The Big TurnOff

Y’all are going to think I’m losing it.

Shoot, I think I’m losing it. 
So, I’m just going to say it: we’ve been making some changes in our home.
There.  That wasn’t so bad.
{feeling panic rising…deep breaths…better now}
Let me start at the beginning with the one word I cannot shake from my head: SIMPLIFY
For weeks now, my hubby and I have had a desire to simplify.  
Now, I’m not talking about eating my own homegrown food from my non-existent garden and hand-sewing all my children’s clothes while wearing a head covering.
Because that would leave us hungry and naked.
And I’m not talking about less home decor.  God forbid.
I’m talking about a deep desire to slow down, to parent our children intentionally and to make every day count.
Since becoming parents eight years ago, we have worked hard on teaching morality and character. We’ve gone to church and even memorized a handful of Scriptures. We’ve tried.
But do you know who has tried harder to teach our kids?
The media.  
Now, I’m not against TV. I’ve even considered hiring someone to teach my toddler to watch 30 minutes of Sesame Street (any tips?) so I can hop in the shower.   I think there are some great preschool shows that help with numbers and colors out there. Talk about handy.
But I am against bad TV.  And the mindless, senseless prattle that is offered in huge doses to my kids. When I was a kid at least there was Little House on the Prairie and Happy Days. We could find bits of value, even from Fonzie.
Now, my kids are inundated with junk.  And I’ll be the first to admit, we’ve subscribed fully. We’ve turned them lose with the kid’s programming for hours a day if their homework was completed. 
And we’ve discovered that just because it says DISNEY, doesn’t mean it says VALUE.
For months now, we’ve noticed our son can quote entirely too much garbage.  And it makes me sad.
I’m sad that it’s directed towards him and I’m sad that we’ve allowed it.
My daughter can tell you all about Hannah Montana. And lately, she’s not exactly role model material.
On the radio the other day, I heard Focus on the Family say that the number one problem with Christian families was the amount of ungodly media they allowed in their home.
Ouch.
And so, we decided to turn it off. 
We aren’t tossing out the TV, but we did have Cable disconnected, which is pretty much tossing out the TV because we’re left with a handful of channels.  
I’m not a big TV watcher and my hubby decided he can handle watching Nascar on the local channel. And for Pete’s sake, we’re still up for Family Movie nights and good TV. (Which may be an oxymoron). 
Our kids can watch 30 minutes of quality programming a day, if we can find that much. It’s called weaning, I think.
We’re replacing the hours we would normally watch TV with quality family time. 
And going against the norm of our society, we’re also slowing down our lives.
Tune in tomorrow and I’ll tell you exactly what we’re doing.
How about you? Do you think the media affects your home? Your kids?
Do you think I’m losing it?
Or am I actually starting to find it?

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    In our ten years of marriage, we have never purchased cable. Intentionally! ;)

    Perfect, maybe that’s another reason I love your blog – I don’t have to know about the tv shows. I mean honestly – who has time. And the whole wholesomeness factor! :)

    IT’s hilarious the Tigers asked ‘why ‘ they got brat (they’d never seen them ;) valentine’s at school. And guess what THEY decided to throw them out. Oh, sorry but they chose to throw out the Hannah M too! “It’s just junk Mom. Yuck!”

  2. 2

    says

    Super smart move, for sure. The media is taking over all of our minds:( I’m intrigued by what your family is doing and hopeful that we can move closer to eliminating the media’s strong influence ourselves. We’ve cut back on t.v. a lot since school started, and the better the weather gets, the easier it is to turn it off and keep it off. We’ve pretty much banned Disney channel. It took some getting used to (for all of us!) but it’s been a wise move. I’m all for getting rid of cable, but my hubby disagrees. We like TLC and Discovery too much. I can’t wait to hear more specifics about your family’s plan.

  3. 3

    says

    We just had everything but network cable shut off. Not that we watching a lot of TV. Maybe an entire hour a day? Enough so that the Little Imp knows what the Wiggles are as well as Dora – who annoys the crud out of me!

    I will admit to having HAD a thing for Hannah Montana, back when she seemed innocent and unscathed by the machine that is Hollywood, via Disney. Now she just makes me sad.

    A couple of times Imp and I watched Hannah together, and for an almost three year old, she’s quite bright and picked up some of the songs and phrases that Hannah uses and it was a tad disconcerting. I don’t need a Disney echo around the house. Not at almost three years old anyhow.

