March 19, 2013

Unplugged


Have any of you been following Small Fry's "unplugged" week so far? They're going a week without tv or video games and sharing the fun with all of us. I love it!

My husband and I really try to raise Paige without a lot of electronic influence, although I try not to get too preachy about the issue. I don't like telling other parents what to do, and after all, I watched a pretty decent amount of tv growing up, and I turned out ok! :O) But for Paige I really try, try, try to keep her away from the tv/computer/ipad/phone. We don't have any video game systems, so that part is easy. Our rule is that she can watch a movie on Mondays and gets to play with the ipad in small doses throughout the week if she's done her school/chores and has been respectful. We just don't want her to miss her childhood.

Now, don't think that just because I'm passionate about it that it's easy for me. Or that I'm always consistent! In fact, life seems to be begging me to turn on the tv. Even while writing this, I can't help but imagine how quickly it would go if she were distracted in the other room. I'm typing her sweet interruptions in red to give you an idea. :O)

Let's look at the facts:

1. Paige is home schooled. Which means she's with me all. the. time.
2. Paige is an only child. Which means: she's with ME all. the. time.
3. Paige has never taken naps, which means she's with me all. the. time.
4. Sometimes I like ("Mom, are you done with your work now? Can we do something?") thinking full thoughts and finishing sentences. If Paige watched tv, I would probably be able to.
5. Paige loves tv. Like, it's her favorite thing ever. Nothing else compares. Except maybe the ipad. Because you can watch things on it. ("MOM!! I HAVE TO SHOW YOU SOMETHING ON THE MATTRESS!!!")
6. Most of Paige's friends are allowed to watch tv/play video games every day. Again, not at all judging the parenting there, it just makes me ("Mom can you make me my broccoli now?")look like the crazy mom a little bit when we're together. It's so hard not to give in! ("CAN YOU? I'm really hungry and you said you could.")
7. ("Mom, can I listen to songs on the ipad?") ("Mom, I'm ready for my broccoli. I've been waiting. It's seems like an hour.")   ...um, what was number 7 again??


OK, you get the point. And I'm sure your lives are the same or very similar! I know it's so hard to raise our kids without tons of tv and video games. Some people say it's impossible even. But then, what did we do with our kids before tv? Maybe I could watch some Little House on the Prairie for inspiration.

Oh.
Wait.

I mean read some little house on the prairie for inspiration! :O) ("Mom? Are you ready? I've been waiting for two hours it seems like.")

Guys. I have to go make broccoli.  :O)

Anyway. All I wanted to say was, Small Fry is going unplugged this week! Check it out!! :O)

Love,
Disney

36 comments:

  1. Keep at it Disney, don't give in! When my two are driving me bonkers, I set them up with something else to do (go outside, color, read a book, I'm sure you know the drill). Even when I only had one, I made sure she knew how to entertain herself without me, and without tv! Ok, and now I need to go attend the kiddos...

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    1. Thanks! Haha, yes, I always try to tell her that her entertainment is her own responsibility. Easier said than done most of the time! But I truly love having her around all the time. For the most part. ;o)

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  2. The more you do it, the easier it gets. ;)

    Our little girl is just coming up for two and we've never had TV with her. When we moved from Denmark to the UK in 2007, there wasn't enough space in the van for everything and the TV was lowest on the priorities list. We have a monitor now for when me and husband want to play video games in the evenings - if Daughter is sick though we use it to watch Sesame Street and Pingu on youtube. :)

    We spend a lot of time in the garden, cooking, cleaning... she's of an age where all that is exiting for her. I don't know what I'm going to do as she gets older though. Already at nursery (she's only there one day a week) all her friends speak abut certain shows which she has no frame of reference for. I worry that when she's around 7 or 8 and her peers are talking about the latest episodes of (insert show name here) she won't be able to join in, but it's working for us right now. :)

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  3. I really wish I could turn off the TV, but I am ADDICTED! And not to any interesting or educational documentarys but absolute rubbish. I don't want my little boy watching TV but I REALLY want to watch it, how do i get round that?

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    1. Well if you tell me how to give up sugar, I'll tell you how to give up tv. ;O)

      You know, other than only watching it while he's in bed I really don't know how you can get around it, to tell you the truth. But I do know that tv can affect moms the same way it does children. You may find that you love not watching it after the initial withdrawl!

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  4. That's a great idea to be go for an unplugged week! When my 10 month old was still nursing, I felt like I was watching tv all. day. long. because I was always on the couch and bored. Recently, he gave up nursing, and the tv is rarely on anymore. It's so nice! I watch occasional things, and the baby watches Curious George sometimes when I need to shower, but it is refreshing to have it off sometimes. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  5. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. While I definitely try hard to limit screen time of all sorts I also think that the world is a lot different now. When I was a kid my sisters and I would ride our bikes into our little town, buy, some candy, head to the city pool, etc. Where was my mom? At home. We had a lot of freedom that we can't give our kids these days due to safety. So I think parents got more of a break back then while we get pretty much none - except some screen time.

