I have recently come upon another blogger who is trying to unplug her family. Celtic Mommy and her family have decided to give TV-free life it a try! So far, she has written three posts on her progress.
Post number one concerns her observations through Day 3. Already by Day 3 she noticed that she had more time to crochet and take walks. Her two little boys didn’t seem to miss TV and were sleepier at bedtime (a definite plus!).
Her second post is entitled “Unplugged Evolution (a.k.a. Day 7).” Here Celtic Mommy describes happier meal times, the joy of cooking with music instead of a TV show, and a realization: “As I drifted off, I thought about everything we’d done this weekend and realized much of it could not have been done if the boob tube had been on.” She also says: “Today will be day seven of many many more days of being “unplugged” in the house. In just six short days, I have noticed a change in Emerson’s play habits and attention span.”
Post number three is a quick update: During a morning walk they pass by the filming of what they at first thought was a TV show (it actually turned out to be a movie). TV can be hard to escape, especially in Southern California!
Celtic Mommy’s observations of the change in behavior of her son are not unusual. In a National Survey of TV-free families, one of the academic benefits of life without TV was reported to be the following: “A much longer attention span in TV free children was noted in more than 200 different essays. Comments included: Where there is boredom, creativity and self-motivation often emerge!”
I have found my own children to exhibit long attention spans for their ages and a high degree of creative play and thinking. Since my children have never had TV I have no real point of comparison, however my observations have been backed up by positive comments from their teachers.
One final thought: Celtic Mommy has also noticed “[t]he looks you get from family and friends… you’d think I’ve grown a second head when I mention that we are not watching TV to some people.” This is true and many times I have experienced the same reaction, which always amuses me.
WARNING: I am stepping on my soapbox now! I do wish that a family living without TV was not such an unusual phenomenon in our society. I firmly believe that children can only benefit from less electronic stimulation and more quiet, creative time. Why are we so surprised that kids today have short attention spans and are easily “bored” when they are constantly bombarded by the noisy, flashy, and often violent world of TV or video games?
It is hardly even possible any more to go out to lunch without enduring multiple TVs all on different channels, often with music playing on top of this cacophony. Have we humans become incapable of spending a peaceful hour or two over a quiet lunch engaged in simple conversation with one another?
Life without TV is fun and beneficial for everyone! Thank you Celtic Mommy for giving it a try! If anyone else out there has a TV Turn-Off story to tell, or wants to give it a try and report back, please let me know and I will link to you too. If you want to try it, but don’t have a blog of your own, please send me an email and I will post your observations here!
I am stepping off my soapbox now! So, how is the weather where you are today?
(For more info on “turning it off,” check out my Unplug TV Resources links in the left sidebar and my post: TV Turn-Off Week Is Over! Now What?)