The No TV/Movies Challenge

Friday night’s “last movie bash” was fun. We rented the Mickey-Donald-Goofy version of Three Musketeers (b/c 9 yo just read the classic and loved it!), and to our surprise, we stumbled upon our favorite Little Rascal’s episode, A Lad and His Lamp. We girls made homemade pizza–each daughter made her own individual pan pizzas, and then we sliced up a big watermelon and pulled out the sleeper sofa. For dessert: root beer floats.

At 9 P.M., with the children tucked in bed, dh and I unplugged the TV/VCR and the DVD player and moved the whole set-up to our bedroom where it’s now residing atop hubby’s chest of drawers. This keeps it out of sight and mind (less tempting) and made for a fun “hotel-like” movie time for us! (Yes, we had one last fling ourselves with Sandra Bullock and the movie Premonition)

Saturday morning began dh’s labor day weekend, and while he and I slept in (thanks to all the bonus features on our DVD keeping us up past midnight!) our nine year old daughter fixed scrambled eggs and set the table with donuts and milk…

She also put together a “fun box” for toddler, complete with Leap Pad, books, and games.

Pretty cool to have everyone on board like that!

Also a nice side to having absconded with the TV is that my living room furniture doesn’t have to be centered around the black box. I moved all the furniture into a more cozy setting…a recliner at each corner of our limestone fireplace with our couch facing both and coffee table in between. And most exciting, my friend Deborah recently brought the rest of her furniture and belongings from New York and gave me a 9’x12′ rectangular area rug…perfect for this conversational seating arrangement! Our living room is around 15’x23′, with the fireplace on a long north-facing wall.

Out with the old…

Normally on Saturday mornings, we tape CBS’s Madeline and Horseland shows and watch them during lunchtime. Here’s where making the old habit unavailable really opens life up to more fulfilling options. We took our lawn chairs out to a shady spot in the yard (deck is in full sun at noon) and had leftovers. One thing led to another and the girls started a running contest. Over and over they ran around the house with daddy timing them on his stopwatch. They progressed to making obstacle courses in and around the yard and outbuildings, and again raced them according to dad’s stopwatch. For at least an hour they were vigorously exercising…and enjoying themselves way more than if they’d been inside watching silly cartoons!

Sunday and we’re still going strong except that 3 year old is in the middle of a full-blown cold. Dh stayed home from church with her…and they kept the TV off, doing puzzles and reading instead. Deep down, I’m wondering if the whole crowd gets this feverish-head cold junk, will I have the fortitude to resist the comfort-glaze of movieland?

At least I can honestly say not a one of us has missed the flashing lights. Toddler hasn’t even questioned the absent TV!

We’ll see how we’re doing this time tomorrow!

13 thoughts on “The No TV/Movies Challenge”

  1. Oh I am SO with you on this post, I have dreams of getting rid of our tv, all I can do is to be picky about what my kids watch and how much time it’s on for…

  2. Aww! We have the colds here too. Ick. But it sounds like your TV thing is going well! I still don’t think I’m brave enough to try it again. BTW, I nominated you for a nice blogger award!

  3. Being picky is more involved than a lot of parents, Amy. I was raised barely watching any TV and married a man whose family never turned it off. Early in our child-rearing I longed to go TV free but knew DH would never go for it. I prayed about it and guess what? He was the one who heard about the AFR challenge and came home saying we should try it! You could have knocked me over with a feather! This go around, he’s just as excited as me to “unplug”. He’s really changed 100% in this area…from having no discretion to being very careful. He’d tell you the same thing.

    Thanks, Jen, she’s still pretty miserable and I think she’s spreading the love. 7 yo sounds pretty stuffy today…

    Georgiana, you’re too sweet! I hopped over and read my “award” and it made my day! I’ll get a post up here soon!

  4. Oh gosh! I don’t think I could give up my tv, nope, I love movies way too much, not to mention the fact, I wouldn’t get to see Star Trek.

  5. In the middle of Amazing Race season, I’d feel the same way. :) BUT for me, the discipline only lasts a few days (of feeling like you’re missing out) and by then the rewards are so obvious I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner!

    But I really do understand! :)

  6. I’ve tossed around the idea of getting rid of the tv, but always end up tossing the idea, har har. We don’t watch it but a couple of times a day — the girls like to watch PBS while waking up in the morning and during afternoon snack when they get home from school. After that the tv goes off and usually doesn’t come back on. We were watching lots of movies at dinner time, but have been so busy with after-school activities that hasn’t happened much lately and it is nice.

    Of course now that the new season of The Office and CSI will be starting…:)

  7. That’s what *I* thought I’d miss the most…PBS in the morning. Toddler loved Curious George at 7 A.M.! And I loved the extra half hour to get a jump-start on my day!

    Amazingly, it hasn’t been a problem. Toddler’s taken to sneaking into bed with me around 6:30 A.M. and we snuggle for a bit and get up together. She’s not asked about Curious George once. Thankfully!

  8. We haven’t had a TV since we got married (10 years ago) so our kids have never gotten used to having one in the house and I think it has been a blessing in so many ways. I think not having a television has helped my boys to be creative in entertaining themselves and has contributed to their love of books and reading. I really see watching television as mostly a waste of time. There are a few programs that might be worthwhile but for the most part I think our time should be spent doing something more productive. We are accountable to the Lord for how we use our time and for me it would be too tempting to watch TV all the time if I had one in the home. The computer can be an issue too, so I have been trying to limit my computer use. Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful television free week!

  9. I agree wholeheartedly! And yes, we’ve just had a wonderful two TV free weeks, sans family movie nights on Fridays…

    The computer is the bigger issue for me, frankly! Like you, giving up the TV wasn’t a big deal for me personally. Thankfully it wasn’t for my kids either, amazingly!

  10. “giving up the TV wasn’t a big deal for me personally. Thankfully it wasn’t for my kids either, amazingly!”

    I don’t think my 10 year old would care too much one way or the other, but my 5 year old is a real movie buff like her Papa and I so she would have a tough time with it. In fact, what we watch most of is movies and I love sharing the old Cary Grant or Alfred Hitchcock and BBC Agatha Christie movies with them ::sigh:: no we couldn’t give up tv!

    On a funny note — speaking of Cary Grant — my husband and I fell promptly in love upon finding out that both of our’s favorite movie was Arsenic and Old Lace :) We now have a Siamese Fighting Fish that we’ve named Mortimer so we can come home and go “Hel-lo Mortimer!”

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