(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Tag: television

Um… forgot to say why we got rid of the T.V.

The removal of the T.V. was a pretty typical move for us. One morning we said "We should really just get rid of it" — the next thing I knew, Tomas’d told co-workers about it and this one guy said he’d like to buy our monster. Gulp. I wasn’t really ready for it, but OK.

What led to our ever-so-brief discussion was a series of events:

  • We’d made a connection that our kids routinely turned into lunatics immediately following T.V. time. Stark. Raving. Mad. So unmanageable that I was guaranteed to start yelling my brains out within minutes of the off-click. Seconds, even.
  • They would watch T.V. on play dates. What the heck?! A Play Date is for Play Time. Duh. Get on your scooters & skateboards, or play with one of the gazillion toys piled high in your bedroom.
  • After watching a show they ALWAYS asked for another one. That really irked me.
  • We’d read this article in Slate that discusses a research study conducted by Cornell University on the possible connection between T.V. viewing by young children and Autism. It was enough to freak us out a bit & we’re not freak-out-types.
  • I’m often up with insomnia (or the baby) in the middle of the night… I’m pretty sure the cop-n-robber shows were rotting my brain.
  • After 22-gulp-years together Tomas and I spent most evenings sitting on opposite ends of the couch, staring at the screen. Pathetic.

That’s pretty much it. No major research or anything. No big family meeting. We just did it, and it was the right thing for us.

In any case, we still have Netflix, and have put the TiVo recorder in the storage closet, for when/if we ever decide to get another T.V.


Why I’m glad we tossed the T.V.

tv

[photo by Pablo Gonzalez Vargas via morgfile.org]

We sold our TV a while back. It was monster of a thing that we bought during our dot.com days.  Once gone, an astounding amount of space was cleared in our livingroom. Space aside, I have to say that we’ve reaped many benefits from getting it out of the house.

  • The kids are reading more. We stop at the public library once every week or so and stock up on HUGE piles of books that they actually read (!).
  • They’ve started making their own shows with the digi-cam they got for xmas (thanks Grandma & Grandad!). They script, edit, rehearse, and film their own shows. Complete with commercials, which brings me to…
  • They don’t see commercials anymore! Yay! When they make their shows, the things always include commercials for this or that (“This is the best cleaning solution ever! Visit us at www dot Blah Blah dot com!!!” and actually mention brand names and stores — yech.)
  • We’ve taken to watching family movies together. Everyone piles into Mom & Dad’s bed to screen a movie on the computer monitor, while the baby climbs all over the place and sneaks over to the keyboard to pause the film at all the critical points (he’s a very smart, and cheeky little boy)
  • When the kids have friends over for playdates, they actually play.

Honestly, the only drawback to not having the boob tube any more is that I don’t get to watch Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert after the kidlets have gone night-night. I do miss those two, they were my daily visit back home to NYC.