Thirteen days ago, I mentioned on Facebook that I had moved our television out to the shed. I had resolved that we would break some bad habits over the summer! Hurray!
Twenty-four hours later, I reluctantly brought the television back into the house, plugged it in, and let my girls binge watch for a few hours. *facepalm* Oh dear.
Let’s get some back-story…
I grew up watching lots of TV. I won’t get into the details as to all the why’s, but the fact remains… I watched waaay too much during some years. I left my parents’ house at age nineteen with the mindset that I did not want to own a TV.
Upon marriage at twenty-one, I believe my husband brought a TV into the mix (if I remember correctly). I didn’t care for it, but I also didn’t make much of a fuss. One day, during the first six months of marriage, I came home from work and went about my business doing chores, making dinner, etc. Hubby had to tell me that he had thrown out the TV, as I had not noticed. HA HA!!!
For the next ten-ish years, our family went without a TV. We watched movies on laptops or the main PC. We had added three children to the mix, and I was soon pregnant with number four. Husband decided he wanted to purchase a TV, and in came The Monster. 😛
Over the next three-ish years, through another rough pregnancy, much sickness, and the craziness of a bunch of young children, we fell into some bad habits of watching waaay too much TV. The poor behaviors and bad parenting that resulted from the irresponsible use of this particular object were hurting all of us. I’d had enough and knew I needed to change things.
Back to two weeks ago…
The TV came back in because I came down with a stomach virus the very next day after The Vanquishing. I’d read books to my girls for a few hours, but when some serious dizzy spells made it hard to do anything, I caved. Husband had taken the big boys to work with him for the day, and I didn’t have anyone to take over watching the girls while I tried not to pass out from the room constantly spinning. During a reprieve, I dragged myself out to the shed and brought back The Monster.
The very next day, I re-vanquished our TV to the shed, where it remained for a week.
During that week, the many requests for shows and movies were denied. Eventually, the requests died off, and the children began to get more creative with the use of their time. Instead of staring at a movie after dinner, they spent time outside catching fireflies! SCORE!
I found myself frequently wanting to watch TV due to the force of habit as well. It was ridiculous! But as the week went on, the relief and productivity that grew was confirmation that I had made the right move. The Monster had become a crutch, a (sometimes) lazy parent’s solution, and a highly unproductive pass-time.
At the end of our first week without The Monster, we decided we could have family movie night! We got it all set up, everyone was settled in to watch a fun movie, and it wouldn’t work. For some strange reason, the TV wouldn’t connect to our internet. Though frustrating to all, I secretly found it very amusing. I mentally smirked and shook my head, looking around to see God watching us. 😊
The next day, we were able to watch that movie. As soon as the movie was over, I promptly moved The Monster back to the shed.
Our Second Week of Vanquishing
The next seven-ish days were considerably easier. Very few requests for The Monster came from the children, and I didn’t have much desire to indulge in it myself.
I did watch an episode of Little House with my youngest one night (via computer) because she was up past bedtime after a super late nap. I was working on a few things while we watched, and it was a nice way to spend that half hour.
We have all seen significant benefits from not having such an easy crutch in the house. Creativity and imaginations are blooming, exploration of the outdoors is increasing, and mama is having to become a better parent. Attitudes are improving, and we’re working on establishing good habits to replace the bad ones. Case-in-point: sleeping in, and allowing the children to watch a show while I shower, instead of rising before they wake to shower and dress for the day. *cringe*
What was sometimes an act of desperation due to me (and others) being sick so often had turned into a bad habit that took a long time to wake up to. Thank God we’re all awake now.
I hope that sharing our story provides motivation and inspiration to you, and not condemnation. I’m a very matter-of-fact person and prefer to say it how it is… which means I won’t sugarcoat my failures. Charity, grace, and long-suffering are good and right, along with being realistic.
If you feel guilty, do something about it! Don’t let this be another stone on your back, but instead, let it be another drop in the bucket towards positive change. If you’ve never gone down this path, praise God! Please encourage us and others to keep up the fight and to use our time wisely for the Glory of Him who made us.
- I haven’t created any rules for this vanquishing. I’ve simply removed the TV, and we’re avoiding the use of it. We are free to have a movie night, etc. The point of the vanquishing is to break bad habits, not ban usage.
- Placing The Monster in the shed and having to retrieve it for usage has not been a pain. It’s good exercise, and it helps us with self-control. Do what ya gotta do to achieve the goal!
I’ll update in a few more weeks, or perhaps at the end of the summer. 😊