Sunday, June 3, 2012

Our summer with less TV...

When this summer began, and I realized I would be starting a new phase of my life as a Stay at Home Mom until I started teaching in the fall... I decided to set a couple of goals for myself. Because this new phase was slightly overwhelming to me at the beginning, I needed the goals to help me adjust at the beginning. I didn't make lofty, life-changing, world- changing goals... I made goals that would hopefully better myself and better my family. 

One of the goals I decided to set for myself and for my kids was to decrease the amount of television they watched each day. Now, my kids have never been TV junkies... and I don't typically use the television as an electronic baby sitter... but I knew with a longer summer ahead of me, the temptation would be to use it more than they needed. My summer time rule was going to be a half hour of educational television in the morning, and a half hour of educational television in the afternoon. Hopefully strategically planned... so that I could shower in the morning, and cook dinner in the evening. 

Now... I don't think there is anything morally wrong with watching educational television. My kids have learned some amazing vocabulary words such as "Metamorphosis" from watching Elmo, and they have learned several biblical values and concepts by watching Life at the Pond, a radio show turned television show. I just wanted to ensure that I didn't slip into the trap of letting them watch too much.

We are a full two weeks into the summer and I've learned a couple of things since limiting their television watching...

1. My kids LOVE playing together!

2. My kids will choose to play with one another over watching the TV.

3. My kids now cherish the TV time they do get... and don't take it for granted.

4. My kids argue less when the TV is turned off.

And Last but not least...
5. My kids have AMAZING imaginations... and they will actively use them much more when the TV is turned off.

The last thing I learned was this... it's OK for them to watch 45 minutes one morning if I really need them to... like when I'm having to make important phone calls. Goals are just that... goals... they don't have to apply to every day... and if they watch 45 minutes of TV one morning... I am not a failure. And that is a good thing to remember!

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