6 Things I Love About Being TV-Free for 6 Months

This blog is most definitely the longest feat of journaling I have had in my entire life. My childhood diary looked something like “May 1st: I love my new diary. I am going to go play with my friends now. May 2nd: I played with my friends yesterday and now I am going to go for a bike ride. December 24th: Umm…I did lots of stuff in the last few months.” I am equally good at correspondence. However, something keeps drawing me back in to this blog: the fact that people need to know how awesome it is to be TV-Free. Here are 6 things that I love about having kicked the habit:

1. Less Whining. The No-TV experiment led to increased whining in the first two weeks, but after that it decreased exponentially. I’ve heard it from some other moms, too – “After my kid watches TV, it’s like they need to keep watching more and more! And then she is so whiny!” Anyone who has spent considerable amounts of time with Little Girl knows she could still hold the gold in whining, but she definitely has more control over her emotions now than she did with screen time. My theory is that my particular child is very sensitive and it is easy for her to become overstimulated. TV does this in a short amount of time.

2. More time for crafts. I know that not everyone likes crafts, but I love them and think they are a great way for kids to explore the world around them. Little Girl has her boxes of supplies and gets crafty on a whim all the time, and she comes up with so many creative things. A lot of those involve messes, but what is a mess when compared with creativity?

3. More time for music. When we’d like a little background sound, we turn on music. Little Girl loves to dance her heart out, and is actually quite expressive with her movements. She is also starting to learn to play recorder and taking tentative steps toward the piano. Music is awesome.

4. More Desire to Learn. When there is nothing “more interesting” to look at than the spider making a web in the corner (hey, they eat the ants, right?), kids really take the time to examine the environment. Little Girl’s powers of observation and perception may have been heightened simply by the passage of time, but she is very curious and interested in the world around her. You know, I talk about Little Girl a lot, but Little Guy loves to learn too. He just learns by making me chase him while he puts everything in his mouth and tries to climb up all the furniture.

5. More Time for Reading. Little Girl and Little Guy love to read. Most of this involves me reading to them, but they also approach books independently. We have spent a lot more time at our local library, which is really nice and cuts down the amount of books I have to re-read twenty times by at least half. I love to read, too, and sometimes they will both be engrossed in books by themselves and I will have a full five minutes to read a few lines of my own.

6. More Time for Creative Play. Little Girl has fabulous stories that she makes up with her toys, and Little Guy has started playing with blocks and even pretending a little bit. I am able to get laundry (mostly) (a lot of the time) accomplished, get a shower or make dinner while they play. Little Guy still has to be very closely supervised, but Little Girl could play for hours by herself without even noticing my presence. I think that having to practice independent play has made her more creative. She can wander around our (admittedly kind of kid-unfriendly) yard singing to herself and playing with a stick for an hour or more.

At this rate, I bet I’ll have another 6 things I love about being TV-Free at the end of the year!

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8 thoughts on “6 Things I Love About Being TV-Free for 6 Months

  1. Yay! I think this is an awesome way to live. I personally like #3 and #6. I always grew up with my Mom turning on the radio or a CD when we needed to get something done. I don’t really remember watching TV as a kid unless it was after dinner (to watch the news) or on a Saturday morning (to watch cartoons!). As an adult I find it hard to get anything done with the TV on because it distracts me so much. On the other hand, I just can’t seem to get anything done without a little music playing in the background.

    I spent most of my time as a kid outside discovering make-believe worlds with my brother and cousins, building forts, creating games, or just exploring the country around us. I think you are right – practice makes playing and being creative easier, just like anything else. I don’t think the type of creativity it takes to press a touch screen and choose a color is anywhere near the same level it takes to figure out how to make a plain-old stick entertaining. But then again…I’m rather biased. 🙂 Glad you and your family are doing well!

    • Thanks, friend! I agree that it takes a lot more creativity to make up your own fun! The more we get away from screens, the more I think that we probably won’t go back. I’m having too good of a time! 🙂

  2. I’m so fascinated by this! I’ve become more and more convinced that TV does children no good, and your observations just confirm my belief. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  3. Wow, your blog is so inspiring!

    I pull the plug on our TV every now and then and leave it off for about a week, just to detox my little boys. I wholeheartedly agree that the more they watch, the more they want to. (This happens to apply more to one of my sons than the older, though.) It is a battle that I sometimes think I should just do without! I’m going to mull on this for a while. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Erica! I think that my son probably won’t care much for TV, since he doesn’t like to sit still (ever). Let me know if you decide to try it; it’s always fun to know other parents in the same situation!

  4. This is awesome! I love following your story… my girls (18months and 2.5yo) don’t watch a lot of tv… but I can already feel the temptation to let them watch more. I shall try to resist :o)

    • Thanks for stopping by! I don’t think that TV is inherently bad in moderation; every parent needs to figure out what is best for his/her family 🙂 Little Girl still uses some plot lines she picked up from TV in her play, which is cute. You’d never know listening to her re-enact the shows how much angst they caused her (she can’t handle visual conflict. At all). What are your kids’ favorite shows?

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