No TV November - Day 3 of 30

Cameron was at school today.  They don't have TV at school.  When he came home, Cameron asked me twice if we could watch Curious George.  Both times I said, "No, let's do something else instead."  We made a snack and played a game.

As for Olivia, she never asks to watch TV.  Today we went to a birthday party for her friend Brayden.  The party was at the park and it was fun.  Cold, but fun!  Olivia was so excited about the gift we bought for her friend.  It was an animal music CD and some little wooden animals.  She loves to give gifts!

She also LOVES to help Daddy rake leaves.

A  couple people have asked (including my husband) why I am doing this.  I guess I never really explained that.  There are many reasons; some are personal and some are based on things I have read.  First the personal reasons:

I really want my kids to stop asking me if they can watch TV.  I think that one month without any TV, except those two special events, will really help accomplish this goal.

Like I have said, TV has never really been a huge focus in our home, but for the limited amount of time that it is on I always have this nagging feeling that it is completely unnecessary.  I have heard a lot of parents say that it is the only time they can get anything done.  I have said it myself.  But why not get those things done with your children.  I have learned over the years that my children love to help me.  Even if it's cooking dinner, folding laundry or doing the dishes.  They love to feel included in the parts of life that seem to be for "grown ups".  I think that by turning on the TV just so I can cook dinner "in peace" is taking the easy way out.  Nobody ever said parenting was easy, and I have never been one to do things the easy way!  I do understand that the tasks take longer, and sometimes are messier and harder to finish, but who cares?  We are together, and that is what really matters.  Not to mention that the kids usually eat more if they took part in the preparation!  Bonus!

If you aren't into the idea of "little helpers" set them up with an interactive activity in the area you are in, whether it is the kitchen or the laundry room, the garage or the yard.  A play kitchen is great for "little helpers" who tend to make big messes with the real stuff!

As for the stuff I have been reading regarding children and television, it is like this:  TV is not healthy for any child under the age of 2 or 3.  TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which is the main way that children learn.  For children between 3 and 7 there is evidence that a limited amount of educational programming can benefit that age group.  But, and here is where my personal feeling kicks in again, what is Elmo teaching my child that I can't?  Elmo sings the ABC's.  I can sing the ABC's, and I am way cooler than Elmo ;)  Then, of course, there is the fact that children should be outdoors as much as they possibly can.  Turning the TV on only guarantees that for that span of time children will be sedate, inactive and indoors.  

Anyway, those are only some of the thoughts I have regarding TV.  And, to be clear, I really mean all electronic media.  Movies, television, computer, video games etc.  No TV November is so easy! My husband has even conceded that it is a good idea.  The other night we sat on the couch and talked for almost two hours without the TV on.  It was wonderful!

***Disclaimer: This post is in no way meant to alienate or annoy or irritate anyone who chooses to allow a limited amount of educational programming for the children in their home.  This is only meant to explain why I have chosen to turn off the TV during November (with the hopes of continuing forever!)  If it bothers you, please, leave a comment, but also know that it is written with only good intentions.


  1. Hey Amanda, great post. I am definately guilty of letting the kids watch a little tv. They seem to like movies but only for about 15-20 minutes at a time. You are so right though! I am turning off the tv and we are going to cook lunch together!

  2. I think you raise some good points. One thing that I have been working on with Cole is the fact that the first thing he says in the morning is "Can I watch TV please?" Now, he's says please so we've got the manners down! : ) But the point that he goes immediately to the TV we are changing for weekdays. Since we have come back from vaca we've had limited (if at all) TV on weekday mornings. Weeknds we still have it because we are all snuggled in the same bed and it gives Brendan and I a little bit more sleep! :)

    Like the quote on your blog says, there is no way to be a perfect mom, but basically we are all trying the best we can!

    Being a mom isn't a name only, it's truly an action, and I support you that you are not always taking the easy road to be the best mom you can be! :)

  3. Way to go ladies! Like I stated in my disclaimer (and it's really sad, but I felt I had to put in a disclaimer) this is really just my opinion regarding TV. I know we are all just trying to do our best. TV is only one of many battles I have in regards to trying to be a good Mom. I certainly don't want this to go the other direction where my kids have no idea what TV is, because I think that would be bad too! It's a part of our lives, we can't ignore it.

    Sometimes we do something and wish we could take it back, but the best we can do is move forward; take a deep breath, stay calm and carry on, right Christa? :)

  4. ahh, my favorite motto!! It helps doesn't it?
    my kids are wild today...I must admit I really enjoy their naptime :) .


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