2 weeks ago the kids had a somewhat rough time when it came to behaving during church. One was blatantly defiant to his teacher during the entire class causing a need for Dad to come in and intervene and the other had a few moments of rude interruptions while her teacher was trying to talk which lead to the need to go get Dad (who was preoccupied with brother) to intervene. Luckily, just the act of the teacher walking out of the class was enough to scare her into submission for the rest of the class time. Mom was busy teaching her own class and was of NO help what-so-ever during this particular hour.
During that time Dad was in charge of making the discipline decisions. One of the decisions that was made was that both kids would be grounded from watching any form of Television for the week. This included Netflix and Hulu (the only “cable” type watching we have access too), movies, and videos on YouTube. (Yes, folks. YouTube has been discovered by the littles in the house. The current favorite is toy reviews and stop motion animation using the very same toys played with at home.) However, Mom and Dad had a show we were both looking forward to watching that very evening. The solution was to unplug the TV and bring it upstairs to our bedroom where we connected it to the computer to watch said program.
This little plan of ours worked just fine for the moment but it quickly became in the way in our bedroom and needed to go back downstairs to its home. We left it unplugged because with the kids being grounded from watching there was little need for it. Neither of the grown ups in the house really have time for much watching and what I do watch is usually done on the laptop while I am cleaning or folding laundry.
We are now 1.5 weeks into the television set being unplugged and I have to say that there are a few things that I have learned while having it out of commission.
Morning routines are so much easier when the TV is off!
I am really bad about sticking to a routine in the mornings. There was a time when I was a super morning person. I have a former teacher that can vouch for my unnecessary early morning peppiness. However, I have now become a full time mom and a full time student. Me and sleep are good friends. We need to spend LOTS of time together to keep our relationship alive. Therefore, when I have to leave sleep behind in the mornings it makes things tough to say the least. I am finding that when I don’t automatically move toward the TV first thing in the morning both the kids get dressed, have breakfast, brush hair and teeth, etc. all in a semi decent time frame with little to no fighting or fussing.
The kids play outside more.
The fact that the kids are dressed and fed in a decent time frame means that they have the opportunity to go outside and play before it gets to hot to be out in the Texas summer heat. (I know its September but its still topping out in the upper 90;s Thats HOT!) They get to run and burn that energy early on and I get a chance to straighten up the downstairs with out having little ones yelling at me that they can’t see every 5 minutes. That annoyed me when I was 15 and it annoys me now.
School time goes MUCH smoother.
We are full swing into our first official year of homeschooling (one in Kinder and one in Pre-K). The lessons are relatively short and simple to get through so we are done quickly but when the TV was on I heard A LOT of ‘just one more show mom! Please!!!” And more often than not I would give in so I could get one more thing ready or clean one more room in the house. Before I knew it the clock was telling me it was time to start getting ready for lunch and I would have to rush to get school and lunch done at the same time.
That meant the learning was subpar and the lunch was worse.
Books are being read more!
Today we spent nearly 4 hours at one of the public library locations in town. I made the decision to go to the central location because I just love it. The children’s section is wonderful and the kiddos love going there. I took some time to get the reading books needed for the next 2 weeks worth of school and each kid got to pick out a few books just for fun. Now with the TV off they are actually reading their books more. AND sometimes they even read them together without all the fighting. Its like a Christmas miracle I tell ya!
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I have also found that I have fewer nightmares if I read a book instead of watching the Who killed Whom and how many news just before bed time.