No TV week–update

So far, the no TV week has gone much more smoothly than I expected! I was probably the one closest to caving–my kids seemed to accept that, once we had declared it to be a no TV day, that was the last word on the subject. Here’s a quick summary of our experiences.

Daily Activities:

  • Monday: We visited a city park that was new to us and turned out to have a playground that was just right for my children’s current ages. That afternoon, we cleaned off our screen porch and porch furniture and had dinner outside. 
  • Tuesday: Thanks to spring break for schools and the beautiful, we had a playdate with neighbors from down the street. In the evening, our dinner was a “popcorn, hot chocolate, and PBJ” party.
  • Wednesday: I had to be the least creative for this day; we always go to storytime at the library on Wednesday mornings. I had a church knitting night that evening, so we had dinner a little early and I got to go knit and visit!
  • Thursday: Spirits were somewhat dampened by the rain, but we had pancakes for breakfast (thanks to Dad), the kids helped me vacuum some, and went out to the mall that evening.
  • Friday: We were supposed to have a friend over, but that was sadly cancelled due to illness. We’ve pretty much just hung around the house. My oldest and I finished reading “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” together, and now it’s naptime.

Joys:

  • I’ve gotten more reading done in the evenings, because I haven’t watched TV. Shock!
  • It doesn’t actually take that much creativity to keep kids happy–just some dedicated time and willingness to not get things done on a particular schedule. I already “knew” this, but it was fun to actually experience. For example, they loved helping clean off the porch. While it took longer and might not be as clean as if I had stuck them in front of a video while I cleaned, we all did something together, and then we all enjoyed the fruits of our labor by eating dinner out on the porch once we finished.

Challenges:

  • Dinner that requires actual cooking is still hard to do. It’s a confluence of kids being crazy, me being tired, all of us being hungry, and an activity that actually needs my attention.
  • I had one day where I hadn’t gotten my shower before my husband left, and I often use TV when this is the case. I succeeded without (kids assigned to separate couches with piles of books to look at), but a day where I plan on no TV probably needs to be a day where I roll out of bed earlier.
  • I like to watch TV, too! I’ve recently discovered the abbreviated series Firefly, and I’m eager to watch the rest, to the point where I’ve been daydreaming about how a librarian could be of use on Serenity. (Sadly, I don’t think I’d make it. Aside from all the dangerous parts, they need a hacker more than a reference librarian–Shepherd Book and Simon had the ready reference question on bizarre marriage customs covered.) But I’ve survived, and, as noted above, I got to read more because of it.

Going Forward:

I don’t think we’ll do a no-TV week again right now, but I do plan to cut down on the number of days in an average week where we are watching. I think choosing 2-4 days per week to designate as “no TV” days will work without too much trouble, so that’s what I’m going to try next.

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