A (mostly) turdbox free summer

People think I’m crazy when I tell them our family has been without cable for a few years. We discontinued service when we realized how much money we were spending, and not really watching any of cable channels.

So we cut the cable, picked up a basic streaming Netflix subscription, and called it good.

But as of recently, even our basic free 6 channels that we pick up through a converter box have become a problem for the kids.

  • Ignoring me when I ask them to do things, because they’re staring at the turdbox.
  • Fighting over what to watch, even with the limited options.
  • Feeling entitled to far to many hours of screen time, and throwing a fit when I turn off the tube.
  • Wanting to watch cartoons, instead of playing with toys or doing other things.

And because of that, this past Sunday afternoon, we moved the TV out of the main living room. We’re giving it a 3 month trial period, and will re-evaluate in the fall.

This morning, before we left for school, instead of zoning out to PBS kids for 20 minutes, Piper read Nola and Gage a story. Let me repeat: SHE READ THEM A STORY.

And while I’m only 2 days into it, dare I say I actually made a hard but good parenting choice for once?

7248586168 8b267383c1 A (mostly) turdbox free summer

It’s going to be a (mostly) TV free summer at this house. The thought of it (mostly) scares the pants off me. TV’s make great babysitters.

 

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. I think that’s awesome. And now I’m thinking… :)

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    Emily Reply:

    doooooo it……

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  2. You are a braver woman than I. TV’s do make good babysitters. I may (~gasp~) have a job soon anyway so the teen will the babysitter. Here’s to hoping he gets them riding bikes w/o training wheels for me. i prefer the sitting in the sun & reading portion of summer of the chasing after a 6&7 yo trying to keep them from busting their knees open. ;)
    Sarah recently posted..{Giveaway} Family Fun Night – Indianapolis Indians

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    Emily Reply:

    and I wanna know more about this job. You are so awesome, such an inspiration! (seriously)

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    Sarah Reply:

    @Emily,

    Awww, you are too sweet. Some days I feel very far from an inspiration…but it’s nice to hear.

    The job is nothing major. Just part time at the gas station. I go in there often enough I figure I might as well get paid for it ;) Once it’s set I’ll probably post about it.
    Sarah recently posted..The End is Near – Or School is Out – or Something

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  3. Susan Alberda says:

    We are pretty much TV free over here, too, except for a half hour in the morning while I get ready. I can’t believe what a difference it has made in the girls attitude when they realize TV just isn’t even an option anymore. They’re imagination has just exploded! Of course, the more time spent interacting with each other equals the more the bickering seems unavoidable, but I guess you take the good with the bad. And I no longer have the “Martha Speaks” theme song in my head all day long anymore, and that’s definitely a good thing.

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    Emily Reply:

    That’s exactly what I’m hoping happens. That they will forget that it’s even an option. I think we’ve crossed the line where they think it’s an entitlement, and the only option. Well, that’s all changed, as of Sunday.

    Also, I hate Martha Speaks! (she speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks….)

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  4. Sarah Partain says:

    Yay!!! I’ve thought of doing that too!!

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  5. Well done! I know we’d be better off with less TV, but I don’t know if I could handle not having something else occupy the kids for a bit every day.

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    Emily Reply:

    I know! It’s scary at first to imagine life without something as precious at tv. And I’m not saying that sarcastically AT. ALL. It’s a super hard choice to give it up. We will see how it goes for us…

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  6. Good for you! Our kids don’t really know what cartoons are and rarely get to watch movies. I’m not saying they are evil, or anything, but we would so rather our kids play than veg out to TV. Annie reads to her brothers everyday and their imagination when playing is so delightful to listen to. I think you have made an awesome choice! :)
    Amanda recently posted..Our Infertility Journey

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    Emily Reply:

    I think you’ve made an awesome choice as well, and I’m trying to change and make better choices for my family. It’s a trial and error type job, I’m learning…

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    Amanda Reply:

    @Emily, Emily, we are learning—every.single.day! :) You are doing a fantastic job!
    Amanda recently posted..Our Infertility Journey

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  7. I love this, I need to do this. I wonder if I can convince hubs to move the TV out of the living room… I wonder if I can convince myself? haha

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  8. We have been mostly TV here for sometime, and yes there are days I thinking I sure just get the “babysitter” out but most days are fun fill of imaginative playtime and loving that the grumpy kiddos are less grumpy with no tube on!!!
    Renee recently posted..Tutu making, the frugal way

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    Emily Reply:

    Renee, I totally agree. It’s easy to make a babysitter out of the tv, I’m trying to break my bad habit!

