That’s right, we did it. We said no tv for the entire summer.

My husband and I decided to take this summer and be incredibly intentional with our kids. As we devised our plans, we had three goals in mind:

We wanted them to be “bored”. 

We wanted them to unplug from all iPads, tv’s, and phone games while home. 

We wanted to work less {isn’t that always the goal though 🙂 }

Shutting the tv completely off wasn’t anything more than a quick thought in the beginning. A pure dream. The idea really stemmed from reading Joanna Gaines book, The Magnolia Story, and came across the section describing how her family doesn’t watch tv at all. The kid’s have never had a tv! At first I thought how in the world do they do it. Even one show for the kids a day allows me to fold laundry, clean the house, or check my client emails. However, it also intrigued me. Could my family actually do it?

We put it to the test. Once I actually spoke the words aloud, I knew we needed to try it. So during the last week of school, as we were creating our summer bucket list, Nick and I told the kids what was happening. No TV all summer except for Friday nights when we have family fun night and do something fun as a family. We said we would allow them to choose a movie during this night to watch as a family but that would be it.

“This is going to be the worst summer ever” was their response.

{not going to lie, my thoughts weren’t too far off}

How was I going to distract these three kiddos (7, 5, and 3) all while running two business’s and launching a new company. I honestly regretted this decision the first week of summer break but kept reminding myself it was exactly what was needed for our family. My kids have always loved playing outside but after allowing them to watch a 30 minute show each day during quiet time, my children’s behavior completely changed. The moment the tv was turned off they would whine, complain, fight with one another, or simply follow me around the house until I prepared the next idea for them. So I constantly had to remind myself of my why.

And wouldn’t you know, after the first week the kids were outside playing, climbing trees, swimming in the pool, exploring the yard, used their imaginations to create stories and scenes, and actually started to play together. Most importantly, they learned how to use their imaginations and create without asking me what can we do next.

I remember one morning in particular I was folding laundry in silence. Thirty minutes went by and never did I hear a child call out my name, ask for a snack, or come in crying after a fight that broke out. I was concerned. I ran outside to find they had created a tee-pee out of large sticks, covered it with towels, and had gathered leaves and berries – all pretending they were Indians finding new land. That was the very moment I knew we made the right choice.

After three months of no tv, I haven’t looked back. This was the very best decision we could have made for our family. We noticed these three things in our kids this summer:

The kids never asked for movie night after the first two weeks. They just completely forgot about it and wanted to do something “fun” instead. 

The kids actually learned how to appreciate each other and play with one another. There was hardly any fighting! They woke up, went outside and didn’t stop playing. 

As a mom who is actively involved with playing with my kids, I realized sometimes it’s best to step back and let them figure it out on their own. I don’t like to miss the moments with my kids, but seeing their minds create made me realize just how much I was doing for them. So now when they ask me to play, I jump in and let them take the lead. 

By far the very best summer we have had yet! This decision isn’t for everyone, but for our family it was the best decision we could have ever made!!!




I'm Marli

I am the owner of and lead baby and toddler sleep consultant at The Cradle Coach. I am a family-first mom of three, goal-oriented entrepreneur, to-do list extraordinaire, avid dreamer and unshakable optimist dedicated to helping tired families all around the world give their child the best sleep possible.


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