Friday, October 8, 2010

TV or not TV

So i've been conducting my own little experiment after reading Living Simply With Children about shutting off or limiting our tv time.  Now, I must say, I just popped in a video for the kids, but for the past two days, I've limited TV time for my little one's to under one hour a day.  Yesterday after school they watched ZERO TV.  And you know what?  Here's the list of things we did..

1.  drew all kinds of pictures
2.  Played Memory
3.  Watercolored
4.  Played outside
5.  Played in the playroom and had alot of imaginative play with the train set, the garage and dollhouse.  We built a whole city!
6.  Talked.
7.  Read stories.
8.  Baked soft pretzels from scratch
9.  Made a bird feeder out of stale cheerios.
10.  Everyone helped make dinner. 
11.  I heard more please and thank you's from my one another!!

Now, I don't know if I could go cold turkey and completely get rid of my tv, but wow, what just shutting it off does.  It opens up all kinds of creativity for my kids.  It really allows us to connect as a family.  Now selling my husband on this may be a bit hard.  You see, he's the electronic junkie in the house.  I'm trying to encourage him to have a look at this book and see the great ideas.  I told him last night that the ideas in here really go along with how I want to live and raise my kids.  I think it's his idea too.  He just needs to take the first step and put it into practice.  I honestly don't miss the background noise of the TV.  I don't miss it.  Even if I could get it into another room.  Away from our family space.  I must admit, I used it as a babysitter.  For me to shower in the morning, or to get some chores done.  Now, with shutting it off, I just occupy my kids with something else, or take them wherever I am.  Or the chores wait until there are two of us here. 

Probably the biggest chapter that hit me in the book, was about recollecting my childhood memories.  What did we do without all the gadgets kids have today?  We played.  I remember playing hide n seek with my cousins and hiding in the big bushes in our yards.  Simple games.  Riding bikes.  I want my kids to have a childhood like that.  Not consumed by gadgets that they bore of within a day.  Now, I do believe that electronics have their place.  I for one am addicted to my computer.  For me it's about being able to research anything or read about anything, visit far away places, link up with things and people that interest me at the click of a button.  I'm not a facebooker, or a twitter person (i've been on them, but they lost their lustre). 

I'm already a thrift store junkie.  And I'm seeing the idea of less is more.  More quality, less quantity.  Reuse and re purpose.  It really is enlightening.  I have followed through with not buying any new scrap products for over a month.  I'm using what I have. For crafting purposes, the only thing I hav e bought is new thread for the sewing machine and supplies(craysons, watercolors and markers) for the kids.  All totalling under $10.  Yesterday, I got three new skirts, two dresses for Emmy, and two shirts for Jacob for $22 dollars.  All barely worn.  I spent $30 on 3 pairs of new jeans for Jacob because they didn't have any size 7's at the thrift store.  I'm ok with that, though.  I'm not pretending to be some frugal-master..just trying to do what feels right.  It's funny how once you get rid of all the excess, you can really begin to clearly see what you want your life to be.  :) 

Another great benefit is patience.  I feel like I have a little bit more of it.  Even when the perturbed feeling I get when i'm flustered is ready to bust out all over, I can take a breath and relax.  It's ok.  I'm dealing better with Jacob's outbursts, trying to calmly reign him in when he's having a "moment" and get him redirected.  I have to say, his teacher, Mrs. Mellor has been wonderful. She pulled me aside yesterday to talk about a test he had done that he didn't fare well on.  She sat with him one on one with him and then he was able to get it.  I really appreciate that kind of dedication to him.  It gives me some hope in a public school system, that I don't have much hope in. 

Speaking of public school, another reason I am really seeking this whole simpleliving lifestyle is the push against commercialism and kids growing up too fast.  I cannot even begin to tell you about the outfits some of the kindergarten girls are wearing.  Everyone has the right to do what they want, wear what they want, but I also have the right to be true to my values.  One of the biggest one's is letting my children be children.  I don't want my daughter to think it's ok to wear some of the outfits I see other girls wearing.  Don't get me wrong, as a young adult and teen, I wore some risky stuff. But I can't say it was in kindergarten.   I personally think these children should be sent home to put on more appropriate dress.  Not my call though.  Not to sound like a prude here, I'm not.  I am starting to understand why alot of kids get messed up and stressed out today.   It's just not what I want for my family.  One of the biggest things I don't want to be is judgemental.  Or sound like I am on my high horse.  These are my choices for my family.  I just want to be true to them. 

what a i hope you all have a wonderful, covered-up, non-judgemental day!


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