As we began this month-long experiment, I wasn’t altogether sure what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect to have over 100 people come visit our blog every day! And if we had any visitors at all, I guess I had expected them to be mostly supportive of our attempt at a media-free September…mainly because I assumed the majority of our guests would be people who know us in real life.
So I was surprised when we received a rather critical comment from a visitor who suggested that keeping the children away from media for a month was an example of worse parenting than if we gave them unlimited access to video games 24/7. Hmmm.
Here’s what I’m seeing at Stately Bennett Manor as a result of just one week without TV, video games, and unnecessary computer usage:
- improved performance and attitudes during homeschool time
- greatly increased time spent in physical activity, especially time spent outside
- an obvious tightening of sibling bonds, most notably between Grace and Jamie, our 13 and 12 year olds
- a clearing of my mind that I hadn’t expected at all…and some of my family members must be having the same experience, whether or not they would necessarily be able to articulate it
Today, which was really just a pretty typical Bennett day, reflected all these qualities. I saw it during school, during the afternoon playtime, during our trip to Burlington to have dinner with friends, during our Walmart shopping extravaganza…it’s a change that is marking everything about our days. That really shouldn’t have been a big surprise to me. With two TV’s, three computers, two hand-held video game systems, and three gaming systems in a house with nine people, media didn’t just seep into our home…it gushed in like the Mississippi breaching a levy! It’s amazing what a difference it makes when something is removed that was taking up that much space in our lives!
And that’s after just the first week! I’m increasingly excited about watching the month unfold.