Monday, July 11, 2011

TV Turn-Off Week, Days 1 and 2

The week did not have an auspicious beginning.  At first I thought everything was okay.  Sunday morning I heard Dylan get up and the TV did not go on immediately (as usual) as I had feared.  

He did seem to be at loose ends, not quite sure what to do with himself.  He finally settled on playing with his yo-yo, although that involved him coming in and getting the loop retied and there were a few other reasons he had to come in while we were still (trying to still be) asleep.

After I got up, things went downhill.  He was grouchy, I guess since the morning was so unusual.  We have always been very easy going about weekend morning TV.  He did try to make his own breakfast out of a kids' cookbook he has, but that didn't go well and he didn't eat most of it.  Somehow, we made it to church without ending up in a screaming match.

The afternoon turned out well...because he went to a friend's house.  He admitted later that he did watch TV over there, but I guess you have to just go with the flow at someone else's house.  When he came home, we played a few different games, but I had to put a halt to it at one point because he was being a terrible sport, insisting that he had to win and that I had to let him win.  I was beginning to wonder how he has been at camp all summer, although I know from experience he saves this kind of behavior for us.  

We had a bit of melt-down at bedtime, but that was completely unrelated to there not being any TV.  In general, I felt as though the first day had gone relatively well, maybe even better than expected.

I was concerned how this morning would turn out.  TV time is often a morning reward for good behavior in getting dressed, and is even more lax and accepted in the summertime.  Like Sunday, he started off at loose ends but when I suggested he look at the Pokemon cards he had bought at a rummage sale, he got completely absorbed in them.  

I was happy - this was how it was supposed to be.  TV Turn-Off Week was showing that there is more to life than Scooby Doo and Sponge Bob.  

I thought we were in big trouble when, on the way to Kung Fu, he talked about watching TV when we got home.  A few weeks ago, following an onslaught of whining, I told him he could watch TV on Mondays after camp if he didn't ask about it at all Tuesday through Thursday. He had it in his mind that this "deal" trumped TV Turn-Off.  

With trepidation, I calmly told him it didn't...and he accepted it!

Kung Fu took up some of the evening and I promised him something really special and unique if he was a good boy up to and through dinner.  And he was, entertaining himself by practicing Kung Fu moves and playing with Pokemon cards.  (Does it count if the cards themselves are from a TV show?)

So after dinner, he did something he had never done before - he walked down the street by himself to by a snowball (aka a slush, a water ice, or a shaved ice, depending on where you are from).  RockStar nearly had a heart attack when I told him the plan, but we have tried to raise him as free range as we can, considering we work during the day and he doesn't have friends who live close by.  

I had tried to get him to get a snowball on his own before but he had balked.  But today, boy, was he ready!  He decided to take his scooter, which is not the best idea if you have to carry something back - but it was up to him.  And despite all the Nancy Grace's in the world, all was well.  He made it to the snowball stand, about 2-1/2 blocks away, crossing a fairly busy cross street, without a hitch.  And he bought and paid for the snowball (my money, of course), and returned home in the time allowed (20 minutes).  He did drop the cup and crack it, but that didn't rub a bit of the shine off of his proud face!
At one point this evening, he did say that it was weird to be in the living room without the TV on.  Never mind that we do not leave it on all the time and watching it in the evenings is a Friday night and weekend thing.  But I think it's more the idea of it...even the idea that begging for it was off limits.  I'm proud that he respected it and didn't ask me.

As for's just plain quiet in the evening after Dylan goes to bed!  We had the radio on last night, but tonight it's just silent.  Very strange, but pleasant.  RockStar turned in early, rather than zoning out on TV and I bet he does again tonight.  

Fingers crossed...I hope this is a positive beginning. 

Tell me, have you ever had a TV Turn-Off Week? 


  1. Love this.

    We must be in your area of the country because we call them snowball too.

    I have found that giving my boys (13, 10- the 10 w/ adhd) some free range movement has been enormously helpful in getting them outside and active. They bike all around the area. They bike to the park, to the baseball fields, to a couple of food joints in the area. They bike to the library and to Mathnasium twice a week for math tutoring. Being able to do this gives them a huge boost. And it also keeps them active, which helps with ALL boys.

    We also do no tv on the weekdays, ending Friday after school once instruments have been played. I can overrule this at my discretion so on occasion we will all watch a tv show together. We do allow it on the weekends and in the summer although I may begin limiting summer a bit, depending.

  2. I think you are so right, Leeann! The only challenge is that as an only child, he doesn't like to do a lot by himself and he doesn't have a sibling to do it with. He and I bike some and we walk to school, but there aren't any kids close by. Thanks for sharing!