Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TV time and family time

yup, double fisting

I will preface anything I say with I am NOT in the camp of "no TV for my toddler at all." Oliver watches his Baby Signing Time DVD at least once every morning.

But, in the evenings, when we have limited time at home before his bedtime, we've started keeping the idiot box off. We get home around 4-4:30. I rarely have to cook dinner, since I started doing majority of my cooking over the weekend, so all I need to do is reheat. Dinner time is 5:30. So, before then, we play as a family. All of us, including Smokey are on the floor of the living room, just goofing off. Oliver maybe will let me read him a book. Or, he'll crawl all over us, giving us hugs and sloppy kisses, all the while giggling at his silly parents.

mmmm chow mein

At 5:30, we eat. At the dining table. As a family. You have no idea how many times I tried instituting this when it was just Jeff and me, but invariably, we'd end up in front of the television. Thanks to Oli for bringing us back to family dinner time. We talk to him. It's a tradition we'd like to continue, so we are starting it now. Even though we don't understand what he's saying, he totally participates in the conversation. I also love watching him discover new foods. Sometimes, he spits things out a couple times before even realizing he likes it. Then, he screams if we can't get it into his mouth fast enough. Or if it's food he can feed himself, his whole hand disappears into his mouth as he eats it. Or he tries shoveling it in with both hands.

Then, it's more playtime till bath time. And, he is off the bottle, so he might or might not have some milk out of his sippy. At 7/7:15, after we've all kissed him goodnight, I lay him in his crib and close the door. Jeff and I sit outside and listen to him "talk" in there for a few minutes. We watch him roll all over in his crib on the monitor and wonder if he's playing a game. Who he's talking to. What is he saying? And, by the light of his new favorite night light, he falls asleep.

Once he is out, it's television time for Jeff and me. We also get a 1/2 hour to do anything on our iPhones, iPads etc. After that, it's technology free zone. Well, except for the technology that records shows onto the DVR ;-). I feel like I get so much more quality time with Oliver and Jeff and as a family on weekdays without the television on.

Do you see how serious both of them are?
On the weekends, the television is on occasionally. Sometimes, Oliver even tries to challenge daddy to video game tournaments. On Sundays, the boys watch football. 

Our house believes in moderation. We don't use the television as a babysitter; but we don't keep it off all hours he's awake either. Growing up, I remember getting to watch TV 1 hr every night and a couple hrs on weekend mornings, and a movie with the family Saturday night. It was neither banned, nor were we glued to it. I hope to somehow keep that balance in this house for Oliver too.

No comments: