Saturday, July 23, 2011

On Television, Part the Second

I have written at excessive length about my views on television and kids on this 'ere blog before: On Television, and the TV has been the subject of some recently reviewed parental policy here at Casa Selene.  To be honest, it's not so much a revision of the policy, as it's application, by yours truly.

I wish my TV looked like this one!
After some not great health here (on my part) I realised we'd had major TV creep, maxing out at several hours on my sickest days.  Look, I'm somewhat guilty of beating myself up about things like this, when perhaps I should focus on the "what the hell else am I supposed to do with a three year old and a disabled 12 year old when I can't get off the couch from nausea," and yet...and yet!  I don't want TV to be about ME, at least not routinely.  Even if I end up using it when I'm at my crappiest, the rest of the time should be about other stuff, not the dreaded box.

Thing is, one of the principles of self-regulation of television (and anything else) is that it should be, funny that, SELF regulation.  I was finding that it was ME putting on the television, or suggesting television, way more than the small one (WAY more!).  So a couple of weeks ago I pulled myself out of my media-induced daze and decided to only facilitate television when Lolly asked for it (she can't operate it herself as yet).  Sure enough, not ONCE did she ask for television the first week.  The first time she asked for a show was over a week later, purely because we were sitting on the giant couch in front of the television.  It was location over desire.  One episode of Diego and she was off again.

Lolly and the GODDAM PINKY PONK!!
I confess I also used an online episiode of Dirtgirl World as a ten minute sanity saver on the laptop during a particularly awesome ONE HOUR phone call with a government agency last week, and Snail asked for Blue's Clues after school on Monday, so we had that on for an hour or so.  By *ask* I mean I changed her on the rug in front of the telly, and afterwards she bum-slid right up to the TV, craned her neck expectantly, and sat there for several minutes.  I took that as a hint.  That and the "more! more!" as the credits played from the first episode.  Snail does say "Blue" and used to request TV by saying that, but with the decreased communication from seizures/meds, we don't hear many verbal requests these days.  *sad face*

If I'm honest, no TV other than on request is more work for me.  I have to facilitate more stuff, and come up with more ideas during the day, be more present.  I get less time to computer (you may have noticed the less blogging), read, and do stuff. We go out a lot, that helps.  Well, we did that before, but now I don't put on the TV when we get home. I miss it most during the witching hours, like that last hour before DinnerDad gets home, when I'm cooking dinner and am sick of looking after people, or putting on my *interested* face.  And I'm certainly not saying I won't use TV sometimes for these reasons!  But I'm committed to that being the exception rather than the rule, which is where my original thoughts on TV came from. 

TV creep is easy to do, and totally understandable, but I'm a bit over it, and have made fighting it my focus for the next few months.  It's certainly been an eye opener as to how much of Lolly's media consumption was about ME not about HER.  And while that's perfectly okay at times, it's still an important distinction to be making.

Wish me luck!

Addendum: I'm going to write more about how self-regulation hasn't worked with Smash, he is woefully spending almost ALL of his time in front of a screen at the moment, it's not working for him, or us.  More in a follow up post...oy vey!

Oh and I should probaby point out that it sounds like all my kids did was watch television, which isn't the case.  We had a bad run for a week or so, other than that, we were mostly less than 2 hours a day, much of which Lolly wasn't sitting in front of (off doing other stuff).  Not that 2 hours isn't a SHED LOAD of time, when you think on it.  Did I mention Oy Vey!?


Kestrel said...

TV creep, I hear you!

Selene said...

lol, at night, if you're very quiet, you can hear the TV...creeping, creeping...