    I think there are a lot of apps that teach them things and I try to push those, but it's a tough balance. We don't have a gaming system nor will we ever. I don't want them to have a DS, but Rex tells me everyone in his kindergarten has one.

    Okay, I'm blabbing on here. My point it that I think it's goo dot limit it for sure, but I also think it's good to not be too hard on ourselves as moms because I don't believe we do get a break the way parents used to.

    I'm done. :)

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    1. haha, "everyone in kidergarted has one, mom!" I can just hear it! So funny! :o) I know what you mean, we lived in a small town and my sister and I got to walk all over the place, too. Although my mom was more cautious than many moms back then. I wish it was more like that now. And yes! There are some great apps out there for teaching things. Paige can learn in two seconds from an app what takes me an hour with books and paper sometimes. But like you said, balance. 'Cause there's no "quality time with mom" app out there. :O)

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  6. I have no idea. That seems almost impossible to raise kids without TV or video games while we are struck with the same all day...

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  7. We don't actually own a TV (not to sound self-riteous). It's partly because we don't want our kids watching "too much" but also (mostly) because I know I'll watch bad daytime TV all day instead of doing productive things! I'm not very disciplined like that. Instead, we have a data projector and my husband and I watch DVDs on the "BIG SCREEN" in the evenings. It's good because it doesn't work during the day, so there's no temptation. We let our son watch shows on the computer at 5pm each day until his dinner time, around 6pm. It's good down time at a crazy time of day, and allows me to prepare dinner.

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  8. We try so hard to limit the kids' screen time, but my situation definitely is unique. I only have four step children (no biological children...yet) and we have 50/50 custody with their mom. She bought the two older kids iphones! We have told them the phones are not allowed at our house during our custody time and the kids & ex wife think we are crazy! It is very difficult to deal with, especially when we get push back from my husband's ex wife (we pretty much expect it from the kids). I'm glad my husband and I aren't the only ones who feel so strongly about electronics!

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  9. We try so hard to limit the kids' screen time, but my situation definitely is unique. I only have four step children (no biological children...yet) and we have 50/50 custody with their mom. She bought the two older kids iphones! We have told them the phones are not allowed at our house during our custody time and the kids & ex wife think we are crazy! It is very difficult to deal with, especially when we get push back from my husband's ex wife (we pretty much expect it from the kids). I'm glad my husband and I aren't the only ones who feel so strongly about electronics!

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  10. I agree with trying to limit the time spent with electronics and tv and gaming systems but I am not all for demonizing them either. There is definitely a fine line to walk with any sort of activity. Too much of anything is never a good thing. While I would much prefer my kids to be out riding their bikes or hiking in the woods or playing in real life with their friends, which is something they do A LOT of I also understand the importance of a little down time that allows them to choose what activity they want to do, be it watching tv, playing a video game or chatting with friend online. If I make doing those activities into something that is bad or demonize it.....for sure that will be the thing they want to cling onto and do the most of........Again finding that balance is tough. None of us is going to be perfect at it.....Sometimes I think it would have been better to have lived in the pioneer days where all of this electrical stuff didn't exsist, and than I automatically start to think of having to fetch my own water from a well outside in the middle of a snow storm and I quickly remember how lucky I am to live in the time that I do. :)

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  11. I really admire what your doing with your precious little one!! I am going crazy with mine trying to find things to keep her entertained without tv. But is it possible, that maybe they wouldn't like it so much if it wasn't considered a "treat". I'm only saying this as a mum of a little one that, although at times will sit and watch a whole program, most of the time just ignores the tv all together. Ipad on the other hand is a little harder. In reality life is headed down that track whether we like it or not, and if we can't teach our kids from a young age how to use technology in moderation then they may have trouble as adults. In the end balance in everything is the rule we go by in our little house hold. We'll deal with the iphone in kindie issue if that ever comes up. :s

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing this, it was really inspiring for me as a mom of a 2 yera old boy, he always wants to watch tv ot videos in the computer when he sees me working on it, and yes, play whit the ipad, so it's very dificult for me, because I don't want him to depend to much of this things, so I do my best, but I definitly have to be more firm on this.

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  13. Saturday morning is our treats and tv day. We don't do tv during the week, unless it s as a family. I think movies are great, sitting on a sheet eating popcorn with my parents and watching a movie is nostalgic to me. I just like the idea of intentional tv watching rather than just having it on all the time. That being said, since I am 37 weeks pregnant, and having contractions, I am probably going to ly on the couch and watch hgtv all day :) I will constantly ave to regroup and get back to my rules after each baby!

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  14. I respect your feelings towards TV. At our home we hardly ever watch TV except for the news but we use computers a lot both for our jobs and entertainment (like reading your blog). I hate the noise of the TV in the background playing all day. However, I find that electronics and the internet are extremely important in our lives and denying our children the possibility to use them and learn from them would be like denying your children the basics like learning how to drive a car. Of course I wouldn't leave my children in front of the TV (DS, Ipad, Iphone, PC, MAC, etc.) for too long, but I would read some research about it beforehand.
    I have personally grown up with a lot of TV especially in the summer when I was at home...my parents were both working and they couldn't really control us all the time. Little house in the prairie, Love Boat and all the 80s TV series were my daily food...yet I am perfectly normal and don't even need TV these days.
    I always wonder if as adults we tend to be stricter than necessary with our children because we now see the world differently than when we were children ourselves. All in all...Thanks for this interesting topic!