    We only turn the TV on after Imp is in bed, and ya know, we may end up saving that $9.99 a month because when we do have it on, it distracts me from writing.

    I don’t think we’ll miss it at all! Besides, fall in in the air, hot apple cider, running through leaves that mom and dad have raked up, and it won’t be long before those first magical snow flakes fall…there’s just too much else to fall in love with, other than the idiot box.

  4. 4

    says

    *nervous smile* Got rid of cable?!

    Good for you and THAT family. We had a bit of an awkward moment watching college football this weekend…..cue Viagra commercial.

  5. 5

    says

    When we moved this summer we didn’t pay the extra for extended cable. At first the kids didn’t know what to do with themselves (no Disney Channel, no Cartoon Network…the horror of it!) But after a week or two they didn’t seem to mind. They rarely watch t.v. any more. Unfortunately this means that I have to share the computer more often! It’s an exchange I’m willing to make.

  6. 6

    says

    I was nervous when I first cut our cable off about a year ago…afterall, what would the kids DO after school (after homework of course)? Surprisingly, they have found plenty to do and only occasionally do they ask when we’ll get cable back…I tell them maybe next year but really I’m thinking ‘never’. I don’t miss it. We get 4 channels and that’s enough. We watch some family shows together…the rest of the time they spend using their imagination ;)

  7. 8

    says

    Nope you not crazy!
    Your making an investment!

    We have Sky Angle! It’s cheap it’s clean and it’s sweet cause there’s not anything I wouldn’t mind the kids watching!

    Even comes with Fox news/Weather Chnl/Discovery and Disc kids/ Animal Planet..and a few others really good programs/ Spirit Music channel way awesome!
    Plus payperview..wholesome stuff!
    Don’t take my word for it …check it out!

    We have hooked up through our internet service and it’s only $26 a month..really nice to not have the junk in our home, anymore!

    Congrats for making a step in the right direction!

  8. 9

    says

    We don’t have cable, either. At first I was appalled, but now I’m glad we don’t get all the kids programming that pounds ethics and morals that go against what we believe into their precious little minds. I set a bad enough example as it is!

    If we get cable again, it’s only for HGTV. *scouts honor* Well, and the food network. The kids can watch Animal Planet. *nods*

    Good luck to you.

  9. 10

    says

    Good for you! My kids watch very little tv. Little Bear, Little House on the Prairie, and Smash Lab for my oldest. That’s it.

    Now, I am a total hypocrite and watch at least one show a night. I could not give up cable.

  10. 11

    says

    I have been having this conversation in my head for awhile but wouldnt bring it up with hubby…truth cuz he would say get rid of it most likely and I like my shows! Sad but true. I like the Sky Angel thing and most shows I like I can watch on the internet the next day minus tons of trash commercial! I might be talking myself into it??

  11. 12

    says

    Good for you! We turned off our cable a few months back and as much as I miss it sometimes, it forces me to make a trip to the library and read or go to the park… or sit and decipher a Disney movie with/for the kids. :)

  12. 13

    says

    Boy, these very same thoughts have been rattling around in my head for awhile now. We really do watch what the kids are viewing, and while I’m not as concerned about the actual shows, it’s all the dang advertising!

    When we move to our new house, we may not even hook the cable up. There is so much that is available on the internet (i.e. sports) that we can watch that way. And since hubby is a super sneaky electrician, he wired the house so that we can watch internet video ON the tv. :)

    Anyway, I can’t wait to hear what changes you’re making. I wholeheartedly agree on simplifying and slowing down. I’m with ya, sister.

  13. 14

    says

    That is so weird! We are so going through the same thing. We took the TV out of the kids room and there are no games at all except on weekends. It has made such a HUGE difference! I look forward to reading more about how you all are handling it. It is a winner for us!

  14. 15

    says

    You are a brave, brave mom. I’ve been shamed lately by the fact that my almost 2 year old actually requests Backyardigans thanks to her big sis. She says “Pablo show?” Sigh. I might be needing a few tips if I can summon the courage to follow in your footsteps…

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  15. 16

    says

    We have been free of TV signal for over a year now. It’s no big deal. Occasionally we miss things like Alton Brown, and Myth Busters, but seriously, it’s nice not having the garbage come through. Disney shows are known for making mouthy, disrespectful kids the heroes and the adults are always stupid, with the kids always right and in control…Not role models I want for my kids.
    Good choice.

