Sunday, August 05, 2007

Raising a child with no TV

I absolutely loved an extract from a book that I read in a magazine today. It was by a self-confessed TV-addict mother who, wanting to be the best mother she could, brought up her now 11-year-old son Carey with no TV at all.

When Carey was really small she would sneak away to watch her favorite programs in the spare bedroom while he napped, but once he was a bit older she had to cut that out so he wouldn't realise what she was doing.

The hardest part, it sounds, was not having the "TV nanny" that so many parents use to give themselves a break. But she found an innovative way around that. Her husband had just shown the 3-year-old how to use the kitchen timer and Mom told Carey that he could set it every day (he was thrilled!) for 20 minutes and that was Mom's time, he wasn't to interrupt her. "Even if I bang my head?" he asked. "Well you can call me if you bang it really hard," she replied.

To her amazement, her son quietly sat and watched the kitchen timer for the full 20 minutes and she got a peaceful nap on the couch. They followed this routine each day and Carey soon learned to entertain himself quietly and happily for up to an hour while Mom had her own time.

At 11, Carey has many interests and hobbies but they still don't include television. Because it was never made an issue, he knows he can watch TV at his friends' houses if he wants to, but most of the time he's really not interested.

I thought that was a great story :)

Happy parenting,


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