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  15. what a cute post! I don't have any kids, but I do have an adorable amazing husband who loves the TV. I grew up without one (practically) and I'm always telling him we should spend more time outside!

    Good luck, wonderful mom of cute paige! I'm rooting for you!!

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  16. Great post. We don't have a tv at all.. I have two crazy girls who don't know about princesses. I am more than ok with that! Keep it up

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  17. I'm with you Sister! I homeschool and we don't watch TV. Only DVD's in the minivan. Nathaniel is a talker and one day when I told him that "Every thought in your pretty little head doesn't need to come out of your mouth" he told me "Oh Mommy, lots of them don't come out, just some." Must be awfully loud in his little head!

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    1. This cracked me up! I have a 5 year old niece who has 3 older brothers. She chatters non-stop and when asked once why she talks so much she replied with, "Mom? I just have a lot of words to say." My 5 year old daughter also chatters non stop. Sometimes I think it's just to hear themselves.

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  18. Hey Disney, I just had to pop in here and say that you inspired me to eliminate all screen time for my three kids today and IT ALMOST KILLED ME. Haha! It was a little tough during the afternoon tired hours, but we pulled through and had a great day today. I know they will get used to it, and today they spent more time outside which is always good. Thanks for sharing, girl!

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  19. Just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi to another, rare, one-child, homeschooling family! I have a little girl, too, and thought your post was great! So true!

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  20. She asks for broccoli! That's a great big mothering win right there! :)

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  21. Acabei de conhecer o seu blog e achei maravilhoso. Me visite:http://algodaotaodoce.blogspot.com.br/
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!

    Obrigada.

    Beijos Marie.

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  22. What a cute post, Disney! Great job for your Paige!

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  23. I was raised homeschooled. I really like how you raise Paige, Disney! She sounds like such a unique and well-bred kid. And she loves broccoli...wow.

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  24. My daughter grew up with TV and she now speaks fluent English. You can let her watch TV but you must teach her about limitations. She is old enough and she will eventually catch on. Good for you that she is with you all the time!

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  25. I would love to know more about your homeschooling regimen! My daughter is supposed to start kindergarten this fall but I really want to keep her home and home school her. My extended family is totally totally against it, and I feel strongly that it is super important to homeschool. So I am torn. And I am torn on where to start!

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  26. Thanks so much for sharing this with your readers, we laughed so hard at this photo! The things we do to entertain.

    keep up the great work!

    xo
    Emily

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  27. Interesting...because I have a 7 year old son who adores playing Wii. Unfortunately the wii was purchased for them by a well meaning relative for Christmas 2 Christmas's ago. I HATE video games...but he loves them. And constantly asks to play. I also have 2 younger daughters. They are much more content to play mom and kid, school, or draw pictures. I am at an absolute stump on how to pull my son out of this video game kick he's on. Special note: we DO use the wii for netflix and amazon prime otherwise I would more than willing to sell the wii on CL! We got rid of cable/dish a year ago soon after we were gifted the wii and went with just Netflix. It doesn't help that he is the only boy and the oldest.

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  28. We have tried to limit TV but my husband and I just grew up differently. I grew up with no running water and electricity most of the time, in a small 10 x 12 foot tent frame heated with a wood stove. It was AWESOME. We didn't have TV in our rooms, or TV at all actually, but it seems like if a TV was on, I WAS HOOKED! I mean, I would stare at it like it hypnotized me. And my husband thinks that all rooms should have a TV in them! I've fought and fought for NO tv in our bedroom at LEAST, and I cut the cable off the TV's in my kids rooms, so they technically DO have a television in their rooms, but they can only watch a DVD if we say. Electronics on the other hand, I can't limit their electronics if I don't limit mine. So if I'm on the computer all day then I don't feel right limiting their computer time, although I have older kids. It was much easier when they were little! haha. My kids are 16, 13, 13 and 9, (with three birthdays in less than a month) so it's EXTREMELY hard to limit wifi or internet time with the older three. But in all, as long as my kids KNOW how to play out, and would rather be outside, then I'm OK. Oh, I forgot to mention that the average temperature in the winter here is MINUS 44 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. So there's no way I can force them outside at that temp!

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  29. Oh yeah, I forgot to say, when my husband is out of town for work (most of the summer) or at camp (every weekend during trapping season) that our TV is NEVER on! And the kids don't even notice. I just can't stand "white noise" unless it's the ocean at camp or something like that. And when I was a kid I thought my parents were SOOO MEAN to force us to grow up like that, and now I am eternally grateful!

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  30. I love how kids can have fun doing the simplest things.

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