Sunday, April 3, 2011

Turned it Off and a Light Bulb Turned On

Can I just say wow, what a crazy week.  What a busy week. What a week of learning.  This week our TV was turned off, a sign was placed on the screen that read, "No TV Week!" and was colored so beautifully by my 4 year old son.  Every once in a while he would open our armoire doors to peak at his handy work but never once did he try to turn the TV on.  We had a good week.

Here are some of the many light bulbs that turned on in my TV-less head:
  1. Wow, do I seriously turn the TV on that much?  I started noticing every time my thoughts turned to the TV and realized I would've turned it on now.....and now.....and now.  Really?  The kids are playing nicely by themselves...a few minutes of Mommy screen time.  Folding laundry....a few more minutes of Mommy screen time. Or I need to get this done really quick...children screen time.  Or I need to make a quick call.....a few minutes turned to full show of children's screen time.  It really adds up, little by little and I was amazed at how often my natural tendencies gravitated to that little on button.
  2. I got a housekeeper.  Seriously, push the off button on your TV for a week and watch your house whip into shape.  It is quite amazing. My house is the cleanest it has been in a long, long while.  Yes, I did have the motivation of guests coming on Friday but I also devoted more time to it without the distraction of the TV and the kids joined in as well. 
  3. My kids are friends.  They ACTUALLY like each other. Really they do.  There were still moments of an 17 month old's squeals from a brother's "love" but they played together way, WAY more than I have seen them play, I think EVER.  And they laughed.  I loved running to a room filled with laughter to soak it in rather than running to rescue a little girl in tears. TV off meant for good old fashion fun for siblings (it also helped that their rooms were clean and the toys organized and ready for little hands and eyes to find them easily.)
  4. Did we really miss anything?  Does it really matter that I missed watching Rachael Ray make her meal that looks yummy but I know I'll never make it?  Does it really matter that I didn't see that cute craft on Studio 5 that looks awesome but again I wouldn't spend the money or the time to make it myself?  Does it really matter that I didn't see some soon to be "idol" perform?  Does it matter that my son didn't see Curious George get into trouble and somehow get out of it once again?  Yes, actually it does matter. Why?  Because all of that time was spent with one another and making our home a more enjoyable place to be.  We didn't miss a thing.
  5. Conference is the best 8 hours of TV we could ever watch  (more thoughts on wonderful General Conference coming soon in an upcoming post).
  6. Lastly,  our TV world is about to go through a whirlwind of change.  We haven't finalized exactly how it is going to pan out but big changes are to come and it will be good.
Yea, for No TV Week.  I learned a lot in our last two TV fasts but this time something different happened.  Something changed in me and now something is going to change for our family.

How do you regulate TV time at your house?  What have you done to make sure it is not over-used?  Have any of you gotten rid of your TV all together?  If so, how did your children respond and how did your life change?


Orem Chiropractor said...

We regulate it by getting rid if it! Glad to hear if your light bulb moment.

Mel said...

Our TV watching goes like this. The kids in school full time only watch it on friday, the short day, and Saturday and then only for quiet time, which equals one movie. The ones at home during the day only watch it during quiet time which usually lasts the duration of one show/movie! None watch TV shows, just movies that we have or ones from the library. We only have local channels so my husband and I will watch a show or movie in the evenings sometimes during the school year. It is off during the day other than quiet time which I feel I must have. Since the younger ones can't tell time, this is a good way for them to know when quiet time is over. During the summer it is on less because we don't really watch any in the evenings. Mostly we spend our time outside. We have never given it up altogether, probably because I don't want to give up the precious time I get to myself when everyone is quiet. :)

Dianna said...

We got rid of our TV but we do have a TV attachment for our computer. I don't watch much (the computer is my time-sucking black hole), but I probably let my kids watch too much. We record about five shows for them and I turn one on when I need a few quiet minutes. Some days we don't watch any but some days I definitely overuse it. The days we watch it least are the days that we have the most to do together. The days we watch it most are the days I'm not patient enough to let my kids help me with my work.

Unknown said...

When our tv has been upstairs in our main living space (in our first apt as newlyweds and in a rental while we were waiting for a house), the tv was turned on much more than when we have had the tv in the basement.

Now, I just need to move my computer out of my kitchen :)

Ashlee said...

Hey Paige! We ousted our TV about 2 years ago... we made a conscious decision to not "make the switch to digital." It still plays DVD's if we choose, but that's all! It has been an incredible thing for our family... we came to a lot of the same conclusions that you did this week. We don't miss it. At ALL. Honestly. I know that it is very possible to stay balanced, and be responsible if you choose to keep a TV, but we found it so refreshing to just be done with it completely. I find I am more sensitive to offensive material the longer I am away from regular TV watching... we'll go to someone's house and I am just shocked at what I see! I love our new downtime activities... I think about it occasionally, and think when did I have TIME to watch TV before? Our kids do watch movies, but it's so much easier to monitor WHAT they are seeing (no worries of innapropriate commercials even if the show is appropriate) and how much time we actually do spend in front of the tube... those half hours here and there really do add up! Our kids adjusted to it SO much easier than we thought they would. So much. Glad you had a good week!

Pokemon said...

Well, some conclusions have been made and we shall see how it goes. Mid-no TV week I had determined that we were going to start having planned or scheduled TV time and nothing else to eliminate the random tv sessions that suck up precious time. But with that I wasn't sure how much to keep or what should go.

With much thought and consideration here is what we are trying out this month. We are going to see if we can do it this way and stick to our guns. Each Monday my son will be allowed to choose one tv show that he would like to watch that day if he has met certain expectations the prior week. I am going to try to sit down and watch the show with him. Then the rest of the week the TV will be off. And once a month we will hold a special family movie night with treats and all.

I must admit I am slightly nervous to see how things go. Yeah, we did one week and it went really well but that was one week. I can't help but think of the days when I am pregnant and sick again and wonder if I will survive without TV to entertain the little ones while I rest.

Keep the comments coming, they all serve as great motivators. Ashlee and others I would love to hear what some of your favorite down time activities are.

Michelle said...

We don't have a TV connection but do have a DVD player, which is enough of a temptation, but also a little easier to moderate because in saying 'yes' to a movie, you have to want to let it be on for an hour and a half.

We really love not having the temptation of constant TV options. I am not one to preach it, but since you asked, I really recommend just getting rid of it.

Another benefit for us is that books are used more. And also, there are fewer ads in our lives telling us what we allegedly "need"! ;)

Sarbear said...

When our family did this, it wasn't just No TV week, it was Screen Free week. That meant no computer either for anyone in the family. It was tough on myself not to check email and blogs daily. The kids easily adapted to thinking of other things to do. The rest of the house might have been cleaner but boy they got a lot more toys out and made a bigger mess in the playroom that week.

Jenni said...

Hubs and I decided before we got married that we would never have a TV in our house. We now have 3 children who love to play together and have awesome imaginations! Whenever people ask us how we have the time for all the things we do, we just smile and say, "We don't have a TV!"