is soothed, and the next day life returns to normal.

I made it from Monday night all the way to 6:00 this evening with no TV for the kids. In the past three days, we have been to the park, to playgroup, and to the public library. We have read 38 picture books. We sat and watched some construction workers tear up a strip of parking lot with their bulldozer. We have done art projects and educational activities. Quite frankly, I am exhausted. The Buster may feel enriched, but I didn't do the laundry and our dinners have been pretty lack-luster (another PB&J sandwich, anyone?). The living room floor needs to be vacuumed.

The past three days have reminded me that I have no desire to be a fully TV-free home. I need some time to do the laundry and unload the dishwasher in peace. For me, television is a necessary evil. I'm not even sure that I can call it evil. We LOVE Sesame Street and Dinosaur Train at our house. Even so, turning off the TV has prompted me to reevaluate our TV habits. The important thing (for me at least) is to think before I switch on the TV, to ask myself why I am turning it on. Is there a specific program we want to watch? Do I have a specific task to complete that I need the Buster to be entertained during? Or am I just turning it on because I haven't thought of anything else to do? I'm hoping that asking myself these questions will help me find the right balance of what is the "right" amount of TV for us.

What do you think? What are your policies/ideas about TV time?



  1. I feel the same way! I'd love to have the time and energy to keep E stimulated at all times, but I just can't. So she gets to watch one half hour show in the morning(while I shower) and one in the vending while I make dinner. Some days its far more than that, but those are days mommy just needs to sit on the couch. I figure as long as we do enriching things as well as mind numbing, it will all even out in the end. Right? :)

  2. I have the same bouts of mom-guilt. The conclusion that we have come to is that we don't watch TV. BUT...we watch a LOT of DVDs! Many of them are from the library and are compilations of episodes of TV shows. This means that we can turn it off after 1 episode if we need to. Also, they have to do homework, chores, and practice the piano before getting to watch or play computer or Wii. This often means that on school days J & T don't get electronic entertainment at all. But poor S gets a lot of it, especially after lunch before the boys get home from school.