Thursday, October 20, 2011

They turned off the TV... by themselves?

Our normal daily routine is hinged around lunch and naptime. My daughter needs a nap in the afternoon, and I need a break - so my boys are used to this being their TV time. I will freely admit that I have shamefully abused this in the past, letting them watch far too much TV because the little one was still asleep and I was doing something really important messing around on the internet. I have made a concerted effort to keep their TV time more limited, encouraging them to find something else to do (quietly if upstairs). The vast majority of the time, this works out fine. They play or find something else to do, I still get a few things done (because getting up to tell them to turn the TV off has the added benefit of prying my butt from this chair and my eyes from the screen).

I don't know what's up lately, but my boys have been a lot less interested in TV than they once were. Just a few months ago, if I had let them, they probably could have watched TV all afternoon until it was time to cook dinner. And then they'd ask to watch "just one more episode of Spiderman!" (we only have Netflix). Over the last several weeks, they've done two extraordinarily shocking things, and not just once, but on a regular basis.

1. They have turned off the TV with no prompting from me after just one cartoon.

2. They have not asked to watch TV at all and simply found something else to do.

Insert jaw-dropping face here.

Today they are playing outside on the trampoline, even though it's cloudy and cold. Awesome! They've also been furiously making art projects together - we've had a lot of coloring, cutting and pasting going on in this house lately. Aside from the fact that I'm running out of paper and glue, it's been awesome.

I wish I could say I did something magnificent to induce this change, but I really haven't. I do think, however, that homeschooling has had something to do with it. The way we live our life has changed and as we all adjust, the projects and reading and other homeschool-ish things are spilling over into their free time. It isn't as if they're off pursuing things that directly relate to what we did in school, but their free time is beginning to have a different feel to it. They want to draw and do art projects constantly. They want to look up random facts on the internet about bugs and animals. They want to look at their library books and fill up their booklists (of course, they do get a prize for that, but still).

Now that I think about it, perhaps some of this shift is because of me. I'm far more willing to indulge in the art projects and random Googling. Before I might have put them off with a "maybe later," when asked if they could get out more paper or try glitter, or find out the wingspan of a bald eagle. But now I almost always say yes.

Of course, now that I've written this, they will probably swing back to wanting to watch TV all afternoon and won't voluntarily turn it off ever again ;).

Seriously though, it does ease that bit of mommy-guilt I harbor over letting them watch TV, especially because I know my motive for allowing it is rather selfish in nature. Not that I think watching TV is terrible, but I do believe in moderation and I'm not always great about moderating them enough.

Plus, I love their artwork! I have no idea what to do with all of it, but they are both having so much fun being creative, it makes my mommy heart glad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's great. I try hard to regulate netflix watching too. WE don't have any channels but somtimes I just want a little time to get things done and then one episode leads to the next. Fortunately, I can't read blogs while my son is watching netflix. Otherwise things would get really out of hand ;)