We don’t have cable and don’t get much in the way of TV channels since our rabbit ears broke, but we have DVD players and a variety of movies on hand. I haven’t tried to restrict viewing much at all, and over the months it seems we’ve gotten to the point where a DVD is always playing. It’s not like the kids are watching it all the time, so I hadn’t really considered it an issue that needed attention. But I was aware that the TV was on all the time.
As part of our new Sleep Plan I’m supposed to limit screen time and avoid mornings and evenings. Apparently morning viewing induces kids to sit still and not do anything, which inhibits the “Hey, it’s morning!” trigger for your bodily clock. The book also says that TV in the evening is not good because the strong light mimics daylight and signals to the body that it is not yet night. So I decided to try cutting back on having the TV on. I was curious to see how the kids would react.
I’m happy to say that they haven’t even noticed. Only twice this past week has DD asked for a movie and it was late afternoon so okay by me. She’d watch it and then go do something else, and nobody noticed that I turned the TV off. It seems that the TV addiction was all mine!
We all know that DVD’s can gain us some much-needed quiet time, and recently I’ve suspected that I was abusing them in this way. The first thing I’d do when the kids woke up is pop in a DVD. I’ve always enjoyed slow, mellow mornings and so I assumed they would, too. And it left me in peace to enjoy a cup of tea and read the paper. But this week I have not been turning it on and what do you know – they are active and running around and neither of them has asked for it. And I’ve learned that I am not getting much less in the way of quiet time in the morning, because they have been playing together so well.
So it seems apparent that having DVD’s playing all day was a habit *I’d* gotten into, not them. Truth is, since the week we were all sick and watched all day long, movies have lost their magic powers. I’ve tried recently to buy myself some peace and quiet by suggesting a movie, only to have my offer turned down. So the timing of all this was pretty close to perfect. I feel good that my kids never were “addicted” to the thing, and were self-regulating their viewing despite me making it available almost constantly. I don’t feel good that I had fallen into such a bad habit, but now that I have an excuse to leave it off, it’s working out just fine.