RIP Diego, Dora, George, Sid, and Cailou.

It's a ghost with glasses

The effects of television watching on a three year old are as follows:

  • Child may begin to act like a certain bald headed Canadian four year old with a whiny disposition
  • Child may become lethargic and lazy with a shockingly short attention span
  • Child may mistake the Pillow Pets commercial for his favorite show
  • Child may act like a “bad guy”
  • Child may want to know who Ken Buck is and why he’s such a bad guy
  • Child may say things like, “let’s just turn it on and check the weather.”
  • Or like a junkie, “just one more, please, please.”
  • Child may no longer make eye contact with parent while television is on even if it’s a commercial for Bare Minerals make up.

Day sixty-seven

Day sixty-eight

Day sixty-nine

When TV viewing is no longer available the child may experience all seven stages of grief:

1.       Shock and Denial: “It’s ok Mom, I don’t need to watch tv, it gives me a headache anyways.”

2.       Pain and Guilt: As the shock wears off, it is replaced with suffering of unbelievable pain.

3.       Anger and Bargaining: Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out, permanent damage to relationships may occur. “Just one more Blues….”

4.       Depression, Reflection, Loneliness: during this time you may realize the magnitude of your loss.

5.       The Upward Turn: As you adjust to life without tv your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen and your “depression” begins to lift.

6.       Reconstruction and Working Through: As you become more functional, your mind starts working again and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems.

7.       Acceptance and Hope: In this last stage of grief you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. You may never be the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

"Mommy, I painted you with your eyes covered again"

We put the Kiabash on Milo watching TV. It began as a show here and there until he was watching two hours in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. He was watching a show in the evening just to take the edge off. I always thought of myself as an involved active parent and I fell so easily to the lure of the box once I had two. We haven’t watched TV in four days and Milo is beginning to understand that it probably isn’t coming back save for a rare popcorn party. Milo is still in stage three and might be there for a while and that’s ok.

This might just be the beginnings of some fundamental changes here in the old Fessler household…more to come on my family, life, affluenza, return to simple living manifesto. it’s still percolating.

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5 responses to “RIP Diego, Dora, George, Sid, and Cailou.

  1. i keep reliving this battle with tesla! we’ll have it down to maybe a half hour a week for long periods of time….every time she’s been sick, i have given in to the box and it becomes a regular thing all over again! good for you for putting up the fight…we have started again as well…the easy part for us is that we aren’t home that much 🙂 its such a hard battle for me because i’ve never liked the thing, even as a child and lived most of my “adult” (still fighting that one) life without a tv….i have been adamant about videos i can control and no actual tv channels (so i haven’t had to answer any ken buck questions). I hope this goes smoothly for you guys and you don’t catch him getting his fix in the middle of the night 🙂

  2. Did he really do all those things you listed while watching tv? that’s really hysterical and a pretty good reason to unplug! good luck and and way to go for being an enlightened parent:)

  3. so funny, we just so happen to be going the same thing. I couldnt deal with the mean guy stuff any longer, and dont know where it came from , so i blamed t.v. Since I ve been looking for an excuse to put an end to it again anyways. We do so much more cool stuff during the day when this damn screen isnt always lit up singing about finding clues and crap…

  4. Hey Delanie,
    Love your blog….we don’t get reception on our t.v., but we do sometimes check out videos from the library. It all seemed pretty benign to me as L only ever watched about one show a week, but the insideous nature of these programs still managed to make profound impressions on our child. I can recall one such instance when L was 2 and1/2. Tom and I were putting her to bed one night when she hugged as both and said,”you make my heart super happy!” “Oh, we gushed you make our hearts so super happy too!”
    Tom and I exchanged a look, like wow our kid is so sweet, she just came up with that phrase all on her own. We thought we must be doing something right for her to be able to express her feeling of love so well. Fast forward a to a week later. I happened to overhear a video she was watching from another room…”You make my heart so super happy!” These words came from a little cartoon character named Kailan. Let’s just say that really took the wind out of my good mothering sails! Ha!
    We tend to take it day by day with the tv, but I agree that since baby#2 arrived L is watching more than I think she should.
    Good luck!

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