It’s day two of no tv and thus far no heads have exploded (that I’m aware of). Tonight instead of our usual Thursday night practice of watching American Ninja Warrior together after dinner– we all played a game together. (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that show– and the ritual of watching it together is a thing in and of itself). However, changing a habit collectively, as a family, has a surprising way of opening doors that we didn’t necessarily know had been closed.
Tonight we sat and laughed together. We reminded ourselves there are settings other than “default” for our family. We remembered that we can be together in our home with no special occasion without having a screen as mediator. These may not seem like radical realizations– but they are gentle reminders. Choosing to step back from my relationship with the television has offered my family the option to do the same thing. I have no expectations of my teenagers deciding that it’s a really cool idea to ditch tv for thirty days and joining me for this little adventure. However, I do know that my kids are paying attention to me. I am their barometer. They test the waters only when I have fully traversed them.
My husband expressed a sentiment to me yesterday along the lines of “we don’t need to worry about changing the kids’ behavior– we just need to focus on our own.” Amen to that. I will continue to focus on my conscious choices and remind myself that each one I make is being monitored by the brilliant young humans who are in my care. They are paying attention even when they pretend not to be. And at the end of the day it’s really nice to just sit and laugh with them.