“Hi, I’m Cindy and I let my children watch TV… Sometimes.”
“Uh, Cindy, therapy isn’t going to work unless you are completely honest with the group.”
“OK. OK. You want the truth? Here’s the truth. When I need to make supper, on goes the babysitter. When I need to focus on something with one of the kids but not all of them, I put on the missing member of the family. When they’re too loud, suddenly Avengers is on to keep them quiet. And, yes, when I just want to site for a hot cup of tea without children literally crawling all over me, I put on the TV. OK. OK?!”
*Melts into a corner from all the mommy guilt*
Seriously though. My kids watch a lot of TV.
Honestly I never felt bad about it. I really didn’t. The reality is that we had 3 kids in the space of 4 years and so those years are defined by the need to survive. At the end of the day, it was put the TV on or risk losing my sanity. And really, I’ll take a few hours of watching TV to make me a better parent any day.
They have a busy day at school and just like we like to veg in front of the TV in the evening to watch our favourite series, so do they. I’m not going to deny them one of my most favourite things to do. It’s all about moderation. Which being said, I say they watch a lot of TV, but they also go to school, ballet, play dates, busy weekends etc. No shortage of other stimuli to help keep them active too.
Here’s the thing though.
I found that I was putting the TV on every day out of habit. Not because they wanted to watch something, or even because I needed them to watch something. Just because that’s what we were doing.
So one day I didn’t.
Instead I sent them to their room to play.
At first it was a disaster. They fought for a good 30 minutes. I almost gave up.
I don’t know about you, but refereeing fights about who won’t talk to the other, or who said what or what colour the sky is can be kind of the opposite of the aim of this exercise. But I pushed on and so did they. Suddenly they were on imaginary trains, riding through candy cane forests, all while pretending they were monkeys.
And I was having a cup of tea by myself.
While it was still hot.
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