TV Free Week

Picture from allposters.com

We have joined with friends of ours in going tv free from Monday to Thursday.

Our friends said they were interested in getting their kids more motivated and having earlier nights themselves. We thought we would also give it a go. Even though we don't watch commercial television, we do watch the ABC and the occasional SBS programme. One of the difficulties is that the shows we enjoy are in a bad time slot for our kids.

They enjoy The New Inventors, Collectors and Catalyst, but all of these are on in an 8pm time slot.

I thought there would have been more opposition to the box being switched off. We have don't it a few times in the past without any problem, but number one son is now ten years old and really enjoys science programmes.

Anyway, we have flicked the switch. There was a slight murmur on Monday when I reminded number one son of our choice, but he got over it pretty quickly when I joined him in doing some other activities. Number two son is seven and he could take it or leave it. He is more of an outdoors man!

After Monday.... they haven't even mentioned it! They do homework, they "play", they draw, they build models with cardboard boxes and they try to hypnotise the chooks! They are so funny to listen to.

Last night we commented about the change in them. We started to think about their imaginations and giving them time for their brains to expand and think of wonderful ideas. Often these ideas only arise out of total boredom. When they have to ask the question 'what is there to do?'

It's got me thinking. If our kids are watching two to three hours of television a day - is that time when there brains are in a vegetative state? Are we not allowing our kids to reach their true potential because their brains are 'on hold' for such a huge amount of the week ?

As far as the favourite programmes go, I taped 'Top Gear', and 'The New Inventors' and I will tape catalyst tonight. They are welcome to watch them on Friday night or over the weekend.
I wonder whether it will be a sustainable idea, or whether we will slowly go back to sneaking a few programmes in here and there.

I know that I much prefer listening to the boys talk to each other, play, argue and resolve issues as well as make up 'toilet humour' jokes and limericks. The only issue I have is that I am ready for bed at 7.30pm LOL

What is the TV situation in your house ? Are you happy with it? Do you have any TV rules or guidelines ? Are you a TV addict and happy with your choice ? - would love to hear from you on this topic.


Jimmy Cracked Corn said...

We have been doing this exact same thing at our house for most of this school year. We have found it very rewarding in experiences shared together and even in improved behaviour of the kids.

Michelle said...

Aah yes, the wretched stealer of time, the TV. I always thought I could take it or leave it but confess I think I may be an addict. We have Foxtel which we pay the ridiculous sum of $82 per month for and honestly it shows very little that is worth watching except Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. The funny thing is I rarely watch these channels but instead will waste many useful hours watching mind numbing trash on other channels. I am always trying to blame my hubby for the TV being on but he has been away for 3 weeks in the US and the TV still gets turned on far too often so I think I should point the finger at myself. In my defense I have watched alot of chick flicks on DVD while he has been gone, (only time I get to see them)but still I could have been doing much more constructive things with my time. My DD plops my grandson in front of the TV all the time which is really bad and I think it is the reason that at 2 years old he still doesn't/can't talk much. I have recently left work for an extended unpaid break so that $82 per month could be much better spent or saved! DH is back on Saturday so I think it is time to metaphorically 'cut the cord'and free myself from this curse. I would be much better off using the time sewing, reading, gardening, walking.......the list goes on.

CAM said...

Our TV is turned off at the wall so little person can't turn it on herself and if she wants to watch she has an adult with her (as she does like to ask questions and gain your response to things - whilst I like to be aware of what she is watching). Hubby has been known to be a bit of an addict and when I first met him he had three TVs in his house (including one in the bedroom). We now only have the one TV and neither of us have time to watch it. Little one is only allowed a maximum of 1 hour of TV (or DVD) a day (more to control a Dad who likes to just "spend time" with her watching) but she now also rarely watches TV. We do have 'movie night' once a week as a family activity....saving money as it is not going out...we have a carpet picnic and watch something we can all enjoy...also curbs the little one's desire to keep up with the latest!

Barbara said...

I've never watched much TV since
my teens (I could count on the
fingers of one hand what I watch
in the course of a week) but when
I first met my husband he wasted
hours each day watching it (I
think its a male thing). Over the
years he's ended up watching as
little as me. If there was anything
decent on, we might watch more -
at the moment it's Wallender on
SBS, Top Gear and, sometimes,
AFL football. I don't miss it -
as a child, my TV watching was
fairly restricted and I don't
think it did any harm (if I had
children I would definitely do
the same).

Joanne said...

T.V. is less of a problem in my home. My husband watches a fair bit when he is home; the kids have their favourites but don't worry too much if they miss them (Mythbusters, Australia's Got Talent and a new invention one that I don't know the name of.)
Computer/console games are the time wasters in my home and I'm guilty myself. I'm not sure how I will deal with this- having nights when we don't use them would be good.

TheThingsIdTellYou said...

Good for you! I did it at the beginning of last year, just for me. I wanted to read more, and decided I'd stop watching TV and I'd endeavour to read a book a week.

Prior to this, I had had a terrible TV addiction, turning it on at 6 for the news, then watching it until midnight. Taping things while watching others.

Anyway. A year later. Habit utterly broken. I have a couple of shows that I down*load but that's about it.

And the change in Alexander in the past month, since we've cut his back...amazing.

Anonymous said...

I hid our TV once. My husband literally panicked. Once he calmed down he agreed to live without it for a week. We actually kept it hidden for a few weeks. What a change to our household! More talking, more tidying up and much earlier nights. It was lovely. We eventually bought the TV out again and eventually settled into our old habits. I wish I had the willpower to just leave it off forever.
Enjoy your week!

Suzan said...

I recently left my husband and after a few torture filled weeks my girls have adjusted to watching far less television. We pick and choose and my watching and the children's watching is less than an hour most days. I prefer it. I am also on the computer far less but I miss it when I cannot access it.

I have a hearing problem and I do not miss the noise at all. In fact I celebrate it. I dislike those sitcoms with back chatting and sassy mouthed characters and I am so glad they are not it our lives any more.

Margy said...

We did the same thing for almost two years. I was tired of coming home from work and the children not even saying hello because they were glued to the TV. The children would have been about 6 and 8 when we started. It was really good. We only watched TV from Friday night to Sunday night. I think it made a huge difference in our children. My DH doesn't totally agree because he thinks the children missed out on the "in" talk with their friends. I actually don't see that as a problem at all. As seems to be the way, we started watching the TV again when the Olympics were on and are now back to watching it during the week.

Paola said...

An interesting topic! I've been watching less and less TV over the years, and over the last few weeks even less, as I have put myself on a news media diet (I wrote about this on my blog). This week the only shows I have sit down to watch are "The Gruen Transfer" and then "Choose Your Own Adventure".
I'd love to try your TV blackout with my own kids Monday to Thursday, mainly because of the time factor. They are involved in after school sport on these days, so TV eats into the time when they should be doing chores, and their homework. Mmm...maybe I should put lobbying my husband on this on my "to do" list. Thanks for the food for thought!

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