Disconnect Days: Update #1 (a.k.a. Why I think T.V. is unnecessary & how I feel about art)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Remember a when we declared Sunday's "Disconnect Days"? (Read Here if you don't). Well it's been exactly one month since then and I figured now was a good time to do a update on how it's been going. It''s been going very very well! In addition to our once a week no phone thing we have took the leap into a NO-T.V. household. I don't mean we tell Sierra "NO! NO!" when she goes near it - I mean last week we sold it and got it out of our house entirely. This may sound a bit extreme but let me explain. We barely ever watched the thing anyway. I watched soccer once or twice a week and Lauren was known to get her weekly Teen Mom & Criminal Minds fix after the baby had fallen asleep from time to time. We were paying for cable, our TV was a 15 year old big screen MONSTER that weighed 100 pounds and took up an entire corner of our living room. So in addition to not having the allure of the T.V. we also are saving money on cable & gained about 5 feet of our living room back.

The corner now houses a beautiful painting by artist
Ann Marie Rebola,our stereo and a baby photo of Sierra. 

We have been discussing removing the T.V. from our home for awhile now, Disconnect Day just helped speed up the process. The reasons the NO-T.V. thing was even on the table for discussion was that according to the American Association of Pediatricians children gain nothing from watching T.V. (or any screened media) before two (not to mention Lauren and I's book intake started to dip when we realized we had HBO). Well Sierra is turning two tomorrow so now what do we do? When friends and family looked at us funny when we said "Oh Sierra doesn't watch Sesame Street" or when she didn't recognize Mickey Mouse for anything but a plain ol' mouse we could always fall back on the "Well actually according to the AAP...". But now what? I'm sure people will be saying "Well NOW she's two so let her watch a damn movie for God's sake!" or "Come on! Didn't you love the Lion King as a kid?!". Lauren and I haven't REALLY discussed where we stand on the "Now thats she's 2" topic yet but I can tell you where I stand. Who cares? Sierra has never watched any T.V. and she is just as smart as any Elmo & Mickey loving toddler on the playground. She loves books, playing, drawing and painting and is VERY active. I see no need to introduce a product that will get in the way of being active and activities that I feel are a better stimulate and learning tool in the first place. Also for people who think I'm talking out of my ass - I am a licensed art teacher and hold a degree in Art Education so bite it! Art > T.V. in this house hold.

Now that I've gone on my holier than most art is the end all be all of life rant - Let me be entirely serious. Will I introduce (educational and appropriate) T.V. shows & movies into Sierra's life? Yes - just not this second. I'm personally not ready and have a lot of research to do before I feel comfortable with what she watches as every piece of media a person, especially a small child, consumes can and does influence them, so I want to make sure these are positive influences. I also feel Sierra doesn't care at this point anyway. She's never once asked to watch T.V. even when it was the 'big elephant in the room'. She wasn't stupid she knew what 'the big black box' was for, she even knew how to turn it on if she wanted to. Most of her friends we have play dates with aren't huge on T.V. either so there's never been the "Why does she get to and I don't?" issue. Even when we are at a friend's house who has the T.V. on we have never had an issue where Sierra wanted to sit and watch, she's is always much happier to explore their house or terrorize their pets. So I guess my answer to when will we let Sierra watch T.V. is when we're both ready. When it's appropriate and best for us we will introduce it into our families life but as of now no one seems to want or miss it and thats just fine with me. Any questions, feedback or what you and your family do please feel free to comment below as I'm always interested in other people's opinions whether they agree or disagree. Thanks. -Craig

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  1. You're definitely right, Craig, TV isn't necessary, but it's a nice luxury! Glad to hear you made a choice that worked well for you and if you ever want to watch Teen Mom, you're always welcome to come over our house.

  2. Ya know, since I've been super preggo and Logan works like 60+ hours a week we let Dex watch some TV here and there so we can have a chance to lay down. I'm really not such a fan. I would much rather he doesn't watch any at all, but we have slipped into it a bit. I'm sure it will get cut back soon in order to make sure new baby isn't watching it. But, the interesting thing isn't letting them watch it or not watch it. I think it's really interesting that we, as parents, feel the need to defend everything we do. It's so sad that we all feel so judged by each other! (And I'm not judging with with that statement haha... it's just interesting that every decision we make has to come with an explanation).

    I don't know. We haven't had cable for well over a year, and only watch some Netflix occasionally. So, I'm all for not having TV. (Ours is a tiny TV that hides in a cabinet most of the time anyway). Good for you guys.

