I posted a pic and asked if you wanted to know what happened when we unplugged our TV. You came back with a Heck Yeah! So here it is.
This is something I had wanted to do for a while but to be honest I’ve tried not to let the kids watch too much tv anyway so I never felt to pushed to do it. That’s not to say there weren’t times when they watched WAY too much. Here’s what a typical week of tv would look like for my boys. We had a Friday night family movie night. Sometimes if they remembered on a Wednesday afternoon I’d let them watch some tv after school and Saturday mornings were a free for all where they were allowed to get up turn the box on and watch TV while Glen and I had a mini sleep in (I say mini because sleep-ins are never the same post kids). Other than that we tried to keep it to a minimum. Sometimes if I needed to make a phone call or it was all just getting too wild I’d flick a show on for them. So even though I liked the idea of getting rid of it, it was also convenient at times. I also wasn’t sure it would make that much of a difference because they didn’t watch huge amounts anyway. How wrong I was! I truly surprised the difference it’s made!!
I was a little nervous to get rid of it and was unsure what the reaction would be. I did it when my mum was down visiting and when my eldest was at school. I replaced where the TV had been with a selection of books and lined them up with there covers facing out so the kids could easily see them. Every week I change up what books are there so it keeps it interesting for them.
When everyone walked in the door that afternoon, no one even noticed the tv wasn’t there. They didn’t say anything. They just ran straight up the books and started flicking through the pages. I couldn’t believe how unbothered they were when I told them “tv is gone kids”. I thought, uh, give it a week or a few days and it will hit them then. You know, we’re 2 months in and they are still unbothered by it. I don’t know if this is because they weren’t watching a lot anyway but they certainly liked watching it when they did so I thought they would miss it for sure.
Anyway, all that to say, it was a lot easier to do and a lot less traumatic than I thought it would be and if you are thinking of turfing yours you might find it’s a lot easier than you think.
BUT here’s the cool part, here’s what I’ve noticed has happened since saying see ya later to our TV – remembering here, they weren’t watching huge amounts anyway so we weren’t sure if I would even see a change but we really have!!
- They are playing so well together. They played well before too but they would also fight so much, which I know is normal – 3 boys close together (any mix of siblings though I’m sure!) and there’s bound to be fisty cuffs and fights right. Don’t get me wrong they do still fight but nowhere NEAR as much as they used too!! I’ve noticed a big difference here.
- They are going off and playing on their own so much better now as well. They all go outside or into the playroom and play together for long stretches of time without needing me every 48secs. Without needing me. THIS has been amazing and because they are playing so nicely and there’s so much less fighting it’s freeing up more of my time and I’m getting more done!
- My eldest has become so helpful and actually hangs around until the job is complete. This has been so nice as he usually will only do something if it’s something he is interested in (don’t we all). He has also tapped into his thoughtful and more caring side and far out brussel sprout it has been delightful!!! Maybe this is just because he is getting older or maybe it’s from no tv or a little of both. I don’t know but either way, I think not having tv has helped!
- SO MUCH MORE READING is happening. The boys throughout the day often go and grab a hand full of books and just kick back and read/look at the pictures. I have a wide range so it keeps them interested. We’ve started reading chapter books too so if it does get wild we’ll sit down and read a chapter or 2 whereas before I would have probably just flicked a show on knowing it would only make it worse… but at least I’d have 20mins of quiet.
- They are playing board games together. Some Saturdays mornings we come out to them lying on the lounge room floor playing Guess Who or Connect Four together. Again, gobsmacking to me!!
- They do things like colouring quietly now. Another thing I did when I got rid of the tv was bought them each a big scrapbook and new colouring pencils. My boys have never been ones who have been interested to sit and colour. Since not having a tv though they will often park themselves up at the table with their books and pencils and draw and design things. All of them, all 3! It is the oddest thing in the world to watch them all do this and quietly too because they just haven’t been ‘colouring’ kids. It’s amazing!!!
- They never come and tell me they are bored now. EVER.
- They are all sleeping SO much better. My kids are 6, 5 and 3 and they still keep us up through the night. Some more than others. Since the tv has gone I’d say their sleep has improved by about 80% THATS HUGE!!! One of my boys has a vivid imagination and it would take next to nothing to give him nightmares (which would have us up for hours through the night some nights). Since taking away the tv he hasn’t had a single bad dream. In general, they are all sleeping so much better.
- Showing more initiative. I’m noticing more and more that if they see something that needs doing, they do it, or at least try and do it. Or if I ask them to do something they are just going and doing it and more often than not they don’t argue or whinge and wine (nearly as much as they used to anyway) about having to do something. It’s refreshing let me tell you!
Sometimes it was just so easy to flick it on if everyone was being rowdy or getting edgy with each other so for the first week or so it was probably me that noticed it the most. Don’t get me wrong it’s not all rainbows and lollipops over here constantly now but it’s certainly made a difference for us in a positive way. If the kids are all going wild or start fighting, which they do still do, obviously. Instead of turning the TV on for a ‘reset’ I will do things like pulling their scrapbooks out or we’ll sit and read books or go for a quick walk or bike ride to press the restart button. Or I’ll just hide in the cupboard. I’m kidding, I’m kidding…. *side glance
Clearly, I’m thinking it’s pretty wonderful so if you’ve thought of it I’d encourage you to go for it! Worse case scenario it’s a disaster and you just plug the tv in again. Nothing to lose!! The kids seriously have not cared one bit that it’s gone, they didn’t skip a beat. My only advice would be to make sure that you have other things that are easily accessible for them like the books, games, scrapbooks and colouring pencils. Remember to change the books up weekly so it keeps it interesting for them.
SIDE NOTE – We do still have our trusty Netflix on our laptop and so sometimes on a Friday we still do what we call “Friday night pizza night movie night” (I know, it’s a real mouthful). We just all jump into our bed (after pizza) and watch the movie together in there now. Or we do games night. Which is also pretty fun!
Only negative is that hubs doesn’t know how he’ll watch his sport…