Posts tagged: TV Turn-Off Week Blog Challenge

And the Winner is….

By , May 6, 2009 8:47 pm

I just put the names of all participants who completed the 3rd Annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge into a basket. Next I drew one out, read it, and it is:


Congratulations Kate, you are the first non-blogger participant in the Annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge ever to win the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate!  You can read Kate’s Turnoff Week story here.

Thanks so much to all who joined in this year.  I am slowly making my way through your stories and am enjoying them tremendously!

Another Non-Blogger’s Story: Jeanna from New Zealand

By , May 6, 2009 9:03 am

Thanks very much to Jeanna for joining us for Turnoff Week from all the way down there in New Zealand! I love the internet. How great to be able to connect with people from all over the world so easily!

Anyhow, that’s enough of my not so profound, but very sincere thoughts.

Here is what Jeanna had to say about her Turnoff Week:

Turnoff week – how it went!

Well we don’t have TV anyway so that part was easy! My kids often watch a DVD at my parents place but we were away for the week so there was no problem with that either. I had to prepare some classes on the computer during the week so I knew I wouldn’t be able to be off it totally so my goal was
“To go on to the computer only when necessary, and to avoid Facebook completely”
I think I did really well. I didn’t go onto facebook during the week at all. I only went online to collect and send emails and I did as much preparation as I could without the use of the computer. I also didn’t turn the computer on at all during the day.
It was probably easier because it was holiday time and because we were doing things during the day. I didn’t miss facebook at all – shows how much time I waste on it now! And I got a lot more done.

I am looking forward to next year’s turn off week – would be nice to get something happening over here in NZ.

Thanks so much for telling your story Jeanna!  The computer is my downfall too.  I am glad you were so successful!  I agree that Facebook can really take up a lot of time.  Sometimes we don’t realize that until we cut it out for a week like you did.

If any other non-bloggers out there have a story to tell, send it to me right away.  I’ll try to get your words on the blog before this evening when I’ll pick a random participant to win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Come back later tonight to find out who won!

Kate: A Non-Blogger Report

By , May 2, 2009 9:06 pm

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.

So, How Did it Go?

By , April 27, 2009 8:16 pm

It’s over!

For those of you who decided to join us for the 3rd Annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge, it’s time to “fess up” and tell us how it went!


ME: For me the big challenge is always to get away from the computer. I didn’t do so well. I have just set up a non-profit Ebay account benefiting my children’s Montessori School and unfortunately listing items for auction takes a long time. I give myself an F.

MY OLDEST TWO KIDS: My children didn’t even know it was Turnoff Week. They played, read books, worked on art projects etc. Neither of my older two children ever asked for a video or a computer game, so I didn’t have to turn them down. They get an A+.

MY YOUNGEST CHILD: My 3 year-old daughter asked for nothing all week until Saturday. I let her watch one video on Saturday. On Sunday she wanted another. Before I could say anything, my 8 year-old girl said “I’ll take care of this Mom” and unplugged the TV (she obviously remembered the plot of Fix-It by David McPhail). She then said to her younger sister: “The TV isn’t working, see?” After my youngest had checked the TV and then confirmed with Mom and Dad that neither Mom nor Dad knew how to fix TVs, she went happily off into her kitchen to play.

It was deception, but it worked. She hasn’t asked for a video since!

She gets a B+ and I get another F for engaging in sneakiness – but it worked without a tantrum, so maybe I’ll raise my score on this one to a C.

ENCOURAGING NOTE:  One thing I have observed with my children which might be encouraging to other parents, is that once they get over the first hump of reading fluency, they seem to have much less interest in videos and spend a great deal of their non-play time reading.

This was certainly true with my 8 year-old daughter when she became comfortable with independent reading, but she was never a huge video watcher to begin with.

It was far more remarkable with my 6 year-old son.  He was always the one who would have been Mr. TV had I allowed it.  In the past few months he has suddenly taken off with his reading and is rarely found without a chapter book in his hand.  He honestly seems to have forgotten that the TV ever existed.  My husband and I are absolutely astonished!


That was how it went for me, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So how did you do?

Remember, for everyone who signed up for the challenge beforehand, you will be entered in a random drawing for a $10 Amazon gift certificate if you write a final blog post about how your week went, and link to that blog post here.  Please link before Wednesday, May 6th.  May 6th is the day that I will draw a winner from among those who have completed the challenge by linking to their final post here.

For readers who have no blog but participated in Turnoff Week, please email me a summary of how it went for you and I will publish it here (without your full name or email address of course).  I will then include you in the drawing too!  Please be sure to send it before next Monday, May 4th so I have time to post it before the drawing on Wednesday.  For more information about non-bloggers (including my email), please read here.

The more feedback we have from people, the more we can all learn.  I would like to send a HUGE thank you to all who gave this a try!  I look forward to learning from you!

Turnoff Week Challenge for Non-Bloggers

By , April 25, 2009 8:07 am

I have had a few emails and comments from non-bloggers who are interested in joining the 3rd annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge. Instead of replying individually, I’ll post instructions here. I’d love to have you join in too (and you’ll be included in the drawing for the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate)!

1) After April 26th (the last day of Turnoff Week), send me an email with a description of how your Turnoff Week went: what were your goals beforehand, what was easy, what was harder, was there anything surprising…that kind of thing. Just tell us how it went. Remember, be honest, if it wasn’t perfect that’s totally OK and normal. We want to learn from your experiences!

2) I’ll publish your content (not your full name or email address of course) here on Unplug Your Kids.

3) You’ll be entered in the drawing, but be sure to email me before Monday May 4th since the drawing will be Wednesday May 6th.

My email is this blog’s name “AT” gmail dot youknowwhat. (Sorry for the odd way of putting it, but there a bad bots out there on the lookout for email addresses).

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