They say you should never make a parenting threat that you can’t carry out. Well whoops. I screwed that one up…
Help, can I reverse the ban?
I jumped on a high horse last year. My oldest had started school and I decided the view up there from the lofty heights of intellectualism looked a whole lot better than the one from down here.
I’m not even sure really why I did it. Somewhere in the back of my mind I decided it might be good for my kids to enforce a ban on TV and computers.
Not a total ban. Just a during-the-week ban.
It’s not that I am against TV at all. In fact if you knew me you would think I am the last person who would ban TV.
I love TV. I worked for the majority of my career in the industry. From game shows to news reporting to breakfast TV. I lived, breathed, talked about and watched television on a daily basis.
It was my life.
Right back at University I studied kids’ TV as an elective. I wrote papers on how educational it can be, and how overstated the damage it does to children can be.
I argued vehemently against banning educational programs for young people.
I love TV. Really.
But something in my brain went into hibernation last year when I made “THE DECISION”. That little bit of my brain that contains reason went out the window when I confidently informed my children that once you start big school you can now no longer watch TV.
They were confused at first. It wasn’t that they watched an awful lot, but it’s sudden cessation was a shock for the whole family.
Now I have three kids – only one at school – but THE DECISION was for them all.
My reasons were two-fold.
First up – no-one in the house ever did anything when the TV was on. Try telling a six-year old boy to put his shoes on when Tom and Jerry are busily playing tricks on a screen in front of him.
I may as well have put him in blinkers and led him to a pile of hay. There was no way my son was seeing anything but that screen.
The frustration of repeating "put-your-shoes-on-get-your-school-bag-find-your-school-hat"over and over again boiled over.
There was one person to blame and that was Hanna Barbara (that’s a person right? I skipped that day at uni).
The second reason was er, well, the same as the first. No one did anything when the bloody TV was on.
The immediate affect was a noisy one. There was more fighting, more whinging, more demands for Mum time.
I forgot what a lifesaver that damn device can be.
I forgot how helpful the soothing tones of cartoons could be when I am trying to do something else.
I forgot how much mess three children could make when they are left to their own devices without a flat screen babysitter to occupy them.