The Great “No Screens” Experiment

Well, we survived. Well it’s 7pm and no one has killed anyone yet. It was an interesting day to say the least. I started out the experiment when my 4yo asked to play the computer upon completion of his chores(no school this week, spring break) and I said NO. I didn’t intend to keep saying no, but for some reason I did. Then when my oldest son asked to work on his gaming class assignment I said no. I even told them no screens when I went out to do my visiting teaching. We got to talking and I ended up staying for over 2 hours. No one died while I was gone and even though I kept getting calls saying “we’re bored. We don’t have anything to do. We already jumped on the trampoline, my bike is broken, I don’t have any crayons, I don’t want to borrow any from my brother, etc etc etc I still kept saying no.

I do admit that when I came home and felt my 14yo’s eyes boring into me I did give in and let him work on his assignment for a few hours. He is working on a flash animation project at the moment. But as soon as it was complete the computer went off.

My 4yo has asked about 3 times today to play the computer but there have been no tantrums. And that’s probably less than he usually asks anyway. There has been a LOT more noise here. I have been telling myself it doesn’t bother me…LOL.

They were just now out on the trampoline again and it started snowing…again! UGH Now I’m nervous about the evening. Maybe I will read a book. I usually spend the evening watching TV myself. I am not sure I want to give that up yet. But I do have hope that sometime in the future we can have more reasonable access to screens around here instead of it being a babysitter all the time.

I did get some things done myself, even though I did spend a bit of time on the computer today. I scrubbed the tub, emptied out a couple of boxes, cleaned out the kitchen sink, threw away our toaster oven(sorry Brandi!) and washed the grease off the walls. When Dave came home he naturally went through the spice cubpoard and put away all the spices that had been collecting on the toaster oven! Score! LOL

Now you can enjoy a few pictures of some the crafty stuff my kids did. Rani made a crown and wristband out of construction paper and Sullivan made a coffin for our pet rat, Rosie. No, she’s not dead. In fact she’s thriving. He’s just morbid like that. LOL and yes it is made using parts of a Little Ceasar’s Pizza box. Even her name! I thought it was cute, even if it was a little premature. LOL

Update: Well I can’t believe it but we went the whole day with no TV, Wii or computer games! I even missed American Idol and I tell you…that hurt! LOL The whole time it was on I just kept glancing at the clock. But guess what…the kids didn’t seem to miss it at all!!! They asked if they could watch TV but didn’t freak out when I said no. We actually had dinner, squashed, around the dining room table. That’s something we haven’t done since I was pregnant with Virginia. It was strange and wonderful at the same time. We had a great time talking and we really enjoyed our time together. After dinner we read two chapters of “The Magician’s Nephew” and then the kids went off to bed. Dave spent the rest of the evening organizing our paper basket that we keep on the counter to catch important mail like bills and what not. Earlier he had started this project while he was making dinner and he let the kids shred the important papers that we wanted to throw out. They had so much fun! Xander even commented that he had shredding fever!

I have come to realize that it’s me who can’t seem to live without the screens. It’s a lot of work to deal with all six kids 24/7 and I like the time to myself that I get when I send them off to their screens and I get to watch mine. I don’t know if I’m ready to give it up cold turkey. All morning I have been thinking about my DVRed episodes of LOST and Biggest Loser that recorded last night. To distract myself I organized the shelf in my laundry room, started picking up the mess on the laundry room floor(that will take me forever to get through) and started a load of laundry! Now I’m taking a break just to tell my readers about it. LOL I have to admit that it’s nice to get things done. So much of the time durning my pregnancies I have no energy or patience for getting things done. I am grateful for this little burst of spring fever and I hope it lasts a while.

April 14, 2010 - 3:33 pm Julia - Yay! It's so fun to read these entries Tamra :) I'm so glad it's going as well as it is. Were reading The Magicians Nephew too - love the Narnia series!

April 16, 2010 - 8:17 pm Brandi - I'm finally getting to reading this. Sorry! I'm so glad you did it! It's so hard. I struggle with letting my kids watch movies. Thank goodness most of them are veggie tales, but it's still time in front of the tv. I need to just send my little tv with my hubby in the trunk of his car because it's too easy to get it out. I'm actually surprised you still had the toaster oven. lol If it's just taking up space, I say get rid of it, and you did! I'm finally getting to the dejunk phase again myself. I need simpler things, like way less toys and stuff taking up my space. I enjoy organizing things, but my house needs another overhaul and it's all so overwhelming. I find that my bedroom and kitchen are the worst spots because I live in them, and therefore my kids do too. Thank goodness I only need to take one step at a time. Oh, and Sully cracks me up!

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