Keeping The Home A Shelter
this summer we got rid of our television. one evening i was reading simplicity parenting and i was so compelled i hopped right out of my seat, walked over the the tv and very unceremoniously pulled it from the wall. i didn't know what i was going to do in the evenings when i needed to make dinner and had two hungry tired crazed toddlers running around the house. i didn't know what i was going to do in the mid morning when i'm trying to shower and everyone's yelling at each other. but something inside of me knew that removing the television from our home was something i absolutely needed to do in that moment.
fast-forward to this fall and the start of football season. brad and i decided to bring out the television and place it in a little corner of the living room just for football games. being huge pittsburgh steelers fans and missing every game wasn't going to fly with us. we made it a few weeks and then suddenly daniel tiger was back and elmo's world was stuck in my head and william and charlotte were asking non-stop if they could watch a show.
it took getting rid of the tv and bringing it back for us to realize how much it monopolized our time and energies. when it was gone, the kids hardly asked for it and when they did it was 'no the tv's gone, remember?' 'oh, yeah. okay let's play trains!' and they go on with their day. put it back in the room, and it's a constant reminder of all the fun colorful stimulants that little black box has to offer.
so now it's gone again. and this time for good. i'll miss my football and jeopardy (if we ever manage to get the kids to bed before 7:30), but what we're gaining is so much more. a world full of media means that our homes should be a safe space for our children. free from over-hyped images and characters that have no place in a child's world. the research and studies that have been done on the effects of television on young children are enough to compel you to yank your television off the wall like i did. now that it's gone for the second time i don't have one single regret.
yes, dinner prep is a little more challenging and yes, sometimes my shower doesn't happen until after brad comes home from work, but that is absolutely something i'm willing to get used to. i firmly believe that a child's time in adolescence is sacred. do i want to shelter my children from the outside world? no. but i do want them to stay little longer. i got my first cell phone when i was 16 years old (2006 for those of you counting). my sister (7yrs younger) got hers before she entered high school and my brother (10yrs younger) earlier than that. it seems like every toddler has their own ipad loaded with 'educational' games, and every baby has their own toy phone these days. aren't we starting them too young? are we allowing society's attachment to instant media pervade our homes and our child's minds too early? i think so. so yes, maybe i am sheltering my children. but i'd rather be a shelter than an ocean of over-stimulation.