This is a vent...probably directionless, but I need to work it through here.
I feel like I am failing my kids. I had all of these grand philosophies in my head about raising kids, and what I would be able to do with them, or how they would grow up. I just *assumed* they would be like me as a child, my two DDs (5 and 7). I grew up in a country with 1 tv channel, and even then, programming was not on throughout the entire day (we had hours of those coloured bars...) I spent my childhood outdoors tons (in the tropics) and READING. Reading EVERYthing I could get my hands on, and my parents supplied endless books.
Fastforward to today. I live in a northern climate. It's winter here. I was diagnosed with thyroid disease 8 years ago, and spent my DDs first few years in an exhausted fog where rising off the couch after BFing all night took herculean strength. We developed some REALLY bad habits in those 'lost years', a form of coping: tv. I don't actually watch tv myself beyond the news and a few shows on the upper channels once in a while (upper = the artsy, Bravo/etc. type channels).
My DDs are addicted to tv. We have a housefull of toys,and lots of books. They'd rather do the screen. I limit. I try to limit. Then I do the endless housework, or school work (I'm in school as well) and they've snuck back on the tv. "Just one more show...I promise!" and I get suckered in, especially if I am working on a paper or something. Then one show becomes three.
Their behaviour changes. They become lethargic and irritable, mouthy and fighty with each other.
They do lots of activities for their age (gymnastics, Guides, etc.) so it's not like they're lumps on a log.
I think of the opportunity cost of tv watching, instead of reading, learning or playing.
It's become so ingrained that I am at a loss about what to do.
Dh and I are doing reno, and decided that 'for daddy's safety, we have to unplug the tv when he's doing the reno'.
DH thinks we should get a timer and do it that way. I know that I'll just have to deal with the whining and tears and tantrums when it's time to turn it off.
I feel like I'm failing my kids by what I've done, and I'm scared that it's too late to undo it. I'm scared that I've permanantly warped their brains, and turned them off reading. I'm scared that they won't know what to do with themselves when I shut the tv off cold-turkey during 'reno' time (=detox time in my mind). i'm scared about my own loss of time to do my own work.
I really want to do this.
Thank you for listening to my vent.