TV watching has been getting a little out of control in our house lately and, following some serious Mummy guilt, it is time to make some changes.
I don't have a problem with TV per say. If my kids have spent lots of time play outside, being with friends and are read lots of books, I'm happy for them to watch some TV too.
It's hard to get Wild Man to sit still and often TV is the only way to make him (and me) have some quiet time. We don't all eat together yet so sometimes (actually most of the time if I'm honest) the kids watch some TV while they eat dinner. And I put the TV on while I have a shower in the morning so they won't trash the house. And they watch it when they're sick or really tired.
And so it goes on and the end result is FAR too much TV.
I've certainly fallen far short of my pre-children pledge that my kids would watch Play School once a day and nothing else. Clearly I had no idea and was a smug and irritating pregnant person when I said that!
When I'm feeling guilty I like to remind myself that humans have always thrived on story telling and one of the ways our society tells stories now is through TV. Nice justification, hey?
But there does need to be a limit and I find it really hard to set that limit when I am tired and the kids are annoying me.
If I've been sitting down - ha ha in my dreams - if I've been folding the washing in peace because Wild Man is watching TV and Princess is playing next to him I find it nearly impossible to make myself go and turn the TV off after a set amount of time.
And sometimes watching a show or two becomes watching an hour or two. I think it is because the ABC, and Foxtel (if you have it), have kids shows on all the time and we all own DVD players so the Mums of today aren't restricted like our Mums were.
I know most of my friends get comments from their Mums about TV.
"I didn't let you watch anything like that amount" to which I respond "Yeah, because you couldn't because there were hardly any kids shows and video players weren't invented yet! You would have if you could have."
It is a seductive thing, the ability to make your kids sit still and be quiet, and it is amazing the lengths I will go to in justifying it to myself.
Anyway, it has all got out of control and it seems like the easiest way to cut back on TV in our house is to ban it in the mornings.
And so far so good. Well, kind of.
We're only on day three and this morning I had to make sandwiches to the sound of Wild Man and Princess using my pots and pans as drums, which wasn't exactly relaxing.
Perhaps that's the price you pay and also heart of the problem ... if you force kids to invent their own games they don't usually choose quiet, still ones.
If they did we wouldn't need TV!
How much TV do your kids watch? (Please say heaps so I can feel less guilty!)