People think I’m weird when I say my kids don’t watch TV during the school week. Some people think I’m strange when I confess I don’t wake up and flick the TV on in the mornings, or watch the box post dinner until bedtime. And, most people think I’m nuts when I say I probably watch all of three hours of scheduled programming per week.
What could be classed as The Kids TV Ban was imposed when Kid #1 started school. It’s just the way it’s always been in this household. I have never believed that educational programming is an acceptable babysitter, never agreed that any TV programme is able to teach any child colors, shapes and numbers unless a parent or caregiver is sitting with them, teaching and helping them understand. Honestly, I always thought that a good book was better company for either one of my kids than any TV program. Ever.
As a result, I’ve created a pair of monster readers. There are books everywhere, under beds, beside beds, on or beside couches, inside cupboards, schoolbags, handbags and the back seat of the car. Kid #2 even reads on road trips, which usually makes Kid #1 and myself want to barf at the mere thought of reading in a car, not mention make us both insanely jealous because we lack this amazing ability L
I used to watch an average of two programmes every day. Home from work, dinner on the couch and stay there until bedtime. Things changed when I started writing. Things had to change. So it became, home from work, dinner and writing until bedtime. No more TV. Okay maybe only on a Friday night – Supernatural is a pretty good reason to watch any TV. And it’s research!
It didn’t take long for me to realise that 2 hours of writing after dinner meant an average of 2000 words per day, which in turn translated to 15k per week, which was really a decent first draft written in a month.
Dedication? Habit? Hard slog? Sacrifice? Call it what you will but when you set a goal you’d better be sure you don’t move the goalposts because then you will sabotage you own success.
Another thing that happened when TV was no longer a staple in our house- we had so much time we were forced to find things to do with that time- like talk to each other – Yup, I said it! Yes, really! Talking/chatting/shooting the breeze happens often at my place. We talk about our days (although sadly nobody is dying to know about my daily sales or my editing pains), our dramas and our good times. We happen to know a lot about our kids and I like that way thank you very much.
Plus, there’s loads of time for homework, and reading too J
Now, it’s not as if we don’t watch the box at all. We just prefer to have TV free weeks. The kids record what they want to watch and because they only have so many hours on the weekend to watch the recorded shows they are more discerning in their choice of viewing pleasure.
So I’m not saying ‘Ban TV’, all I’m saying is control the amount of time spent watching, be discerning about what to watch, and weigh the pro’s and con’s between reading or socialising, and soaking up the tv-rays.
On a small side note, when we do watch TV, we end up talking about advertising. I know right? What a terrible mother I am? My girls are actually aware of the objectification of women in modern advertising. They point it out! And, they get mad about it, which makes me really proud of them… So yes, it is true, I ruined TV for my offspring!