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:: quiet time ::

September 5, 2010

Do you spend as much time reading or playing with your children as you allow them to spend playing video games or watching TV?  I don’t.  But I really, really want to, especially after hearing all of the disadvantages regarding young children sitting in front  of the TV all day.

TV has been shown to contribute to ADHD symptoms (as well as tics for those who are stimulated by the flicker and constant colour/movement of the TV) for my darling daughter, which is enough of a motivation for me to try and reduce.  Beyond that, I’ve noticed that there really isn’t that much quality programming on TV; have you noticed?  Or how a show could be on a youth television station but contain mature content?  I’ve been surprised on more than one occasion.

Thus, when we moved into our new home we took a deep breath and we didn’t hook up the satellite dish. *gasp!*  But do you know the interesting thing?  We don’t miss it. Really, we don’t!  The only shows that I ever watch/ed were Lost (which is gone now anyway and can I just add how irked I was about the finale? I mean, c’mon! I expected so much more!) and True Blood (which I’ll just buy the seasons on DVD – still so much cheaper than the satellite bill!).  The person who misses it the most is my dad when he comes to visit!

The TV drives me nuts.  It’s overstimulating, loud, trashy, makes me want things that I don’t really need and is terrible for my children’s development.  The average household has the TV on (with no one really watching it) for over 8 hours a day!  It’s crazy the amount of time that is sucked out of our lives by one single machine!

I admit, I’m not completely anti-TV.  I used it this morning for my Insanity workout and the kids are watching Enchanted on it right now, but for the rest of our day the TV is turned off.  And I love it that way. 🙂

All of this blather to come around to my main point: how much time do you spend with your kids that’s not in front of the TV?  Mine used to be miniscule.  Tiny. An embarrassingly fractional amount of time out of each day.  After getting rid of satellite I’m challenging myself to replace what used to be TV time with quiet time.

Quiet time includes games, puzzles, baking or other shared activities.  Lately the kids have been keen to be read to, so I have indulged and ordered a surplus of materials from the library to keep them entertained.  (Check out my Read-Aloud page for the titles we’ve been reading together and some ratings from the kiddos!)

After lunch we settle into Mama’s big bed and I read to them from chapter books.  Often we alternate a chapter book with a book that Isaac chooses to keep him interested. Today was time to choose a new one since we reached the end of our book yesterday.

Deliberating between three Dinosaur Cove novels, James and the Giant Peach and Herriot's All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Settling in to read the winner - Dinosaur Cove: Attack of the Tyrannosaurus

She's pleased that I've consented to read our third Dinosaur Cove book in a row. I really wanted James Herriot.

And, at last, quiet...

You may have tangible wealth untold:

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be  –

I had a Mother who read to me.

“The Reading Mother”~Strickland Gillilan

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2010 5:00 am

    I had no idea they made dinosaur chapter books, but really, why not? They make everything else dinosaur related!

  2. September 21, 2010 1:01 am

    Found you via Mothering! Great & thoughtful blog– Incidentally, Sonlight curriculum is a great resource for fabulous read alouds. You can just go to their site, find the read alouds for a certain grade level, and check them out at the library.

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