I must be a sadistic mum – I took the TV away a couple of weeks before Christmas. Literally, I’ve unplugged it, put it in the study with a sheet over it. Certainly it was discovered, but the sheet does seem to allow the out of sight out of mind principle to hold sway. Gracie does reminisce fondly about Peter Rabbit and Co., the Go Jetters and the Octonaughts..
In my defence, Gracie was a child obsessed and something drastic needed to be done.
I had vowed that TV would be rarely in our lives, but by degrees it became a staple and was enthusiastically watched instead of enjoyed activities such as going to the park, ballet class, or preschool. Waterworks and screaming for an hour would ensue whenever the TV was turned off.
To be brutally honest with myself, when I’ve been depressed or mentally unwell and I’ve needed to roll up in a ball, I let the TV babysit her.
Now we’re rediscovering the fun of being together. I’m drawing lots of monsters, Elsas and Annas. We’re playing tea parties, dancing, chalk drawing, and making lots of mess around the house and outside.
And when I need to cook or do other things she is more willing to draw or help out.
Today I thought it would be a good idea to put up the tent in the backyard and maybe have a sleep out. It was a sweltering 35C Celsius but having made the decision and raised Gracie’s hopes, I had to follow through.
Sweat was dripping off me as I erected the tent, and I tried to remember how it all went together, but never working out how to tie the front tent poles.
Gracie loved it and moved all her teddy bears in it for a tea party. However as bedtime approached she had no intention of sleeping there.
The upshot of pulling the plug is that I don’t have access to the TV any more than Gracie. Initially, that was a bummer because it can be quite relaxing after a full day of parenting. Yet I have more time to blog, to read, and comment on other blogs, use social media and I don’t have to be as depressed about how right-wing ABC-TV is becoming.
So ridding ourselves of the TV – for the time being at least – is useful for both of us.
I suppose not having a TV was more drastic in the past when we didn’t have the internet. But have you ever stopped watching TV? Do you think that we should ditch the TV forever? Do you think there is a point to having a break from TV – or social media for that matter? Or am I just being way too harsh as a parent?