Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I've Gotta Start Somewhere...

1 Corinthians 10:23
""All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up."

At the beginning of this pregnancy, when I was surviving my morning sickness, I got all of us into some really bad habits--specifically, the boys.

The biggest one of all, was TV watching.

We actually have chosen not to have TV stations in our home, but we do have DVD's...and we were watching A LOT of DVD's.  Almost every morning that's how our days started...then every afternoon...and again after naps until Our Hero got home. 

I was too sick to handle too much activity, so DVD's just seemed to always be the answer...

To ward off too much guilt, I tried to always balance the entertaining DVD's with the educational DVD's!!  And it worked at the time...I was able to rest and the boys weren't getting into too much trouble!

But once the morning sickness starting waring off, I began to notice some behaviors in my boys that I did not like.

Ryan and I were so surprised by some new "innocent", on-the-line phrases they had picked up along with some rough behavior and a little attitude that wasn't there before.

It didn't take us long to realize it was all stuff they picked up on from their DVD's...sadly, even kids Christian movies display bad attitudes and actions!

We knew we had to put an end to their new, developing alter-personalities ASAP, but I just didn't know where to start.  It seemed like they all needed such huge attitude makeovers and with three little guys, the task seemed a bit daunting!

But one day I just decided "I've gotta start somewhere!" So I packed up all the DVD's and put them in a box in our attic.

It's now been 3 weeks since our "NO TV kick" and we are so glad for the decision we made!  

The boys are getting along better, they are using more creativity, they are enjoying being outside and we are loving just being together--not just physically being in the same room, but really interacting--reading, talking, baking, playing!

I don't know how long we'll keep up our fast (we love our Friday night "movie night") but for now it's accomplishing it's purpose.

We don't think all TV is bad or evil...or that DVD's are always harmful, but we were just discovering that the hours they were spending watching videos day after day was not beneficial to their souls.

Now I honestly have so much peace knowing that I am feeding their souls not just what is good but also what is beneficial!  And I can SEE the difference it has made in them!!!

To be very honest, the boys don't seem to miss it.  After the first week, they caught on and haven't asked to watch a DVD...But I AM the one that is still getting used to it!!!  Because it does make more work for me...TV has always been an easy crutch to fall on when I'm busy or trying to get something done, but I'm finding the reward of training them (instead of just entertaining them) is so worth it!!

When we do decide to start allowing it back in, I'm just curious how your family does it?

Do you have time limits on TV?  How often do your kids watch DVD's?  Do you notice a change in behavior after lots of TV viewing?  What is your rules on TV when they are at friends or grandparents houses?

I wanna hear from you...and even your thoughts if you don't have kids yet!


Manda said...

Hi, I'm a new folower of yours. We do have limits on TV viewing...however my kids LOVE the PBS channel, and my older two love the Discovery Channel. It's about moderation!
Hope you can drop by my blog sometime!

jenny said...

welll, since you asked. . it depends. does that answer your question? hahhaha. i really don't like the girls to watch more than an hr/day. that means usually one 30-minute show (Dora or Seseme Street) right after breakfast (i eat here) and another 30-minute show right before naptime (Clifford the Big Red Dog on PBS; i pick up the house here). and that's it! sometimes, especially on Friday nights, we allow them to watch a movie (Nemo or Ice Age, usually). or, when they're sick, they do watch more because they just don't feel like doing anything else, especially Natalie. they used to watch a lot more (more like 2 hrs/day), back when they didn't play well together. but now, all they do is play play play with each other, and it has definitely helped in the TV-viewing area. things may change when i have another newborn around here, though! but life's a stage, i'm learning.

Harter said...

We also don't have channels, just DVD's but I do notice that if they watch the certain movies frequently their attitudes and play behaviors change... When this starts to happen I just sit them down and talk to them and let them know that I understand that they like the movies, but if the movies are causing them to be mean, or use unkind words than I will have to take them away. I usually know which movie is causing the behavior and let them know that it will be taken out of the movie drawer if they don't stop. I personally don't limit their movie time, however my kids get bored watching movies and it usually isn't a problem. If I think they have been watching for too long in one day, I simply "recommend" a different activity.

Alice said...

Hi Grace!

I had the same issues with our boys and TOO MUCH TV! We had a children's TV channel and DVDs and I can so identify with you - it was so easy for me to just let them watch TV at difficult times, and those times just grew and grew until they were watching way too much of it. They would act a little crazy when they stopped watching, and just seemed bored and restless. There were also a few behaviours that we did not like.

