We'll never be the type of parents who get rid of our TVs, don't allow sugar in our house, and raise our own cattle/chickens. That being said, I've had a strong desire to cut out many of the chemicals and preservatives in our home and seriously cut back on tube time. So, I'm going to do a two part post on some of the changes we've made at our house and if you have other ideas you'd be willing to share I'd love to hear what you've done to ensure a healthier family! Some of these changes were made quite some time ago. Some have been recent, and a few haven't even been implemented yet. I'm still learning!
Let's address the TV situation first. I'll readily admit that I'm a TV junkie! Before we had kids the TV was almost ALWAYS on. If Jim wasn't home it was most definitely on just for the "company". I'd turn it on as soon as I walked in the door and not turn it off until I went to bed even though a lot of the time I wasn't watching it. Every morning we'd have the news on from the time I got up until I left for school. I know that they say kids under two shouldn't watch any TV, but that's not going to happen at our house. Still, as Stella was getting older and getting more interested in watching it, I was finding myself getting more agitated by it. She's a lot like me and would be quite happy snuggled up on the couch for extended periods of time but when it wasn't on she would play with her dolls, her "Meddling Kids" (Scooby Doo gang), or just hang out and talk to me. I have to say that it took me a while to get it, I guess I was a bit slow, but the afternoons where we didn't think to turn it on when we got home were just quieter, calmer, and more creative.
Finally, I got it. My goal is to NOT turn the TV on until it's time to wind down for bed, around 6, and then she gets to watch one show. She also gets to watch cartoons in the morning while we're getting ready. This does not happen every day and that's ok with me. I'm not that rigid as a parent. There are times when somebody has had a rough day or it's just nasty out when we come straight home, put on pjs or sweats, and put a movie one while eating cereal on TV trays. The thing I like is that that seems like a treat now, not the norm.
What are your TV "rules" for your kids? I know I'm not the only one to struggle with it!
Here are some recent pictures to show how much time we spend cuddled up on that couch!