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We had a long winter. Our youngest pioneer boy was not about to face the blowing weather outdoors, and I don’t blame him. But, it made Pioneer Mama the TV police indoors, which I don’t enjoy. This spring we decided to try something new after I spent some time reading about TV being so passive. We decided to turn off the TV and computer for an entire day, and allow 2 hours of viewing the next. We continued in this pattern for all of March, April and now into May and we are very happy with the results. Here are some fascinating things that have happened.

1. They watch less TV voluntarily. The pioneer boys could “sit” (this means a little wiggling at times) through an entire hour or even hour and twenty-minute DVD during the winter. Now they no longer can. After 28 minutes to 45 minutes of their TV time on TV day, they leave the room and shut of the program! Without me prompting them! I’m loving that. More time is being spent outdoors prompted by the warmer weather too.

2. They don’t whine to watch TV. When they wake up they usually ask, “Is today TV day?” to which I clue them in. It’s either Play day or Play and TV day. When it’s NOT TV day, they say, “oh” and mosey on by. This from children carrying DVD cases around the house to me at times this past winter. It’s funny because sometimes I don’t even remember, which means, NO TV day isn’t really that profound anymore.

3. I spend 1/2 the amount of my time on the computer. I am taking the NO TV day seriously and have also allowed NO computer time for myself. This means no emails, no just looking up a web site, no browsing. The only emergencies I allow are looking up a recipe, or my husband can look up something if necessary for work. I am ashamed to say that I used to leave my centrally located computer on the entire day and walk to it every time I heard an email come in. Yes, I was a rat. I would tell the boys I just wanted to check something quickly and then continue on. Sometimes I would get lost in emails, stopping many times during the day to respond to email groups. Now, some TV/computer days I don’t even turn on the computer until after lunch. I am free! It feels so very good.

4. I am more selective about the programming we watch and enjoy it more. We are current subscribers to Netflix, no DVDs, just downloads when we wish. We have been enjoying LOST and I can’t even imagine watching the programs with commercials or waiting week by week to watch. We watch the shows we enjoy, then shut of the TV and move on.

5. No TV nights have provided the family with more play and reading time. The other night we played music for a half hour because we had no TV day. Our daily night hiking has been restored (not an easy feat, my husband and I have been hoping to regain that since my first baby was born.) We have time to read more books, ask more questions, cook more deserts, and play.

My husband is a great man, allowing me to establish a rule many would not abide by. My children are awesome at coming up with other things to play. And I can get way more of my crafts done:)

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