Did you ever have "no t.v. week" as a kid?
Seems like every summer we had at least one week where we
weren't allowed to watch any t.v. Something about my mom not liking
our sassy attitudes when we had been sitting in front of the
television for hours on end or something totally ridiculous like
that! Then I became a grown up and realized once again that
my mother was r.i.g.h.t. But, instead of no t.v.
week, we are having a no t.v. life right now. That's
right....NO T.V. at all. Six weeks ago I had the cable
shut off and I don't regret it one single bit!
Now, when television broadcasting first came to the US in the late 1930's, I am sure families gathered around in the evenings and watched a short t.v. program together. Back then, it was unheard of to have more than one t.v. (if you even had one at all) and there was no need for censoring. Television was good, clean family fun. These days, there is a t.v. in every room of the house. Commercials advertise not missing a single second of your favorite show because you can even watch it in the bathroom if you want to! There are a million channels to choose from for every age and every family member. Why not have a t.v. for everyone in the house, right?!
We have two t.v.'s at our house. It made it very convenient for my husband to watch sports in one room and for me to watch Food Network and HGTV in the other. Why spend time together when you can spend time watching t.v., separate and alone? Even if we watched a show together, our communication with one another was quick bursts between commercials. Nobody is forced to have a conversation if you are zoned out in front of the tube.
I was becoming very aware that our little family of three was disconnecting. Our attitudes were bad. (Ugh, my mother really was right!) Night after night the t.v. would come on at dinner time and go off at bedtime. What was happening to my family?
One morning this past winter I had the t.v. on for background noise while I was mindlessly doing housework. My then 18 month old pointed to the t.v. and said "bra!" I realized he had just seen a lingerie commercial. Violence and sex sell television and we are watching it, even in commercials! On daytime television we are seeing half naked women. As a mom, I knew I needed to initiate the change. My son, at his tender, sweet age, does not need to be subjected to television shows that promote these things. He deserves a connected family that takes genuine interest in each other. And, my husband does not need to see anybody half naked but ME!
It sounds so cliché to say that nixing our t.v. has been life changing, but it has.
Thankfully, my toddler was never that much into television to begin with, so the change didn't bother him. In fact, he is quite happy that we gather around his basketball goal and shoot hoops all night instead of watch t.v. these days. My husband (Mr. Sports Fanatic) even seems a lot more involved in our lives and less zoned out after a long day at work. He catches up with sports on the internet when he needs to. And as for me, well, I am less tense and find that I get a lot more done around the house these days.
So, what do we do instead of watch t.v.?
Quality time! It's my love language anyway. I have never used television as a means of entertainment or babysitting for my child. And, yes, I do get things done around the house. My toddler is very much involved in helping me out. I could give you hundreds of ideas of things to do instead, but I am sure you have a book that's been calling your name or a garden that you have been meaning to plant for five years just like I have. Now is the time to do it!
Who knows, perhaps one day I will have the cable reconnected. But, for now, I am enjoying the peaceful bliss and family togetherness time.