Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Joy of being TV Free

My family has been "TV free" since we became a family. Even before children came into the picture, we decided the only thing we'd watch on television was an occasional movie. When kids came along, that was amended (at the recommendation of a mentor) to allow for one movie a day.

Now, generally speaking, our children watch a movie while they fold laundry in the afternoon. Rarely, they will be allowed to watch both a "just-for-fun" movie AND an educational movie (educational movies are determined by Mom) in the same day. But, that happens VERY rarely. Their average time in front of the television is 60 minutes a day; much lower than the national average of between four and six hours, not including computer games.

Because we haven't ever made it a habit to watch television, we have developed the habit of finding other things to do. A recent weekend is a perfect example. After dinner was finished, around 7pm, you could find the various members of my family engaged in various activities. My oldest daughter was working at the computer on a school-related project. My second oldest daughter was on the floor beside my youngest daughter, getting some "face time." The third girl was washing dishes (her chore for that week), the fourth daughter was calling a friend, and the last two were playing with Daddy in the living room. Over the course of the evening, books were read, games were played, jobs were completed, we even made cookies. All that before kids were tucked in and lights turned out at 9pm.

Our family is far from perfect, and we've fudged on the tv time occasionally, but for the most part, a typical day includes FAR less than four hours in front of the gray babysitter. Instead, we spend time together as a family, making memories and having fun. That is why I enjoy being tv free.

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