Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The TV

So, as we forge ahead on our journey of simplifying our lives, Justin and I have hit a roadblock when it comes to the TV. For me, I can take it or leave it. I much prefer to fill my evenings with a little bit of work, knitting, reading and tea drinking. Justin on the other hand really enjoys his TV. His evenings are filled with documentaries, history programs, national geographic programs, car shows and so on. His TV watching is very educational, he is not one for the regular TV viewing, thank goodness.
There is one issue regarding the TV we agree on, and that is Reece. We decided long ago the TV would not be a part of Reece’s childhood. We just felt it wasn’t necessary.  So the TV is not on during the day, ever, only coming to life after Reece is tucked in for the night.
A few months ago, I brought up the subject of getting rid of the TV altogether, you can most likely imagine the expression I was met with, yeah, it definitely said “no way”. I then suggested a little experiment, a week without TV, still a no go in Justin’s book. I was determined, though, to try and get him to come around, so I put the suggestion of a screen free day on the table and he agreed!
Sunday is our family day. We spend time as a family doing exactly what we want. We don’t schedule anything; we chill, hang out, usually head out for a hike and hit the coffee shop for a cup of tea. It is a day to just be and enjoy our time as a family. So, it made perfect sense to make Sunday our screen free day and so it began.
We have been at it for a few months now and Justin loves it! At first, I was still trying to get my Sunday blog post in, quickly, but we have decided that the Sunday blog post will no longer be so we can be totally screen free for the day.
You will find us reading, knitting, hanging out in front of the fire and talking on Sunday nights. It is really wonderful and is the perfect end to our family day.
So, for now, I will call it a win on my part, but I will not stop trying to find a way to limit it even more in our lives. There is just so much to do, read, talk about and share when we don’t have a “third wheel” in the room.
How welcome is TV in your home?


  1. We have a TV but no antenna or cable to go with it. My husband is an avid video gamer so getting rid of the tv would be getting rid of his one favorite hobby. However he only plays games at night after the girls are in bed. Sometimes we watch movies together too. But TV takes no part in my kids lives either. The computer is a different story though, because we use it as our radio and music source so it's always on. Lately though we've spent all of our evenings reading, I like that.

  2. Sounds like the perfect way to spend the evenings KC. Justin and I are not so tech savvy, so the computer doesn't really function into our lives that much either, just basic usage. We still have a radio, and get this a CD player :) Last time my brother in law was here he had a little chuckle about that one.

  3. KC's response sounds a lot like my house: My husband loves to play video games late at night after our daughter (and usually me, too) are tucked away for the night. And he's very much into sports. I'd LOVE to get rid of the TV as I don't think it is necessary either, but I get the same horrified look you do.

    We only recently cut our daughter off from TV. She was watching some PBS programs and we found that it was starting to grow to more and more than we felt comfortable with. She was becoming addicted, of course, and so were we -- I found myself working more, blogging more, showering, etc. during this screen time. But it was interfering negatively so at Christmas we cut her off cold turkey. At first she didn't notice, but then she started asking for it and getting blue when the answer was no.

    As a compromise, we'll do a weekly dinner & a movie night. It is marked on the calendar for her to see and she is very excited. (I am too!) I don't want TV/movies to be a forbidden fruit, but I don't want it to be a regular occurrence either. We'll see if this compromise is the perfect fit.

    As for my husband & I, we enjoy watching movies together in the evenings. But a couple times a week, we leave the TV off and play games together instead. I really love those nights -- when I have the energy for it. Sometimes I just want to veg with a good movie.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

  4. Such a great plan and a perfect place to start:) I love following your journey. Sending love your way, Barefoot Mama

  5. It is amazing how addictive the TV can be, isn't it April? Even to our little ones. I will never forget as a young adult watching my friends young children watching a TV program one afternoon...they were mesmerized. There could have been a fire in the house and I am not sure they would have noticed. It definitely stuck with me all these years, and is one of the reasons we have not made it a part of Reece's childhood.

    I should clarify, we do have a family movie night occassionally. Reece's favourite movie is Cars. And he has seen Toy Story. We don't do it on a regular basis, but every once in a while. And you will find Justin and I enjoying a movie night occassionally as well.

