No more TV

I’ve stopped the kids from watching too much TV. No, I haven’t lost my marbles. You heard me right. They get 30 minutes in the morning and an hour in the evening. Before you start commending my efforts, I have to admit that this came about purely by accident.

What happened was the kids were driving me crazy fighting over what to watch. It’s the first thing they do when they wake up and last thing they do before they go to bed. The older wants CITV and the younger wants Cbeebies – although I do think the younger just does it to annoy her brother.

So I got fed up, said some threatening things (like “I am going to throw the TV away and you will never ever see Justin again. EVER.”) and switched off the box. I was sick of their incessant squabbling and seeing their expressionless little faces basking in the white TV glow.

And guess what, my little monsters are getting on so much better. Surprisingly, they don’t hate each other and can actually speak to each other in a civilised manner. No longer do they have the urge to maim, dismember or kill each other.

When the lights first went down on the TV, they explored their newly found free time by playing with little things. Lego, toy cars and drawing. Then their play inched towards the more extravagant; their new thing is role play. An empty box becomes a ship, a space rocket or a bus. As of yesterday morning, it was a gondola. Even my husband was surprised when he came home from work the other night. There was no bedtime bedlam or tantrums. Just lots of laughing, giggling and nonsensical talk.

So the next time when you read something in the Daily Mail, the Guardian or the BBC about the bad effects of TV on children, don’t do what I did, which was to ignore all of their advice.

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