Thursday, October 26, 2006
Well, I have come to realize lately just how dependent I am on TV. I am not the one watching it, Emily is. But, I am the responsible adult and I am allowing this.
I was one of those who would always say my kids weren't going to watch much TV, if any. But, here we are and it hasn't happened that way. We don't have cable. We don't even have network TV, we get one channel - PBS. So, I'm not concerned about the content of what she is watching - but the amount.
There was an article in this month's issue of Focus on the Family magazine about a family who gave TV up for a week. I was afraid to read it when I saw the title of the article because I knew I would be convicted and challenged. I finally read it this past Monday - after having the magazine for a week. I was struck by some of the behavior the mom noticed in her kids and how it changed after she took away TV privileges. I have noticed some of the same behavior in Emily and do not want it to become a pattern!
I am not feeling the need to give TV up entirely. But, to cut waaaaaaaay back on what I allow Emily to watch. She is not happy about this turn of events and I must say, it has been exhausting for me. But, we are on day four now - here's a recap:
Day One: Putting off reading the article still. I read it over lunch - and decide to give it a try. David has to work until 9pm - so I am on my own the entire day. Emily gets up from her nap and I try everything I can think of to do with her - we go for a walk, play outside, stir colored water in a bowl, try to make cookies, take a bath, take David's coat and some hot chocolate to him as he was working security at a middle school football game (another story entirely), read stories, sorted files, put shredded paper in a trash bag (Emily takes it out with glee), climbed in and out of the dryer, etc... Total TV watched today: 30 minutes. While this is a great success - all I can think about is , "How in the world will I ever entertain her tomorrow?" (By the way, there were great amounts of pouting, whining, crying and asking for a "Vee?" I'll spare you all those details.)
Day Two: Well, I decide the first day is behind me - so let's try it again. I just decide that I will let her help me with everything I need to get done this morning. She puts the clothes in the washer, helps me scrub the toilet (she loved this!), puts each article of clothing in the dryer, colors, plays, reads stories, helps me cook dinner, "washes" dishes, helps me gather the trash and take it to the dump, helped empty the dishwasher, helped set the table, etc... Total TV watched today: 30 minutes. Ok, now I'm feeling better - we made it through another day!
Day Three: I had Bible Study at church this morning, so I would imagine there was a video on in the nursery at least part of the time. But, I am not going to count that since I did not have control over it specifically. She had fun playing, though came out stomping her foot at me - which seems to be the norm after being in the nursery. Maybe being around other two-year-olds doing the same thing? I don't know. After she gets up from her nap - we made brownies. I am noticing a BIG change in her attitude and in her willingness to play by herself this afternoon. She helps me set the table for supper, plays, takes a bath, and watches one thirthy minute Veggie Tales movie as a reward for her great day. She did not even *ask* for a movie this afternoon/evening. Wow. Total TV watched today: 30 minutes.
Today we are starting day four. I'm feeling good about the success, but exhausted by the work. But somehow, I am feeling like I am getting more done. I'm not sure how this is possible because I was not sitting and watching TV with her. As David said, maybe I am just feeling better about what I am doing since this TV slug is not sucking out all our energy and good attitudes!
After just three days - I am so encouraged. I am sure there will still be rough spots. But, we are heading in the right direction!