So in February we moved the TV to the kitchen! We would have got rid of it altogether but it also serves as a monitor for our computer which Neil uses for work, so we had to keep it somewhere. However, the kitchen is gated, and they do not go in there except for meal times, so it effectively put an end to TV. I cut their hair at the kitchen table every couple of months and they are allowed to choose a DVD to watch while I do it, to help me get the job done without trauma! But that is the extent of their TV viewing since February.

Like your boys, they do not miss it! A little whining for it at first but only for a week or so. They play imaginatively and creatively all day long. They do unfortunately retain storylines of their favourite DVDs (Thomas the Tank Engine is one) even when they haven't seen it for months, and act it out in their games with each other - mean attitudes included :S We just work on the attitudes as they crop up.

I am SO happy to have ditched the TV! It's such a relief to me, even though it is more work. It just did not feel right before, and it was a source of concern and stress to me. I'm glad to have made it over the hurdle of "will I be able to manage the kids without a TV?!" and to be enjoying the other side! :)

Good for you taking action where you see a need! It's so much better for them, but I do so sympathise with the need for it when morning sick!

Alice said...

Oh I forgot to say, we don't really have any rules about other people's houses. They honestly don't visit other people's houses much so it is not a major issue. Seeing other kids is usually an outdoor activity. Visiting some of our family members means going to a house where the TV is on PERMANENTLY, ugh! They sit and watch very quietly, taking it all in, while the cousins run about screaming and playing (very similar to how the boys used to behave while the TV was on a lot of the time at our house - they really didn't have much of an attention span for it when it was on all the time!). We don't ask that they not watch it, or that family turn it off, because we only occasionally see family and there are usually other activities going on over the time we're there.

cooperkelly4 said...

a couple of years ago we took away tv/video games (mostly educational, but still), etc. There was a little loss at first, but then they got used to it. For a long time we even said that was a rule even at friends houses. (they knew us well enough and our reasoning and were willing to help us) Now, they are able to watch a Jesus video at church sometimes. One of the best decisions we have ever made for our kids. =0) You go girl!

Danielle said...

We used to strictly go with DVD's...mostly veggie tales. Soon I started feeling like maybe those movies weren't the greatest idea (since they generally have a Christian "moral" to the story, but often alter a Biblical story to make their point more "kid friendly"). Also, I have found that some of the Disney or PBS shows actually have less violence and bad behavior. That being said, we generally allow tv when it is asked for...which...thankfully...with our one works for now. She doesn't ask for much...maybe an hour a day at most, and even during that time, she usually finds something else to do anyway. I did talk to one Mom who gave a ticket for different tasks, and each ticket was equal to a certain amount of "tv time". I always thought that was a good idea.

I actually think some tv is good. I think it can be a good way for kids to learn.

Aila is very sensitive to frightening music, etc...so, when we are at (mostly my parents- they like all those crime shows :() other's homes, I just try to keep Aila from the tv. BUT...I dont' think there is ANYTHING wrong with kindly asking that you be able to approve anything they might watch.

Jenilee said...

we were doing much better at not watching too much tv last year. this year, with me being sick, the girls have gotten into the habit of watching a little more than I like. we only have PBS and then our DVDs but I am hoping to cut back on the tv again. I am with you on this one for sure!

Candace said...

Well, we don't have any kiddos yet :( But I have spent the last 5 years raising other people's kids with THEIR rules... and I've learned a lot. Brian and I definitely think that TV will be limited in our household! I nannied a three year old who acted more like 16 after watching entirely too much disney channel and it broke my heart. I want to raise my kids... not let the world's views mold them!

marymo5 said...

We got rid of the TV the whole of last year but somewhere when we were moving it crept back in and has got out of hand again, we have had the TV away for a week again and it seems like things are getting better.
In my experience my childrens behaviour was much better and family interaction was better. Well done

gianna said...

Bravo! Sometimes it just easier than anything to say no to it all! And then transformation happens.
Then we had our 4th and 6 months later we are still working on cutting back. Maybe it's time to cut out completely again!

Apartment TLC said...

up until i moved out (and now it still continues with my younger siblings to this day) i was not allowed to watch T.V unless it was A) friday night B) saturday morning or saturday night C) sunday morning. or raining ...so basically no school nights. and since there is a 10 year difference between me (oldest) and my brother (youngest) the rule was it was always to be age appropriate for the youngest in the room. lol we always thought we were so abused. :)

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