  16. 17

    says

    Good for you! It can be hard to take that step. For the first two years of our marriage, we intentionally did not have the TV out. We kept it in the closet and pulled it out to watch an occasional movie. It was good for us. We continue to limit the amount of TV our children watch. The only show they watch is Sesame Street and will watch an occasional movie.

  17. 18

    Mrs. Querido says

    Good for you! We have had ours turned off for three or four months now. We have one TV in the living room armoire and it is only used for videos and DVDs. Which means we know EXACTLY what our kids are watching, and we are majorly picky…lol! VeggieTales rules the television roost in our house :)

    Our reasons for turning it off? It stole family time from us. We were so busy trying to focus in on our favorite shows at night that we unintentionally neglected to spend quality time with our kids. We were too busy watching CSI, House or some other crime drama to converse with each other as husband and wife.

    Our TV was stealing our family in commercialized bits of time. We decided that it had to stop. One day we disconnected the TV in our room and we never looked back.

    And you know what? We found each other and CONVERSATION…lol! We found time to do the things we wanted with the people we wanted to do them with..our kids.

    Go for it and don’t look back! :)

  18. 19

    says

    We got rid of the satellite (our cable equivalent) back in January and have no interest in going back. The house is quieter and we’re reading more.

    We did keep the TiVo for all 7 of our channels because I’m addicted to it and often the commercials are worse than the shows! I love the reactions of people who find out we use an antennae – they think we’re just about Amish!

  19. 21

    says

    We havent had cable in three years and it is awesome. Yeah, me and hubby miss seeing cable news here and there, but its the best way to control what is coming into our home. And we are better for it. I just got a belly full of Disney and Nickelodian.

  20. 22

    says

    We don’t have cable and since we live in a very rural mountainous area, that means no TV at all. We do have lots of videos, however, and our kids do watch those maybe a little too much. They play outside a lot and our game closet is so full it needs to be thinned out. (We get local news, weather, etc. over the internet.) I don’t even miss TV! It’s amazing how time consuming it is even with just junk. (A lot of networks are posting some shows online now, too.) No TV is also great because there are not as many ads to be exposed to, either.

  21. 23

    says

    Good for YOU!!! In our 21 years of marriage….we had cable for ONE of those years only because we lived in an area that got NO RECEPTION unless you had it. I refuse to get it because I see what kind of zombies we turn into when we go to a hotel that has it…..even I get zoned out on HGTV.

    Also, I don’t want to go overboard and take it completely away because I’ve seen children CHOOSING to go to their friends’ homes and spend the entire time watching tv because they don’t have it at their house.

    I used to give mine TV TOKENS….they got 5 a WEEK…each one earned them 30 min. of TV. They had to be picky about what shows they wanted to watch. At the end of the week, they either have no tokens or some tokens. If they have any leftover, they got 25 cents for each one. The longer we did this…the more money I was forking out because they felt it wasn’t worth the hassle to PRE-PLAN their viewing time.

    Good luck on your venture!!!

  22. 24

    says

    We don’t have cable…and in fact we can’t even get a TV signal on our main TV. We have a (very) small TV upstairs that serves us well for a few shows for the grownups, and a local public broadcasting station for kids stuff on early mornings.

    When we looked at our previous TV habits we found an interesting fact: the shows we “tuned in” for were all available on the free channels. When we found ourselves watching cable, it was because there was nothing else on and we were just channel surfing.

    We still watch a bit of TV, but not at all during the day. But it’s a concentrated effort to get upstairs to the bedroom to catch one of the three or four channels we get (in good weather). I love that we spend time on reading, hobbies, games and time outdoors now as a family!

  23. 25

    says

    We unplugged our cable over a year ago due to budget issues. I’ll admit, I’ve missed Mythbusters and Alton Brown, our local news channel, and a few other things. But there was no other choice–we just no longer had the money for it.

    Since getting a digital converter box and rabbit ears, we have a lot more channels including something like 12 different PBS channels. Hooray! But I realized a couple of months ago that almost every time the kids watched tv, they turned into little monsters the minute it was turned off. (And they weren’t watching all that much–I generally let them each pick one 30 minute show per day from a pre-approved list, for a grand total of 90 minutes spread out over the day.)

