I made my decision to live a TV-free life when my now 6 year-old was about 9 months old. So none of my three kids (6, 4 and 1) has ever experienced TV in our home. I have long been anticipating that inevitable question: “Mom, why don’t we have TV like everyone else?” My two oldest have been attending school since they were 3 and I really thought I would have had The Question by now, but no, not yet.
Some friends of mine decided to discontinue their TV service about 9 months ago and their 6 year-old has finally adjusted. She plays or reads in her free time and no longer asks to watch TV. My friends’ experience proves that it IS possible to eliminate the box from your family’s life even if your children are used to it. I imagine it might be harder to do with older kids or teens, but I believe anything is possible as long as both parents are totally committed to the idea.
My husband’s house has TV but when we go there, astonishingly, the kids never ask to watch. They spend their time playing. I do allow an occasional video, but again, to my surprise, they hardly ever request one (it’s been about four months since their last video). If we go to a hotel, their big treat is a room service meal as a “picnic” on the floor while watching TV. The hotel we go to frequently has no children’s channels so they watch the food channel and are thrilled. Once at ages 3 and 4 they sat in awe, completely glued to a half-hour gardening show which demonstrated the proper technique for pruning a bush!
I am not writing about this to “brag” that my children are perfect (believe me, they are far from it!). I simply want to encourage any families out there who are considering taking the big plunge. For us, the results have been well worth it so far.