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    Renee Reply:

    @Emily, My husband is gone 6 days a week every week (for work related reason) so I do the parenting solo thing… and TV free is not the easiest thing to do. Hoping that it will work well for your family this summer

    Ps I got our kids addicted to books, lately, I don’t think that it’s a bad addiction :-)
    Renee recently posted..Tutu making, the frugal way

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  9. We don’t have the TV on much during the day. It only comes on for an hour of family TV before Ed goes to bed and then he may watch one episode of Busy Town Mysteries that we tivo for him before he goes to sleep.

    Cable is for mommy and daddy :)

    And to TIVO stuff we use on rainy days or sick days for Eddie.
    Katie recently posted..my favorite eddie

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  10. Sarah G says:

    Great idea! My brother and I grew up with two channels, if it rained we could get another. And sometimes we could tune in channel “U.” I didn’t know what 90210 was until I went to college and I’d never seen a Simpsons episode until then either.
    I’m anxious to see how it goes for you. Enjoy!

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  11. We have always had our TV in our basement which means by default it is rarely on. We have a cable package for hockey and the Food Network but again it is on at night mostly.

    My kids get a little TV from time to time but I find having it out of the main room really does make it so it is a rare treat. They kind of forget it exists.

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    Emily Reply:

    yep. we still have a tv (which we can get netflix through) in the basement. But other than that, it’s gone!

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  12. I know this is off topic but I just love your kids names!

    Janelle
    Janelle-A Story of Grace recently posted..we all go through the seasons

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    Emily Reply:

    Hey thanks! I’m pretty partial, but I love their names too…

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  13. I am impressed! I am not home with my kids during the day, but recently we found that we were letting E-man chill to tv before bed and that he was asking for more and more. We made the decision to (mostly) not have it on while the kids are awake. On the weekends, he usually gets one 30-minute Mickey Mouse Clubhouse per day. I feel so much better about my time with him being focused on play and interacting and I’ve really seen some exciting changes in how much he loves to pretend play. It’s a hard decision and definitely more work, but it pays off.

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  14. Good for you! Kids should be outside playing all day in summer anyway. Who needs tv?

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    Emily Reply:

    TV is dumb (or at least that’s what I keep repeating to myself…)

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  15. I think it’s a brilliant idea that you have disconnected your cable services. Even I, discontinued same service. We already have an internet and I can still watch my favorite series here.
    Born27 recently posted..Video Conferencing System

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    Emily Reply:

    totally agree. What I love to watch is too, found on the internet. So we cut the service…

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  16. Heidi19 says:

    I totally agree with you Emily, it’s impractical to have a cable and internet services at the same time. What important now is on how we can save on our expenses at home.
    Heidi19 recently posted..Arowana – a prized investment catch or …

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  17. Wow…you really wrote about my life. Thanks for the inspiration to pull the plug on TV. Mornings have been so frustrating. Summer is the perfect time to get the kids away from TV. Kids need to know how to play!!!

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  18. Great idea, moving it out of sight but not getting rid of it completely. We’ve tried living without it completely, but eventually I start feeling out of the loop in terms of news, since that’s the one thing I seldom read. But the distractions it creates for the kids is beyond irritating, so I like your compromise.

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  19. We haven’t had cable for a LONG time but streaming Netflix is on way too often. I’ve thought about disconnecting that for the summer. Hmmm… you’re inspiring me now too.
    Carinn recently posted..Gobblers

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  20. 8 years tv free in this house. We got Netflix almost 2 years ago and it was no big deal, we still didnt watch much. Then one day we noticed it had become an option that we were using more than I like to admit. We are now at a point where we let Maizey watch one or two Max and Rubys first thing in the morning ( I hate Max and Ruby!!) and then we dont turn it on until after the kids are in bed. Seems to be working right now…
    ItsAmy recently posted..Adventure 2012 Home

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  21. Justus Remington says:

    Your decision about moving the TV out of main living room is great. Over watching TV is really bad for child’s. So, i have liked your decision.
    Justus Remington recently posted..watch free videos

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