So yesterday was the "no tv/movies/computer" day. It went fairly well. Finally, at about 5pm or so, I let them on the computer and dh & I got dinner together. The day was good! It definitely took more effort on my part, but actually, it was less mess & stress.
So today, the children did their tv/movie/computer time early in the morning - then once I came downstairs (after breakfast), they cleaned up the downstairs with (*gasp*) no complaining. AND THEN, they shut down the computers, did NOT turn the tv back on and then asked to play with puzzles and the Thomas train set upstairs! Seriously, this is a *great* thing.
Especially for my eldest son, who was becoming quite addicted to games and tv. Even after just one day, there is less complaining from him all around.
PLUS, there is more creativity. Now, the arguing *did* increase for awhile - it was as though they had to re-learn how to play with one another, how to deal with each others quirks, how to deal with the fact that their brother is only 20 months old and can't play EXACTLY as they would like him to. Yet today, it's....better. I am still right here, right by them, helping them come up with ideas of games, reminding them to show love to their little brother, even when he takes a piece of the train track off the table and sends Thomas crashing to the floor.
Children do NOT get this kind of socialization while in school. They are stuck all day in a classroom of children exactly the same age as themselves. Yet here, they are learning how to interact with children younger and older. They are learning patience as they struggle with a younger sibling who needs their help and takes extra time. The younger children are stretched as they try oh-so-hard to be "big kids", feeling relaxed and comfortable in an environment that allows them to try and fail and try again - without threat of judgement or condemnation.
So anyways, the new day seems to involve some tv/computer/game time in the mornings, before breakfast, while I'm getting myself together. Breakfast. Then it's chore/clean-up time. Once that is done, the kiddos are off to play & learn through games and puzzles and projects they can do together (and usually without my help, so I can get more of MY housework done). Then lunch, reading out loud, naps and education stuff. Then it's outside (if it's nice) while dinner prep is taken care of.
I can see why moms fall into the tv/computer trap.....and I can see why a mom made need to use them more for a time. Yet I've found in my children, this ultimately leads to some serious behavior issues. I'm not willing to completely get rid of the tv or the computer - but I am determined to limit their use.
I pray you are all having a terrific fall day!! Another of my friends had her baby yesterday - such a beautiful little baby girl. I am enjoying this part of pregnancy, yet always anxious to meet the little one growing inside of me! It's exciting to think of what God has in store for this little one and our family~