We are now a TV free home, we have no TV! Shocking, but I say it might just be the new black.
Ok, maybe not, but there are people from everywhere actually trying it out and surviving. Honestly! Just some of the soap boxes that are recommending it are:
- Religion – Doesn’t really matter which, they all talk about how TV is a negative influence and we need less of it
- Parenting – Simplicity Parenting (that I just did in my November reading) was the kicker for us to finally ship it out. Lots of other websites like this talk about how kids get to much and need to be limited. They also talk about the benefit of good shows, but with the internet as it is and the mass of educational DVD’s I don’t think the education is needed via the TV
- Minimalism – Often isn’t worth the space, and is seen by lots of people as stealing simplicity and a happy life. I like this article by The Minimalists about how to get rid of TV.
Sure, not all TV is bad. But, we figured we could get the benefit with the computer and DVD’s (played on the computer) and the TV was just wasted space.
How did the kids take it? Well… if we asked them, we would have never gotten rid of it 🙂 Really though, they said things like ‘you aren’t getting rid of the TV are you?’ and then ran of and did other things. They have spoken about it maybe a few times since. They would love to spend their whole time in front of the TV, computer, and other electronics, but we are the parents for now, and are trying to help them come up with other habits.
We tried a bit of an ‘experiment’ after we got rid of the TV last November. It was getting so bad with the kids always wanting to be on electronics instead of playing with their toys that we decided to ‘cold turkey’ the TV, computer games and the iphone for the rest of the year. They were on the computer some for school, and sometimes saw stuff when they were with friends, but for our house we didn’t do it.
At first I didn’t really tell them much. If they asked, I just told them ‘not today, how about we do this?’, but after weeks and weeks of that, Lily was smartening up to ‘When are we going to play computer again?’. And I told them that we were going to just leave it off for the rest of the year. They weren’t particularly thrilled, but their life didn’t end.
How did it all go?
Well, Lily is much better at entertaining herself than Ian is. If Ian is board, he just pesters his sister. How is it that they are born this way? It is much easier to ‘parent’ with electronics. It allows me to get so much done. So, that was hard for me.
We ended up relaxing a bit on the Christmas break because it was vacation and we were all wanting to chill and relax. Also, our Minimalist Christmas was taking lots of energy and we wanted them to have some down time to balance out.
But otherwise, it worked. The kids learned to play with each other better and learned to find other things to do.
2012 and beyond
We still have no TV, and don’t plan on getting one soon. None of us have really missed it at all. We have decided to bring back some computer time. We didn’t really intend on quitting for good, but having a period where we could try and break the habit a bit. Computer has been a reward for having school done and getting the house cleaned up, so when we weren’t doing computer in the evenings it was hard to get them motivated to get the house clean… so, you could say that I had to bring back a bit of evening computer playing so that I could have a clean house. I think it is a good trade 🙂
So there you go. I am not trying to convince anyone out of their TV with this post. I just wanted to put it out there as a doable option. Do you watch a bunch of TV? How do you limit it in your house?