    So we turned it off completely, including videos. Well, not completely. I can choose to let them watch something if and when it’s convenient for me and if and when I decide there’s something worthwhile, or if I decide they deserve a treat like a movie. But I’d guess they see tv 2-3 times per week. Life has been so much better! They remembered how to play, they fight less and just generally are more pleasant kids to be around.

  24. 26

    says

    You are so right to do this. It is pitiful out there. That said, I won’t be following suit anytime soon, in the disconnecting cable part, but only because I don’t ever get to watch TV so I need that On-Demand feature for Sunday afternoons. But we’re working to limit the kids’ time substantially, and to not make it a “reward” or “punishment,” which makes it seem more valuable.

  25. 27

    says

    Girl friend, you are not losing it…you are getting it back! You are putting yourself back in the driver’s seat…so whoo-hoo!

    We actually do have cable now, but went without it for a while. However, we are very selective about what our daughter watches. Now, she does watch more than 30 min a day… but some of it (Sid the Science Kid and Signing Times) I watch with her and incorporate it into school lessons.

    I also radically decreased our schedule about a year ago and it’s been fabulous.

    So I wish you all the best.

  26. 28

    says

    Good for you!! We only have local channels, but we STILL watch too much TV. I think we’re going to take the TV out of our main living area, and put it in our bedroom instead. That way, watching a show will be a special treat, instead of the daily norm.

  27. 29

    says

    I have been married 11 years and around 6 years ago we did away with the tv. WE just watch what is popped in the dvd player and the kids only watched movies we have screened.

    We got to the point though that we were watching movies constantly….although it was clean and had a bit of morals in it…the time it took up was considerable.

    Last year we cut that drastically. The boys are more involved in sports and it really leaves little to no time for TV.

    But I am so sick of even adult shows. It can be absolutely vulgar.

    BTW—I am reading the book I won from here….Grace based parenting. LOVE IT! ITs changed my outlook on so much. Thank you!

  28. 30

    Juliana E. says

    Good for you! In 15 years we have never had cable (even when I had 17 weeks of bed rest for my triplet pregnancy!) Everyone thinks we are nuts – but my children have benefited from not having all that junk in our home. They have watched PBS kids and videos we have approved. They really don’t seem to mind – they know about Hannah Montana and still I don’t ever hear “Can we get cable?”.

    So you are not losing it – I think you found it! (Remember, this is coming from me and my neighbors think I am nuts! ;) )

  29. 32

    says

    Hey there!

    I’ve been doing a lot of the same thinking and wrote on my blog today about being intentional in all I do, say and persue. You’re right on about the TV. Just recently we banned most of Disney and Nick leaving my kids to watch, low and behold, shows about kids doing kid things on the PBS station. We haven’t missed it and the kids aren’t as worried about it either. Just this morning while fixing breakfast God was nudging me about whether or not to go see HSM3 when it comes out soon. Yikes!! I just want to be odedient, whatever the outcome is. Thanks for the thoughts, as usual.

    Take care,
    Julie

  30. 33

    says

    Two months ago we made the same decision. PBS has some cartoons for the kids, and the rest, if we need them, are ones we have on DVD and know are moral and educational (or at least not bad!) for the kiddos. When we did have satellite tv, though, our secondary savior was Tivo. We were able to record things for our daughter that we knew were okay so that we COULD go take showers and get stuff done without worrying about what she was watching. Good luck!

  31. 34

    says

    I’ve recently found your blog, and love it!

    We recently cancelled our cable.. which was kind of scary at first. Our daughter is hardly into TV right now because of her age.. but we’ve found it really has helped our marriage and our relationship with “the princess.” I can’t even count the “quality” hours we’ve spent with her since turning it off.

    And p.s. there are a number of shows offered for free on the web! We still like to watch a few online that aren’t garbage!

  32. 35

    says

    I don’t “think” tv affects our children…I KNOW it affects them. I was the DARE officer of our community for 16 years of my 21 year career as a police officer. I was with children of all ages, every day, week in and week out. Some years I taught as many at 1200 children in a year. I assure you, I promise you, the media influences our children. That is the purpose of the media….to influence. And a great job of it it does. Listen to how they talk, look at how they dress, ask them what toys they want, what ceral to eat. I assure, there is not room for thinking that media affects our societ. It DOES affect it, and affect it greatly. But not just our children. It affects us as adults as well. It spreads hatered, it spreads discontent, it breeds unhealthy life styles and attitudes. Yet people spend over a 1,000 dollars a year on television. But don’t forget, the computer is a media as well. Be careful how much you allow of the computer to enter one’s brain, one’s life too.

