Friday, August 15, 2008

So Many Things Stirring Around

Really bad insomnia tonight. Got into bed, read a bit of a book I borrowed from the counselor at the elementary school, stomach starts churning, ideas racing through my brain, and suddenly I realize I'm wide awake. There will be no sleep for me for awhile. I start talking to Zan in my fully awake state when he had been snoring just a few moments before, so this is where I end up--in the front room, in the dark, blogging away.

The book I'm reading somehow has greater significance to me because of the class I'm just finishing. Funny. So many times in my life, I feel like there's a progression. A trail that I follow that leads me to various discoveries. Things that I know wouldn't stick in my brain if it weren't for the last bit of info I just received. I love that. Not deja vu, but "Hey, this is the next thing that follows logically into this puzzle of life."

Would you be willing to go with no TV for a year for $200? I'm currently reading Meeting the Challenge by Jim Fay, Foster Cline and Bob Sornson. I asked Moe Caryl at Errol Hassell if I could borrow the Love and Logic CDs from the school. I also expressed some concern for Brevin as I spoke with her. When I went to pick up the CDs, this book was attached. It has been so good. It deals specifically with parenting children with attention and behavior problems. I love how when I get back on board with Love and Logic, the change in the kids is almost instantaneous.

So, here's what I read tonight that has me churning. It's from chapter 6 of the book; if you can get your hands on it, read the entire chapter. I will do my best to paraphrase here:

"Today when parents 'do' something with small children, it seldom involves really 'doing' anything. Parents watch TV, go to a game with the children, go to the movies, or maybe, go to the zoo. Relatively rarely do today's single, dating, divorced, and commuting parents actually sit down and create or produce something with their small children. Shared focus on a mutual task may not take place at all. This was not a problem back on the farm, when there were cows to milk, eggs to gather, and pigs to slop. But it is a definite problem in today's world of busy parents and busy kids, who spend whatever time they do have together 'relaxing.'"

"Pediatrician John Rosemond notes the things a child is not doing when he is watching TV:

  • Scanning
  • Practicing motor skills, gross or fine
  • Practicing eye-hand coordinatio
  • Using more than two senses
  • Asking question
  • Exploring
  • Exercising initiative or motivation
  • Being challenged
  • Solving problems
  • Thinking analytically
  • Exercising imagination
  • Practicing communication skills
  • Being either creative or constructive

And these are exactly the things that children with A.D.H.D. often don't do well!

"Years ago, parents were advised, if your kid is watching too much TV, be more interesting than the TV. The problem today is that many young parents, having been raised on TV themselves, are clueless about how to be more interesting that the TV. They don't know what to do with their kids, and so the whole family gives up and everyone sits down to watch something.

"Recently, a businessman and his wife, fed up with the amount of time their elementary age children sat in front of the TV, bet the children $200 apiece that they could not go one year without watching TV in the home. The kids took the parents up on the bet. And they won. To the parents' amazement, after the year was up, the children asked the parents not to return the TV to the home. The kids had found, over the year, that it was just too much fun to be doing things with their parents and in a self-motivated way. They realized that they had been missing out on some important things." (Fay, et al., 2000, pp. 62-66)

I'm seriously thinking that this challenge is going to be given to the Hess children within the next month or so. We used to do with out TV for the summer. There was one summer when the TV died the week school got out. It was heavenly! We had already gone without TV the summers before that, but it just made it that much easier. I believe I have gotten to the point where I have released some of my hold on my children's decisions. They are big kids, they can choose for themselves, but this is a battle I think I need to resume--for Brevin's sake if for no one else's. I would give it all up if it would help Brevin. We have one more month with our contract with DirecTV. I won't miss it. I often tell the kids that just hearing the Sponge Bob theme song makes us all a bit stupider.

I guess the reason my stomach churns about this is the worry of entertaining them all. I know they're smart kids. TV is an addiction, and there will be withdrawal symptoms at first. They will be bored. They will fight and argue and nag until they get it all figured out. I just need to get that into my head. I know this isn't going to solve all of our problems, but it certainly won't hurt. I look forward to more creative and capable children. I hope that will be the outcome.


Christy said...

Ok, Julie. I was going to vote on the TV thing then realized does that include movies that you pop in that aren't in the schduled TV programming? If that is the case I'm going to have to say NO! Haha. Love sitting down at night and watching a movie with Rob and letting our brains do nothing. Now, if it was going without TV just while the kids are awake, OK I'd try it :)

vaxhacker said...

I'm with Christy... and would ask if it includes computer screens (which you can pry from my cold dead fingers...) Or a selected movie/tv show I'd pull up on the computer as opposed to sitting down to see what's on tv to veg out to.

Come to think of it, this would be an interesting topic to blog about myself soon... I think I have enough opinions for that one :)

vaxhacker said...

...and I totally understand the insomnia thing, I'm up way too many nights with 10,483 things running through my ADD-brain at the same time. I could get so much more done if I didn't have to sleep once in a while...

Tonya said...

I think I could do without T.V. fairly easily. If it is on on the day it drives me nuts! My kids are not allowed to turn it on until around 4;00 in the afternoon. I don't mind it being on during "down time", but to sit in front of the tube all day...AHHHHHH! We just have the 7.00 per month cable to clear up our channels, but that's it. I don't think i'm interested in getting any bigger and better cable package. I am in the process of reading Last Child In The Woods. A book about the effects of taking nature out of the lives of our children. It makes you think alot about this technology advanced world and how to balance it with good old fashioned outside playtime. Sometimes the book is boring, but it is full of great insights, so I will finish it. And, I too love to sit and watch a movie with my hubby or as a family. I'm really not against t.v. I just think it should be used sparingly.

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