My husband and I have had a tv addition for sometime. Particularly once we discovered Netflix. Since we live in a very small town with not as many activities on offer it also became the easy default activity that we would do to spend time with each other.
However now that my baby is 6 months old I have been quite concerned that the amount of tv that we were watching could impact on him negatively. Finn is obsessed with technology and is forever staring at any screens around be it the tv, laptop or phone. I sensed it wasn’t a good thing for him to be doing at this age so did some research into the possible negative impacts on television on babies.
Turns out there is a lot of research into this* and that television before the age of 2 is not recommended at all. It can impact on children’s sleep patterns, concentration later in life and language development. Even if the child is playing on the floor while parents are watching the tv it has an impact as it reduces the amount of adult conversation they hear amongst the parents that is important for language development also.
So rather than go into any more detail about this research since there are many more qualified sources out there for information this i’d rather talk about the positive impacts and experiences we have had from turning off our television.
So my husband and I now have the new rule, tv is only going to be watched by us when our baby is asleep. As he doesn’t go to bed all that early yet this is a massive reduction in the amount it is on. So far it hasn’t been too painful an experience. The time we notice most is on the weekend as that was when it tended to be most watched. There have been many positives i’ve noticed though thus far.
1. Without tv to watch while we eat dinner we are now eating at the table. This is something I wanted to do anyway around the time of starting solids with Finn so it is good timing overall. I’m hoping this might even have impacts on reducing overeating and things like that too as we are more conscious of the food we eat.
2. We now have far more hours in the day to do other things. Both of us are doing various university degrees and I have also spent more time developing the My Minimalist Baby youtube channel as well as planning another on international cookery.
3. We probably do talk to each other more. And certainly listen to more music. And they have to be good things!
4. No screen exhaustion. That feeling after watching way too many hours of something. Especially caused by binging on a whole season of something on Netflix.
5. When we do watch tv it is now only good stuff. No time to waste on rubbish!
So I like to think this is a step in the direction of becoming more minimalist. In the sense that we are now living our lives more consciously and consuming less (video content). I would love to hear from anyone else who has made this conscious change to watch less mindless tv and the results you have seen!
* Research into the impacts of babies and television: