Friday, September 14, 2007

Television Abstinence, Day Eleven

We are approaching 2 weeks of (almost) no TV and I thought I'd give a little update. Our "No TV" rule applies to weekdays. On the weekend, kids can choose to watch 2 hours of television and play 1 hour of computer.

The Good
The family room has stayed amazingly clean. I've gone from vacuuming every day to once a week. Battleship, The Simpson's Version of "Operation" and Stratego have seen a lot of action. Additionally, the kids have rediscovered Legos, the expensive wooden train tracks and our extensive collection of Fisher Price "Little People." Just today, Jonah was experimenting with making his own toys. This included action figures taped to plastic grocery bags (parachute guys), a ball point pen taped to a plastic dog (torpedo dog or writer dog) and another pen taped to a piece of paper (?).

Ethan has not been too distracted in the morning to find his shoes before the bus comes. He completes his homework right when he comes home so he can have plenty of time to play outside. He even helped me make the Key Lime Cream Cake by crushing 15 graham crackers into superfine crumbs.

I love not having to compete with the TV to get kids to come to dinner. I don't miss the local news or weather and I have plenty of time to read in the evenings.

The Bad
I'm getting almost no writing done (other than this blog), which is not a good thing. Jonah and Isaac do require a little direction and assistance from time to time in their creative play. It's a good thing that I'm playing with them more, but not so good that all the writing time I thought I'd have is not really happening.

The Ugly
Since I proposed our No TV idea as a "2 week with an evaluation at the end" program, Ethan is under the impression that in 3 more days, we will go back to our old TV viewing habits. I do recall saying something about evaluating and making changes, "if needed." Of course the potential changes I had in mind were more along the lines of changing the 2 hours of TV on the weekends to 1 hour.

Needless to say, I think Ethan will be pretty disappointed when we stay the course with the no TV thing. I'm so mean!


Catherine said...

I hear you on "the bad." We don't have cable so my kids don't watch a lot but when I have a writing deadline (like this week) I can't do anything without the Wonderpets on DVD. Now that Bruce doesn't nap anymore I have no creative writing time at all. In fact, here he is to make sure I'm not writing this either.

Angela Hunter said...

The adjustment I made was allowing Calvin to earn TV time by doing certian things. It seems to work well and he is allowed to watch 30 minutes from one of our DVD's. I let him pick from the shelf and he gets very excited about it.

claire said...

This is making me question whether or not to buy cable. Gary and I want it bad because there is nothing to watch on our TV so we end up fighting for the computer. On the other hand, why pay for something and then try to force yourself not to use it?

Afton said...

I have thought about getting rid of our sattelite service but I don't think I could give up our DVR. It makes TV a slave to me instead of the other way around. I can pause TV to put kids back in bed and not miss a thing. I can easily tape whatever I want to watch and zip through commercials. Plus, there are other reasons I can't think of now. I would like to go back to 6 channels though if I could still keep the DVR.