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A Week without Television

by Joe Lawrence | April 26th, 2016 | Preschool, Seasonal

preschool playtimeWouldn’t it be nice to go a whole week without the children watching television? I have thought this a lot over the past couple of years. Then I thought about why I would stop at just the TV. Why not all devices?

It saddens me greatly to see how attached people are to their phones. I get the convenience and love having the world in the palm of my hands; however, we miss out on so much that is going on around us while Instagram-ing our plate of food. I would think of it as a personal failure if I did not equip my children with the ability to experience life around them.

I will have to be honest in admitting that the only the reason they watch TV or know about devices is because of me. When trying to get dinner ready or something done in a hurry, it is very easy to have them sit with the “babysitter”. This point did not hit me that hard until one day I watched my boy reading to himself on the couch as a show was on. This told me two things: the TV is on so much, he doesn’t care; and he is able to be stimulated without electronics or Lion Guard.

Now TV, is basically a pointless entertainment medium with an occasional educational benefit. Devices do have value in that the world revolves around them and they need to know how to use them. But we can accomplish familiarization in much smaller bites, and actual entertainment can be found in many other places.

Legos, books, games, dominoes, etc. can all keep your tots busy for an entire day without the need for batteries, remotes or WiFi. Here is a typical day with my kid when we are off-the-grid. First, I take my phone out of my pocket and place it on silent in another room. We need to lead by example. Then I set up some dominoes and let him knock them down. We do this as a team a couple of times, and then I let his creativity run wild and I get a few things done around the house. The same can be done with Legos or Magna Tiles or anything of the sort, but dominoes are the cheapest for those on a budget.

When I want to spend quality time with the kids, I will play a board game, memory, or even read them a book and try very hard to make it an experience and not just an event. I encourage them to ask questions, have a conversation, etc. I think it is important to drive home the enjoyment of the experience and finding ways to carry on a conversation. Lastly, when it is time for them to wind down for bed or dinner, I have them color a picture or look at a picture book they can understand.

It is seldom on these days that they ask for a show or device.

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