... but not yet taking the plunge into complete TV-free living.
Why the change? Well, I have noticed for some time now that my darling 7yo, Hannah has been morphing into a character straight off of the Disney Channel. The other day she used the word "self-serving" in conversation. What??? It had to come from the TV. I guess to her credit, when I asked her if she even knew what "self-serving" meant, she gave me a perfect definition. I still don't know what to make of that.
Way back when we had only four children we lived quite nicely without television. The children did things like... read, play games, draw, write stories and poems, learn their way around the kitchen with me, help in the garden, have friends over, play outside.
Call it age, call it parental fatigue, call it sheer laziness. Whatever you call it, it seems Dan and I have gradually allowed the television to slither its way onto the short list of favorite activities. Dan and I have been talking about it, making idle threats and finally, we have decided to do something about it.
Here is our compromise. Using our local cable company's remote we spent about an hour checking out each of the 800 some-odd channels and blocked anything that had Disney, Nick, or the word "family" in its title. We have discovered the hard way the stations with the word "family" in their title are really not "family" viewing in the sense that our family would define "family" viewing. (OK. I know. way too many quotation marks there) Once we felt we had sufficiently blocked the content we wanted to purge, we found there is a timer feature, so we considered what times of day we did, or didn't want the TV to be on at all. On weekdays, the cable is completely off until 5PM. And then it can stay on until midnight. This timeframe was chosen for several reasons. First of all, we didn't want the kids waking up and bee-lining straight to the TV before having breakfast, or even giving Mom an obligatory peck on the cheek. Second, leaving it available until midnight acknowledges that we do have several mature teens and young adults living here who stay up past nine and when schoolwork is done may want to veg in front of the tube for a bit. I am OK with that for the older ones. They still won't have access to any of the blocked stations. Hopefully PBS, the Hallmark Channel and FoxNews will keep them adequately entertained.
I am feeling pretty comfortable with this solution. Not one of them has the right to complain since I seemed to make the most compromises of everyone. I was advocating for tossing the dopey thing in the trash altogether!
And the good news is... since we've made this change alot of other stuff has happened here... lots more swimming, reading, socializing with friends, games, helping mom, and the occasioinal lemonade stand. All because we finally decided to get our feet wet! Who knows? We may yet take the plunge and give it up entirely!