Saturday, June 2, 2012

Unplugged

Hubby and I always swore we wouldn’t be the type of parents that sat our kids in front of the TV for long periods of time. Our motto was 30 minutes or so while we were making dinner - and always something educational like Sesame Street or Super Why - and then family movie nights.

Oh what well intentioned optimists we were.

The schedule lasted until youngest was born.  And I realized that I could actually get a few moments peace if I let my oldest watch a movie while her sister was sleeping.  So that became the norm.  one movie during nap time.  But that was it!

And then they started getting up really early on the weekends and we reallized that we could usually squeeze an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep in if we let them watch TV when they woke up. 

But only PBS. And only on the weekends of course. 

Now…as the girls get older…especially since my oldest has started kindergarten...they beg to watch movies all the time.  Barbie movies (god how I hate them), Dora the Explorer, Disney movies off all kinds, etc. etc.  And it’s just so tempting to give in.  To put a movie on in their room, shut the door, and revel in the quiet.

Recently I have found that the best way to get my kids to listen to me and follow the rules is to take away privileges.  Time outs don’t seem to work but threaten to take away their shows and they usually quickly fall in line.

I have to be cautious though…because I really don’t want to take away their TV privileges because it can just make life a lot more difficult for me.  Especially when only one of them has lost their right to watch.  And that’s the situation I found myself in today.

Youngest pitched a tantrum at her soccer lesson…wailing and screaming and hitting.  All at the prospect of having to wear a blue pinny.  Heaven forbid.  So I warned her…I counted to 3...I pretty much gave her every out in the book.  But in the end…I told her ‘no TV for you today.’

She cried even louder…and I cried a little inside for my lost alone time.

Decision made…punishment handed out…we headed home for a day without TV. 

Now I should say here - in our defense - that it rains a lot in Vancouver.  And we find ourselves inside for many months of the year.  And when the sun does start to shine we head outdoors.  On those days there is no TV on during the day.  We are outside on bikes, at the park or some other outdoor endeavour.  Luckily, today was a sunny day.

And I must admit that as I sit here writing this - children in bed - it was a great day to be unplugged.  In fact…I would usually collapse on the couch after bedtime routine and switch on the TV.  But not tonight.

Tonight I am writing…this blog and maybe another chapter in my novel that will never be read but I strill love to write.  And when I’m done writing I will read.  A library book that has been calling my name all week but I haven’t even cracked open yet.

And today…well it was a good day.  We visited friends, played hide and seek, explored a new playground, ate ice cream for dinner (and a few hours later pasta for dessert).  

Do you like butter?

Finding a new park is totally awesome.
And finding a park with a tire swing is just that much more awesome!
Now that she has figured out how to pump her legs she could swing for hours.
Ice Cream for dinner.  All part of my plan to make them love Mummy more.

We played Monopoly Deal (I lost) and Candy Land (I lost again). We drove with the windows down, the wind in our hair and the radio blasting. We danced in the living room.

And as I tucked my littles into bed their hair smelled of sandy playgrounds and fresh air. 

I think tomorrow we should do this all over again.

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