Quittin' TV Cold Turkey | Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Quittin' TV Cold Turkey

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Before I had children I knew ALL about how to raise them. Really, I was an expert. MY children wouldn't eat that much sugar. MY children will not drive us out of restaurants with poor behavior. MY children will never point to an elderly gentleman in Target and yell "LOOK AT THAT OLD DEAD GUY!"  But alas, God was laughing knowing my children would do all those things and more and for some of it my role will be as co-conspirator.   So here is my confession. Molly watches an insane amount of television and eats an even more insane amount of sugar laden treats.  Oh, we read and do crafts together and tell stories and tickle. And we eat veggies and fruit. But in between those times Molly is zoned with sugar and TV.  She loves both and begs for them constantly.

I stood back and took a look at us recently.  Jim works super long hours on some days so on the other days I felt like he was entitled to spend his down time as he wanted which was usually in front of the TV after playing with the girls.  Ellie thinks the words "night-night" means to watch TV in my bed with Molly which was their little ritual together.   WTheck????

I blew my stack a few days ago when Molly asked for millionth time if she could have a lollipop at 7:35 in the morning. (No, my daughter hasn't ever had a lollipop for breakfast but she sure lives in hope that some day she will).  I decided that we were all going on a sugar/TV fast for the entire weekend, including all day on Friday and Monday. So a total of 4 days without my family's favorite vices.

How's it going?  Here's a clue.

Molly built a TV out of a box. She played with it all day. I'm not kidding. She even made me pretend to change the channel.  Can we say withdrawal?  And Teddy wasn't the only player. She got in that box repeatedly to give us the weather report.

We were in a store yesterday and Molly came out with this.

Molly:  Mom, it doesn't matter if we don't watch TV because I can watch it in my brain by thinking.

Me:  I guess that's true!  Are you watching right now?

Molly:  yup!

Me:  What are you watching?

Molly:  Commercials (said with a sigh)

Poor kid. I mean commercials in your pretend TV in your head?  That is so sad to me!

I will admit to you, friends, that Jim and I do watch a bit after the girls have gone to bed. And we may have had a small ice cream cone while doing so.  Besides, The Real Housewives of NJ was on the DVR so I kind of consider that grandfathered in.

But overall we have all enjoyed each other's company so much. We have done so much more laughing together and right now Jim is reading some books for work. He never reads. He watches TV. But he chose this instead.  And he spent the day installing bead board in our powder room instead of watching people do it on HGTV. Super.

On Tuesday we get our vices back but I am going to make a huge effort to limit it much more than we did in the past.  Wish me luck!

This is Molly during a production of one of her sad shows.



  1. I love this! It's so easy to get caught up in everyday routines and lose ourselves in it while missing important quality time. It's so much more rewarding when you can give up or cut down on the vices that consume us and really enjoy some family time...or at least be more productive. :)

  2. Oh this is classic! Didn't we spend hours teaching ourselves the lyrics and moves to 'Jessie's Girl instead of watching TV?!?!?!I've gotta tell you that I banned any sort of cable when we moved into our house in December of 2007 after having had it forever. The result? We're not slaves to the TV or the marathon of endless shows on DVR. Instead we have movie nights where we try to sit down as a family and watch a good movie together! Sometimes we end up buying several movies at once, but way less than what we would be spending on cable. In the end, I find myself telling the kids to go outside and find something to do. Now ... if I could only get rid of Wi-fi in the house and survive! :D

  3. Love it! Less sugar is always good and no TV is wonderful!!! Pretend games are awesome. Another awesome is your picture of Molly on "TV". She's so beautiful!! Good luck for continuing as best you can!!

  4. LOL, your Molly and my Makenna would get along great! And my husband enjoys watching other people do stuff on the DIY network, too!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. That last picture is so sweet! We don't have tv anymore. When our son was almost 3 years ago, we were watching the Weather Channel nonstop. That's it. So when we bought a house a few months later we decided not to order cable and waste $75 a month on something we weren't using. We don't miss it. We are constantly busy with house projects and the kids. We "rent" a movie from the library once a week and have movie night, and even then now we kind of feel like we're wasting time, but the break is good. Congrats on your break!

  6. Jenny,
    This is awesome and I commend you for giving it a shot. Good luck!

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  8. Andrew is a TV- and sugar-addict, too. Ben Franklin did a "Turn off the Tube" week and that was interesting. He signed the pledge (me too!) and we found other stuff to do. It was amazing. We went back to watching tv, but ever since then he seems to know when he's had enough tv. Getting him to cut back on sweets...that might take a while.

    (And that "test" is me. Technology sometimes gets the upper hand with me!)


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