I took the family off of it’s daily dose of t.v. 4 days ago. It’s like a scientific experiment for me and the boys seem to think it’s some kind of torture. Although- they don’t complain much unless someone else brings it up! Last night, I plopped down in my recliner and really wanted to watch just a little (I’m as addicted as the boys). Typically, I spend my t.v. time looking through old cookbooks while I watch. Guess what? I fell asleep in the recliner looking at an old cookbook without the t.v. on just as quickly as when it’s on!!!! Amazing!!! Other things I’ve observed:
- the boys got out the checker board and played a round or two- they haven’t done that in like forever. . .
- the boys got out some puzzles and worked on them- they haven’t done that in like forever either. . . .
- there is less fighting and bickering between them. . ..
- there is more horsing around with each other but it includes laughter and smiles instead of quickly turning into fist fights and tattle tales. . . .
Is the t.v. to blame? I doubt it. I’m more inclined to think that it’s what we’ve done with the t.v. and what we’ve allowed ourselves to do with it and how often. It’s kind of like the saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” As a parent, I’ve encouraged the television to babysit my kids so that I could have some peace and quiet. Instead, I should have used the television as a means to have conversations with my children about what they are watching and what lessons we can learn from it. But, because I’ve used it as a babysitter, my kids have become passive people. So passive that they have difficulty interacting with other live beings. T.V. characters don’t interact with them like real people- they just perform in front of them and fill their heads with fake ideas of how real people behave. On t.v., when the roadrunner gets chased by an angry farmer, he sets up explosives to blow up his attacker. The farmer is chasing him with a rifle most times and fires at him over and over again but never hits him. In real life, explosives kill and so do rifles. Mature adults, in real life, discuss their problems. They might argue but if they are mature and care about the other person, they will work things out. Television characters seldom do this.
My point? I’m trying to improve my parenting skills and improve my children’s problem solving skills by turning off the t.v. for a time. I challenge you to do the same! Let me know how it goes and I’ll check back in later to let you know how we’re doing with our challenge. . ..