Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I don't quite know when the TV crept into our lives, It wasn't like I opened the door and welcomed it in. Rather, it was more like an earth worm, that slowly wiggled it's way into our days. I would turn it on in the mornings to watch the breakfast news, then often Holly would ask if she could watch a cartoon, then, well... it just seemed to always be on. The background drone in our lives.

One day, I looked over at my little girl, standing up close to the TV, watching some cartoon that I don't even know the name of and I thought 'ENOUGH!'. This is not what I want for my family. I don't want my children's memories of their childhood to be of cartoons they used to watch. I want their memories to be of the being and the doing, of playing, exploring and having fun.

So we turned off the TV. No more breakfast news, no more cartoons, no more background noise. The first few days, I had a few requests from Holly but quickly she moved on. It is actually amazing how much more fun we have now without it. Rather than watching TV, we now fill our days with stories, music, dancing, singing, playing, reading, painting, drawing and walking.

Don't get me wrong, I am not militant on it, I still let Holly watch an episode of Little Einstein's while I am settling the little one for her nap. There are still a couple of shows that my husband and I like to watch some evenings, but on the whole, it is off.

There are times, like when I am cooking dinner,  I know it would be easier to just turn on the TV and voila! Instant babysitter. Instead, I have had to become creative. I get Holly to help me with tasks in the kitchen and set Isla up with an array of containers, and kitchen instruments to play with.

The rewards have been well worth it.

We have unplugged the TV and plugged into life instead.


  1. Lou I can totally feel for your situation!! I have gone through a similar experience a while ago. My two are hopeless tv watchers - what they would do, is turn it on, it would last 5 minutes and they would walk off leaving the tv on and that drone that you talk about would just fill the house! I've established and 'off policy' that if they walk away it goes off and it seems to be working, we rarely have it on during the day and we engage in much more meaningful play, cooking, reading, and music! my children love music - which is just great! I'm not strict on it either, I just have adopted new strategies and it's working - we can go weeks without it on...**Bliss** - Enjoy your tv free days too Lou xx

  2. Good for you! Maybe I should take a leaf out of your book x

  3. I am personally horrified my Isla can sing some of the words to the Mickey Mouse theme tune (she's only 20 months old for crying out loud), but she can also sing "Horsey, Horsey don't you stop" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and that's all me. Trying to run a home business, working part time and being a stay at home parent its all too easy to fall into the TV Nanny trap. I guess its all about balance - sounds like you have got it right for you. We continue to work it out - I would like to say we never watching TV and in fact when I was pregnant I remember proclaiming I wouldn't let my child watch TV at all before the age of 3......*clue hysterical laughter* but sometimes I need the break and Dad/Grandma/Grandad aren't available.

  4. Yeah for you - TV is my friend during the witching hour, just after the bath and whilst I prepare dinner - but - I'm going to try your idea of getting Lil Miss Tsunami (2) to help me prepare hmmmm :)
    My kids aren't allowed to watch any of the 'horrid' cartoons that seem to be on these days, rather when they do get to watch TV it is TV6 Kidzone or a DVD.
    I'm happy to say day 3 of school holidays and no TV watched - yet -
    I simply can't give up my Coronation Street though :)

  5. It was that long horrible Winter we had - we often had the TV on as background noise but now the sun is making more frequent appearances it's mostly switched off (except for Breakfast - I have that on while I'm mucking about)

    I have to agree with Cat about the cartoons - they're very erm... adult-like themes aren't they? Whatever happened to Fraggle Rock and the Smurfs???

  6. Great post and so agree. When the TV is off the children get so creative. Or if we have only 15 mins to fill before going out the door I suggest a short activity. I hate the drone of it in the background. I much rather sit down together to watch something as a family, rather than have it droning on. Today we're baking, playing music and listening to the rain!


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