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.