Thanks so much Kate for sending me the story of your Turnoff Week! Here are Kate’s words about how her week went:
As a non-blogger, I usually enjoy your blog as a “silent” listener. But I did want to share our experiences of Turnoff Week.
I wasn’t expecting Turnoff Week to be much of a challenge — after all, the kids only get to watch DVDs once a week, on Movie Night, and perhaps a ten minute internet session once or twice a week in addition if I have to make an urgent phone call. As a result they almost never ask for screen time and so there’s no drama about not having it.
But Turnoff Week coincided with a nasty infection picked up from preschool which saw Mom, Dad, Nana visiting from England, kid 1 and kid 2 all visiting the doctor, and six courses of antibiotics between the five of us. So with Mom and Nana feverish in bed, kids feverish but not sick enough to want to lie down, what’s to do… but turn on the TV!
So our kids spend Turnoff Week watching at least an hour or two of DVDs every day, including one memorable day with everyone snuggled up in bed together for three hours watching ‘They Might be Giants’ ‘Here Come the ABCs’ on the laptop.
So I think we get an ‘F’. But it reminded me what I like and hate about TV. Positives: useful when sick or anxious kids need a totally passive activity, or sick parents need to keep them entertained without effort; and there’s some good stuff to take from it – 4 yr old has picked up on many of the TMBG’s tunes and is improvising on them, jazz-style; 2 yr old has suddenly started to identify letters on signs around the neighborhood. Negatives: well, we all know the negatives.
Everyone was better by Sunday so now dealing with the inevitable increased requests for screen time, some of which we give in to, most of which we distract from. A couple more days and we’ll be back to normal.
Better luck next year! Thanks for such an inspiring blog – though we are silent watchers, we enjoy it very much and often make use of your ideas.
Thank you so much for giving it a go and I am glad to hear that everyone is feeling better now. TV is truly a useful tool with sick children (especially when Mom is sick too). I really like your positive points. I always hope to emphasize here that TV has its benefits when used in moderation, and you mention some very important ones!
I am glad you joined in and decided to send me your report. We all appreciate it!
Did you give Turnoff Week a try and have no blog with which to share your experiences? If you want, feel free to send me an email about how it went for you and your family. I’ll publish your words here and enter you in my drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. Read more about it here.