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Childhood, Parenting, Sunday With Sarah, TV and Media

Screen-Free Week: My Decision to Pull the Plug



This week on Sunday With Sarah, I share the story of my decision to pull the plug many years ago during TV-Turnoff Week. Not easy while living in Hollywood and being immersed in the entertainment world.

How’d it go? Listen and find out!

For more information and inspiration, please visit Screen-Free Week and the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.

Screen-Free Week 2016 is from May 2 to May 8. Are you inspired to pull the plug on TV, videos, and computers for a week? Is your family already media-free?

Please share your challenges and triumphs here!

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  • Reply Roselinde April 10, 2013 at 3:28 am

    What a great concept! Start with a week and life can look very different. I grew up tv free at home. Of course at friends I had tv time and the occasional approved film at home. My childhood was full of imaginative play, music and animals. I feel blessed to have this experience. As a teen out of home I had a big tv period but within a couple of years had said goodbye to it again. It was natural to continue technology free for my children also. Occasionally I make a popcorn date with my big girl and we watch a film together as a treat ( about 5 times a year) I’m sure she would like more!! She has had phased of more or less films. Often the same film over again, and no Walt Disney or commercial cartoons etc. if we spend time with families who have a lot of screen time she will want it also yet once we part ways ( traveling) she regains her creative play focus within a few days. Now she is an avid reader as I was her stimulation is pretty fulfilled. I hope as she ages I will continue to find a healthy balance in this techno filled world. Once again what a great idea to have a week free!

  • Reply Charity@TheHomeschoolExperiment April 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. Sometimes it’s just so helpful to hear what worked (ex. beeswax crayons and paper) for others!
    A few weeks ago my sweet 7 year old was rolling her eyes and giving me this attitude and I thought, “Where did this come from?” Then I knew–they had been watching a movie Grandma sent where the kids are very disrespectful to their parents. I realized on many of even the educational shows, the bad guys have these attitudes and she was modeling the bad behavior!
    That was I guess 2 weeks ago. No TV the first week and only one of my three even asked for it. It was hardest on me because I had to think of what activity to suggest or how to get them to stop fighting instead of turning on the TV. This week we repeated it and I’m leaning toward no TV during the week this summer. The home is more relaxed and peaceful (no arguing over who gets to pick what to watch), they are playing together better, hours more time to read, talk, play dolls, etc.
    I want to go slowly since I tend to make life-changing decisions one week, then reverse myself the next, but I am really wanting to phase out TV except for the occasional movie night and your story was very helpful!
    I don’t know of any Waldorf people or schools in my area *(Tulsa, Oklahoma), so your videos are a breath of fresh air! (Do you know of any way to connect with Waldorf people in an area?)
    Thanks so much!

  • Reply Nikole April 15, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Great post. I love Sunday with Sarah and appreciate what you are doing! :) Thank you!

  • Reply Erin April 15, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for the video, I have shared this on my blog and hope to get the family onboard for that week!



  • Reply Erin April 29, 2013 at 12:09 am

    great topic. we are a no tv household (kids watch a program about once every 2 wks on the computer). I absolutely love how independant my kids are when it comes to filling their days with play. it’s great to see how their little minds work when they are not overstimulated with junk programming. my biggest concern with “child friendly” programming is just what the poster above touched on–it’s often not modeling or teaching anything other than disrespectful behavior. I’d also encourage anyone looking to make a change to give no screen week a try. or even try a month!!! 30 days is usually the amount of time it takes to make a solid change.

  • Reply Jeanene April 29, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Having no TV has been the best decision for my children and us as adults. Sasha, 10 and Sania 7. I am amazed by their creativity and imagination from all the wonderful reading books we read. They are happy and really know how to play!

  • Reply Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It April 30, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your family’s experience with screens so many years ago. I’ve love for you to share this post on our Screen Free Activities and Resources Link Up. I’ve also shared on our Pinterest Board. The more this message is heard the more I know parents will take it to heart and take action. So thrilled to have discovered your site.

  • Reply Cheryl May 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    yes indeed, as others are staying, media free is such a blessing for our children, and our home lives. My daughter just turned 6, and I see her imagination and her ingenuity as a strength. We have NO TV for her, so passive entertainment is rare. As a result, she creates something out of “nothing” IE: a show/performance w/ a stick as a microphone, etc., etc.
    Enjoy your child and know that what they say and do comes from their imaginations….not a tv show or video.

  • Reply Charity@TheHomeschoolExperiment May 29, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Just wanted to say–2 weeks ago I finally pulled the plug for the summer. No TV or movies in our home for the summer. Trips and Grandparent’s house are exceptions.

    Already in the last 2 weeks I’ve noticed:
    – less fighting
    – Less “I’m bored”
    – my 3 year old is talking like crazy
    – children playing together for hours with made up stories
    – more reading.

    Love it. Thanks for encouraging this area! – C

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