Recently my husband and I had dinner with our friends, Mark and Ashley, while they were home visiting from Florida. Somehow the conversation turned to the number of distractions there are when spending time with friends and family, and how kids rely heavily on electronics to keep them occupied. Ashley mentioned they don't turn the TV on unless the sun has set. I'll admit, I thought this was a little bizarre. I mean, who doesn't go home after a long day at work and turn the boob-tube on to catch up on your favorite sitcom, or the latest episode of Survivor? Even if it's just for some background noise while you wash dishes, or fold laundry.
Over the next several weeks I got to thinking. I spent some time paying attention to how much time we spent watching TV when there were other things, more productive things we could have been doing. I decided it's actually a pretty spectacular rule. In fact, I like it so much I'm going to start enforcing it with Shelby. Better to start now when she's not accustomed to watching TV rather than later when she's glued to it like gum to the bottom of a shoe.
One of the things I struggled with most returning to work after Shelby was born, was the amount of time I would be spending away from her. Two full days a week, plus nights, and early mornings just doesn't seem like enough time with her, especially not during the first year when babies seem to grow like weeds, transforming right before your eyes.
I think eliminating the TV for at least part of the night will help to increase the amount of quality time we have together. I'm all for iPads and tablets, but I want her to be able to entertain herself without relying on apps and Youtube videos. Plus, some of the best memories I have from being a kid are days spent playing outside with my brother, or game nights with my parents, no electronics needed.
Let's face it you're a lot more likely to have a meaningful conversation without Sheldon Cooper yelling BAZINGA in the background.