Posts tagged: TV-Turnoff Week

Turnoff Week – September 2009

By , September 15, 2009 5:55 pm

Uh oh, I almost missed it and the dates are actually posted here on my very own blog.  National Screen/TV Turnoff Week is now twice a year and the September Turnoff Week will be from September 20th -26th which is next week!

Have you ever wondered what would happen in your family if you eliminated (or reduced) TV?  Mutiny? Peace? More reading?  Less arguing?  More arguing?  Boredom?  More playing outside?

Now’s your chance to find out.  People all over the United States (and the world?) will be turning off TVs for one week.  No real commitment is necessary.  You don’t have to blow-up your TV, or even donate it to the local thrift store.  Just turn it off for one week (unplug it from the wall if the kids know how to turn it on by themselves).

I know that many readers of this blog are already TV-free (or at least minimalist when it comes to “The Box”).  How about trying to minimize other screens that week?  My personal downfall is of course the computer.  I will try to turn it off (as much as possible*) that week.  [*See?  Am I already waffling?]

I will TRY.  That is what counts.  Perfection is not required.

By the way, from my past experience with feedback from TV Turnoff Week, it is usually the husbands rather than the kids who put up the most fuss about eliminating the tube.

Something to think about.

PS.  I am not sure about organizing a formal Turnoff Blog Challenge this time.  Is there any interest?

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)

CONCLUSION:

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.

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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!

TV-Turnoff Update From “Mom of 2”

By , May 13, 2008 2:26 pm

In all the business of life, I have not yet gotten around to sharing the TV-Turnoff Week story of Mom of 2, a reader who participated in the TV-Turnoff Week Blog Challenge by email. Here is her wrap up (which she sent promptly on April 28th, sorry I am so late!):

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“We did really well through the week (though things kind of collapsed on Sunday), and it was surprisingly easy! My 4 year old got really excited by the idea that, as I told him, “lots of people are not watching TV this week.” and didn’t ask a single time to watch TV!

I put up a NO TV sign on the TV cabinet to remind us not to watch, which he loved because it started with N, just like his name. The only protest was a short tantrum one morning by my 2 year old when his brother started talking about the No TV sign and he perked up at the mention of TV and was mad that I wouldn’t turn it on.

Saturday morning the kids wanted to play a computer game, but when I said that part of the no TV week was also no computer, they moved on to other things. They spent the afternoon and evening at a birthday party, where I suspect at least one video was watched, though they only talked about the bounce house and all the presents the birthday boy received. That night, I came in from dinner with a friend to find my husband watching TV and pointed out it was still no TV week. He argued that it only applied to Monday – Friday.

Sunday morning I slept in and got up to find the kids parked in front of the TV. Hey, what happened to no TV week? I asked. It’s the weekend, it’s over my 4 year old said. Hmmm….where had I heard that before?

So after a week without TV, we’ve decided that we’ll keep it off in the mornings before daycare. It just makes it easier to get out of the house. We’ll also experiment with turning it off earlier in the evenings, as having more attention from mom & dad leading up to bedtime did seem to help the kids settle down to sleep more quickly.

I also realized what a constant presence it’s become on the weekends. I’ll have to plan more activities so we don’t turn it on just because there isn’t anything else planned.

Mom of 2″

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Mom of 2’s experience is quite similar to many of the other final posts that I read. I will definitely put up a summary post of my impressions of the participants’ experiences soon.

Thank you again to Mom of 2 for deciding to join us via email!

Announcing the Giveaway Winners!

By , May 6, 2008 8:02 pm

I promised prizes to two random participants who completed the 2nd Annual TV Turn-Off Week Blog Challenge. The prizes are the following:

I threw the names of all the participants (who completed the challenge by writing and linking to their final post) into a bowl. My two oldest children each drew a name. The results?

Congratulations to:

“Learning Umbrella” who wins the Amazon Gift Certificate (please send me the email you would like to use to receive the certificate);

and to…

MatschMomma who wins the Billy Brown Audio Play Collection (please send me your name and address)!

Thank you all for joining in. I wish I had a prize for everyone!

Hopefully you are not completely sick of this by now, because I am planning one last post summarizing what I learned from your experiences.

Enjoy your evening!

My Mindful Week

By , April 30, 2008 6:45 am

So it is time for me to report on MY Turnoff Week, I say “my,” not “our” because my kids didn’t know that anything different was going on. Without TV, they are used to just “doing their thing.” I do allow videos on occasion, but they rarely ever ask for them and never asked this week, so I didn’t have to say no.

In my household, this week was all about me: ME, ME, ME, ME!! I am the one with the screen addiction. I am the one who last year, was rather shocked to discover how difficult it was for me to not just “quickly check my email” twenty five times per day (what am I expecting to find in my email anyhow? No…I do not want any Vi@gr@ thank you!).

I then figured out that avoiding the computer was all just a state of mind. Mindfulness about my daily life. Instead of having half my brain on the computer, simply accepting that it was off and would stay off seemed as though it would work. And my goodness, did it ever work for me!

Perhaps the timing was simply fortuitous and I was just badly in need of a blog break this year, or maybe I really did learn a lesson last year. Whatever the reason, my computer was off most of the week and I LOVED it! In fact, I am finding it difficult to get back into blogging. My emails have piled up and many need to be answered. (Sorry world!)

I did feel great email guilt during the week (and now) because I do not want to appear rude, but answering email takes time. Time that I spent last week weeding out my house for the school garage sale, reading with my kids, and working outside. I accomplished a lot.

To read how it went for others, please check out the links here.

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