I like to think of our family as one that isn't addicted to t.v., as someone who shares information with families about the impact of screen time on children. Time to fess up. This summer our patterns changed big time. We used to have the t.v. down in the basement, but then we rearranged furniture and shifted spaces so that we could hold summer camp in that space. So the t.v. came upstairs. Slippery slope.
I was busy with coursework, or other deadlines and the t.v. would go on, while I was sitting next to my son working on my laptop. At the end of the night, once our son was asleep, we would turn on apple tv to "unwind", just watching reruns of shows we had seen before.
We hit a breaking point this past weekend and knew we needed to take bold action. We put the t.v. in the closet. It is still there, but we made the conscious decision to shift our priorities back to our family and our relationships with each other.
This big shift caused us to move other furniture around, which led to getting into a fresh space. We made piles of things to donate and we made a huge pile of things to consign with Rhea Lana's of North Cincinnati.
This shift gave us back time as a family. We went for a walk in our neighborhood, which we haven't done in awhile, I am embarrassed to admit. It is changing how we are interacting as a family and as individuals. I know that some people may feel this is harsh, but we can still watch one episode of a show on a tablet, or get the t.v. out for Friday night movie night. For our family, we had to make this change. We needed to reconnect with each other.
My new favorite spot- curled up on the couch reading books with my son. He has always enjoyed books, but now he is requesting at least 8 books a day! YES! We have baskets of books scattered around our home, mostly non-fiction, which ignites his mind and imagination. The place on the wall where the t.v. used to be now has a map of the world, so that when we are reading about Siberian tigers or cheetahs we can find their home on the map. The old t.v. stand is now his lego homebase.
Change can be hard, but I have to say, this change is welcome, and is having impacts that I hadn't even imagined. This picture was taken before we were totally set up- we moved some of the artwork around, and shifted a few things.
How can you re-think or re-imagine your space to better meet the needs of your family? Contact me if you would like my help.
Beth is a mom first and foremost. She is also a trained Montessori teacher who is passionate about making the lofty ideals of the Montessori philosophy more real and manageable for families.