As of the evening of 11 February 2011, Julian and Justin have been completely off the TV at home.
The official story:
The TV is broken. When Justin presses the remote controls (TV or DVD player), they don't work. Julian asked mummy to 'on switch', but the switch is spoiled. Another day we will repair it. No need to 'buy new one' (which was Julian's immediate solution to the situation).
The truth behind the myth:
At one time, Justin used to hold two CDs to sleep. Then the nightmare started - for us. For two nights in a row, Justin woke up in the middle of the night (due to a cough) and when he saw the CDs in his hands, he insisted that he wanted to watch TV. At first we refused, naturally. But then he started wailing. We couldn't risk Julian being woken up so we gave in. This was about 3am the first time and 1.30am the second time! Each TV session lasted about 2 hours. The second time, he woke up again at about 6.45am for more TV!
Enough was enough. We decided there would not be a third night of such nonsense. That evening itself, we dished out the 'cold turkey' treatment. No TV after coming home from the babysitter's. The official story is told at this point :-) All the discs and anything that would remind them of watching TV has since been hidden.
Review of decision:
The TV has remained 'broken' until now :-) Initially Justin cried and fussed. Julian fussed a little too. This would happen as soon as they got home. Thankfully it would only last for a short while. But when they realised that the TV is really 'broken', and mummy and daddy can't do anything about it even if they cried, they just turned their attention to other things. I think we were lucky that they didn't put up much resistence in this 'battle'.
The decision to cut off the TV at home has been good, especially for Justin. He is finally 'touching' his books and enjoys sitting on our lap to look at his books :-)
Julian goes on the computer almost every day for a limited time. He only surfs starfall.com which is educational so that's ok with us. Justin would watch as well, as a passive learner.
The boys still watch TV at the babysitter's or at their grandparents', which is fine with us. At home, they occupy their time with other things like drawing, colouring and playing with their toys. Yay! :-)