  33. 37

    says

    No, you’re not losing it. We are very close to doing the exact same thing in our home – getting rid of the cable. It is an unnecessary expense that brings mostly garbage into our home. We could be doing much better things with that money every month.

  34. 38

    says

    I think it’s great you are simplifying. I am trying to do that also. We had our satellite cut of a couple of weeks ago and the only thing I’ve missed has been the DVR for rewinding TV. You go girl. I can’t wait to hear more.

  35. 39

    says

    (Wow, this got long. Sorry.)
    My daughter is almost 10 and we haven’t watched tv in a few years. One MAJOR exception: college football. We record or delay watching the games so that we can fast-forward through commercials (thank you mr. viagra commercials!). Our daughter’s media entertainment comes from Adventures in Odyssey CDs. She puts them in her ipod or in her CD player in her room and then she plays while she listens to a story. Adventures in Odyssey have really helped shape good character and taught her so many life lessons.
    (Example) We have an 11 year old friend who is battling Leukemia. Last night as my daughter was praying for our cancer-fighting friend, she mentioned “just like Karen who had blood in her bones..” I stopped her and asked who is this Karen that you know so well? She said, “Oh, Mommy, remember Karen from Odyssey who had cancer and died? She had a dream that Jesus had a better plan for her…” I sat there with my mouth open. Because of the hours she has spent listening to the stories in Adventures in Odyssey, she doesn’t fear for her friend who has leukemia. She prays for her with a greater fervency.

    You have taken a bold step. I think you will love it in the long haul. My family turned off the tv for 5 years when I was young and we kids pitched a fit for a while and then we got used to p-l-a-y-i-n-g again. Then we simply quit even thinking about tv. Out of sight, out of mind.

  36. 40

    says

    We have never had a nice TV..so watching it isn’t much fun. For the first time in our marriage we just Got Cable tv LOL..
    my dh is enjoying some football and racing, but honestly, we don’t watch much of it anyway. We both get frustrated with all the channels..of NOTHING!
    I would bet our cable will be gone as soon as the contract is over.
    good for you for cutting back.

  37. 41

    says

    we have cable but the kids are limited to one hour a day. No more. And for my youngest two it’s educational and family friendly shows only. My oldest usually likes to watch the history channel and the science channel. So she’s learning stuff but has no desire to watch the junk. I’m so proud that she made that decision on her own.

  38. 42

    says

    We’ve recently cut back to local channels only. It’s been hard (mostly on me, the Bravo addict) but I’m amazed at how much easier it is to limit the kid’s tv time. Suddenly, I’m not fighting the Spongebob battle anymore!

  39. 43

    says

    I stumbled on to your blog and I love this post! My hubby us a tv aholic. He must have it on at ALL times if he is home. Drives me batty. I don’t know how to get him to turn it off. He has different views of censorship than I do as well, so it makes it difficult. I am going to read this to him!

  40. 44

    says

    my husband and i have been married for almost 2 years, and we have never even owned a television. we had both read research that proves that couples who watch TV have less sex! ;-) we do have an xbox (his christmas gift) that is hooked up to a large flatscreen computer moniter. we watch movies and sometimes tv shows on dvd–no commercials! we love it! see, us young’uns are catching on!

  41. 46

    says

    Oh my gosh K- Erik and I were JUST talking about this last night. He has been listening to Zig Zigglar and there was a whole section on TV and our kids- then he found this NPR podcast about kids, TV and their ability to learn. We decided last night to limit it to (2) 30 min shows a day and (1) movie on weekends. Our TV stays on for HOURS at a time- and 1/2 the time there are no children in front of it- its just NOISE in the house.

  42. 47

    says

    Haven’t been by in awhile…. (was seeking to simplify by doing less blog reading… still am) but man have you hit on something here. I couldn’t agree more and I am just cheering you on girlfriend. We are right on this boat with you and I couldn’t agree more. TV is not the devil, it can be used for good, if it is used “choosingly”. We choose to now allow prime time and public opinion decide what we will watch and when we will watch it.

  43. 48

    Nicole says

    My hubby would never tolerate us turning off the cable but we have started playing tv police with our son. He is getting to the age where he is very aware of everything and questions everything he sees and hears.

    We’ve decided to limit the amount he watches each day (1 or 2 shows a day) and we only let him watch Noggin shows. And The Little Einsteins on Disney.

