Only for the small people I hasten to add, I still like a bit of the googlebox when I’m home alone (although I did spend a rather chilly hour last night sat out on the patio reading my book in the setting sun).
But yes, I have finally done it and banned TV for the girls.
Its been something I’ve been threatening to do for a while but have held off doing but enough was enough and so we are now a Cbeebies free zone.
They didn’t watch a lot of television – an episode of Octonauts in the morning and a couple before bedtime or Show Me Show Me.
But what had started to happen was that it had stopped being a treat and a way to wind down and instead was, I thought, starting to impact the way Bigger was behaving.
Its very seductive to let them watch TV in the morning. Another 10 minutes of peace, an opportunity for a snooze or some parental privacy – we’ve become expert at sneaking away as the Octonauts theme starts and being back in time for the end of the episode.
But it does mean every morning is then a battle ground of ‘please one more’ and the resultant tears and shouting when we insist that they have to go downstairs for breakfast right now. And then a similar thing happens in the evenings.
So after a morning with a particularly impressive tantrum I decided enough was enough and TV was outlawed chez Muddling.
The girls have been told that they will have stories and quiet time instead and that if they are particularly good girls then as a treat they may be allowed some television at some stage.
And despite another impressive tantrum with Bigger lying on the floor shouting ‘I am a good girl and I want to watch Octonauts’ whilst drumming her heels, it has been relatively painless to implement.
The best bit is that mornings are now less difficult – we play tents under the duvet, we read books, we chat about the day and our plans.
Evenings are easier too – I can read books to both, we can have a proper chat about what they have been up to. And Bigger is insisting on going to bed earlier presumably because its so dull downstairs that she would rather go up and read.
On an associated note, what do you do for a toddler that doesn’t need a lot of sleep and so goes to bed but stays awake for a good half hour afterwards? Do you leave them with books? Or do you try harder to wear them out? And yes, I am that sort of selfish parent that needs them in bed by 8pm so I can get on with important things like sitting on the sofa watching mindless TV and yes I am aware of the irony in that!