Friday, August 26, 2011

How to ditch the TV guilt

Have you ever felt mother guilt over letting your kids watch tv?

I have. In fact, I go back and forth on it in my mind on a daily basis. Which is strange, because to be honest, I don't mind if my friends let their kids watch TV. I don't really even notice. I'd probably find it strange if they didn't let their kids watch it! So why am I wasting my time feeling guilty?

This week, I decided to make the most of TV watching in our house instead of stressing about it, and it was a lovely, relaxed, fun week.

Here's what I did to get rid of the TV guilt: Used it for inspiration.

My daughter is currently obsessed with the show The Fairies. We have it on DVD and she watches it every day.

So this week, we've done some "Fairy craft":

Made "Fairy Photos":

Created our own "Fairy ring" to dance around:

Drawn home made colouring pages (which I then scanned and saved to save drawing them again next time):

And painted pictures using the Fairy colours (pink and purple):

We used things we already owned to do all of this so I didn't have to worry about finding the $ to pay for it all. I was actually a little surprised at how much we ended up doing!

I got 2 HUGE benefits from doing these activites this week: I had FUN with my daughter and still had time to get stuff done around the house: These activities were quick to set up, took between 10 - 20 minutes and then Soph played with them all afternoon while I went back to work. And I wasn't just passing the time doing them with her, I really loved it, especially when I saw how creative she was and how much she used her imagination :)

If she hadn't seen the show, I wouldn't have thought of any of these ideas. So to me, TV isn't bad anymore.

I'd love to know how TV watching influences your household - do your kids watch TV? How much? What do they watch? How do you feel about it?


  1. Hi Marissa

    guilty! Well apparently we will NEVER stop feeling guilty as a mummy.
    I was told that a long time ago - I didn't believe it (or didn't want to believe it) but it is true.

    TV is fine in moderation and as long as there is balance (ahhh that elusive word balance) - you have shown the world what a wonderful influence you drew from a medium of entertainment.

    give yourself a good for me pat!


  2. SUCH a sane post!

    I have three kids very close together. If not for the teev, then I quite seriously would never have managed.

    Your approach is perfect!

    (My youngest daughter, Lexie, is also a huge Fairies fan and is performing with Harmony & Rhapsody this November in their stage performances....!)

  3. Lucky Lexie! My Soph would be so excited to do that!! Although at 2yrs old she wouldn't quite have the dance steps down yet ;) Are you taking pics? I'd love to see them x

  4. Hi Marissa - thanks for the dose of commonsense. Raising kids with or without TV will always be a topic of conversation with parents and experts. You have extended their interest and become involved with you daughter YAY! You may have enjoyed the process because it had a purpose - not just to tick a box. I love using the ABC Playshool program notes - they run through the songs and activities for the day, so you can replicate them. Loads of fun. Really enjoy reading your blog :)

  5. Thanks Marina :) I'll have to check out the Play School program notes, I haven't seen them before and they sound great x

  6. I love the homemade colour-in pages. What a fab idea!
    Ella is a big Fairies fan too. I like how you've interlinked what's happened on the tellie with real-life activities. I bet she gained so much more from what she was exposed to on TV because of these follow up activities.
    Great post! x

  7. What a great post, totally not what I expected...

    I thought it would be a post about how we all need to do things and if TV helps then why not and then I'd have had to disagree. Because my kids hardly ever watch TV and I find that the less they watch it, the more creative they get and the more capable of occupying themselves. My son usually gets up before every one else and he just plays quietly until everyone else gets up.

    And the opposite is true - there were periods when TV was a regular part of our routine, and it made the kids demand it, whinge and not know what to do with themselves... so TV is now reserved for rare occasions (mainly for when dad can't think of anything else to do, I don't watch TV, so it doesn't even cross my mind to turn it on). But you've shown a great way to watch TV and encourage creativity at the same time, well done!

  8. Ah, the guilt over tv. Every single day I think about how I can limit the tv.. Then push it aside as something to worry about tomorrow!

    This post gives me great hope though. Now just have to think about inspiration for Peppa Pig. Tis the current favourite.

  9. The Fairies?Oh my goodness this is my favorite T.V show. I just can't wait to get started making my own fairy craft. Your illustrations are quite beautiful and I got lots of ideas on how I could start making one.

  10. My kids don't watch a lot of tv, but we do have a few favourites. Play School comes on 2 or 3 times per week, and we often end up with a DVD on a Friday afternoon.
    Sometimes we do some of the activities we see on Play School. Recently we made Lamingtons after seeing it on PS (their was coconut EVERYWHERE).
    I would never want to make another parent feel guilty for using the TV. It can provide some wonderful ideas and experiences for kids, and some valuable time out for parents too. You clearly aren't just sitting the kids down all day in front of the box. Well done for ditching the guilt!



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