The big turn off …

This week is National Turn off the TV week. I love this idea, it comes at a good time for our family this year. I have shamefully been using the TV as an electronic babysitter way too much lately. I use to have an unspoken rule of 1 hour of TV a day in our house. These days we are well beyond that. So last night, I announced in my very excited mommy voice, "This week is Turn Off the TV week!" There were spontaneous tears. "What does that mean"?" Sarah asked, completely horrified. I explained that this was a week set aside to do things together as a family instead of watching TV. I told her we were going to play board games, start planting our veggie garden, have dinner at the park … she kept crying.

Personally, TV is not a big deal in my life. I can truly live without it and not miss it. For the past two years I have not watched TV from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Of course the TV is on, because the kids watch it, but I don't sit down to watch my own shows. I have loved how it has freed up my summer evenings to write, read, work in the yard, and actually talk with Pete. I think it has been a really good thing for me each year. I'll admit by September I am ready to watch a new season of mindless reality TV, but for me that is what balance is all about, not letting any one thing take over my whole life.

This year, I have had it in my mind that I would like the whole family to unplug the TV on Memorial Day and leave it off until September. Pete is not too keen on this idea. He is my technology boy. I guess we will see how this week goes and go on from there. Hopefully Sarah and Emily will enjoy having time to do some different things this week, and the tears will not be a daily occurrence.

Any one up for joining me? I am going to post some evening activities throughout the week to hopefully encourage/inspire you to turn of the tube this week as well.


  1. ha! i've joked that the writer's strike did more harm then good for me! i got used not counting on this or that show to watch i became disinterested. now, don't get me wrong, i'm still a tv watcher, but i don't feel such a loss when i miss one and i have found since the strike i'm less committed to following as many shows as before.
    this should be easy for my kids because, as we've been couped up for so long, they request to be outside as much as possible as it's been getting nicer out. especially gracie, she cries if i make her go inside....

  2. School sent home a letter requesting that either my daughter alone or my entire family participate in turn of the tv week. I was amazed to find a check box that would allow my daughter to participate but not the rest of my family, how fair would that be if she could not watch and we all sat down to some Family Feud. Anywho, we are all participating, which is why I can respond right now. I am actually enjoying it, but I do miss my babysitter, she was cheap and always available. Ahh now I must think what would my Grandma have done...

  3. Hmmm... Does the Weather Channel count? We're a bit behind, we did catch an episode of "Little Bear" this afternoon. She wasn't feeling well, and I was tired of her complaining. Honestly, I think my girls would like "Unplug Mommy's Computer" week more, but we have to start somewhere. We'll give it a shot, however, I hope you're offering phone support!

  4. "unplug mommy and daddy's computer and stop looking at house stuff week" would make Kacie happy. :-) Actually, I spent the evening with the kids yesterday at Babies R Us, Rooms to go, and Ace Educational. We did go to spend a dollar at Chuck E Cheese too. After my daughter went to bed I was breastfeeding my son and previewing some DVD's about phonics and early math. oh well..

  5. it is all you bloggers fault that my kids watch tv...i turn it on so i can read your great stuff.

    I like the memorial day to labor day idea

    if i get up in the morning before the kids do, the amount of tv watching is minimal. if i miss my window of opportunity, and the tv gets turned on while i am still trying to wake is an uphill battle! because the kids favorite line is just one more mommy. thankfully no tantrums just some whining.

  6. When my kids were in elementary school, this was such a BIG DEAL. Classes would compete to see how many families did it. I found it's harder to get the husband to give up TV than the kids. They are all grown up and out of the house now; one watches a fair amount, the other only watches sports. I hardly watch at all, 4 shows per week that I follow. I'd rather read a book, knit, or weave.