Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why No TV?

We've been TV-free for 5 days. I've gone longer - like when I was working 6 weeks at camp (when I was in college). But this is different because I'm without TV while living in my house and while doing our normal life activities. In other words, it's harder now (than when I was away at a Texas campground) because TV has become a daily part of my life...up until now. And we're enjoying the change in pace and still sticking to our plan.

A while back, I shared our family has unplugged the TV for the next six months. However, I didn't really explain why we decided to make such a drastic decision.

If we were to be honest with ourselves, this decision has been years in the making.

It's not that we believe that there is anything wrong with TV. As matter of fact, my affection for TV lead me to a career in TV Broadcasting.

But the unforgiving life of a TV reporter lead me to a career in teaching. And that's when I began to really notice the power of television on children.

Working with children in the classroom and paying attention to the things they loved, I realized that television is negatively affecting our children.

As I began to reconsider television's impact on kids, I began to pay attention to television programming in general. I began to really listen to the commercials, watch the programs more closely and pay closer attention to my own viewing habits.

What I began to realize was that the commercials were misleading and created a previously unwanted desires. I began to notice the obvious sexual innuendos and disregard for authority in primetime TV as well as in children's programming (Disney is the worst)...

And I started to see that the TV was on in our house waaaay too long each day.

There have been alot of "inspiring" moments that have tugged at me, encouraging me to do what I feel is best for me and possibly for my family - either for the short term or longer. Let me list my inspirations as they unfolded:
  • The decision to live more simply.

  • Our experience with Pednet.

  • Daddy Bear's reading of books by Stanley Hauerwaus and Wendell Berry.
  • The day a Transit Authority manager came to speak to my class of 4th graders and asked if anybody knew what "Rush Hour" was. Almost every child in the room raised their hand and responded: "Yeah! It's that movie with Jackie Chan!"

  • Numerous conversations with my husband and friends about the importance of living in the present and being present with people.

  • Being shocked by claims that TV makes young children smarter and watching more and more moms stick their children in front of the TV to teach them.

  • Reading the book, "Last Child In The Woods."

  • Continued disgust at the amount of consumerism, sexualization and profanity on TV. Take for example: Jerry Springer, MTV's My Sweet 16, Playboy's Girls Next Door, Cheaters, etc.

  • Reading the blogs: SouleMama and Unplug Your Kids

  • Seriously considering implementing the Montessori Method at home

  • Watching this video: The Story of Stuff

  • Reading the book, "So Sexy So Soon."

I'm curious...If you have gotten rid of your TV, what inspired you?

1 comment:

  1. Today...with no tv's hmm I don't know. I think in the beginning is hard to stop watching tv...

    Happy blogging,

    Toddler Books