Once upon a time my children NEVER watched any television. I know, I know. I was one of those annoying moms who was floating around in a bubble of pride because my child was shielded from all that junk on TV. Well, let’s just say a second child, a slew of Disney movies compliments of the grandparents, and one ongoing sleep deficit later, that bubble’s popped big time. Yes, I’ve joined the ranks of realistic moms and typically allow Madeline a little TV-viewing almost every day. She’s only permitted to watch educational DVDs during the week. Then, on Saturday mornings, she can choose from her growing selection of children’s movies.
However, I did decide to try and ban TV during this year’s annual TV Turnoff Week. I cheated once, but to my credit this was only because the baby was sick and Madeline was bored out of her mind. We don’t have a yard; otherwise, I would have been sending her outside to play and enjoy the beautiful, springtime weather. Amazingly, Madeline didn’t seem to miss the dearth of talking vegetables, furry, red monsters or Spanish-speaking, pint-sized explorers. Every day she’d ask, “Is it still Turnoff week?” I’d tell her yes and there was no argument. Sometimes my dear one mixed up this screen-free week up with Lent. “No chocolate, either?” she’d ask. I assured her she could still have an occasional sweet.
After this successful week, I’ve decided I’m going to start introducing more “turnoff days” into our life again. We had so much fun doing other stuff. I’ve never been much of a TV person (we actually don’t even have basic cable), although I don’t think watching television in moderation is evil or anything like that. Still, going screen-free is just one way to embrace simplicity, to spend time quality time together, and to get more creative about how to fill your day.
Here’s a look at some of the things we did instead of watching TV this week:
2. Introduced Baby Rae to the slide and had a picnic with Pop.
3. Attended our parish’s production of Beauty and the Beast.
4. Turned our walkway into a canvas.
5. Frolicked in the fountains at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
6. Soaked up the scents of spring.
7. Played with our food.
8. Baked blueberry muffins and cranberry scones.