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Instead of the Dishes » Around the House, Go Green, Mommyhood » TV-free Tuesdays

TV-free Tuesdays

Our July One Small Change is probably the scariest one of the year: TV-free Tuesdays.  In the way of Meatless Mondays, this change is meant to decrease consumption of energy, but it also serves another, possibly more important, purpose.

Before I had kids, I had proposed to Craig that we get rid of our TV all together, or at least get rid of our cable service.  I had full intentions of not letting our children watch TV. Ever. Craig did not think ditching the tube was a good (or sane) idea, and so the tv remained.

TV Zombies

Now, two kids later, there is more tv watching going on in my house than I would have ever imagined, and it’s my fault.  With a two year old and a three year old underfoot, TV has become a tool.  My dad came to visit a few weeks ago.  “I don’t know how you get anything done during the day.  It seems like they both decide together when they’re going to misbehave or stop listening to you,” he said.  A couple hours later, both of the kids were parked in front of a DVD movie, motionless.  Dad had his camera out and was taking pictures of them.  “This,” I said, holding up the TV remote, “is how I get things done.”

The studies all show that TV is bad for kids, dropping IQ scores and upping body fat percentages.  I find comfort in the advice my Mom gave me when Carina was a toddler: “If you get to the end of the day, and you have things you need to get done, it’s ok to turn on the TV.”  The problem is that my kids are waking up with TV, twice a day.  It’s the first thing they ask for in the morning, and also after nap. Callen will even say, “Let me watch a show to make me feel better” if he is sad or hurt.

So, I’ve designated Tuesdays as our No TV days.  To be quite honest, I don’t know if I will be able to keep this one going.  I am cheating this month.  I didn’t just choose Tuesday because it sounds nice with “TV”.  We have a very busy schedule on Tuesdays this month, so if I make it through the hour and a half of at-home time in the morning with no TV, I’m pretty much safe. It will be a different story in August when all our extracurricular activities end and we’ll be left to entertain ourselves. Often the kids have no problems entertaining themselves, but when they are out of control or trashing the house, it is I who reaches for the remote.

Oh, yes, and then there’s that energy savings thing I mentioned, too.  Because when our TV is on, our Satellite box is on too, along with the amplifier, and speakers, and sometimes the DVD player too, and maybe even the v-smile video game.  So, skipping one day of TV a week probably won’t save enough electricity to be noticeable on our bill, but that’s why it’s called One SMALL Change, right?  Only this one doesn’t feel so small.

Filed under: Around the House, Go Green, Mommyhood

10 Responses to "TV-free Tuesdays"

  1. Melissa says:

    Good luck! I readily admit to being a tv addict, although I have begun reading again and I have also been doing stuff on the computer so that has cut down on some of the tv watching.

    Hayden is becoming quite a tv addict too. I have started a rule that he can watch a show and then he has to play for 30 minutes (etc.). So far, it works okay. Hopefully I can keep him from being completely dedicated and infatuated with the tv…

  2. Julie says:

    To make this work, you’re going to have to give yourself a break from accomplishing things during the day on Tuesday. If you think of it as a vacation day and approach it that way, I bet the kids will love it. They’d rather have your attention than TV anyway. I bet you’ll love it too.

    I also suggest switching their/your other habits on that day to help distract them from noticing that they are not watching TV. Eat breakfast outside, or have a picnic breakfast on the floor. Make water balloons. Have you tried letting them “help you” dust by putting old socks on their hands? Anything silly and different will help make it an extra fun day instead of a giving up TV day.

    Good luck!

  3. laurie says:

    oh how brave you are! I’m impressed. Good luck! laurie

  4. Fawn says:

    Great tips, as always.  Thanks Julie!  I didn’t really think about treating the day differently, but I think you are completely right.  We made it through today with relative ease, but I know August will be harder.


  5. Fawn says:

    Thanks Laurie. And thanks for stopping by!

  6. I’m proud of you for setting that goal for yourself. I, too, have wanted to get rid of the TV, but Justin woudn’t hear of it! I admit that I also let my kids watch TV more than I would like. Perhaps I’ll have to observe a TV-free Tuesday as well. It will certainly help to know that we’re in it together. 🙂

  7. Nicole says:

    I’m with Callen, TV makes me feel better! TV isn’t bad, just the quality and quantity we watch (at least, that is what I tell myself). Good luck–you have amazing will power!

  8. Fawn says:

    Kristen, would love to have you join us in the battle!

  9. There are days I wish I could toss the entire box — but then, when football season arrives, I’m the one camped on the couch for hours on end.

  10. […] kiddo watch too much TV, right?  (You know what I’m talking about.  Speaking of, check out Fawn Warner’s post “One Small Change” for some great tips on dealing with this issue).  The article went something like […]

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