Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Screen Free Week - recap


Screen Free Week is officially over.  I have to say, it was difficult!  I am not sure if it was my attitude, or the fact that my kids are so used to an afternoon show, not having the TV available to them this week was definitely a struggle.  Honestly, by the end of the week, I was back to letting them use their little VTech InnoTab games.  And I absolutely was watching The Vampire Diaries on Friday night.

I think the biggest challenge is that my kids are into their routine.  And honestly, so am I.  They know when we are doing school, when we are playing outside, when we will have snack, and when we watch TV.  And if I change anything, they aren't as happy, and I end up paying for it.

I have never been one for a schedule when it came to my kids.  I nursed on demand, I never had set nap times, we never had a specific bed time, and it worked very well for me when I only had one, and even when Jack was born it still worked.  But, now that we are doing more school with Emma, it seems that I need to have more of a rhythm.

I don't use specific times, but there is a definite rhythm in this house.  When we break from that rhythm my kids don't do as well, and neither do I.

This isn't to say that I am OK with tons of TV every day.  I'm not.  And I was sad to see that come time for me to make dinner, the kids just wanted to sit down and watch a show.  But, I also know that we are busy during the day.  We spend a lot of time reading and playing and going outside; and by the time the late afternoon rolls around, the kids are ready for a break.  They need some down time from their creativity.  And I am finally at a place where I think that is OK.

You know how it goes, before you have kids you say they will never watch TV, and mine didn't, not for a long time.  But, then one day they did - and I felt bad about it.  But, now I realize it is a tool that we use.

Would I love for my kids to never be around TV?  Absolutely.  I think that we, as parents, have a lot more options available to us though.  We don't have cable, so all the shows that my kids do watch are commercial free.  And we mainly pick from a list of educational PBS Kids shows (with a little old school Care Bears thrown in for good measure!).

So, while this week was not perfect as far as "screen free" goes, it gave me a lot to think about, and I was able to observe some good behaviors in my children and also some bad as far as their television viewing goes.

Did you participate in screen free week?  Was it harder or easier than you expected?  If you don't have a TV at all in your home, has it always been that way for your kids?  Or was there a learning curve?

Linking up with Hip Homeschool Hop

8 comments:

  1. well done on even attempting it, and limiting screen time :)

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  2. You guys did a great job and I also appreciate the candid post about how challenging it was. I think a reduction in screen time is great for all of us but I'm with you and have set timed to do things, even watching their favorite show. Mama needs a break too :)

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    1. I am sure there are a lot of people out there that struggle the same way that I do about TV. I want to show that there isn't always a black and white answer. We try to keep most of the screens off on Sunday, and I think we might try and limit it another day of the week as well. But, yes, I definitely need a break sometimes, and that is when the tv helps!

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  3. we dont have a tv, we have a playstation and laptops though. and we watch a lot of documentaries and movies. (we dont have kids, so i guess it is a different story). i grew up with no tv until i was about 7 i guess...but when i moved out i had cable for a year or two. now we decided that we dont want that and we dont miss it at all. we choose what we want to see and use youtube a lot. i dont think i would go back.

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  4. We don't have tv per se - just an old set we use to watch dvds on - we can't get any channels. We often go a couple of days without turning it on, but the boys do enjoy watching a dvd episode of Diego or something in the afternoons (and I enjoy the downtime myself). I'd have a much harder time going a week without a computer!!

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  5. Gosh, I don't know if I could do it! We don't watch a ton of tv, but we usually do watch at least 1 or 2 shows every night after dinner. It's a good way for us to unwind and relax.

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  6. It's admirable that you even tried this experiment, and the fact that you're conscious about TV choices already puts you in the rare camp. When I visit my brother, the TV is on ALL the time, from the minute the first child is up until the last adult goes to bed. I have other friends whose household does the same. So, let your guilt go. TV in moderation is a fine thing.

    Funny story: I didn't have a TV for a few years, and I remember one night I was hosting my friend and her parents for dinner. Her Dad asked me where my TV was, and when I said I didn't have one, he literally took a step backward, like he'd been punched and asked, "How do you live?!"

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