Disconnect Days: Update #1 (a.k.a. Why I think T.V. is unnecessary & how I feel about art)

Remember a when we declared Sunday's "Disconnect Days"? (Read Here if you don't). Well it's been exactly one month since then and I figured now was a good time to do a update on how it's been going. It''s been going very very well! In addition to our once a week no phone thing we have took the leap into a NO-T.V. household. I don't mean we tell Sierra "NO! NO!" when she goes near it - I mean last week we sold it and got it out of our house entirely. This may sound a bit extreme but let me explain. We barely ever watched the thing anyway. I watched soccer once or twice a week and Lauren was known to get her weekly Teen Mom & Criminal Minds fix after the baby had fallen asleep from time to time. We were paying for cable, our TV was a 15 year old big screen MONSTER that weighed 100 pounds and took up an entire corner of our living room. So in addition to not having the allure of the T.V. we also are saving money on cable & gained about 5 feet of our living room back.

The corner now houses a beautiful painting by artist
Ann Marie Rebola,our stereo and a baby photo of Sierra. 

We have been discussing removing the T.V. from our home for awhile now, Disconnect Day just helped speed up the process. The reasons the NO-T.V. thing was even on the table for discussion was that according to the American Association of Pediatricians children gain nothing from watching T.V. (or any screened media) before two (not to mention Lauren and I's book intake started to dip when we realized we had HBO). Well Sierra is turning two tomorrow so now what do we do? When friends and family looked at us funny when we said "Oh Sierra doesn't watch Sesame Street" or when she didn't recognize Mickey Mouse for anything but a plain ol' mouse we could always fall back on the "Well actually according to the AAP...". But now what? I'm sure people will be saying "Well NOW she's two so let her watch a damn movie for God's sake!" or "Come on! Didn't you love the Lion King as a kid?!". Lauren and I haven't REALLY discussed where we stand on the "Now thats she's 2" topic yet but I can tell you where I stand. Who cares? Sierra has never watched any T.V. and she is just as smart as any Elmo & Mickey loving toddler on the playground. She loves books, playing, drawing and painting and is VERY active. I see no need to introduce a product that will get in the way of being active and activities that I feel are a better stimulate and learning tool in the first place. Also for people who think I'm talking out of my ass - I am a licensed art teacher and hold a degree in Art Education so bite it! Art > T.V. in this house hold.

Now that I've gone on my holier than most art is the end all be all of life rant - Let me be entirely serious. Will I introduce (educational and appropriate) T.V. shows & movies into Sierra's life? Yes - just not this second. I'm personally not ready and have a lot of research to do before I feel comfortable with what she watches as every piece of media a person, especially a small child, consumes can and does influence them, so I want to make sure these are positive influences. I also feel Sierra doesn't care at this point anyway. She's never once asked to watch T.V. even when it was the 'big elephant in the room'. She wasn't stupid she knew what 'the big black box' was for, she even knew how to turn it on if she wanted to. Most of her friends we have play dates with aren't huge on T.V. either so there's never been the "Why does she get to and I don't?" issue. Even when we are at a friend's house who has the T.V. on we have never had an issue where Sierra wanted to sit and watch, she's is always much happier to explore their house or terrorize their pets. So I guess my answer to when will we let Sierra watch T.V. is when we're both ready. When it's appropriate and best for us we will introduce it into our families life but as of now no one seems to want or miss it and thats just fine with me. Any questions, feedback or what you and your family do please feel free to comment below as I'm always interested in other people's opinions whether they agree or disagree. Thanks. -Craig

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