This blog is most definitely the longest feat of journaling I have had in my entire life. My childhood diary looked something like “May 1st: I love my new diary. I am going to go play with my friends now. May 2nd: I played with my friends yesterday and now I am going to go for a bike ride. December 24th: Umm…I did lots of stuff in the last few months.” I am equally good at correspondence. However, something keeps drawing me back in to this blog: the fact that people need to know how awesome it is to be TV-Free. Here are 6 things that I love about having kicked the habit:
1. Less Whining. The No-TV experiment led to increased whining in the first two weeks, but after that it decreased exponentially. I’ve heard it from some other moms, too – “After my kid watches TV, it’s like they need to keep watching more and more! And then she is so whiny!” Anyone who has spent considerable amounts of time with Little Girl knows she could still hold the gold in whining, but she definitely has more control over her emotions now than she did with screen time. My theory is that my particular child is very sensitive and it is easy for her to become overstimulated. TV does this in a short amount of time.
2. More time for crafts. I know that not everyone likes crafts, but I love them and think they are a great way for kids to explore the world around them. Little Girl has her boxes of supplies and gets crafty on a whim all the time, and she comes up with so many creative things. A lot of those involve messes, but what is a mess when compared with creativity?
3. More time for music. When we’d like a little background sound, we turn on music. Little Girl loves to dance her heart out, and is actually quite expressive with her movements. She is also starting to learn to play recorder and taking tentative steps toward the piano. Music is awesome.
4. More Desire to Learn. When there is nothing “more interesting” to look at than the spider making a web in the corner (hey, they eat the ants, right?), kids really take the time to examine the environment. Little Girl’s powers of observation and perception may have been heightened simply by the passage of time, but she is very curious and interested in the world around her. You know, I talk about Little Girl a lot, but Little Guy loves to learn too. He just learns by making me chase him while he puts everything in his mouth and tries to climb up all the furniture.
5. More Time for Reading. Little Girl and Little Guy love to read. Most of this involves me reading to them, but they also approach books independently. We have spent a lot more time at our local library, which is really nice and cuts down the amount of books I have to re-read twenty times by at least half. I love to read, too, and sometimes they will both be engrossed in books by themselves and I will have a full five minutes to read a few lines of my own.
6. More Time for Creative Play. Little Girl has fabulous stories that she makes up with her toys, and Little Guy has started playing with blocks and even pretending a little bit. I am able to get laundry (mostly) (a lot of the time) accomplished, get a shower or make dinner while they play. Little Guy still has to be very closely supervised, but Little Girl could play for hours by herself without even noticing my presence. I think that having to practice independent play has made her more creative. She can wander around our (admittedly kind of kid-unfriendly) yard singing to herself and playing with a stick for an hour or more.
At this rate, I bet I’ll have another 6 things I love about being TV-Free at the end of the year!