Thursday, September 9, 2010

Addicted

Hello!
So, yes, I've finally cut off the television for Paige during the day. No biggie, right? Well, it's a big deal to ME. See, my name is Megan and I'm a T.V.-holic. The second I wake up until the second I go to bed the television is on in the background. It always has been. With Paige around, I've kept it on Nick Jr. and she'll watch a show or two and play the rest of the time (glancing up on occasion to check it out). I know what all the research has said about television and how it has a negative effect on babies and young children and should be limited to very little or no exposure. There are a lot of factors as to why, which I won't get into here. But, I've noticed that Paige has a bit of a speech lag going on. She's not delayed as of now, just a bit of a lag. And I realized that having the T.V. on distracts her from what I am saying and so she's missing out on valuable development time. The more time spent focused on TV equals less time "talking" or listening to Mama and interacting with her. The other issue is I'm fully addicted to having the tv on. I'm fine with her watching a show here or there. But that's not how I do it...it's just on ALL the time. And I find that I can't control myself and leave it on constantly...I feel like I need it for company or something. I'm not sure what the deal is. So, as of Tuesday I turned it off for the day and have decided to do AT LEAST this whole week and continue on with no tv for Paige going forward. At least until I feel I can handle having the tv on for a show or two and trust myself to turn it back off. That first day was HARD! I was getting itchy for the tv around mid-morning and again around 4:00 or so. I had to force myself to avoid the entire tv area. And it's a lot more work to entertain and play with a busy toddler when there isn't the distraction box blaring. I'm more tired for sure. But, in a good way. The second day went well. It was still hard, but I felt more bonded to Paige and we spent more quality time doing fun things together. She seems much happier with this arrangement and is so much more cheerful (although, I detect a bit of clinginess taking place). Her focus already seems better. She's certainly able to hear everything I say and react to it. Last night, Chris even thanked me for trying this arrangement. He found he enjoyed his "Paige time" after work without the tv blaring and distracting his thoughts. They had a lot more fun together chasing each other around the house and laughing. We even ate together at the kitchen table and had quality conversation as a family. Quality all around! Something so simple is already making such a big change! It's wonderful to be present for life's beautiful little moments and I'm already starting to enjoy the peace and quiet. Did I just say that??! One day I promise myself I'll be able to put on a fun show or movie for Paige to enjoy and I will be able to turn it off once it is over; thus being able to move on to other things. I won't let it rule my life. For now, think we've made a good start and are moving in the right direction.

8 comments :

Stacia said...

I totally agree with everything you said in this post. I'm a working mom so it's a little different for our family. We have limited control over what happens during the day at my mom-in-law's house. But at home, the tv is off. And we love tv. But I'm also loving no tv. We're on week 4, by the way. It gets much easier. I'm using my time more wisely and finding there is more time in the day. Good luck!

Lor said...

I am impressed at how well you analyzed this issue and took steps to change things: wow. Really. You will also notice that Paige car focus on what she is doing when it is silent, and it is not necessary to talk to her all the time, small children need moments with no noise at all, when their mind can function with no distraction. I am ready to bet it will also help her sleep longer, with a bit of time. You are doing great!

alicia said...

I am proud of you!! I know how hard it is to let go of TV. We had cable for a long time, and I was addicted. So when Ivy was a few months old we just got rid of it all together! So I have no temptation because it is not there. We have never gone back to it, it has been over a year of TVless bliss. We put on a movie for Ivy every now and then but really she has never watched TV in her whole life! I understand the companionship of TV though, when Ivy was a newborn it was what kept me sane! I am thinking of getting cable for the first 2 months of Sparkles life, but that might be a dangerous path!

Suzanne said...

You can do it! One suggestion if you need some noise for company when Paige is napping is to download podcasts and listen to them. I presonally enjoy some of the NPR podcasts that are free-"Fresh Air" is a great show with interesting interviews and topics. I also like "This American Life" and "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me". You could also listen to audiobooks as well.

Jenny + Erik + Ellis said...

That's great you've decided to turn off the TV for Paige's sake! I know how hard it can be. A good replacement for TV is always some music on the radio or pandora. I find it gives the same company as TV without the visual distraction and babies seem to love a little singing and dancing.

Carolyn said...

Good for you! We don't have a tv at our house...but don't think it's because I'm all "high and mighty"....it's mostly because I was unable to control myself around trashy television (Bachelorette? - count me in....Real Housewives of Anywhere? - I'm there). We cut our cable a couple years ago and it's actually been great....but I understand about it being "too quiet." I now usually have the radio on to feed my NPR addiction and so that I can feel like my brain in still working at times.

Maggie said...

Its great you turned off the TV. Im a tv addict as well. I try and tell the hubby not to always have it on even during dinner but he doesnt listen.


I will admit though.. she was lagging with the speech. But TV has helped her ALOT (suprisngly). She learned alot of sign language which also helped in her learning the words and communicating. She just started picking it up one day. now its still her favorite thing to watch and really helps out! So I think educational DVDs or TV is good in moderation!

Stephanie said...

A little late to post, but I think this is great! As a working mom, I don't have enough time with Charlotte as it is, so we rarely have the TV on when we're interacting. However, I will agree with Maggie's comment below. Charlotte has somewhat of a speech delay, doctor's not worried yet, but I kind of am. So I picked up a Baby Signing DVD from the library, and Charlotte is absolutely enthralled. She picked up signs almost immediately - cracker being her favorite. So we put it on from time to time, but that's about it.

If I were home all day with Charlotte, I'd probably have a much harder time turning that TV off...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...