“No TV from breakfast till after dinner” are the words my children have been hearing over and over again as we kicked off the first week of Summer break. It’s true I have TV addicted kids and this mom is determined to break this addiction. Well maybe addiction is a little over exaggerated, however there are days that I fear they could actually sit in front of that rectangle screen 24/7 becoming zombies only removing themselves for food and water.
Not to single out my children but it does make this task a little more difficult for me with one of my children as he has no interest in going outdoors and shooting hoops, riding his bike or playing a game of neighborhood tag let alone losing himself in a good book – you see his gross and fine motor skills are delayed, his ability to read and write are no where near his peers ability he has to work three times as hard to accomplish things that come easily to most children. However we are not letting that stop our quest to turn the TV off and inspire our kids to find other activities to fill their days with.
So, let’s get real – how does a mom of tween and above aged children begin to control the potential TV addicted humans that walk the halls of her home? especially during the Summer break.
Here is how I am attempting to control the TV addiction in my home this Summer.
Step # 1 – Choose your battle - decide if there will or will not be TV allowed during your Summer break, if allowed how many hours per day, what hours will the TV be allowed on etc. We choose to turn it off from breakfast till after dinner.
Step # 2 - Be Proactive- with the new TV free decision. Let your kids know the plan and the rules. This will help in the days ahead when the begging begins – you can remind them of the decision and when they can and can not watch TV. Yes. the begging began day one in my house and as each day has come and gone so has the begging.
Step #3 – Make a plan of ideas for those “I’m bored moments and begging you mom to let me turn the TV on” by creating a list of what alternative things they can do. Below is my list of ideas to help you get started on you own list. – We have already added a basketball hoop and tether ball to our cabin yard for added fun and outdoor inspiration.
One Dozen Alternative TV ideas:
1. Board Games - You might even Choose a game the entire family can participate in, maybe it’s a week long game of monopoly that you play for a set amount of time each day or that game your child received at Christmas you still haven’t played.
2. Something New – Make a list of things you would like to learn or would like to teach your children. This can be anything from learning a new card game, crochet, to how to download music to your IPod or teaching your child to tie their shoes.
3. Family Read aloud - Children of all ages love to be read to. Check out a chapter book from the library or grab one off your book shelf that you have been wanting to read to your children and begin a daily reading time together.
4. Creative Fun - From scrap booking to crafty creations allow the creative side of your family to shine as you do family projects or allow your kids time to just create with left over craft supplies.
6. Volunteer - Choose a Church or Community project that your kids can serve in .
7. Exercise – This is a great time to start a daily habit of exercising. Riding bikes, neighborhood walks etc.
8. Plant a Garden - Now is the time to get out and clean up your garden and flower beds. Begin planting so you will have plenty of fresh veggies all summer.
9. Start or finish a project - Begin or finish a project that you have been putting off due to lack of time.
10. Audio Fun - Before the television was invented families sat around a big radio and used their imaginations to picture the fun and adventurous stories that were told over the radio. Why not listen to a book on tape or Cd with your children and allow their imagination to picture what is taking place in the story.
11. Old School games - teach your kids the many outdoor games you played as a kid from kick the can to ghost in the graveyard and don’t forget hop scotch, jacks and jump rope.
12. New outdoor fun – Add a trampoline, tether ball, basketball hoop or other new outdoor fun to motivate your kids outdoors.
Do you have a No TV plan in your home?