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Turn off the TV!

While blog surfing, I ran into this article:

http://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/06/08/children-and-tv-my-week-without-television/

Apparently a young mom ended up without TV for a week, and suddenly realized how much the tube influences her kids behavior.
     As a parent with no access to TV (by choice), I’m not that surprised at her findings. I will admit that my family occasionally sits down to watch a rented video, or one of the movies from our small library. However, in general, if the a video is playing, it means either that I’m really sick, or that something Very Special is going on. Many people tell me that by not having TV, I am depriving my kids of a significant point of social contact with her schoolmates. I have to admit, that to me, the “social contact points” that come from TV are worth skipping. In any case, she gets ample TV at her mom’s house, so if there is anything good that comes of it, she’ll get it there.
     What we do get without the TV is a lot of interpersonal time. We talk. We cook, clean, and do chores together, we read. reading is an important part of our life. Sometimes she reads to me, sometimes I read to her, sometimes we read together, sometimes we just share the sofa and read our own books. We have adventures in the yard, we both have our gardens. I guess the message is that TV will certainly fill a lot of time, but it is really easy to fill that same time with other things that will strengthen our relationship.
     We also talk. A lot. About all kinds of things. Talking helps us to understand each other, and is a great time for us to figure out things that we like, that are bothering us, or that we just want to talk about. I’m not one of those people that thinks TV is evil incarnate, I just view it as a form of entertainment that isn’t really worth the effort. There are other things I enjoy more, and my kids feel the same way. So why bother.
     Try it. You might like it. Kill the TV for a week or two, and see what a difference it makes to your family.

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One Response

  1. My daughters – well, the older one in particular – is starting to feel social pressure about t.v. She doesn’t know what’s happening on certain shows that the other kids watch and, so, is left out of certain conversations. She blames us, but I’m okay with that.

    The t.v. that we DO watch, we watch together. We’ll sit down to a cooking show or a Mythbusters, and I let them watch a few PBS shows on their own. I was essentially raised by the television – my parents couldn’t be bothered to interact with my sister or me, so a lot of my upbringing was informed by television – and I don’t want that for my girls. We, too, spend a lot of time with books and other activities, and I LOVE that my kids aren’t completely brainwashed with commercial advertisements. I think we’ve mananged to head off a lot of the comsumer-driven “I want, I want, I want” by turning off the tube…

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