Tuesday, September 5, 2006

TV Challenge Wrap-up - part 1

Well, the challenge is over. The kids were allowed to watch TV this weekend at Grandma's house. Of course they didn't watch much because there was other stuff to do. Junior and Grandpa did keep up their tradition of camping out on the livingroom floor watching Ghosts of the Abyss. That is a documentary about the diving machines going down to see The Titanic on the bottom of the ocean. I don't think they ever make it through the whole thing, they always fall asleep.

Here are a few of the benefits I've seen from skipping TV for the past 30 days:
1. The kids play together more often. This was not automatic, and not without it's problems, but they are better at getting along with each other.
2. Less complaining about being bored. Here is another that was just a gradual change. I would not have been able to say this if we had only had 1 or 2 weeks off of TV. They are able to find something to do when they need to, usually without begging me to come up with something for them.
3. They are less grouchy in the mornings. Junior is actually really cheerful when he gets up. He does not stick his thumb in his mouth and begin ordering me around. Peanut is less cheerful than he is, but she does pretty well if she gets some attention right at first, in the form of a hug and some cuddle time.
4. Junior no longer sucks his thumb first thing in the morning.

A couple of good things that have happened, I'm not sure if they are directly related to the TV Challenge:
1. The kids play outside more. The weather has cooled down a lot over the past month, though, and I think it is more because of that. Most of the outside time starts about 5 pm, and there aren't any kids shows by that time. Still, there were some things that they would watch with us after 5, like "Unwrapped" and some of the shows on Discovery and TLC.
2. Peanut has been helping me more with household chores. This may be more related to the fact that she complained of being bored more, and so was given work to do. She found out that there were a few things she actually liked doing.

We have some new rules about TV right now. I told the kids this morning that they could each watch one show. That means they technically could watch two shows, if they each want to watch a different show. This morning, Junior's "shows" were not on, I guess because of the holiday. So he watched "Mighty Machines" and Peanut did not end up watching anything. She was saving hers for later in the day, but we were busy with school and piano in the afternoon.

The other rule is that we will have the TV off when Dad comes home at night. He said that was one of the things he most appreciated was coming home and the TV would be off and it made the house feel quieter. Not that things are very peaceful around here at that time of day. That did surprise me a little, because usually when he gets home we would have something on TV that he liked to watch. So that was kind of cool.

Peanut and I watched a video from the library about taking care of babies. It was very sweet, and we are both excited about getting to take care of our own baby. We agreed that the babies on the show were too adorable, but of course ours will be much cuter than that. It was realistic though, and showed many newborn babies crying and fussing. Peanut learned how to swaddle a baby and we practiced that a few times. That is one of the main things she has been wanting to learn. Tomorrow I think we will work on diapers.

Tomorrow I'll tell some interesting things I learned from reading The Plug-in Drug, which was a very interesting book.


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