by Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com
Be it my ongoing deep disdain for cable/satellite providers, the increasingly inappropriate information that qualifies as 'news' or commercials these days (see: infotainment), or just a plain lack of interest, I've discovered that we are watching almost no tv in our house these days. Not that we have ever been avid tv watchers, however, except of course for all things sports! But with the PVR-era, who needs to watch anything but what one absolutely wants to — when they want it.
In the course of getting my kids to write down their before and after school schedules last week, before school started, tv was not mentioned anywhere in their timetables. Between homework, music, dinner, reading and playing outside — who has time? We've also added the new ritual of organizing school snacks the night before rather than the morning of — so the clock just ticks along til bedtime.
The great thing is — no one misses tv.
Even greater things happen when you hide all mobile devices between Monday and Thursday — which we have done for a few years now and which work like a charm.
A friend of mine, a mom of 3, recently told me she and her husband do not own a TV. Can you imagine? Now, I can. What an absolutely liberating feeling. While chucking our tvs is not something we'll be doing in the near future, it is reassuring to know of stories like this one — where parents and children have all survived without a 'boob tube'.
For someone who has made almost her entire livelihood working in television, this is truly a huge departure — borderline shocking statement to make. However, I like to think of it as evolution, when it comes to parenting.
With televisions embedded in the back of car seats, refrigerators and corner stores, it's hard to evade the tidal wave of visual stimulation. But do not give up.
I have always been equally fascinated and irritated by the concept of video screens in mini vans. Why? Why? Why? I understand long trips are not embraced by everyone but can we not go down the street without some shiny object flashing on a screen?
A child's imagination is too powerful a thing to waste. And it's amazing how it gets unleashed when you simply hide that remote.