Parents Need to Unplug Too
To truly get a sense of TV-free living, everyone in the house should be in agreement to unplug the set for the week. Kids are not the only ones who might find the project challenging!
Lisa Cox, a mother from Scottsdale, Arizona, believes the experiment would be hardest on her and her husband. "Our 2-year-old really only likes about 10 minutes of Teletubbies," she says. "It would be toughest on us because we wouldn't be able to 'veg out' at night."
Yet just as kids might discover new ways to interact, become healthier,or develop new interests by going without television for a week, parents may reap the same benefits. "Extra" time now becomes available for a book you've been wanting to read, a call to an old friend, or a peaceful chat with your spouse about the dream vacation you want to take someday. Everyone involved may just discover that while television can be fun, so can a variety of other things.
Family Fun Minus the TV
So your child is used to watching Sesame Street every day at 10 and isn't thrilled with the idea of not being able to do so this week. Here are a few special ideas to fill the timeslot usually spent viewing a favorite program:
- Create your own series: Spend that time period each day creating an on-going adventure that the child can act out with puppets, stuffed animals, or family members. The "Mr. Teddy" show might feature the bear hosting a birthday party on Monday, pretending he's a rock star on Tuesday and giving cooking lessons to his friends on Wednesday.
- Read books with chapters, in a series, or by a single author: Create that "tune-in-tomorrow" feeling by selecting works that go together. Chapter books such as A.A. Milne's The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh easily lend themselves to experiencing a bit of a story each day, but if you feel your child is too young, try reading several shorter works that center around a single theme or character. Have a Dr. Seuss marathon. Pick up the Rev. W. Awdry's Thomas the Tank Engine collection. Try some books that were the basis for popular television shows, such as Norman Bridwell's Clifford books or Marc Brown's Arthur series.
- Try someplace new: Is there a great-looking park near your child's pediatrician that you always say you'll stop at one of these days? Always wanted to try bumper bowling? You and your children may discover that the family is having more fun living adventures than watching them.