Thursday, September 30, 2010
Every now and again I go through a phase where I feel too much like a slug and decide to cut television out of my life for awhile. It's never really very hard to do so because my evening routine is so packed with trying to get things done and caring for my family, that by the time I finally sit down it's fairly late in the evening. However, this isn't so with Ava.
For the longest time Rick and I didn't mind that Ava would sit down and watch TV right after we all got home because she would be exhausted from her long day of school, then after-school program. You could see that the poor kid was pretty tuckered out. Because Ava wasn't a tiny toddler either TV wasn't acting as a babysitter for us, she just wanted to be in veg mode. Lately though, it just didn't feel right anymore; the girl was becoming too dependent on television.
I think we all know by now that googling can bring forth scary results, and there is some extremely convincing arguments that television for young children is bad for them (and the small amount of screen time that it starts to be damaging is kind of startling). More than one study stated that ADHD development and television watching in young children is scientifically linked. That caught our attention because we already have a hard enough time getting Ava to focus on anything. Honestly, I don't believe our daughter has any developmental shortcomings, but it feels as though the potential could be there. Ava is imaginative and extremely social which is what we believe is the real reason behind any attention problems she may have, but...
You just never know.
And that is why the TV remains a quiet, black screen on school nights. Two weeks in and it is amazing how much more pleasant our home life has been. I will admit that I have to listen to a lot more incessant chatting, but that's the usual for us. We've been reading lots of books, and homework is so much less of drag because Ava doesn't have the siren call of TV luring her focus and attention away. Even her attitude that was popping up more and more has died down to being almost non-existent. Ava had always been a creative kid, but it is so nice to have her sit in the kitchen with me while I make dinner, and come up with fantastic drawings and stories. All in all, it's a decision that neither Rick and I regret.