Keepin’ My Kids Off the Screen

Once again, I am attempting to keep the kids off the screen for a week. Yes, it is TV Turnoff Week (which applies only to the kids in this household; we pull rank when necessary).

Day one down. Six more to go. Last year, I don’t think I included the computer in this experiment but, for some reason, I did this time. This means that I have to wait until the kids are totally engrossed before I check my email so as not to out myself as “Not Playing Along”.

Now the timing could be better. We finally got our exercise bike set up which means that I need to log some serious peddling time if I’m going to fit into the 2-piece bathing suit I just bought. Normally, I’d just let the kids watch a show while I try to whittle four months of winter inactivity from my body. Not possible now. Instead, they went into the living room and dumped forty pounds of blocks onto the floor, constructed forts out of all the chair cushions AND pulled out all the Polly Pockets for a marathon session of “change Polly’s wee clothes”.

Then, there was D. After finishing the destruction of my living room, he came into the family room and stood next to me as I huffed and puffed and blew the house down.

“Mommy? Mommy?”

“Yes, D. 10 more minutes. Just 10 minutes!”

“Red Apple Mommy. Mommy?”

“OK! 9 minutes! No problem. Just wait 9 minutes!”

This went on and on and on until I had to crank up the sound in the headphones and close my eyes, lest I leap across the handlebars screaming, “FIVE MINUTES! I JUST NEED FIVE STINKIN‘ MINUTES!”
Yes, TV Turnoff Week is a wonderful idea. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m missing Intervention.


  1. Jozet at Halushki says

    I love television.

    If it weren’t for television, I’d never have clean laundry.

    Turn Off TV Week is unAmerican, and I’m voting for whichever candidate moves to abolish it.

  2. AnotherMomCreation says

    I think its a wonderful thing to do. If only I could be so brave… my goal for this week of vacation is a cleaner house, since I have less driving to do, more free time. Won’t happen with no TV.

    Well, there is always next year….

  3. Alpha DogMa says

    I salute you, FOM, for both turning off the tv and getting in shape. 2 piece bathing suit? Only if one of those pieces is a girdle.

    My children will not get out of bed in the morning without the siren song of tv to lure them to the living room. Whereas I won’t get out of bed til my husband makes coffee. We are a weak willed family of narcoleptics.

  4. I’m more for the “in moderation all the time” method of TV watching rather than a full stop just for a week. Turn Off TV Week sounds like a TV version of a crash diet: eat right and exercise for a short time, then go back to bad habits…or worse ones.

  5. Fairly Odd Mother says

    Anon, I hear you, I really do. This idea sounds like the dumbest thing right about now.

    For me, it is mostly about breaking a routine. The kids normally get about an hour of TV first thing in the morning and another hour while I make dinner. Every day. And, every day, when I shut it off, my oldest sulks for a while. Her reaction drives me crazy but I also love that hour of relative quiet too much to give it up completely.

    Now, scuze me, I need to go and do some crash exercising; I just bought a two-piece bathing suit! Yikes!

  6. Turns out, we jumped the gun on this – last week my kids didn’t watch TV at all, as far as I know. At least not when I was home.

    This week, the boy has pneumonia… there is quite a bit of TV-watching going on, because aside from duct tape and Benedryl, television is the only way I know of to help a three-year-old take it easy and not run around much.

  7. Yes, I don’t think *I* would make it without TV for a week! Let alone the kids 😉 And yes, TV is what gives me a fraction of sanity time…

  8. womaninawindow says

    Hah! That’s why I get on my bike and go further and further AWAY from my house! At least he wasn’t saying, “Another hamburger, mommy, and a side of chocolate.”

  9. SuburbanCorrespondent says

    I’m one of those irritating no-TV people. I cannot stand to have strangers in my livingroom, filling my kids’ heads with trash. And if my kids sit still in front of the TV for an hour, they are unbearable afterwards – all that pent-up energy.

    That said, I cannot imagine giving it up, cold turkey, for a week. That’s too much of a shock. I would wean them off of it gradually. Why don’t you make it half an hour a session, instead of a full hour? Plenty of time for the exercise bike then.

  10. Good luck! I will never, ever go for a week without tv unless it blows up or something.

  11. Alex Elliot says

    I like how you’re still sneaking in your time! That’s exactly what I would do!

  12. Cathy Burke says

    I am hiding my calendar so I can claim it is turn off the tv week FOREVER. I need a break as much as the next mom but when my 8 yr. old started SLEEPING IN THE FAMILY ROOM so he could be the first one up in the morning in order to watch the most tv I knew he needed an intervention. Sorry about your workout!

  13. Aha, TV turnoff week.

    That explains why you haven’t blogged in three days.

  14. humm, we should try that. I think we would all make it about 10 minutes.

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