    Some friends of ours let their 3 year olds watch The Simpsons, Family Guy, and the crap on Cartoon Network and it just makes me cringe!

  44. 49

    says

    I commend you for getting rid of the cable!! My husband and I got rid of ours about a year ago and although it’s been painful (I miss TiVo the most) at times, it’s worth it. We have movies, and our child is young (15 months) and of course we limit what he’s exposed to. But you’re right – after spending time with 13 and 9 yr old relatives who watch Disney all day and watch the Cheetah girls…wow…I was quite horrified that their parents allowed them to watch that.

    You are doing the right thing, just trust me.

  45. 50

    says

    I know more and more people who are doing this. I think it’s a good thing. However, if we don’t have cable we can not get any television reception where we live. So we must be concientious about what we allow the kids to watch, and what we even allow ourselves to watch. It’s not too hard for me – there are certain shows I like and the rest of the time the TV can be off as far as I’m concerned. But Hubby – oh, he is addicted. He’ll surf thru all the channels and just watch anything. It’s how he relaxes. Not that that’s a bad thing – for him – but not a trait I want my children to pick up, you know? I applaud your efforts. As Christian parents, we are up against SO MUCH in this world. I have even blogged about that myself lately. Keep up the good work!

  46. 51

    says

    Bravo! Bravo! Your post totally resonated with me. Here’s a link to my blog on the same topic (might add to your ammunition if you need to convince your family) – http://hessesmadhouse.blogspot.com/2008/08/so-many-things-stirring-around.html

    We turned ours off on September 1st and none of us have missed it. Here’s what I wrote on Sept. 9th (http://hessesmadhouse.blogspot.com/2008/09/heaven-im-in-heaven.html). I hope you have similar success with this.

    Good for you!!!

  47. 52

    laytonfamily says

    ABSOLUTELY! we went thru a HUGE superhero detox because I bought all the dvds – because we DO NOT have cable. When we moved we got the 1st month free and sat on our rumps to watch 100 something channels of NOTHING! My children watch a bit of PBS in the mornings and a few selected Saturday morning cartoons – no superheros. That’s it. No tv at night, even the commercials were horrible!

    We play board games, go for walks, chess, cards, and draw or paint! Sometimes hubby does clay or builds models with my 5 yr old.

    You can’t create quality time while someone is focused on the television.

    GOOD FOR YOU!

  48. 53

    says

    I am very aware and intentional about what my kids can watch. The media and advertisements are out of control! My oldest daughter is 7 and she is drawn to all of the “teenage crap”. I have always been choosy with what she is allowed to watch, but lately we have made even more changes.

    We didn’t get rid of cable, but we just bought a Tivo and discovered Kidzone.

    The only channels she can watch are PBS and Animal Planet and Discovery Kids. Disney is available through our filters. We decide what she can watch.

    She hates being out of the loop with the kids at school, but I have tried to explain to her about advertising and how commercials are trying to for lack of a better word “brainwash” her.

    I am constantly trying to combat tv time with more music time or non tv activities. It is hard though.

    We are definitely not perfect and I love me some Bravo tv :). And I do put the baby in the exersaucer with a baby Einstein video so I can take a shower!

    Great post!
    Geez This was like the LONGEST comment evah!

  49. 54

    says

    We decided when we got married 9 years ago to not subscribe to any TV. It was mainly a finsancial decision. Our three kids, 7,4,2, have never had it in our home. But…one week last year we spent at my parents, and my oldest, who was sick, spent almost the whole week on the couch watching TV. I realized then why my kids did not ask for certain toys or food…they had not seen advertising! One day of TV and she was hooked, believing that every toy and restaurant she saw were as cool the ad said, and she wanted them all!

    It hit home about how much the media can impact our kids. A short amount of time with commercials, and she was suddenly greedy. Amazing. Good for you! It might take some weaning, but you can do it, and it will be worth it.

  50. 55

    says

    We don’t have cable, because we refuse to pay for the garbage that they put on there and it is one less monthly bill coming in. We only get a couple channels and they boys sometimes watch PBS cartoons (mostly in the winter). I think you are doing the right thing! Keep it up!

