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Monday, October 15, 2007


My household has been TV free since 2002.

During this summer I was in a waiting room which had a TV on, it took all of thirty seconds for me to have had my fill of the TV. I asked if I could turn off the TV, got a strange look and "Yes". I turned off the TV and enjoyed a quiet thirty minute wait while reading.

I consider TV to be a man-made pollutant that has long lasting negative effects.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

There is a lot of tripe out there. We had to learn quickly that the best option was DVDs of our son's favorite shows. Thank god the wiggles have 28 out. We try to limit his intake as much as we can and avoid those channels with commercials. I am not plugging them here but at least Playhouse Disney does not barrage him with commercials during most of his "prime" viewing time-early mornings.

How funny. We got rid of cable a year ago and I have to say my blood pressure went down. Just being free of the 24 hour news networks was a joy in itself. It's amazing what kind of story they will dredge up just to fill that 24 hours.

I second you on the HGTV addiction. We got so depressed watching the nonstop barrage of "better homes than yours" shows. I love being cable free. I do miss the HBO shows though, but I can get them through netflix.

Too bad studies show we're deep in the minority.

Cable-free since 2003. That's when we joined Netflix and rely upon that for our entertainment.

We've been able to enjoy some wonderful family entertainment WITHOUT THE COMMERCIALS. I can't emphasize those last three words enough. You want to pinpoint 90% of stress and disfunction surrounding television, it's in the ads.

I'm much happier now without the ads and the fear-mongering TV newscasts.

And my kids love shows like The Cosby Show, Fraggle Rock, and the History Channel offerings (especially Digging For The Truth).

We also limit our DVD viewings to Friday and Saturday nights. The kids know this and don't fuss about it. Much.

Phil: When I mentioned Netflix, I was thinking of you and how you use it for homeschooling.

we are a waldorf family - so are totally into the zero media (tv/video/computer) for kids (especially young children). And while we hid our tv from baby for first two years, we have been so happy to completely ditch the tv set. Now, I will admit that my hubby and I still have quite the internet addiction, and we will watch "tv" (daily show from itunes) and movies on our laptops at night when child is asleep. But we are happy not to have tv. period. And for children's sake don't expect to bring it back into house.
And, I get so annoyed when it's on in airports, waiting rooms, anywhere...you can't avoid it some places and I feel so trapped because you can barely get away from it. We were in a hospital waiting room and turned the set off because we were the only ones there and didn't want it on - and can you believe the receptionist came back and turned it back on and said they had to have it on for privacy reasons - some sort of sound muffling thing. This was a brand new hospital - and I can't believe that their privacy rules state that tv must be on in waiting room! so sad.

Everyone: I'm taken aback by how many people have turned off their TVs. I think that's both amazing and fantastic.

Kate: I know what you mean about TVs being everywhere. Can you believe my work elevators have something called "Captivate TV?" The screens broadcast -- without sound -- meaningless news and ads at its, well captives.

Good decision. We went tv-free in 1991, a few months after my daughter was born. Our kids are 16 and 13 now. We never had cable, and there are no over the air channels here, so our kids grew up tv-free, and I was happy for all the reasons you've listed.

I remember one of my parents' neighbors, back when our daughter was a baby, saying there's no way we'd be able to survive without tv... We not only survived, but loved a tv-free lifestyle.

Recently an over-the-air channel has appeared here, so there is some tv-watching. But there are only certain shows the kids want to watch, the tv isn't usually on -- we don't limit it (except for bedtime limits) -- and the kids are good at self-limiting.

I think the vital years to be tv free are those first 10 to 12 years.

We also kept the kids off of the computer until about 4th grade or so, another really good decision I think.

As for "the good things" they supposedly missed, believe me, the supposedly good things are far outweighed by the negatives -- not just content, but the act of watching tv -- plus we did have a vcr and so rented tapes, but of things that we chose to watch.

All in all absolutely no regrets about tv- and computer-free childhoods, I'd strongly recommend it to everyone.

Thanks Chip. It's good to hear that the effort pays off in the long run.

I want my HGTV. Wah.

You're too busy with cybils.com anyway.

I believe you shouldn't be such a strict father. I agree that parents must forbid watching violence or lust films. But to hide cables and tell lies to your child - no good.

I'm not lying to my children. I tell them exactly why I've disconnected the TV. (Well, Lael is 2, but she hates TV.)

And strict is a matter of definition. Is a dad strict because he won't let his kids play on a street full of cars, or is he just prudent?

I think the same applies to TV. These shows and commercials ARE DESIGNED to create antagonism between kids and their parents. They are also designed to sell crap that is simply not needed.

So no, I don't think of myself as strict. I just do not buy into American pop culture and its brain washing ways.

I had not really thought of commercials as designed to create antagonism between parents and children but I am also not sure I disagree. I think TV is directly linked to your view as your child as a consumer. If your view is to raise your child as a smart and prudent consumer, you have to limit access to TV because that is NOT the message or consumer commercials [very general statement I know] are trying to create.

But I will say this Brett, give Anne her HGTV. LOL My addiction is the Food Network. I do all the cooking so my wife is willing to allow me that vice.

I want to give it back to her, but once the kids know it's back on ... oy. Anyway, Anne's too busy right now anyway.

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