I have a massive love/hate relationship with my TV.
Why does the TV always have to be on? Why do we use it for background noise? Why do our living room sofas and chairs all have to point towards the sodding thing? Does the dog really need the TV on when he’s left home alone?
My partner is the worst for it. He gets up, TV goes on. He comes home from work, TV goes on. And just lately, I’ve found myself creating the same habit.
Before my son was born, I was determined to be the “perfect” mum. My child wasn’t going to watch TV. Ever!
Oh well, the intentions were there.
I’ve been something of a “serial watcher” just lately. I’ve loved nothing more than chain watching seasons. For some (now clearly) stupid reason I’ve been watching them during nap time, which means I’m doing my chores while my son is awake, and if he’s not happy (especially now he’s teething), I’ll put on the bastard BabyTV channel whilst I quickly wizz around the house doing whatever needs to be done or trying to squeeze in a hot shower. Because of this, the TV is ALWAYS on.
I’ve imposed a TV ban.
And, so far, so good! We ate breakfast and listened to some classical music on Spotify. I highly recommend the ‘Peaceful Piano‘ playlist. It’s beautiful.
We’ve enjoyed lots of outdoor play in the sand pit, reading books together, trips to the shops, seeing friends at playgroup and just generally, spending a lot more time cuddling and playing together.
TV is a time waster.
Since turning it off, I’ve actually done something productive with my day. I’ve enjoyed reading books, I’ve spent quality time with my son, taken our dog for a walk, I’ve written this post and I’ve cleaned parts of my house I never knew existed.
TV viewing is reducing how much parents talk with their children.
An article on PhsycologyToday.com; ‘The Real Reason Why TV Is Bad For The Kids‘ talks about the negative effects it can have on their development. Young children who watch lots of TV may be missing out on valuable – even crucial – interactions with parents during a critical point in their development. Read your child a book… Now watch TV together… The difference in how much you’re communicating during each is obvious, isn’t it?
Background TV disrupts childrens play.
In one study, 12- to 36-month-old kids who played with toys, while their parents were in the same room and watching adult-directed programs, played for a shorter period of time than when the TV was off. It seems that the TV program, even though it was probably boring to the children, was captivating enough to repeatedly attract the children’s attention. This may not seem especially concerning. However, play is very important to children’s development.
TV could be affecting sleep.
A recent study conducted by the University of Auckland in New Zealand reveals proof that media use before naps or bed is terrible for sleep — for both children and adults. The study noted how much time children spent watching TV in the 90 minutes leading up to their bedtimes, and then tracked how long it took them to fall asleep. Their conclusion: those children who watched more TV before going to bed, took longer to fall asleep than those who watched less, or none at all.
Turn off your TV. Do it now.
How much TV do you watch? Does it affect your children?