So, for those of you that don’t know, I am a Mumma of 3 little munchkins… 9, 7 and 5.
One month ago now, I made a decision to ban TV within the household.
This wasn’t the easiest decision to make.
I personally don’t watch television, apart from the very rare film or doco, but grappled with making this decision for the kids.
But, three issues continued to be raised on the daily, prompting me to take action. These were;
Rubbish in the guise of cartoons and light hearted entertainment making it’s way into my children’s psyche.
The ever present culture of materialism, body image, sexualisation, external gratification and violence pervades our television screens, creating foundations for stereotypes and beliefs and values I do not wish to support. Crunch time came when I was no longer able to personally rationalise cartoons and kids programs to be – kids programs.
There are wonderful documentaries and animated shows available for children, however, it seems in-between each awesome program were 5 horrendous ones. At the end of the day, it didn’t seem worth watching an hour -plus worth of rubbish for half an hour of goodness.
My children, it seemed, had forgotten how to communicate with me and each other other as soon as the television switched on. From bickering incessantly over what show to watch and who’s turn it was to choose, to bellowing at each other to move out of each others way, fighting over where one sits on the couch…. Oh. My. Gosh. This list, could be endless.
Television was moulding my kind and creative monkey’s into non-sensical copy cats parroting behaviours they’d witnessed straight from a cartoon episode!
I’m not a huge advocate of homework, however, as a mother I do wish to support my children’s learning and confidence as well as be in touch with their strengths and trouble area’s. I noticed that there was no focus or creative commitment to learning when their minds were itching like an addict for a TV fix.
So, I announced that television was banned.
Let me say, the response was surprising.
All three of them almost seemed relieved. And if relief is not quite the right word, they were curious at least as what life would look like without tv.
One month in and I’d like to share what’s gone on since…
A lot of noise. But the kind of noise you are wanting! Squealing with delight, laughter and a newly formed “Lounge room Band” formed, adding to this already loud household. (Bless my neighbours!) Eli on drums, Willow on Guitar and Airlie on Ukulele. (The only instruments in the house. Thank god there was no recorder!)
Communication and connection.
From the noise, arose communication and negotiation skills between each other to create and navigate imaginative games. Kindness, encouragement and support are also other by products. The happiness is palpable and their connection as siblings ever deepening.
Their interest and commitment in their learning has grown tenfold! Sure, there are days when they’re tired and not willing for homework, but mostly I am finding that they are taking pleasure in completing their homework with focus and efficiency.
Creativity and Passion hunting.
Instead of zoning in front of the television, we’ve been doing yoga, drawing, or researching areas my little people have indicated interest in. This has been really exciting and invigorating for all of us, especially for me. Sometimes, due to the monotony of the motherhood, it is easy to become disgruntled by the ever surmounting duties, forgetting that this “job” is actually fun.
Let me share… last week I learnt about different star systems, a couple new dance moves, and some of the fastest animals and insects in the world. We tried our hand at cubism and abstract drawing and we harvested our cauliflowers, researching why they grew “leggy” and not squat and compact.
This is Soul Food in action.
This is daily ritual.
This is intuitive living.
And boy, who knew it could be so darn good!
So, if you’ve dabbled with the idea of booting the box, why not give it a go, even for a short while. Who know’s what may happen!