I have a love/hate relationship with my TV. When Downton Abby is on, I HATE it! When the Kansas Jayhawks are on, I LOVE it, unless they are losing, then I hate it.
About 2 years ago, my wife and I had a conversation involving our TV. We had satellite and were stuck in a 2 year contract. We both agreed that we were watching too much TV. She said I was watching too much baseball and I said she was watching too much Project Runway. It was right then and there that we decided when our contract was up that we would end it with cable. We bought a Roku box to stream Netflix, Pandora, and my MLB.tv and we haven’t looked back.
During the conversation, we talked that we did not want our son to grow up and think that TV is the only form of entertainment. We were going to make a conscious effort to only watch an hour of TV around our son. At the time I was a stay-at-home-dad and TV was the only way that I was able to make it through the day sometimes, so I immediately broke the rule. My wife soon found shows on other broadcast networks and on Netflix that she enjoyed watching, and soon after she started breaking our one hour of TV around our son rule.
We are now 1 year into without cable, and we wouldn’t look back. But you want to know something? We watch just as much TV now, as we did when we had cable. Since we do not have a DVR, we have to make a point to watch our shows when they are on. No waiting until, our son is sleeping and popping some popcorn and seeing the latest saga of Jim and Pam on The Office.
It has gotten to the point that we now use TV as bribery in potty training my son. Yeah, it is that bad. Watching parts of the movie Cars might work to help him to his business, but the lessons we are teaching him is that sitting on the pot watching TV is OK. Everything is so readily available though. We can turn Netflix on our iPhones while my son is trying to take the Browns to the Super Bowl.
TV has become a form of babysitting in our house. It gives both mom and dad some time and distraction to get things done that we need to get done without a 2-year-old saying ”Hold You.”
This is not the example that we want to set though. We do not want him to think that sitting in front of the TV all day is OK. Reading a book is just fine, playing with his Thomas the Tank Engines is perfectly all right. Watching dad shoot some hoops, and wondering why dad did not play basketball is even better. We want him to get out and enjoy life for what it is, not become some couch potato.
Has the television become a form a babysitting in your home? What do you do to keep your kids from watching too much TV?