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
played with friends
learned to rollerblade
played card games
played board games
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.