Thursday, April 8, 2010

TV SchmeeVee

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! After you've finished reading this post, be sure to "tune in" to for the latest from the great bloggers over there.

So we did something somewhat unusal in this day and age: we gave up a tv.

(Note that I said "a tv", and not "tv" (in general).)

No, we made a strategic decision. And it's working out really well so far.

We bought some furniture for the new house; a package deal that included a "free" 32 in LCD tv. However, we decided to return one of the pieces, which meant money back, but also having to forgo the tv.

Originally, we had planned to put the big tv in the great room.

But in the delirium lucidity of sitting in the great room at about 1am the other morning after finishing some housework, Mom-E and I decided we didn't even want a tv in the great room.

The main tv in the house is in our bonus/play room on the second floor.

What we've found is that after their "morning coffee", aka about 2 cartoons--Wow Wow Wubbzy lately, for those of you who need to get the theme song stuck in your head--that the boys sorta "forget" about tv the rest of the day.

In part that's because they love to play in the screened back porch, and in their "new" back yard.

We realized that if we had a tv in the great room downstairs, they'd be way more tempted to want to watch it.

So rather than making a trip back upstairs to watch tv, their more content to just play...

...and run laps around the ottoman in the great room.

But it's wonderful because they're playing and running.

And it's nice to just sit on the porch and play with them, or watch them play outside, or kill stinging insects that sneak into the porch, or just listen to the cacophony of laughter, without the tv blaring in the background.

Don't get me wrong, I like to watch an occasional show (both times in my life that I've had a hour to just sit down :) and I love movies. Movies can be a wonderful way to spend time together as a family.

But in the era of tv, dvd, blu-ray, iPod, iPhone, iPad, email, etc., technology can be a "black hole" that sucks kids away from just running and playing and frolicking and using their imaginations.

And I don't even need to get into all of the reports about how too much tv promotes a sedentary lifestyle with all kinds of bad health-related consequences.

It's nice to be free of this distraction, and it's funny how not once since we've moved have the boys asked why there isn't a tv downstairs.

I guess they're too busy playing.

Well, I gotta go for now. Looks like there is a two car pile-up on the "track" around our ottoman, and the "pit crew" is needed.

Have a good week,


  1. We did something similar in that we canceled our TV service. We still have our TV, but only a Netflix account we stream through a Roku box. We are watching substantially less television and little man is wearing himself out frequently.

  2. This is great! I was surprised when i visited your house and saw no tv in the great room, even though I'm not a couch potato, I just always think of tvs being in family rooms! But still....I thought it was really cool that you left that room tv free. I also love the fact that your boys are taking so much pleasure in playing rather than watching tv. I enjoy a good tv show and enjoy sitting there vegging out while cross-stitching, but I agree that we and children (in general) watch too much. We have several tvs in our house, but it is only turned on at night after little cousin is in bed. Here's to more running around and creating memories and less talking about who did what on yesterday's tv show! love, aunt-e

  3. great decision - already bearing fruit. nicely done. i'm like your kids, i guess. if it's right there, I often can't resist - which also seems to apply to the "smart" phone. but out of sight is out of mind. and we're all better for it.

  4. When we redid our 100 + year old home, we purposely left the TV out of the main room on the first floor. Instead, we put the focus on the fireplace and we have found this room to be one of OUR favorites. Of course, the kids hate it and only like it when we read to them or are opening Christmas gifts, but we stand behind our decision.

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with your decision and think it was a very wise one, Mom-E and Dad-E. The boys have such a wonderful porch and yard to play in and I am glad they enjoy it so much!!!

  6. I know this is not the point of the Blog. But we finally kicked the Wow Wow Wubbzy!!! Not that I didn't like the Wubbzy theme song. It was just getting OOOOOLLLLDDDDD!!!! We have now moved on to Team Umizoomi. I'm sure that will get old too but right now I can say I'm not hating it.

    (more to the point of the blog) I'm sure you made a wise decision on leaving the TV out of the room. It doesn't have to or need to be everywhere. I'm sure the decision will pay dividends later.

    Now, I'm that I'm done gabbing I will go watch some TV.

  7. I watched a lot of TV as a child and -- hey, look I found a quarter. I like toast. Mmmm.

    What were we discussing?

    Happy FF!

  8. Always Home and Uncool....that was really funny. I laughed out loud :)

  9. I see your Wow Wow Wubzee Wubzez Wubzee Wow Wow and raise you one YO! Gabba Gabba.

    By the way, thanks for getting both songs stuck in my head.

  10. I'm glad that this plan is working out.

  11. Good for you and good for your kids!

  12. @PJ Mullen: Sounds good

    @Aunt-E: You guys may be saying good-bye to tv, too ;

    @Stefan: Yep, it's hard for anyone to resist.

    @JH2D: Yep, gotta stick with it to make it work.

    @Gramm-E: They're still having fun.

    @Que: We rotate, too. Diego. Wubbzy. Thundercats. Thomas. I'll be ready for a change soon.

    @Always Home & Uncool: You mean you have A-D-H-Hey let's ride bikes?!?

    @O'Shea: I'll see the Party in Your Tummy and raise you one Sword of Omens

    @WM: We are, too.

    @James: Thanks.

  13. That is very cool. It would be rough at times but you will have a VERY CLOSE family because of it. Wish I had been that smart when mine were young.