Friday, September 16, 2005


We don't have TV at our house. We have a TV and we do rent movies every weekend, but we don't have cable or any way of being able to see regular television. It's been that way for the entire 6 years we've been married. The boys don't even complain about it. It's like we all just moved in here and never got it hooked up. It's been a really good thing for us. The boys play outside in the afternoons; riding bikes, skateboarding, shooting baskets, or playing football in an empty lot nearby. Or, they play inside setting up little towns with blocks and cars or playing with the RISK soldiers in ways that have nothing to do with the actual game. Looking back on it, I think the fact that we've never had TV has been the biggest influence in our boys bonding as "brothers". It's caused them to spend more time interacting with one another.

My husband and I know for a fact that we are more productive because of it. People often ask us how we are able to accomplish as much as we do with so many kids, and we tend to believe it's because we don't have TV. We both love TV. During the times we do get to travel one of our greatest pleasures is watching it. It still seems like a total waste of time but being on vacation makes it okay to waste time.

But lately, we've been thinking about getting it. Cable or something. We're thinking that if we get the TIVO thing, where we can limit ourselves to just certain shows (i really don't even know what i'm talking about but i think that's the way it works) that maybe it would be okay. Then it would be sort of the same as renting movies.

The boys know we're considering it and of course they're all for it. Which is actually a vote against it for us! I don't want to have to "manage" it and I'm thinking it would turn into that.

We'll see.



Brad C. said...

Don't do it. I strongly recommend you don't do it. When I was growing up, we had TV only until I was about 12 or 13. Then my parents decided it was just too much and ditched the cable. That was about 10 or 11 years ago and I can definitely say it was an excellent choice. Sure, we missed the TV - for about 6 months. But, like you mention, there was so much time now to do things together as a family. Constructive things, outdoors things, learning things, pretty much anything is better than vegetating in front of the TV.

Now that I'm on my own and can actually afford things, I set up a Media Center (like Tivo, so you can record shows and watch at your leisure). The only thing it does is encourage you to watch more shows! Because you can skip commercials, it's easy to justify one more show (you can fit 3 half hour shows in an hour without the commercials), and because everything's recorded, you always have "interesting" content available. The Tivo, in its devious might, will actually record more than you ask it to, to ensure that its hard drive is always full. But when I step back and look at the inane trash that fills the airwaves, I'm disappointed in myself. I can see the wisdom in my parents' choice.

grace said...

Thanks SO much for your comment Brad! Your opinion carries alot of weight with me since you've experienced growing up without it. And, of course, I love it that you look back on it and admire your parents for their stance. That's the sort of thing we dream of as parents with our children. We've both been waffling back and forth on it for several weeks but you've definitly waffled me back to the "no" side.

Robert said...

Television was constantly on in my home growing up, and I would frequently be at odds with my family members about turning it off, even when no one was watching it. I am not a big TV person even now.

That said, there is some wonderful programing on that you would find enriching. Just monitor the situation.

I had a friend in high school who did very well without TV. She was smart, well-read, and an excellent host who through parties where guests actually had to interact with one another.

Emery said...

I vote for no TV, either. I grew up with TV, and I realize now that it didn't really add much to my life and wasted tons of time.

Once I left for college, it took about three years before I lost my addiction to TV. Now, I don't have a TV, and I feel confident it's been a better decision... the road less traveled, here in the US of A.