pete & i have spent the last 5 years trying to figure out how we wanted to allow media into our home.
neither one of us are opposed to tv, video games, or internet.
we actually believe that they are some of the best tools of this generation.
however, it was very clear to both of us that media is over used and not always as a tool.
that is what we had been noticing in our home too much over the last year.
we've tried a combination of lots of things...
on days/off days, time limits, etc,
but none of those combinations were working like we needed.
the kids just wanted to be plugged in ALL THE TIME!
it was turning into a huge emotional issue for me.
we were losing childhood play all day long by them wanting media on demand constantly.
we concluded that the media exposure in our home was too much too fast,
at least for our children and family.
it was not happening like the 'good ole days' when we would watch a few shows after school or on saturday mornings.
those were our only choices really because we were bound to the schedule of public programming.
with 1000s of options at our fingertips at any given time of the day with netflix it had become a constant battle,
so we canceled netflix
and have not regretted it for a day.
not even the children.
it almost seems their childhoods are thanking us.
they play ALL THE TIME now,
and when they are tired there is normally a pbs kids show on or we enjoy a good movie or play a few video games together.
once they are re-charged they are off again.
the media battle has gone away.
i couldn't be more grateful or relieved.
it has even been an improvement for pete & me.
we spend our evenings talking or reading now instead of plugged in.
i'm smiling on the inside for all of those reasons,
but i'm smiling even bigger because of the things i have witnessed over the last 2 weeks.
my top 3 things that have me smiling big time...
1. Going to the $ theater and enjoying 'the odd life of timothy green' together. that night media felt like a tool for us. we were together, we were out, and we were enjoying something touching & uplifting that has provided much conversation since and made a memory.
2. Will has been exploring a whole new world throughout his days at home. yesterday he got up from his rest and went to the freezer and pulled the ice maker tray out. he said he just needed to see how it works. i was able to show him, and he was rather impressed. then we filled up the sink with all the extra ice and hot water to see how long it would take to melt. that led us to the ice cube, salt, and string experiment. fun times. he also takes a rest almost every day now because he still needs one, and now he is not distracted from it. his favorite places to rest are on the couch with me, in a relaxing bath, or under his bed. :)
3. the other 'smile on the inside' moments are watching the games they come up with. my favorite was will setting up a carnival all over the house for maggie. it included a carousel ride, block toss, car racing, and running races; all complete with prizes.
these are the types of things that i believe that childhood is made of.
perhaps we were the only family losing these types of experiences to media,
but even if we were the only ones,
we weren't willing to keep making that sacrifice.
we did something about it,
we are getting the results we had hoped for,
and that's why i'm smiling on the inside.