Saturday, April 28, 2007

No TV Day Five

I haven't been posting as much as usual this week because my four year old is recovering from Tonsillectomy surgery. I decided to plan on a lot of extra TLC time this week, so along with no TV I cut back on my computer time. What I noticed most is how much more relaxed our home feels this way.

Even with Buddy being sick, feverish and often whimpering in pain (the two or three days after surgery are the worst) I have felt much less stress than usual. To be fair, much of his calm acceptance of no TV might be due to the medication. He's been on codeine all week because his throat is so painful whenever that wears off. So although it might seem at first that cutting out TV for a sick boy is unimaginable, I think it might have made it easier. He has asked for TV in the evenings, but when I remind him that we are not watching TV this week he talks about it a bit and then is distracted by some other activity without much trouble. We have spent time after dinner drawing, playing with trains or legos and reading extra stories.

What I have missed on TV is the evening news. I have given up on almost all other TV shows, just because they no longer interest me. There are so many other things I would rather do with my time - like blog! But I still like to watch the evening news. I have missed it this week. The thing is, I want to sit down after dinner and catch up on the mayhem of the rest of the world at the same time that my boys want my undivided attention. I want them to go in the other room and play quietly and they want to sit in my lap and talk to me or play some loud game that involves me. It is really stressful for all of us if I am trying to watch war and crime news while they are running around trying to get my attention. So when I cut out the TV and focus on them for that half hour we are all more peaceful and relaxed.

Spending less time on the computer has given me a little more space to relax too. I miss the contact with all my blogging cyber friends. I have been aware of feeling lonely and disconnected this week - but I have turned to friends in real life more, and that is healthy and satisfying.

Today and tomorrow might turn out to be the real trial. During the week our time at home is so short - we only have an hour or so in the morning and a few hours before bedtime in the evening. The weekend is a different story. It is going to rain today. Buddy can't go out because he is still in recovery. He hasn't started eating much yet and gets tired quickly. If Saturday and Sunday are going hard and I am starting to feel like running out of the house screaming, frothing at the mouth and pulling my hair out, then I will put in a video. As Buddy starts to feel better he gets cranky and obstinate so this might be a rough weekend for us.

In any case, I am glad we did turn off the box this week, and I hope I can continue to find other ways to keep up with the news without watching in the evenings. How did it go for you if you cut back on screen time?

Unplug Your Kids has a link to the NPR story that ran this week. It's not to late to participate, BTW. You could just do a day or part of a day this weekend. See if you can find a fun, relaxing activity to share with family or friends instead of some of your regular TV time. It is really amazing how refreshing it is!


Tricia said...

Good Morning!
I hope your son is feeling better. We regularly go through weeks during the year of no TV. I don't really watch, so it's not an issue for me, and I can easily distract William. I too missed the news at first, because that was the one piece I generally enjoyed, but with all my NPR listening in the morning and evening, I find I get more and better news. The hard part is finding time to listen at home!
Good luck with the rest of the TV turnoff!

Gawdessness said...

Okay...I have been following and wanting to post about our tv life and I am going to try right now.
Hope Buddy continues to improve and how about books on tape/cd for the guys?

Really enjoying these posts!

L said...

Good post, and I'm glad to "hear" from you. I kept checking at the other blog and not here, silly me, so I have to catch up on earlier posts... I hope the weekend is not that bad, and that you don't feel guilty about letting them watch a video if needed.

I don't watch ANY TV, only a couple of movies a month on DVD with hubby when we find the time. The boys, on the other hand watch between 1-2 hours of TV a day. Most days it's only 1h, but some days it's a bit more. They ADORE Bob the Builder and Curious George, but they also like Sesame Street (which comes right before Bob), Mr. Roger and Teletubbies (which I hate, but sometimes let them watch because it comes after Mr. Rogers and Mr Rogers is too good to miss most times. IF, and only IF they watch only half an hour of TV they're allowed to see a half an hour DVD.

I just don't watch the news and any other TV shows because (1) I don't like to (that's about the news, not shows); (2) I don't want them to be exposed to them; (3) I want to set a good example regarding TV. If I let myself watch it, I'd be a TV addict. So now, I'm just a blog and blogging addict and I think that's much more enriching and fulfilling than being exposed to pop culture and adds. (Although if I did watch TV I'd be watching PBS stuff, not other things).

Sorry for the long comment... and I didn't even address your question because I talked about what we watch, and not what we do not to watch. For us, who stay home together, the only way to skip TV is spending the whole day out, either shopping or at parks, museums, etc...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a great post about your TV-free week. You are really going above and beyond the "call of duty" with a cranky, post-op little one at home. I really appreciate your feedback and look forward to reading your final post about your experience.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I have been trying to spend less time online this week as my challenge (but it has been hard!).

I'll be back to see what else you have to say about it all. Hope your son is feeling better!