    It is all a process, while I would love to see it go, Justin is not there yet and maybe never will be. But we will continue to work together on it and see where it goes.

    Glad it was thought provoking for you,I love that :)

  6. Awe, thanks Barefoot Mama, so happy to have you along on our journey.

  7. We have had the TV discussion many times in the past. I wanted to remove it from the house and others didn't. It hasn't been removed. I have found though that it is mainly educational shows that are watched and it is only on for short periods of time. This is when I either read, knit, catch up on cleaning or spend time on the computer, so I no longer mind. As I homeschool my boys I don't mind just a bit of TV as it gives me a break. Just a little bit though.

    Kim, I read that you are a holistic nutritionist. Just wondering where you did your training as I'm interested in this too. I have been doing a bit of reading about the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and I'm doing Heather's (Beauty that Moves blog) three month course soon.

  8. we have a screen, but we don't have cable hooked up to it. We save it for movies, which are of course are not for little bird. our screen is sitting out right now, but eventually it will be behind closed doors or some kind of fabric. I hate having the screen glaring at us even when it's off. thankfully, it's in the "other room" that we don't use often. have you thought about covering your screen when it's not in use?

    I refuse to have cable hooked up in our home because TV is too addicting for me and I don't want to waste my life.

    However, Hulu.com has been a downfall in our home. After our little bird is in bed, we've been known to sit in front of the computer for hours watching... errrr.. wasting our lives away. But don't get me wrong. I agree with April about sometimes wanting to 'veg' in front of a good movie. There is something nice about just settling in and watching some mind numbing and funny program to just "let go" of everything. Sure it's not meditating, but it's also not drinking (wink)! But this year we've shifted things around and are only watching hulu one or two nights a week and instead reading or blogging or sewing a lot more. We used to do a game night, so maybe we will have to revive that!

    But I have to admit, I do love to watch hulu.com when Avi is napping and I'm prepping dinner or folding laundry. It is nice to have it as background noise, especially since I've already listened to every podcast of This American Life (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/) more than once. anyone have suggestions for other things to listen to online? Sometimes I do watch TED TALKS or listen to RadioLab, but Hulu.com is my mild addiction.

    But back to our values. We won't allow our bird, Avi, to watch anything until he is five. Our families think we are a little crazy to hold out that long, but we know too well about the negative effects on brain wiring and other negative long term outcomes of being raised by the TV. I also don't want to forbid TV forever, but there will be plenty of time for TV throughout his life, no need to start that now. When he is older, we will regulate the watching as other's have mentions... a special dinner and a movie night. And, there is something about not allowing a child to watch a movie over and over and over again. I know that kids "love" their movies, but I can remember how special it was when "The Sound of Music" or "The Wizard of Oz" was shown on t.v only once a year when I was growing up -- those were special nights that we got to stay awake past our bedtime and enjoy the movies as a family. I want my kiddo(s) to have some semblance of that.

    okay, so this has become a blog post in and of itself. thanks for bring up this conversation!
    best, Jules

  9. Hi Julie, sounds like we do the same thing when our hubby's are watching TV. It is not often I can just sit there and watch it, so you will usually find me doing something else. I do have to admit, my hubby can answer just about any question you ask him from all the shows he watches. It could be a history question to how something is made, and he knows it. I often say though, he could most likely find all the information in a book too :)

  10. Hi Jules, I have thought about covering it, as it does sit in our living space, just have not done it yet. Justin does have plane to build a wall unit, and I have asked for the TV to be behind closed doors...fingers crossed he gets to work soon on it.

    Some very valid points you have made about TV. I agree it is nice to veg out sometimes and that is when our movie night comes in.

    I like background noise when I am cooking too, the radio is my best friend when I am in the kitchen.

    We have only done a few family movie nights with Reece, and already he loves them. The anticipation of knowing it is coming up and then all three of us cuddling on the couch with popcorn to watch it...love it!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they are appreciated. It is nice to know I am not the only one whow questions the TV in our home.

  11. Hi Julie, I forgot to answer your quetion about nutrition school. I went to the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. It is an in person, one year, full time program in Toronto. Awesome program!

    Good luck with your studies, such an amazing field to be a part of.