As C&I turn 20 months old , their vocabulary is increasing by leaps and bounds . They repeat whatever they hear almost immediately and retain most of the new words they are able to familiarise themselves with .
With growing speech , their understanding of surroundings is also expanding.
They stay in different settings throughout the week , some days with dadi and paternal family , some days with nani and maternal family , some days with cousins and so on.This also implies that our controlled home environment is not the only source of new knowledge to them.
Recently they have been introduced to T.V, initially through passive viewing while members of the family watch and now actively as well, sometime just to keep them occupied or sometimes when their cousins accompany them .
In fact so mesmerised has my boy become by T.V. that he himself insists on occasions – ‘Cartoon nene hai’ – I want to see cartoon.
Initially I resisted to his demands , then I became a little pliable and allowed him 15 minutes of TV time thinking he might get cranky if not understood.
But now it seems it’s like a never ending tantrum.
My daughter who was entirely disinterested in TV is also getting the hang of it.
I am struggling to keep them distracted. I ask them to get me their books which I offer to read aloud, I take them to the living area which doesn’t have a TV to make them busy with their indoor play area.
Though they take a few minutes to get distracted, I have noticed that if I am involved with the activity I have engaged them in , it keeps them away from TV more successfully .
I have concluded that with TV , at least at our home there is going to be an ‘Absolute No’ approach .Despite my best efforts they will be exposed to it at Nani/Dadi ‘s place and I am not going to control that , let TV be their luxury restricted to grandparents’ time.
I know it might sound harsh and dictatorial but at least till 2.5- 3 years I don’t want them to be zombified by TV . Any small screens will be avoided for even longer , maybe 5 years of age .
This discipline cannot be established until we as parents also quit our TV time , or may be push it to late night hours when kids are asleep. I know it’s tough but I am ready to give it a try .
For now , the remote controls have been chucked away in some corner of my cupboard (unknown to my spouse as well😝) so that no matter how much they demand TV remains a restricted activity for them , only allowed at grandparents’ place or while we are travelling .
If you have some innovative ideas about how you keep your kids away from TV , do share it with us by commenting below !