Impressions of a Week Without TV

By , May 28, 2008 8:01 pm

It was with great interest that I read all the final posts of the 2nd Annual TV-Turnoff Week Blog Challenge participants: 28 final posts in all. There were really some remarkable similarities among the reports. It was quite fascinating to me!

Here is a summary of my general impressions from those final posts:

1) On Day One, there was often some rebellion from the children which seemed to settle down rapidly by Day Two.

2) The importance of weather: many participants had wonderful weather that week and they had positive experiences. For those who experienced rainy days, it was more challenging.

3) Also – weekdays seemed easier than weekends for most. For those who “fell off the wagon” during the Challenge, it was usually on a weekend.

4) A surprising number of people (nearly everyone??) saw noticeably better behavior from their children, even after just a few days.

5) In addition to positive behavioral changes, a number of people noticed their children playing more imaginatively and independently without the TV as an option.

6) Many reported that their children seemed to be in better moods and that there were fewer sibling squabbles taking place.

7) Most husbands were harder to unplug than the kids!

8) Apparently most of us who maintain blogs are computer addicts. Almost everyone said beforehand that they were more worried about unplugging themselves, than unplugging their children! It seems that staying off the computer was quite challenging for many, but I did note a few bits of wisdom that I would like to pass along:

– A few people said that they thought that their spending less time on the computer actually brought out better behavior in their children. Having more attention from Mom (or Dad…but I think this was mostly Moms who took part) seemed to settle the kids down.

– One Mom admitted that even if she was busy with other things and still not paying a whole lot of attention to her children, the fact that she was not on the computer gave her kids “an illusion of attention” that was beneficial. (Sorry I don’t remember exactly who said that, but it is a wonderful observation!)

– Another person said that they realized that even though it seems faster to look things up online, it really isn’t because once they sit down at the computer they get sucked into other things like checking email, etc. This blogger said that from now on she will try to pull out the phone book for a number rather than try to look it up quickly online. (Kayris – The Great Walls of Baltimore)


The general feeling of most participants: the TV-free week made them realize how easy it is to just turn on the TV or pop in a video, without giving it much thought. It seems that the week taught most people the importance of mindfulness. It is not really a matter of turning it all off completely and forever, but to use TV mindfully, to be aware of when and why the TV is being used in the family.


There you have it! My unscientific impressions of what I read in the participants’ final posts. If you want to read the posts yourself, you can find the links here.

Thanks again to all who bravely joined the 2nd Annual TV-Turnoff Blog Challenge!

7 Responses to “Impressions of a Week Without TV”

  1. That’s an interesting and helpful summary. TV isn’t a big problem for my kids because they watch less than two hours a week. I find though, if we go to a restaurant or doctor’s office and a TV is on, she’s absolutely glued to the screen, no matter what’s on. And if we go to a friend’s house and the tv gets turned on, nothing will take her away from the screen.

    Julie K in Taiwans last blog post..Card: Zen

  2. Gwyn says:

    Thats really interesting. I try to teach my husband to turn the tv on for the news segment and then turn it off again. He’ll get it one day! With regards the computer, I myself find my kids easier to deal with when my computer is off. When its on and I can check bloglines, emails etc – it is all so fast – to then go and sit on the floor and push trucks around seems so slow and boring – the juxtaposition of pace doesnt work for me – and Im sure the kids know it!

    Gwyns last blog post..Dragon Treasure – Indi 3 1/2

  3. Kayris says:

    I’m the one who said that I would turn the computer on with the intention of looking up a phone number or a recipe and then get sucked into my email or my reader. Before I knew it, 15 minutes had passed!

    I’ve found it helpful to “save up” all the things I need to do online, preferably at night when the kids are in bed. This means I have to plan ahead a little and look at my recipe the night before, or google directions the night before, but it has really worked for me.

    Also, on an online forum I belong to, a member said her kids watch 5-6 hours of TV a day, even though some of that time is when they are playing and not actively looking at it. That’s more TV than my son watches in an entire week. So when I actually sat to think about it, TV isn’t a problem in our household…it’s the computer. And I’m working on it.

    Kayriss last blog post..Are Bloggers "Real" Writers?

  4. Jessica says:

    Thanks for this post. I came too late to join the Challenge, but it’s a great challenge. I am thinking about getting rid of our TV. We only watch it occasionally, but I’d rather not even have it as an option.

    I included a link to this post in my blog.

  5. Lau says:

    I loved this article so I translated it into Spanish to post it in my blog; hope you don’t mind. Obviously, I included a link to the original.
    You can read it here:

    Laus last blog post..DesafĂ­o Anual: una Semana sin Tele (ni ordenador)

  6. […] Unplug Your Kids: Impressions of a Week Without TV […]

  7. […] Impressions of a Week Without TV […]

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy