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Journey to a TV-Free Summer

It’s been awhile, I know.

I’m coming back to blog and let you know what we are doing with our summer. Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen how much of an influence television is in our family. When my 9-year-old started telling me that she didn’t want to go outside and play because “Show X” was on, I started talking to my husband about making some changes.

When I was growing up (I hope that doesn’t make me sound too old), TV wasn’t really an option. First of all, we only had 3 or 4 channels. And that was when I lived in a town large enough. I lived in rural Wyoming for a period of time, and the only time we got decent TV reception (with an antenna, nonetheless), was if the signal bounced off of the mountain the right way. Most of my childhood revolved around riding my bike, playing with other kids, and reading. It might be a bit of a social experiment, but I want to see how creative my kids can become by removing the passive entertainment.

I let the kids know about a week ahead of time that the TV would be turned off today. I wanted them to have a little time to process the idea. Still, at 10:13 a.m., the first question came from my 3-year-old:

Her: Can I watch TV?
Me: No, remember that we are letting the TV rest?
Her: Just a few minutes?
Me: No.
Her: Just one show?
Me: No, honey.

Cue the tears.

In case you’re wondering, strong wills run in the family. And there will probably be a couple of battles over the next few days as everyone adjusts. I’ll be honest. I’m questioning some of this myself. Since I work from home, allowing the kids to watch a couple of shows or a movie can give me some “work time” during the day. I guess we will get to see what “quiet time” looks like without a television.

I’ve made some plans for us over the summer, but have tried to stay a way from an overly-rigid schedule. I think we will probably have a daily trip to the park when the weather cooperates, and we will take advantage of the library that is also well within walking distance. I’ll make plans with other moms to make field trips to the zoo and other local attractions. I’m going to enjoy watching my kids grow this summer. I want to encourage their creativity. I see my 9-year-old turning into a tween before my eyes, and my 3-year-old will start preschool in a few months. I know that things will change when this summer ends, and maybe that’s why I want us to have every opportunity to enjoy our kids at this stage of life. It seems like it was yesterday that my 9-year-old was 3. It feels like time is Moving. Too. Quickly. Maybe this will slow it down a bit.

At any rate, I’ll keep you posted on the ups and downs of an unplugged summer. Let me know if you want to join us on the journey!


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