The real television control

It’s almost a year now since we decided to switch off the television. It had got to the point where it was turned on as soon as the first person got up in the mornings, and was on all day long.Trying to get the children to do anything else was getting difficult. They didn’t want to go out and play in the sunshine because some programme they’d been waiting for was due on. And they were too young to read any TV guides but still they knew what programmes were on and in which order, simply because they watched it too much.

Apart from that, another major concern we had was the content of the programmes they were watching. Perhaps they would be watching something that we didn’t quite agree with, or thought were quite simply inappropriate for them. And that was just the children’s channels!

Then, of course, there were evenings. Michael would get home and again everyone would be in front of the TV. A whole day had gone by where dad had been at work and he had so much to catch up on with the children with regards to their respective days but television took the front seat rather than conversation.

On December 23rd the TV was turned off. I remember the date because it was Sid’s birthday, and the day Michael had finished work for the Christmas break. We’d been so busy living life as a family that the television just wasn’t switched on at all.

One day led to another, and before we realised it Michael was returning to work and we had spent each day actually doing things and the TV hadn’t been on at all.

The children did ask for it to begin with. Out of habit more than anything else I believe. Like all habits, they soon managed to break it and I can’t even remember the last time they asked to watch anything.

Switching off the television hasn’t affected the children negatively at all.

Since then, conversation has increased thousandfold in our home. We do more things together. Well actually, we just do more! Books are always being read. Games are being created and imaginations are running wild! We’ve got more time for actually doing things, rather than letting our lives pass us by via a glass screen.

Dad comes home and after we’ve eaten our evening meal it’s time for talking and playing and spending real, quality time together.

We no longer have to worry about things the children are being exposed to, or them quoting debt consolidation adverts word for word. We haven’t got rid of the TV completely and have the occasional film nights or watch specific programmes we may be interested in but we have control now. We didn’t have that before. We’ve taken charge of that aspect of our lives and we can see the positive effect it’s had on them. For best deals on TV packages and special offers, check:

I sometimes regret not having taken control sooner but at least we took control at some point. How much greater would my regret have been to have ended up living my while life, and that of my family, with my eyes fixed firmly to a screen instead of eachother? There isn’t a programme special enough to take the place of really living. Actually living.

Life is precious.

Why waste it?

14 thoughts on “The real television control

  1. I'm so glad to read this – I was starting to think I was some sort of crazy woman because I refuse to have the TV on in the mornings, and if my husband is away on business I never turn it on at night either! I'd love to have a TV-free home, only using it for special occasions, but I have to have my husband on board with that decision, and he loves his TV.

  2. I love tv and watch a lot, some garbage some not. My attitude with the children is moderation and being vigilant with what they watch. No need to take it away.

    But having said that, to each his/her own and what works for one family may not be for all. I admire anyone that sticks to their beliefs despite what is popular thought.

  3. We have a no electronics policy for the kids monday through thursday. It's caused them to spend a lot more time playing with one another and I love it!

  4. We turned our cable off almost 3 yrs ago but still get the basic channels. It's helped so much because now if there isn't anything interesting on our 15 or so channels, then we just turn it off. I'm happy we still have PBS kids for the boys to get some tv time and for me to get a little break every now and then.
    But I've been thinking about cutting it all together. Or maybe just unplugging the thing and only plugging it in when we REALLY want to watch something

  5. I know TV can be a bear!
    We do have TV but montior very carefully what they watch!
    The kiddos like cooking shows,PBS,Jesus cartoon on Saturday mornings,Animal planet,and Discovery and National Geograghic and History channel.

    I'm a homeschoolin' momma of 6 blessings so far!

    We use the TV….not let IT use us!

    Come say hi sometime?


  6. We haven't had tv in about 7 years, my 3 young kids have never had it. Mostly this started because we've lived in mtn locations where you have to pay for satalite to get any channels at all and we just didn't want to (or couldn't) spend the $$. But now it's become a way of life and we really don't miss tv and the gross stuff that's on there. We watch plenty of DVDs but those are easier to monitor for kids I think. And we listen to the news on satalite radio or the internet.

    I often feel like a weird outsider as if we're the only family without tv, it's always nice to hear of another family doing things this way.

  7. I'm right there with commentor Mum-me. My husband is out of town today. My TV hasn't been on.

    I've said for years TV has slowed the imagination of American toddlers.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. DO send pictures of your daughter's sewing projects!

  8. When my husband and I first married, we couldn't afford cable, so we watched videos. And watch videos we did–over and over and over. At one point that seemed to be the only thing we did when we were together. Shortly after our second daughter was born we threw the television away. That was nearly eight years ago! I think it was a fantastic decision for our family. The television was replaced with books–thousands of them.

  9. Wonderful! We have a netflix subscription on our computer, but have not had TV channels for about 7 or 8 years now. It sure does make for a quieter household!

  10. Wow – how I admire you! We watch less than most but still more than I'd like. Your story is inspiring.

    Thanks so much for swinging by my blog on my Sits Day last week:-)

  11. With you all the way Tania. TV is rubbish and our family life is better without it.

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