  51. 56

    says

    You are not losing it Kristen. You are doing the right thing. I have almost cancelled our cable so many times but then don’t. And why – guild that my kids won’t get the 300 channels they like. I think I’ve lost it. Thanks for posting this. As I read this, my kids are in the other room watching some god-awful show. I think I’m going to go in and turn off the TV and read with them. I’m sure to hear some moans and graons – but its the right thing to do!
    Thanks again for the great reads you give us daily!

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    Wow, it’s great to see so many people on here who are doing the same thing! We also recently canceled our DISH. We canceled it at the begining of summer, and to be honest, we never missed it. Summer time, there is so much to do. And now that the kids are back in school, we find times where we wished that we had it again. But when we realize we don’t have it, we find something else to do! (We don’t even have local channels!) And we are by NO means living a super simple life. We have a dishwasher, we have home decor, I actually DO sew, but I sew pretty stuff for the home =). I suppose maybe someday, we will miss it more (maybe even when it starts getting snowy… we are in Indiana. But for now, even though there are family members who think we are crazy, we are very happy with our decision… There is too much trash on TV… and they learn enough trash at school. So instead of fighting 2 major battles, we will be fighting only one. Recently my boys have had so much fun finding books in the Bible. I name Matthew, they determine whether it is in the New Testement or Old, and then they race to see who can find it first. THEY LOVE THE RACIN THING! Thay also kind of enjoy when I tell them stories about people in the Bible, when I’m getting ready for a meal or whatever, we just start talking about someone from the Bible, and that really catches their attension, like it is more of someone REAL then just a story in a book. I wish you the best on your endevors! It is a very necessary move if you care about your kids at all. May God bless you AND your kids in this decision!

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    "Now, I'm not talking about eating my own homegrown food from my non-existent garden and hand-sewing all my children's clothes while wearing a head covering."

    I just HAD to read this out loud to the fam! This WAS our life and let me tell you….this type of life does NOT equal "simple". It is hard work :0).

    We will be married 20 years this winter and had TV access maybe a total of 5 of those years. On and off. We did NO TV or videos during the time we lived "as above", but normally we had videos here and there. lately, it has been a LOT of videos. We may not have TV but we do have NETFLIX and that can be just as time consuming. Though with Netflix, we can control commercials–which, to us, these are the owrst aspect of TV.
    BUT, I have to say, though we are enjoying reconnecting with the media—who cannot LOVE Home Improvement and MASH>>> We are seriously considering GETTING cable. Without cable we get NO stations here in the "sticks" :0). I go to visit my Gramma and get our fill of HGTV, TLC, and The Discovery Chanel. But we MISS TV. So, now I read your post and think maybe we should reconsider???? Truth is, from a financial aspect, we can afford the monthly bill, but not the sign up fee! I did hear of several families that "block" certain stations so all they can receive are select stations. Maybe that would help???
    I lack in the area of self control Who knows where we'll go. BUT i am so enjoying your blog!!!

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    I totally think the media affects our kids. I have blogged about self image & the media before.

    We have often thought about getting rid of cable since all we really watch are local channels. The kids would hate to lose Disney but they'd survive. However, we keep it for reception. The kids don't have tvs in their room so whatever they watch, I am in the same room with them. I am quick to use what they see as teaching tools when the need arises.

    I don't think you are losing it all. I think you are doing a great thing for your kids.

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    My problem is the commercials. You may have it on a safe program, but the other day, sleezy looking women on a commercial caught Madi’s attention and it made me kinda sad for her and the whole “skinny” epdemic.
    Your are def not losing it. I agree 100%.

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    Good for you! I’m sure it’ll be a transition for your kids, but it will be MORE than worth it.

    We decided several years ago to get rid of TV. The kids are allowed to watch videos once in a while, but there’s so much other stuff to keep us busy that we don’t miss it. It is nice to focus our family time on other things.

    Wishing you all the best with your “simplification.” :)

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    My boys are only 1 and 2, but the television is my lifesaver. However, when they were just babies, we decided (for them) to only allow taped shows that we had already viewed. They watch alot of Veggietales and a little Bob the Builder and Wiggles and I think we have a peaceful house because of it. When my siblings are here and they are watching cartoons I notice that my boys are a little more crazy and have more attitude. I think you’ll really be glad for the decision that you made!

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    You are starting to find it. Completely.

    We have had nothing but basic cable for years, and that only if we couldn’t get ANY regular, local channels without doing so.

    We have been worlds better for it.

    The media has MUCH too big an influence on our families. Much.

