The Media Fast (and how it tried to take my sanity)

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Media Fast

I’m not sure when or how it happened. I was so careful. No electronics before 2 years old, and after that it was very limited exposure. Somehow, someway. . . I got lax and now I’m paying the price.

My children are addicted to media.

They wake up (6:00-6:30 am) and ask to watch TV. When I say no, they ask to play Minecraft. If that’s a no also, then they ask about Terraria on the iPad. If I say no to everything, then I must prepare myself for a fit. They will whine, cry, fuss, and mope. Did I mention they are 4 and 5? They’re barely out of baby-hood and are already media mongering monsters.

The other three children like to play a video game now and then, but are no where near as bad as these two. Except the almost two year old- she doesn’t play video games.

I’m a huge fan of the cold turkey technique. It can be rough, but it always yields the best results.

So, without warning, I hid all of the TV remotes and devices in the house (except my laptop). 

Why are we doing a media fast?

There are several reasons really:

  1. The media consumption in my home has greatly increased over the past couple of years.
  2. I don’t want my children’s first choice for entertainment to be electronics.
  3. What goes in WILL come out. No matter what they are watching, whether movies or TV shows, there is always some kind of bad influence.
  4. How close our family is seems directly correlated with the amount of media we consume. Why sit around staring at a huge TV screen when we could enjoy a board game, a family read aloud, or taking a walk outside together?
  5. The reasons are endless, but the bottom line is that I want my family to glorify God in everything we do, and I find that hard to do when the TV and video games are constantly on.

At first, I thought there might be a coup, but I was pleasantly surprised by their willingness to do something else. However, as they day got on, they both asked at least a dozen times each about electronics. By lunch time (around 11:30) they had both “run out of things to do” and the foul attitudes set in.

I pretty much expected this so I had some things in mind for when the “boredom” set in:

To help with the mood in the house I kept the diffuser going all day alternating between Tension Relief and Calming the Child. I also played worship music in the background for most of the day. Both of those things had a tremendous effect on both my mood and theirs. Especially mine. It’s hard to be irritated while people are worshiping Jesus. 

So, today was only day one. I plan to keep things unplugged for a while- at least two weeks.* Maybe longer. Maybe I can convince my husband to get rid of TV all together. (Yeah, right. But a girl can dream, right??)

*Let me be honest and say that I will allow the occasional educational DVD as needed for our homeschooling, and when necessary for our reviews. 

I plan to update here and let you know how it goes- the good and the bad. If you think of us and are a praying person, we could definitely use your prayers. My stress level has gone up significantly since we started all this. I know that in the end this will all be worth it. I just have to keep telling myself that. 🙂

What do you do to stay close as a family? Have you ever done a family media fast? Tell me about it in the comments, I’d love to hear your ideas!

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