When my first baby was born I was determined to not let him watch too much tv. I knew little ones, less than a year old, who have "favorite" tv shows. I can't remember when we first introduce a children's show, but there were no favorites for quite a while. Here comes the second child. Still not a lot of tv...for them. I was home with two littles and nursing. I watched a soap opera and some bad doctor show. The kids started to have some preferred videos and PBS time. We moved into our first house and I became pregnant with number three. Hello, world of tv! They had very favorite PBS shows and videos. The tv was on almost all the time. I heard contrasting opinions regarding tv. Some said they would regulate themselves, that if they watched what they needed or wanted, they'd play if other things were available. Others believed in no tv, believing it rots the brain. I gave my children trust and let them watch tv whenever. They did regulate themselves. They didn't watch just to watch. When they were bored with tv, they moved outside or onto toys.
Last Christmas, the boys got MobiGos. Then, the husband let Eli use his portable Playstation. And over time, we introduced them to Lego.com/Games. Now they were hooked. Between the tv, video games and computer, their toys were being neglected. The light of day was passing them by. When I tried to regulate, I was confronted with fits of yelling and angry words. I'm no stranger to being "the bad guy", but this was ridiculous. Then, their sleep started to be affected. They couldn't settle down at night. They were getting up at a decent morning hour and taking one to two hours at night to fall asleep, with no naps for the older two in the day.
They were being innundated with flash screens and movement...not their own bodies, either...unless you count their fingers. I have a child who is excessively physical with his brothers and people in general. He was watching Power Rangers, Lego Star Wars games and Kung Fu movies. Hmmm...see the correlation?
Yesterday was day 1 of no tv, video games or computer time for them. ( I'm kind of a hypocrit because I use the computer for blogging and email, though. ) They woke up and wanted tv and video games. Nope. No tv today. They played with toys they hadn't played with in almost 6 months. We played more games as a family, like Monsteropoly. They played relatively well together all day. They were moving, their minds and bodies...a lot. They still took over an hour to settle down at night, but they had slept in yesterday morning until 9 a.m. The overall feel in the house was a lot calmer.