    Have you heard about Sky Angel? We have never subscribed, but have friends who do and have looked into it ourselves. You can get your beloved Little House on the Prarie. I believe they also offer some sports and local channel packages as well.

    Amy

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    We stopped the kids from tv watching about 2 months ago. I noticed how bored they were, how out of control, and how much that’s all they wanted to do! I finally said enough! 1 hr per day was allowed during the summer, and now, they’re lucky if they get 15 minutes. We just don’t have time for the boob tube anymore. And you’re right, there is not much good on, anyway. Of all the choices and channels, there are very few things I like to let them watch.

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    Are you sitting down? I’ve been tv free for five years. My tots have never had one in the house. It really makes you step up to the plate and get creative. But I wouldn’t change a thing. If you want ideas for toys and games that are unplugged check out my blog. I try to find options that are battery free and kid powered.

    Oh, and I have rockin’ contests too! Who doesn’t love free stuff!

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    This is GREAT!
    Before we married, we agreed to no t.v.
    And we’ve stuck to it. So, we haven’t had a tv in fifteen years. And I LOVE it. If he really really wants to watch a game, he either goes to a restaurant/bar or a friends house.
    With the internet and iphone, we have enough distractions!

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    We cut TV down to only 30 minutes quality TV a day four years ago + movies now and then. It’s amazing how you just don’t miss it after a while. We even go days without putting it on at all!

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    I have been secretly considering cutting out our cable for the last couple of months. I finally spoke the words last night and I think we’re going to make the chance. This was just the encouragement I needed.

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    Anonymous says

    . . .this is AMAZING! I have not had a moment to look at your site in nearly 2 weeks. The e-mails have just been piling up & so has the desire to jump in & get my dose of "therapy" by reading from those of you who I can relate to & make me feel like I'm normal & not a complete failure!. . .so now, another pregnancy induced sleepless night (it's 3:45 am), I decided to randomly click on the second to last e-mail from you, reading the subject has left me floored. Just the other night the thought popped in my head again after a long day of trying to keep the marriage & the kids from running amuck (spelling?) I was (am) feeling like I was 9 instead of 6 months pregnant & plopped on the couch trying to keep my eyes open to "share some time with my hubby" watching the JUNK we record on T.V. This has become our "quality time" in which we practically have to prop our eyes open with toothpicks to stay awake for a "fast forward through commercials marathon" of the T.V. shows that we have become addicted to. . and the guilt & these thoughts often cross my mind. "I wish we could cut out the $100+ that we pay for this DIRECT TV stuff, but hubby needs/deserves (although he hardly ever gets to watch) his good sports channels". . .last night I just sat there again thinking about how this could be used for talking time while the kids are asleep, devotional time, reading time. ..& I said, "God, if you would just send me a message that says 'disconnect your DIRECT TV' I would do it, please send me the sign" and then I laughed at myself, knowing that the fact that it was so heavy on my heart should be enough of a sign, but He humored me & led me to your blog!. . . Tomorrow I will share this with my hubby & I think we'll be on the right track. . .Thank you!

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    As a teacher I definitely see the influence of media on children. Not just advertising, but the messages given out in shows that are supposedly geared to "tweens" and younger, but that seem to me to be geared to high school activities & interests.

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    I think it’s good to allow some TV. Unless you start out the family with no TV so that the kids never knew what they were missing.

    My Dad went through a no TV phase twice in my childhood. Took the darned thing out and shot it up. Crazy. I know.

    We missed it. And resorted to finding a tiny black and white TV in order to watch some TV. It was just a bad experience for me. The whole thing was traumatic. Not losing the TV necessarily but the way it was done and having something ripped away without asking our thoughts.

    We were always limited in our TV watching and what we could watch. We always watched old shows like Andy or Lucy and good sweet cartoons. So I don’t know what the reason was to lose the TV in the first place.

    Nowadays though it’s harder and harder to find good shows on the TV. And the commercials … oh those nasty commercials. Its shocking.

    So limiting what they can watch and how much they can watch is a good thing…I think.

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    I’m due to deliver my 2nd child within a week. The more pregnant I’ve become the more tv my 3yo is watching. It’s to the point where he’s demanding to watch even more. And boy have I felt guilty over these last few months. I keep telling myself that it’s only a season. That once we get settled in with the new baby that we’ll start weaning back. I know it’s going to be hard. But we’ll have to do it. Just like you said, my son is able to quote too many lines from too many different shows.

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