Now let me say first that we do not watch regular TV, only videos/DVDs that are approved by me as to content. We don't even have cable, only 3 channels that we get via bunny ear antennas. And, at most, it is 1 movie/day, occasionally a little more. What has happened though is that whenever things get hairy or i need everyone to be quiet and still for a while, we pop in a movie. Or if the littler ones are fussy, a 30 minute video allows me to get dinner done,etc. I have never liked relying on TV this way but felt there wasn't any other way to do it.
Lately, i've felt the Lord leading me to try to fill my childrens time with more meaningful and worthwhile activities. So it means that i have to be more creative with giving them ideas for things to do instead of watching TV, like cleaning out the dogs pen or pulling out the pottery wheel or going for a walk/bike ride with them. If they are busy, they don't need to be entertained by the TV. I also have gone back to a more structured day as far a school and free time goes. It's still very flexible, but as long as we follow the order of what needs to be done each day, then we have focus and direction, and not as much lag time. Here is our schedule for right now:
Spring Schedule 2011
7:30-wake up, start chore packs
12:00-lunch/clean up/finish school/chores
6:00-room clean ups
I'm not saying that TV is terrible, there are useful and enjoyable things we will still occasionally watch, I just hope for it not to be my crutch anymore. So far, most of my children haven't even asked or noticed that we aren't turning the TV on, but my 3 year old, the one who watches videos the most, has been begging. I have decide just to be firm and stand strong when i say no and direct her on to something else. She will survive and be a better person for it. We all will!