Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the price paid for a little peace and quiet

As many of you know we have been tv-free for over a year now. When others discover we are a tv-free family they often ask how I ever get anything done. I think when your child has gone without a screen for entertainment for a long period of time they don't know anything different and can always find something to occupy themselves (at least up until a certain age). North has never been 'bored', although he asks me to play with him sometimes. If I take a moment to engage in his play and then exit quietly he can usually play independently for quite some time (unless Indigo is bothering him). I also prescribe to idle parenting (to a certain extent). I know many wouldn't be comfortable leaving their almost 3-year-old in the garden unattended. Don't get me wrong, I check on him often and can usually hear him talking and singing but I don't feel the need to be right beside him anymore. Sometimes I think he plays most beautifully when I am out of sight and mind.

And so, this is what North spent the majority of this morning doing: digging, building, pushing, hauling and dumping in the garden. He's actually right on top of the potato bed but I don't think he dug deep enough to disturb anything.

It was dirty, wet and cold and it was absolute heaven to him. He always manages to take his shoes off but keep his socks on outside. I've learned to live with it. I ran a bath when it was time to come in for lunch, scrubbed his nails in soapy hot water and dressed him in some warm, dry clothes before sitting down to some hot soup. Before I put him down for his nap he begged to be allowed to do some more digging in the afternoon...hmmmm... the price for a little peace and quiet.

xo m.


The Beetle Shack said...

oh that sounds like a blissful pre lunch event. We also are tv free here at the beetle shack and have been for 5 years or so. Our young one does get to watch play school on iview though, and thats one heavenly 30 mins!

xo em

emm said...

Haha I'm glad it's not just me that leaves their kids "to it" sometimes! My husband freaks out when he sees what I let them get up to when I need 2 seconds to do something. We have been tv free for nearly 2 months now, don't know if it will last forever (hubby loves tv) but we are loving it for now. The kids have become so much more creative in their play, although I do put on the occasional DVD around 5pm if all is turning to custard ;-) Xx

Rhiannon said...

I find it really interesting to hear about you and others in their tv free families. I will admit that TV is a big thing in our house. Not for cooper, but dale is a real movie buff. I do put on Play school for cooper of the mornings, and I have only one show that i watch each week, but i do have the TV on in the morning in the background. Will have to have a look back through the blog and have a read about being TV free!
Rhi x

Rhiannon said...

Oh, and loving the dirt playing, I actually can't wait for days like this with cooper :)

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

oh what fun!! yes, we have been tv free for nearly two years now and i agree - i think they just forget. ocassionally my kids get to watch a dvd, but mostly they just like making up their own games (just like your little north!) I think digging and getting dirty is what all kids should be getting up to! he looks like he had a ball xx

Sarah Elizabeth said...

I love that your family is TV free. Your son looks so much happier digging in the dirt than he would be stuck in front of a TV. Simple pleasures!

Stephanie G. said...

I totally agree that when I'm out of sight, my children often come up with the most imaginative things! I often turn my kids out in to the yard...my son is only 2 and I let me him go. I check on him of course but the worst that happens is he gets as muddy as your North!

Mama Mash said...

I love this. So natural and normal.

Shelley Cartoons said...

We are building at the moment and have two enormous (4 metre?) dirt piles at our block. Over summer I let my 4 and 6 year old play on them and it was wonderful to watch them tumble about.
But now that it's winter I've had to say a sad "No."
Can we play in the bush-"Yes!",
Can we play on the dirt piles "No".
Two lots of VERY muddy clothes, dirt in the hair,( and everywhere else) and a 20 min car trip back to our current home...it was just too much.
But I am all for dirt play!
Maybe not just 4 metre dirt pile play.

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