Well, the Rogers Family survived a week without (kids’) TV. I am sad to say it wasn’t groundbreaking, I didn’t learn 100 things about my son and it didn’t change his behavior drastically. Anti-climatic, I know. But I thought I’d share the things I did learn and the things I did realize.
Every night at dinner we talk about what we liked about our day and what we didn’t like about our day. The first TV-less day, he immediately said what he didn’t like about his day was that “we didn’t have a TV day.” I thought that the week would be awful after that. But it wasn’t terrible.
Here is what I saw improve:
Dylan’s imagination – I always knew he had a great imagination. But this was just crazy. The stories he was coming up with when he was playing were intense. He would use the whole upstairs area (living room and dining room) when he played with his toys (bad guy city and good guy city) and always knew where they were at all times. That was really fun to watch. Even though he often threw quotes in there from movies. Ha.
Bathroom time – When we watched TV all day, I had to remind him to go to the bathroom. He would seriously just zone out while sitting on the couch. Then when his shows were over, he would have to go to the bathroom and that would make him antsy and irritated. But when there was no TV, he just walked away from his toys on his own and went to the bathroom. I never had to remind him.
His attention skills – When we’re watching TV all day and we sit down to dinner I try to talk to Dylan and 9 times out of 10 when I would say something, he would say “what?” and it drove me INSANE. It wasn’t because the TV was on (because we always turn it off during meal times). I truly believe that not having the TV all day improved his attention and listening skills, not hearing. For the week of no TV, when I would say something, he never asked me to repeat myself. It was magical. And I didn’t even notice it until we went back to using the TV.
Sensory processing – I have noticed ever since right before Reagan was born that he chews – a lot. Then she was born and we moved, so I chalked it up to anxiety because the dentist said it wasn’t a teething issue. So we had some silicone straws for smoothies and he would chew on those while he watched TV. Well, when we took the TV away, he did not ask for a straw one time during that week. Fast forward to TV time again, and he’s back to chewing.
I also realized how much I relied on it. There were a few times where I would almost suggest it to him without even thinking about it. I almost had to hide the remotes, because when I saw them, that’s when I would think about suggesting it. Because it’s so easy to put him in front of it and go do things around the house because he just lays there and zones out.
The week that it was off, he asked if he could watch TV every morning for the first 3-4 days. I never made a huge deal, I just said “no, not today” and would redirect him. By the last few days, he wasn’t asking. But of course, on the 8th day, I was just going to see what happened. If he asked, I would turn it on. Well of course, he asked. So I’m not sure if I accomplished anything. Because now that the tV is back in our lives, nothing has changed. I wish I had a better outcome for you, but maybe this will give you the courage to try!
What have I learned or what will I change? I am pretty sure that I will have 1 or 2 days during the week where we don’t watch TV. Sort of a cleanse. It will be easier as it gets nicer outside for sure, because we can go for walks, parks, the pool, etc. I’m hoping this will get some consistency and change his attitude a little. 🙂