I have very strict (some would say, very unfair) rules around television-watching during the school year. I begin every summer with the same exact set of rules. And then…
Well, you know where this is going.
I went searching for proof of why my rules are usually so strict and instead of research I found this wonderful quote.
“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Thank you for the reminder…
Love, love, love. I have less strict rules, truthfully (for the kids: I almost never watch TV myself) and they were in the habit of watching about 30 minutes before bed most nights. And then, a couple of years ago I realized I was rushing through dinner and bathtime to get to TV. So I just stopped. I said hey look let’s take our time and talk and play a board game. And they have not, a single time, asked for more TV. They still watch it sometimes – maybe a couple of days a week but not more than that – but I was absolutely shocked by how easy turning it off was. Of course, harder for me in that I have to engage and can’t just sit and do my own thing (and I’m guessing that “of course” is pretty core to this whole topic). But so, so worth it.
Can I second Lindsey, and spread the word about how easy it is to drop the TV. I remember be terrified before we did it, but we went ahead and haven’t looked back. Truth is kids still watch DVDs sometimes but all of our screen viewing time has dropped, and we’re all doing much more meaningful things with our time (not least of all, reading)
We do limited television here too.
I also find it sad that children seem to have so much screen time with their parents cell phones, ipads, and video games. Many people seem to use the mobile devices for the purpose of keeping their children entertained and engaged at restaurants and on road trips. What ever happened to talking to your children?
Thank you all for the great reminders! It always shocks me how easy it can be to both turn it off and fall back into the trap of having it on…