We are weirdos. Oh yes we are. PrincessE and The Boy- child have recently and frequently reported how strange their classmates find our family.
Because we watch almost zero television.
The kids in their classes, by and large are shocked, horrified, puzzled and pitying. You don't watch X-factor? No Britain's Got Talent? What about The Apprentice?? Poor you, they say. What do you spend all your time doing?!?!?
What do they spend all their time doing? Reading, playing, taking stuff apart, creating, pretending, drawing, putting stuff together and just being together. They use chairs as stilts and draw massive "streets" on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. They do Lego and puzzles and play board games. They help make dinner and set the table and fold laundry and clean up. They create airplanes and model cities, they learn to embroider and cross stitch. They read and color and imagine.
This isn't a holier than thou post. I don't believe that all TV is detrimental. In fact, I believe that TV definitely has its place. Been a horrid day and you need 20 minutes of peace? Please, put on an educational nature show. Kiddo very poorly and just needs some chill out time on the couch? Pop in DVD after DVD, a few hours isn't going to kill them and may help them rest a bit. Even if you want to have a family movie night, I'm all for that. We've done those too. But what I *do* believe that the 3.5 hours a day that the average American nine year old watches IS detrimental. Three and a half hours!?!?!?
From the very beginning, Dadam and I made a concious decision about our television consumption. When we were first married, I'm not gonna lie, we spent most evenings in front of the TV watching random shows. But when PrincessE was born we decided to turn it off. We spent dinner time playing Scrabble while PrincessE nursed or slept. I read book after book while she nursed, instead of turning on the television. It wasn't something we needed much of in our lives and I didn't miss it at all.
And now we torture our children with a mostly-TV-less exsistence.
I don't think they miss it at all.
They just don't have time to sit and watch, they're too busy doing.