Saturday, August 21, 2010

We Took the Challenge....

I know that most of you who read this also read Misfit Cygnet's blog.  If you don't I really recommend that you do! Misfit continually has topics on there that will prick you and make yourself ask the hard questions about yourself and your family.

Misfit's recent blog post as been one of those for me.  For the last several weeks I have been thinking a lot about how we need to get the TV out of our house.  Now we only use it for movies and we haven't had cable for 12 years.  I'm also really good about saying no to my kids about when they ask to watch a movie.  Still we had it and still it was staring at us.  We had a small 13" that we would play the Wii on and we had a large 19" that was in our bedroom.  We also had a spare 13" that I'm not sure where it came from.

I also realized that I was using it has a babysitter when I had to go out or when I was sick of the kids fighting.  I wasn't letting them learn to "deal" with each other. They weren't learning to love each other unconditionally.  On Sundays I let them turn on a movie half the time (of course it was always something like "Testaments" or "Legacy") but that was just because I wanted a day of rest from them.  Not good. 

Since I was feeling the urge anyway Misfit gave me the courage.  So I decided to put it in the shed.  We boxed up all the movies but five dvd's.  We packed up and put the TV's, the one VCR player and the Wii up.  I took Misfit's advice by doing two things. The first is that we have to move furniture to get them back out.  I reorganized the shed and while there isn't very many things in it our TV things are behind them all.   The second thing is that we will definitely act and not be acted upon if we choose to get them out.  I said I wanted to do it for a trial run.  My kids all know that means they probably won't be seeing them again.  They really didn't seem to care though.  I explained why I thought it was important.  They are always good sports and said sure.  Liberty saw it coming though since she reads Misfit's posts too.  Mr. Patriot just shrugged his shoulders and said whatever you want is fine.  He's a good guy.

I acutally hauled off the record/CD player while I was at it.  It took too much space and I didn't want to dust it.  I feel better already.

Now part of this really is a test.  I want to see the difference that it brings into our home.  To prove the Lord, an act of faith.  We really didn't use it a lot, but it was still an idol in our room.  I've since replaced that wall with our temple marriage certificate, a board about being a family forever and a picture from our wedding. 

I did this once before with the Lego's. Despite the outcry that I had to my inbox about how virtuous Lego's were I put them up too just to see.  See I did!  My children's behavior changed immensely, and they started to act for themselves and not be acted upon.  Imagination said, "Mom, I always use to think about Star Wars things.  All day long, I couldn't ever stop.  Since you put up the Lego's I've stopped thinking about them. Thanks mom."  Today Determination built shapes with the geometric blocks (I got rid of the how-to manual four months ago) and he built some very symmetric amazing things.  His exploration with those was a far wiser use of time than rebuilding a Lego ship for the tenth time and being upset that someone touched it.  We've been Lego less since April 1.  Really it made a difference.

Perhaps you think I'm stunting my children's growth? Perhaps you think that I'm over the top?  All I know is that I've obeyed what I was suppose to and I did try the Lord and I'm going to again and I know that He will deliver me.  It just feels better around here.


crazy4boys said...

I think we're still a ways off on this. But good for you!!! I'm trying to move us to one movie a week, on Saturday, and then we'll go from there. I tend to let the TV babysit in the form of an educational movie for the 4-yr-old while I'm trying to get something done with his older brothers. I need to work on that. My kids still rely on external forces to entertain themselves far too often. I liked the thought from your son that before that's all he thought about...sounds like some boys here!

Still having the Lego debate with myself. And the Bionicle one. I find them dumping the buckets on the floor ALL THE TIME and it drives me crazy. I might work with my husband to clear out some space in the garage so we can store them outside and make the kids actually go out and get them when they want them, and return them when they're done.

Shanny said...

My children build houses and animals etc using their imaginiations with their lego. Maybe it is because they are girls and I have tried to buy fairly generic lego sets?

Just a random thought...not trying to preach to you or anything...we all make our own decisions for our families. Obviously yours worked for your family. :-)

buzy bee said...

We don't own a TV and I love it. We watch conference on our lap top.

We don't own any lego's. We gave them all to Grandma. I've been wondering why everyone always wants to go to Grandmas :) Oh, yea, she has toys!

I love that they are there and they can go to grandmas and eat sugar and play. Luckily we only go to grandma's once a month.

I must be the meanest mommy ever, but my children never fight with each other, they read books..finally!, and they play in imaginative ways with each other.

Thanks for being another "weird" mommy who I love to read about. It is uplifting to know there are others who are trying hard to make family about God and about each other.

Kassie said...

Wasn't that an amazing post over at Misfit? I have been aching to rid myself of the TV for a long time now. I never use it, but my husband likes watching movies with the kids. So, no cable but movies. I did take all the video games out at the beginning of the summer and that has been such a wonderful thing. My boys will read or talk to each other or to me or play with their younger sisters. I did let them use them once in a while if all their work was done and their behavior had been examplary, but it's time to put them all away again since school has started. Wish I was home schooling them, but it's not in our cards right now so we try to implement TJEd into our public schooled afterlife!

Ranee said...

We actually just decided to get rid of our cable and quit paying a bill to have access to something we never use. (We only watch movies on it.) We have tried different things with regard to the t.v. In the beginning, we cut out all t.v. except for Friday Movie Night. But, even then, I felt like my family was still being reeled in by the addiction that is the t.v. So we got rid of movie night. But I have found, that without a plan, while we still don't watch it that often (and by that, I mean only movies and pretty rarely), because we don't have a plan, the kids still watch it more than I'd like them too! And I totally agree that it sits like an idol in our loft. We have talked about having a piece of furniture that has doors to hide it (right now it sits on the floor.) We have already made the decision that when it breaks, we aren't buying a new one...and we'd really love to do what one of our Stake President's did...push it into a cupboard or closet when it's not in use. We just don't have one big enough. Thank you for posting on this and getting the wheels spinning in my head about this! I would honestly LOVE to say "Nope...the t.v.'s not here anymore What can we do with our imaginations?" :0)

Deanna Householder said...

Last week I attended the temple and was also fasting - specifically re: my family and their needs and how to do everything I feel I want/need to. I will share with you all the scripture that I was led to and has since become my guiding star if you will (mission statement?):

D&C 25:10 (the Lord is speaking to Emma Smith)
"And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better."

I think that makes things pretty clear and is so easy to apply to ourselves and our families and so easy to evaluate our decisions and choices and how they help us on our journey to being mothers who know. Thanks for your example and courage Deanna! :)