I’m thinking out loud tonight and wondering what it would be like to go the summer without TV. I mean like actually unplug the TV for the summer & buy a weather radio.
Woah! Did I really just say that? Well yes, faithful blog follower, I actually did! You’re thinking I’m crazy, & I slightly agree with you!
The main concern I hear seems to be that we wouldn’t be able to know if bad weather was coming our way. I just disagree though. I have a smart phone and have signed both my husband and I up for weather alerts from the local news station. So in the event of poor weather we get a phone call to let us know what is coming our way. So that issue is taken care of, for the most part.
I really have a strong desire to “unplug”. But I wonder if I’m being unfair to my husband. He uses TV in his down time to relax and be entertained. But truthfully, he doesn’t even watch TV most nights in an average week. He’s good at occupying himself with other things.
I’m not too worried about the kids, I mean that’s a big part of the reason I want to do this. To help them explore more, and not be sucked into meaningless shows strictly for entertainment value.
Here’s where I struggle though… There are so many times that I’m guilty of letting the kids watch a 30 minute show just so I can get some rest or tackle a project.
I wish watching the tube was a special treat and not the default option as soon as someone feels bored in the house.
I think summer is a perfect time to try this, because the weather allows us to spend more time outdoors.
In my dream world the kids would help me for hours (rather than minutes) in the garden, they’d play in the yard and in the evening we’d all go inside and enjoy dinner together followed by several board games & laughing the night away.
I’m going to keep dreaming, and if our entertainment center that I posted on Craigslist earlier in the week sells, I’m going to do my best to make this dream a reality! Of course, after my husband and I agree on the terms of being “unplugged”.
Would you ever consider this? or have you done it? We’ve gone TV free for almost a month before, it wasn’t so bad at all, but this time I want to actually take the TV out of the living room, which is a whole different ball game.
I can usually go without tv, but my husband can't. With the kids, I limit it to using 4 "tickets". They have to put a ticket up for each 1/2 hour show they watch. If they watch them all in the morning, too bad, no tv the rest of the day. Usually they use them in the afternoon and that is our "quiet time" since nobody naps [regularly] anymore.
I can totally see both sides. My husband is home all day with our two girls, ages 1 and 2. So, when I get home from work, he really needs some down time to relax and enjoy himself. Playing his guitar, or reading a book, or getting on the computer and zoning out a bit 🙂 But, that leaves me with two young children, cleaning the kitchen so I can cook, and then cooking dinner. Plus, I really enjoy having all the toys picked up…which usually means doing it myself, which I don't really mind cause I very well might be a little OCD 🙂 It's so nice to be able to say, "Let's watch Baby Signing Time!" pop in the dvd, and then let the girls watch while I speed clean and cook dinner! I get SO much done in so little time, but both my husband and I use the TV as a distraction for the kids too often. Granted, they are usually watching things they learn from, since we don't have any cable or local channels – only dvds/netflix is available. But we still utilize it way too much. I wish the kids were old enough to go outside and play by themselves, or with me watching through the window, but we have a few years before that can happen. Unplugged…would love to try, but I guess I'm a little selfish in that I like the time the TV can give me to get stuff done.
I love the ticket idea Kelly! Maybe that is something I will try this summer if we decide not to quit it all together.
Erin, I too use it as a distraction sometimes and I wonder if my argument of it being educational is really valid. I sometimes feel like it is, but other times just feel like I'm making an excuse for myself.
The kids are so much happier when they are watching a program together vs. playing together. They can last longer together in front of the tube than with a toy. But once the TV is turned off they both get crabby, I wonder if there are any studies about how the brain works & the effects of screen time on a childs (or adults) behavior.