Monday, April 27, 2009

Turn off week

2 weeks ago, the kids came home with a flyer about "Turnoff week". The school was challenging the kids to take a week off from TV, computer games and game consoles (wii, nintendo etc). They have done this before and you would not believe the amount of whining and complaining and ANGER my kids had over it. However, just as in years past, I was determined to make it happen. Goose is the challenging one, he LOVES the computer. He would play on there all day everyday if I let him.

Well, I don't know what the difference was this year, but we had the easiest, and most rewarding turn off week ever! I think there was an average of one kid each day asking if they could watch a movie or whatever it was, but there wasn't even any whining when I said, "no, its turnoff week." Just an "oh yea" or "ok." The older kids came home from school and played outside, made crafts with stuff in the recycling bin, read books and played games together. It was a beautiful thing.

I don't know if this is a local thing, or if it is national or whatever, but I am curious if you have done this. If you haven't, I totally recommend it! Tank's TV addiction has been thwarted, Goose realizes that he likes to do other things besides the computer! And Sweetie got to share her love of arts and crafts with her siblings. Those 3 actually sat down together and played a game of Chutes and ladders! And this was AFTER turnoff week had ended! Goose and I were talking about it, and he said, "you know, last year I had some pretty strong words about having to do turn off week."

yes, I remember, but its not so bad this year is it?
"No, its not bad at all."

So, here are a few statistics to get you motivated to try this experiment:

Number of minutes per week parents spend in meaningful conversation with ther children: 38.5
Number of minutes per week average child watches TV: 1,680

Hours per year the average american youth spends in school: 900
Hours per year the average american youth spends watching TV: 1500

Over the week, here are a few things we did:

Went to the bookstore and bought new interesting books to read throughout the week
Practiced piano, much more efficiently than during other weeks
melty bead crafts
balancing bird craft
Went on a walk
Jumped on the trampoline
Went to the arboretum
rode bikes
played with friends
learned to rollerblade
played card games
played board games
made cookies

Need more inspiration, check this out: YIKES!!!:

"If you watch an average of 31.5 hours of TV each week (which the average person in the US does) and you value your time at minimum wage of $5.85 an hour, you are spending nearly $800 a month ($798.53) to watch TV. That comes to nearly $10,000 ($9582.30) a year."

Ok, enough. :) I'm sure you get it,

now just do it.


Kim W said...

Man, I wish that I could literally be given that much money each month that I don't watch TV. That would sure help our budgeting issues. Ha! :)

Corrine said...

when we moved out of my parents we decided (well kind of forced) not to have TV, its been more of an adjustment for me than the kids...they don't miss it at all, though they weren't very big tv watchers anyway....its me :) so who is going to pay me to not watch?

Monroe Family said...

One of our family rules: no tv on school nights and only educational programs on the computer - mostly just on weekends.
The kids are allowed to each pick a movie to watch during the weekend, but that's the only tv they watch all week long (not even Saturday morning cartoons).
We don't really have video games (Sean recently bought a nintendo ds, but he mainly just plays brain age on it, so that's all the kids really play, too. It's like a fun math homework game.)
I love to watch the kids' creativity thrive through play. It's so fun to see what they come up with. Becky has written a few songs (lyrics only, still working on learning the piano to write the music), as well as some fairy books. Jane loves homework, so Sean gets more for her at work and she could spend all day doing math. Alex is all sportsy, so he's mostly outside doing sports stuff.
For the most part I'm satisfied with the practically-no-media-in-the-house routine we have going on. :)

Julie said...

Lately I've been feeling like my kids are watching too much tv, so it was really inspiring to read your post! I'm impressed with how your kids handled it and how many fun things they did with their time away from tv. I might have to try this!

Nora said...

We had this in St. Louis. Same type of experience with the kids and what they were able to do. Even now, if the weather is nice outside the tv is off. Stephen is learning how to like the outdoors better... again.

Thanks for sharing!