Thursday, November 17, 2011

No more TV

Alternately, why there will be a lot of fussing and screaming at my house this weekend.

We've gotten into the habit of letting Gage watch more TV than we would like. For the first year of his life, he watched absolutely none. When we stayed with my parents, our TV was in our room but only connected to. Netflix, and we watched after he was sleeping. Gage had no interest in TV, even. And I was really proud of that. But then, he got older and mobile, and we needed the occasional time where he was sitting quietly to do dishes or throw in a load of laundry or just sit for a second and take a deep breath.

So periodically we would turn on Nick Jr for him, he would watch for a period of 30 minutes to an hour tops, we would shut it off, and go about our day.

Then I got pregnant. And I was nauseous. And I was (am) exhausted. And I got (get) some of the worst headaches I have ever had in my life. The result was that I found myself relying more and more on the TV to keep Gage busy so I could rest. Slowly but surely, Gage has started becoming defiant when we turn his shows off, whether turning the TV off or even just changing the channel. He won't even watch football with us anymore because he wants Blue's Clues. Now, I'm not saying that all he does is sit in front of the TV because that's not the case. And for the most part, he doesn't ever sit while watching; he plays with his toys and runs around, and just lets the TV be background noise, which is good. But he has gotten to a point where turning off that background is a fight, and that isn't acceptable to us.

So, we are going cold turkey on baby TV. Er, toddler TV. Today and tomorrow, Gage can watch a little TV, up until his naptime. After nap, it is off for the duration of the day. If he won't nap, he can have a bath, then we'll try another nap. If he won't nap then, then we'll go for a little walk. We will have a bath and walk after nap if he goes down for nap easily. I'm just trying to have some fun, relaxing activities for us to do that will distract him.

Saturday, the real fun begins. Starting Saturday, for two weeks to a month, Gage will be watching no TV. There may be a special on (it's that time of year) that we watch with him, or we may need to stream a show on a phone for him at a restaurant, but during the average day, there will be ZERO TV time for him. I think it's all or nothing for him at this point. I know there will be crying, but I know the end result will be worth it. We've been having some sleep issues in recent weeks, and I think that those may be directly related to the TV he's watching.

We're going to focus more on drawing, playing together, and some learning play that will hopefully give Gage a jump start on learning. We are also going to focus more on reading books, which will be loads of fun for both of us. I haven't done as good a job on being up on his learning as I was when he was younger, because I didn't research it enough passed about a year and a half, so that's my failing. But not one that can't be undone.

I'm excited about this change. Not the fussing, but the end result. I know this will mean some "pushing passed the pain" for me (this pregnancy has been really hard so far) but isn't that what being a parent is about sometimes?

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