August 27, 2008

Observations of an Average Mommy

Okay, so I was trying to think of a very simple answer to my friends question, "Just curious, what made you change your mind about the movie thing? How do you keep the kiddos entertained now so you can get things done?" But, knowing how long-winded I tend to get, I hope you will forgive me for this rather lengthy explanation.
First, a disclaimer. I, in no way, shape or form, pretend to know more about parenting than the next mom. These are simply observations based on my experiences with my own children.
Second, I recommend going to the "Instead of TV" link on the side of my blog. On the top left-hand side of their site, there are a bunch of articles listed on what TV does to you. Its crazy!
Anyway, we don't watch TV at all since we aren't willing to pay for it but, like I said, movies were played at least once a day, often times more. For a while I was doing good but then when I became pregnant and sick, really tired, blah blah, all those excuses, I started turning them on all the time. I started noticing a few things. One, my kids were grouchy, all the time! Two, they fought constantly! Three, they would not play on their own and if they did it didn't last very long. Somehow I just KNEW it was from all the movies they were watching. Well, that wasn't the ONLY thing effecting them but I knew that was a huge part. Still, habits are hard to change and I was worried about them screaming and fighting all the time, with no distractions which the movies provided, and I was worried I would go insane and not be able to get a single thing done! I was praying all the time for patience and for help as to what to do to help my kids. I knew in the back of my mind I should take them off the movies but I just wasn't feeling up to the effort.
Well, my break to Education Week was just what I needed. It helped me re-focus and I felt the drive and the desire to start changing things. So, one of the first things I did was unplug the TV. Second thing was to start making subtle changes in their diet... but thats a whole other topic. Kids are amazingly adaptable and the learn so fast. Like I mentioned earlier, Monday, the kids seemed antsy and cranky, they requested movies all day long, there was constant fighting and it about drove me crazy! I had to make a trip to Wal-mart for diapers and, after a small string of events, Savannah was screaming and crying at the top of her lungs right there in the store for a good 20 minutes and would not stop all the way home. Ugh.
But then yesterday, it was so amazingly different, Joseph only requested a movie once and for most of the day the kids just played together. I really didn't do much entertaining besides some reading, some holding and talking, and some crafts with Savannah. 
Kids really do mimic what they see. I have been trying to do a little more reading lately, and yesterday, for about a good half hour, Joseph and Savannah just looked at books together, didn't ask me to read to them or anything. In fact, Savannah has taken to "reading" books to the boys!
Today was even more incredible. I'm not exaggerating when I say that for a good 40 minutes, all three kids sat down and played with the vacuum cleaner together with no fighting. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen! The whole day was like that. They just played together and sometimes I would just sit with them and do my own thing while they did theirs. Even if, at times, I'm not actively playing with them, just having me near them settles them right down. It seems like everyone is more happy and content and I have MORE time to get things done. Gee, how come I didn't try this sooner! Okay, not to say that they turned into perfect angels overnight. There is still fighting and screaming, they are kids after all. But the level of intensity and frequency had dropped dramatically, in just a couple days! Wow. Everyone just seems happier.

Anyway, so there is my rather lengthy explanation for a simple question.  =) Sorry.

4 super cool people speak:

Heidi said...

Yay for getting away from the movies! And even more yay for them "reading!" I knew you're kids were awesome. Keep it up!! You're doing great!

Brittney said...

I love it! It sounds very logical and smart. Thanks for the response. Now I really want to hear the diet changes :) I have been slowly incorporating changes into my diet as well over the last year or so to be more healthy. I still have a long way to go though.

Mama Smith said...

Excellent!!!I remember meeting an LDS doctor...who gave me my MISSION exam...telling me that one day he came home...and told his family...it was either the T.V. had to go...or he was leaving...He said it was quite PAINFUL at first, but, over the years...his children all became proficient in many areas...music...etc. He said it was the BEST THING HE HAD EVER DONE!!!

Becki said...

I love reading your blog! How was education week? Sorry we missed you...we'll see you next time, though.
Hooray for vacuum cleaners!

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