We have been struggling a lot with bedtimes lately, behaviour and just general fussiness. A lot of this can probably be chalked up to the fact that Isla is 2 and a half and right in her prime of testing her limits and having temper tantrums over just about anything. We have been experimenting with lots of different ways to alleviate some of the issues we have been having and have come to a conclusion; TV IS THE DEVIL! In all seriousness though, we really took this to heart and started off the new year by trying to limit the TV and what we are watching. It’s not so much Isla’s issues with watching it as it is the adults. A lot of the time it’s on, whether we are actually watching it or not. You can always hear it, there is always a glow from the TV and after doing a bit of research I realized that it really could be affecting a lot of things even though we are not physically sitting down to watch it. One main thing would be bedtime struggles.
After 6 weeks of limiting our television intake, here are 5 things that happened when we turned off the TV.
1. We got more accomplished. My to do list is still huge but I can’t tell you how many things we have been able to get done around the house. When you aren’t sitting on your a**, you look for things to do and most likely you will get things done that you have been putting off for months. I have had extra time to organize and read and Dana has been able to completely revamp his “man space” downstairs. We go to bed a bit more content knowing that the night wasn’t a complete bust.
2. Less stress, more focus. Did you know that even the low hum of a television on in the background or music for that matter can affect how your child focuses on something as simple as general playtime or reading a book? I have definitely noticed a difference in this. She can sit down and finish a whole puzzle, colour and even put her toys away when shes finished because she is not worried about the next thing coming up on Treehouse.
3. It made our bedtime easier. In trying to figure out why Isla didn’t want to go to sleep, we made sure that we turned the TV off if it was on and acted like we were all going to bed. At this age, toddlers really start to imagine things and while they are laying there in bed their little minds are going and wondering what you are watching and doing while they are not there. Acting like we are all going to bed with lights dim and all electronics off made Isla feel a bit more comfortable and she can now fall asleep a bit easier…most nights that is. We still have struggles but they are not nearly as bad as before.
4. We have had more family time together. Just the 3 of us sitting there playing has been so good for the soul. We do crafts, draw pictures, chase each other around, laugh uncontrollably on the floor and even play games of hide and seek together. The little bit of extra physical activity makes us all feel a little bit better towards the end of the night and helps us to fall asleep faster.
5. TV? What TV?! The biggest and best thing about this experiment is that we really don’t need television. During the last 6 weeks I have had so many shows pile up on our PVR and you know what?! I am not dying, nor do I feel left out that I don’t know what’s happening in a certain show. To me, it’s just shown what a true time suck it is and the fact that I can be doing much better things with my time. Sure, some nights still consist of a couple of shows but to be honest, the 50 shows I use to watch has now been brought down to a handful because I was only watching them because they were on. I wasn’t really even enjoying them. Now when we sit down to watch a show it’s a treat and something we really enjoy.
Now, I would really like to know; do you watch a lot of television at home? Looking for a challenge? What would you do with your free time? Comment below.