Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The TV Crackdown

So last Tuesday, my patience expired.

Thane and Seth were lying on the deck, moaning like they'd been shot.

The cause? Mommy had turned off the tv, closed the DS, and told them to go outside to play.

I was sitting on the porch swing, attempting to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and gorgeous weather over their moans and groans, and was patiently suggesting ideas for outdoor active things they could do. Every idea was the worst idea ever suggested to them.

So I did it.

I said the unthinkable.

"No screentime for a week guys."

Did that just come out of my mouth? Troy stopped tinkering on the weedwhacker, looked at me with his eyebrow raised, as if to say, did you really just do that to us? Did I want to do that to myself?

The boys looked at me in shock. And then they both broke down in tears.

The tears did it for me though, my resolve was strengthened, we needed a screentime break.

*     *     *

Fast forward a few days.

The tears subsided very quickly and the kids got into their groove. I'm eating breakfast and having my coffee at the table, where the kids are, instead of my usual breakfast beside them on the couch as they wake up to cartoons. 

Thane has decided to rewrite his Tarzan book into a play. He's busy trying to figure out how to use his three available cast members effectively, taking into careful consideration that Claire's lines can't be long, or include words at all for that matter. He decides she can be Kala, Tarzan's gorilla mommy.   

Seth has dug through the coloring books and found one of his writing practice books. He's working away on a page about patterns. Claire is 'helping' him, coloring on the opposite page.

The day continues and the kids imagine, dig into their costumes, play outside cheerfully, build creative lego masterpieces, read, write, draw, paint, generally enjoying themselves and each other, using their brains and their bodies, and getting outdoors. My focus on the kids is stronger, our house was so quiet, and I was so productive, even with spending more time with the kids. 

Why do we want to turn it on again?


  1. love it! when we moved here we decided that we wouldn't get cable because mostly we don't watch tv and when we do we kinda become zombies.
    it's been great so far and when we really want to veg out we just pop a movie in...but not that often.
    CBC has been getting a lot of air time in our house lately!
    been thinking of ya!

  2. Yay! Good for you Victoria! I love not having a tv--for our babes and for us. There is lots to do in summer and winter, and the differences in the seasons are somehow more pronounced without the screen--summer is v. physical and outdoor oriented, and winter is ALL about books, drawing and quiet each case, full engagement. Might seem challenging at first, but there is a much greater longterm payoff...for everyone! And we DO want to visit you soon! Crazy past week. Everything a bit calmer now...

  3. This is SO inspiring. I am not a big TV person but I find my kids have been lately...they are very independant and sometimes I am so busy with "Mum stuff" I lose track of the amount of screen time they are taking in. NO MORE! Time to enjoy the time we have before school starts!


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