Friday, March 13, 2009

Out of the Main Stream Loop

Rob and I had discussed getting rid of cable for quite a long time. We were going to do it before Christmas. Then the kitchen reno came up and we decided that having tv around to entertain the children wouldn't be the worst thing. I bit the bullet and canceled it at the beginning of February, and now, after approximately six weeks of living tv-free, I have to say, why did we not do that sooner!

Alex was an infrequent watcher. His problem was that he just wanted it on while he played and half listened/watched cartoons. Rob and I used to have it on for noise. There were a few tv shows we liked to catch but we didn't watch it all that much. Izzy, however, was a true blue addict. Turned the thing on as soon as she walked in the room. Begged to have it on all the time. Worse yet, unlike Alex, who started with the occassional Tree-House show (commercial free), she came into it when Alex had discovered the Disney channel and Nick Jr. Channels so horribly laden with commercials that Izzy was exposed to all kinds of crap marketing. And she was a most willing subject. It was I want this and I want that. I have to get this or we need that. Alex didn't beg for toys or cereal like this kid did. She was turning into a junkie and we needed extreme intervention.

And off it went. The first week was torture but they finally stopped asking for something to watch and eventually started initiating more play on their own. It was a crutch we could use when we were bored or taking a break. It forced all of us to think harder about how to entertain ourselves.

Alex, who was already a pretty avid reader, is now inhaling books at a freaky speed. Izzy too. The nice thing is that books have become their entertainment. Getting rid of TV was the one of the best things we've ever done. It is amazing how much time gets wasted in front of a screen.

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