Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Sky Fog is Lifting...

It's been nearly a month since we got Sky TV (some 20 or so channels, where we previously only had 3).

I expected "binging"...I expected it would be so exciting that the kids would want to watch more tv than usual.

I wasn't wait- I was disappointed...oh I don't know! They watched was literally on for the *whole* day...from when one child got up until they went to bed.

There is so much on at any one time that *could* be interesting. I felt dismayed.

I wondered if they would ever find other things to do. Even J-Man, who traditionally doesn't like to see things twice, was sitting through the same cartoon he saw the day or week before.

This is the boy that despite everything I read about toddlers (and have seen with his siblings) would *not* have the same book read to him twice. He had some sort of system going with library books- he always knew when he had had one of them read to him, and would decline my offer to take it out. On 3 or 4 occasions I remonstrated with him- that in fact, we had *not* had this book before, but I trusted my own judgment and took the book home, only to discover he was right...I started trusting him, and the wonderful organisation of his still-developing brain.

He has been the same with movies, whilst Princess will watch a movie, then press "play" again directly after having just watched it.

So hard for me then, to watch these two children sitting, and sitting, and sitting some more...watching loads of tv. I have nothing against tv, and see lots of value in it- even the Cartoon Network...but it was all I could do to button my lip, when I saw them sitting there day after day.

Then, to have them sitting there calling out for "a peeled carrot with the ends cut off", or "a bottle of water", or "a bowl of icecream with a teaspoon", etc...I was feeling a bit like a slave.

I knew an unschooling mum shouldn't feel this way...but I did. Luckily I managed to keep my feelings to myself...for the most part, I didn't let them know what I thought of the way they were spending their days.

J-Man had started doing many other things in his day, and I wasn't so worried about him after a week or so. But the Princess seemed to have stopped doing all the things she used to do. She was barely leaving the house. I was worried.

Recently on an unschooling list someone said they didn't think there would be very much about my children that would worry me. That's not the case at all- I do worry. I probably don't worry as much as the next Mum...I trust them. Whenever doubts come in, they are from me- something I need to work through. They have very little to do with my children...they are living their lives, and learning all the time.

And I realised I didn't need to purse my lips and carry on with my own life...I could strew something or other here or there to see if it might be interesting for one or both of them.

I tidied the art table, which had become a dumping ground. Then it looked like the Princess hadn't been not drawing because she was too busy watching tv...rather- there had been no space to work!

This last week, they have watched less Sky TV. They've even turned it off sometimes :0) and even when there was a programme they enjoyed. I'm sure it will be a part of their lives for a long while to come, and I'm equally sure there will be days they feel like sitting under a blanket snuggled together watching their favourite shows all day long.

But they've gone back to their other activities...and even some new ones. J-Man painted yesterday- I can't remember the last time he did that.

He also made a picture for Princess, and she made one for him...I can't remember the last time they did that together either.

He's started playing Sims again, and World of Warcraft.

Princess can tell me all10 (main) aliens Ben 10 can turn into. She knows all their powers. She's been playing at being a doctor with a new medical bag we got. She's counting down the days until her birthday (about 100), and checking the times her favourite programmes are on. She's still learning plenty.

I'm not worried any more.

The Sky Fog is lifting, but it was mostly mine.

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