It happened in a moment of anger. “No TV for a week!” my husband blurted out to my two daughters. They had been misbehaving, and this was the only consequence he could think of on the spur of the moment.
Later, in private, my husband apologized to me. He goes to work early in the morning and so I would be the one who would have to carry out this consequence. I have a guilty confession to make; I let my daughters watch TV in the mornings so I can check my email and Facebook and get in the shower.
I feel guilty because I know that too much TV is not healthy for my kids, and yet I use the TV as a babysitter. When my oldest daughter was a baby, I refused to let her watch TV. My in-laws thought I was crazy; other moms told me it was a great idea, but just wait until I had another child. I stubbornly stuck it out, and Lily didn’t watch much TV at all until she was 2 years old. Having a husband who doesn’t like to watch TV helped immensely.
But then…I had another baby. And the other moms were right. I was tired all the time, so when Lily wanted to watch TV, I let her. My second daughter has been watching TV since she was an infant.
So when my husband took TV away for week, I froze in fear. How was I going to survive without TV? Sure, it would be good for the girls, but what about me?
The first day was rough; I got out the Legos and sat on the floor and played with the girls, and their whining soon stopped. By the second and third days it was even easier. We played, we did more art projects, and we went to the park.
I’d like to say that our ways have changed and we don’t watch as much TV anymore, but alas, that wouldn’t be true. We slipped right back into our TV watching habits.
But I know a week without TV is possible, and that it can even be enjoyable. I don’t think I can live without TV permanantly, but I’d like to try to spend less time with my kids in front of the ol’ boob tube this summer.
What about you?
Ginny Marie’s favorite TV shows include The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory. Her secret favorite, though, is Word Girl on PBS. She blogs about becoming a mother after breast cancer at Lemon Drop Pie.