My husband and I married in 2006. I was fresh out of college and substitute teaching; he was working for a mortgage company for little more than minimum wage. Between college loans, rent and expenses, we were often dipping into wedding gift money to make ends meet. Luxuries like cable TV weren’t even a remote possibility. Since then, we both landed better paying jobs. However, our “pay off debt and then have kids” plan rapidly turned into “have kids and then pay off debt” in 2008 when Little Girl was born. 2011 brought us our Little Guy.
We did have Netflix streaming for those times when we really wanted to watch something. I would let Little Girl watch an episode of Wonder Pets, Blues Clues, Dora or Diego while I showered. However, I noticed that some days she was less happy and well-behaved than others. The only difference I could find was that on the “sad” days she had watched TV.
Now that I know the risks of children watching too much television, I figured that I’d cut it out completely and find other ways to get my shower. If it doesn’t even make her happy, why bother? I scoured the web for TV-free ideas and came up with relatively little that was developmentally appropriate for my (then) 2-year-old. I had to be creative and come up with some ideas on my own.
So as I was in the shower this morning I thought, as I basked in the glory of hot water and relative quiet, that other moms and dads might appreciate having a daily shower as well. Or some time to read a novel, write a blog post or surreptitiously eat some chocolate. So I decided to collect ideas of myself and others about parenting without the TV. Will I be successful in keeping TV out of our house for good? Not sure, but it’s a fun journey. Who’s with me?