Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ten Days With No TV

Last night after dinner, Burl skipped his bath and came outside with me.  We had brush to move.  For thirty minutes, we pitchforked the brush that I cut down earlier in the day.  This isn't normally something I do, but without a TV, normal has been thrown out the window.  John put it this way, "No TV seems to have made you more industrious, not that you weren't working hard before, but you just seem to be into more things. I like it!"

We're only ten days into life without a TV, and I will be the first to tell you that it's nothing short of amazing.  I told John it was the best decision we've ever made in our entire lives.  He asked if I was overstating it just a bit, and of course, I said "no."  Mama likes to be dramatic.  It makes a better story.

Almost every night, John and I recap about our no-TV decision.  My close friends and family keep checking on us to see how it's going.  It's.going.great.  I have yet to see a downside to this.  It's pro's all around.  We're winning, and we're winning big. 

Now, I am not of the school of thought that everyone should chunk their TVs.  Many people I know are great about having healthy boundaries with the television quantity that they watch, but we were not those people.  Having the TV in our house was a crutch that I used too often in parenting, and even in life as a whole.  The TV brought us into the day and it ended the day.  The TV blurred the edges of our activities.  "Want to watch George?" was asked while I got the car loaded to leave or got myself ready.  Looking back, we used it to occupy the kids when we couldn't, or more accurately, when we didn't want to.  

With the TV eliminated as a childcare option, it's all us.  I changed my expectations for the day, and I know that I can't outsource my parenting to TV at all.  Game on.  I was expecting that I would have to entertain them constantly at first, but I've found that they're really good at playing by themselves or with each other.  I saw it before, but it's been jolted to a whole new level these past ten days.

Also, it's made me ecstatic about playing with them.  I enjoyed playing with them before, but would be too quick to turn the TV on, so I could go get something done.  Now, I still get things done, but I have calmed down a lot and just have fun playing with them.  I'm still processing why this is, but I can put it this way for now: if TV was my parenting crutch that I used before and I've chucked it out the window, then now I'm not just learning to walk on my own, I'm leaping and dancing and bouncing all around.

For example, yesterday I set up a huge little people town and played Imagination for a long time.  I was making up stories about the people that froze the kids in their places, then it would send them into their own play.  I swept them away.  It was awesome.  We were jumping for joy.  The idea for the little people town has been in my head for a while, but it always made me think of what a mess it would be.  Yesterday, I marked out some time at home just so we could do it-I was so eager!

 This no TV thing has jumped started our life.  If we were having fun before, then now we're having a blast now.  Removing the TV has helped us fill up our lives to the very edges of our days.  What are we doing now? We're doing an enormous amount more reading, we're playing, we're talking, and we're spending more time outside.  Those are all things that are way better than TV.  

This is the perfect time of year for us to start this little adventure.  We hope that it feels this good forever.  I told John that if it feels half this good at the end of the summer, then I'm fine with leaving the TV upstairs.  These tens days have been full of fun, and I'm eager to keep this up!

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