    Miss you and wish our kids were running around not watching tv together!!

  3. @Kaitlin - Thanks! Yeah the post wasn't meant to judge people do watch T.V. - just whats working for us right now. Also I mean i still watch T.V. i watched LOST last night (on Netflix in bed on the laptop) I think their are positives and negatives just doing my best to choose whats most positive right now. Yes Teen Mom date tomorrow :-) gotta get my Farrah fix. -C

  4. @Kate - Don't worry no judging here on the letting Dex watch a bit of the tube. He's old enough and you deserve a break home girl! I agree about the needing to explain thing it's like why do you care what we do?! Why don't you just judge me in private & on twitter like I do to you? haha! We miss you too - I've been trying to save up some money for a family vaca perhaps we can make it a texan one?! :-) -C

  5. Yesss... save some more money and come when Lauren has break from school in like Feb and you are so sick of Winter.

  6. I don't really think we'll ever do the "no tv" thing with our kids. That being said, I don't have a problem with those who do! : )
    However, there will certainly be limited tv. Most of my siblings are all still pretty young (6, 10, 12) and their lives seem to revolve around television/video games. They do play outside occasionally, but it bothers me how addicted they are to tv. I'm pretty sure they actually slept in my parents' living room the entire summer so they could watch tv while falling asleep.
    That kind of stuff definitely won't be happening for us!

  7. Lydia - Thats awesome - I deff don't judge people w/ T.V. or who let their children watch some occasional T.V. - nothing wrong with it. I mean I only got rid of mine a week ago I'm no preacher ya know? Thats sad about your siblings! I deff see children like that all the time :-( - and even I'm guilty of being glued to the iPhone sometimes. I find myself up at 2 A.M. saying OK just one more YouTube video or one more article. Hopefully disconnect days will continue and I'll ween myself form the internet addiction! -C

  8. This post is dead on. We don't Let Addy watch the Tele at all. We do have a TV, but that is for Rach and I to watch a movie after Addy goes to sleep. I think too many people use it as a babysitter, kids need to use their imagination, they need to have an active mind, not a mind acted upon.

  9. I'm glad you posted about this. People think we're crazy when I say we don't have cable. I quit cable about 6 months before we got married. I DVRed everything and at one point, I think I had the entire script of Wedding Crashers memorized because I watched it every day as I fell asleep. It was just too much. Instead of reaching for a good book, I had hours of recorded shows and movies I loved. I usually chose those over books, craft projects, or anything else that might use my brain.

    When we got married, I asked my husband to give it a shot. At first, he was opposed. I said, "Give it three months. We can revisit the issue then." And we've never looked back! I'm not saying we never watch TV. We still have high speed internet, subscribe to Netflix, and a digital converter box for the free broadcast channels (mostly Fall football).

    I always loathed that the television was the center of the living room or family room. They aren't attractive. Now, we will have a smallish TV in our bedroom, but that's it. And I don't think we'll ever pay for cable again. So we've been cable-free (not TV-free) for over 3 years and we do not regret it one bit. I'm also glad we are much more TV-free than before with the little one on the way! Bad habits are hard to break.

    Thanks for this post,
    Chrissy adventuresinbaby.wordpress.com

  10. Oh My God...i am so glad to read this post. Me and my husband didnt own a TV for 2 years( when we first moved in together)..Then we bought a house and somehow buying a TV came into our list...For next 2 years..i turned into this TV watching zombie who slept/ate in front of the TV...all the time i HATED it...i MISSED the times when i didnt have it...but really didnt do anything about it.

    As soon as my kids(twins), i knew i couldnt stand it anymore. I stopped watching it ..cable was gone...i was so happy playing, reading with my babies. Then when my nanny started watching TV around with the kids (not the kiddis things but programmes she wanted to see), i knew i was done.
    I politely told my nanny that we dont want kids to watch ANY TV....she fibbed around it a bit (said she"ll only watch the news 30 mins...but it used to go on for HOURS). I had to get firm- I was kinda pissed that she was using the TV as a babysitter..( i believe in what Adelines Daddy said)..Now the TV is out of the living room..its in the basement...me/my husband/or the kiddos have not even been down there....

    And thats how plan to do it...And gosh, your comment on 'wat to say after 2 years'...that has been eating me...I KNOW i will not have the TV on just because the kiddos are 2...but i worry about how i will convince others....


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