When Piper was the only child in our house we did not watch much television. When she was our one and only we had all of our time just for her. At some point during her second year of life, the television started tuning into Treehouse and Playhouse Disney more and more. Then she quickly figured out how to man the controls.
Then Davilyn came along, Piper stopped napping and movies became our new quiet time. Especially if I was trying to rest or get some work done around the house. The DVD machine was in the van and it was used. I never logged how many hours were being spent watching television or movies but I did not think it was out of control in our house. And it wasn’t.
Then Piper learned how to use a computer. She learned how to play games and find children’s television programming. She taught Davilyn. There have been times that Piper would ask to watch television and I would say no, only to find her sitting in front of the computer watching a program.
“It’s not television, Mom.”
She was literally right.
Then Quinn came along. The television really started to make an appearance. Piper learned to use it, taught Davilyn and they did not need me any more to turn it on. It was at this point that we needed to start monitoring and being really aware of just how much time was being spent in front of the television.
I am not opposed to television and we don’t track minutes or hours in front of the television. I’m sure some would tell me that my children watch too much television. It’s just not a subject that I am passionate about. My children do a lot of things that don’t include sitting in front of the television, so it doesn’t bother me and the television hasn’t really been an issue in our house. Sure there are days when I tell them, “Turn that thing off!” but, for the most part, I cannot complain. They spend more than half of their day outside in the summer. In the winter, it gets harder but they manage to find other things to occupy their time. With school and activities (almost every night) on the agenda, we don’t really have the time to log in front of the television.
My guess is that this may become an issue in a few years when the girls start hitting the tween and teen years. I will likely feel differently about it then.