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:
- The media consumption in my home has greatly increased over the past couple of years.
- I don’t want my children’s first choice for entertainment to be electronics.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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. 🙂