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February 01, 2006



We've been TV-free for eight years and have no plans to introduce it to our son. It's great that life no longer revolves around the :30 clock to make a television show. My father-in-law said we'd "have to" get a TV for our kid because that's what society does. Sheesh! I do fear, though, that the computer will be the new television.


That is great. I might need to try it out soon!

andrea from the fishbowl

I thought *I* was the champion Uno player??? :)

I think what you're doing is great. We pretty much limit their television to Saturday/Sunday mornings. And it works great.

I don't think they even miss it!


Good for you Margaret for being such a meanie. There's just not much beneficial for developing minds on TV. I think in time your kids won't even miss it. Much.


It sounds like a good plan. I actually cancelled cable and quit turning the TV on during the day and I've become a fabulous Play-Doh sculpturess. We get some outdoor time and things actually get cleaned up around here. I still feel like I need my evening television as a mini-escape, but I don't NEED my daytime tv anymore. My daughter only watches a movie right before bedtime to shift her into low gear.

amy h.

I've been wanting to cut back on our tv watching and think your idea is a great one! Now if I can just get my husband to buy into it ;)


I've had my toddler watching more TV since my twins were born, just out of feeling guilty about not paying as much attention to him. It's awful and now I'm trying to scale way back on it with the goal of keeping it off completely in a couple months. Although he only watches PBS and Sprout, it still bugs me that he can recite all of the characters and show names. I'm just so glad that for the first two years of his life we read books and didn't watch TV. He will still go back to his room and sit with books for hours.


I abhor the tv mostly because of the mindless ads. I've compromised and let our kids watch only pbs and animal planet. We watch no tv at night as we read together. Now the problem we're having is the fighting over the computer. Yikes!

Beast Mom

I totally agree w/ your decision, as hard as it is at times to not have the easy way out of occupying the kids. (I have a 5 and 7 yr old so I completely relate to that temptation to succumb to the "tv babysitter")

If I may be blunt among us parents, TV is mostly a vast wasteland of repetitive, boring, useless crap. I can't stand it anymore and haven't watched anything regularly for about 10 years. I almost always feel worse afterwards. My kids are also worse after watching and being lulled by ads, etc. They become bratty, demanding, greedy, or equally horrible--they become vacant and dulled. They are controlled by tv when they're around it too much. I know eventually I'll have to get our tv hooked back up again so my kids aren't totally clueless about what all the other kids watch, but for now, we don't even have it hooked up. And my kids don't mind. Perhaps a little extreme for some people to boycott it all together, but both my kids are readers, play sports, and simply run around outside with friends quite a bit. They're fit and energized. They don't beg for bad food and every other gimmick that gets blitzed at children. And this is all wonderful. No thanks to TV.

Cheers to you for making the hard call on this! Perhaps if the general public would stop patronizing tv so much, especially the stupidest of programming, something could change for the better.

-The Beast Mom


Thank you for this post...we did not let Lilith (21 months now) watch any TV until very recently and then only about a half hour to an hour a week. I have been conflicted about this for many reasons and so it is nice to hear that other families also question or think about the role of TV in thier homes and lives. As she gets older and more influenced by people other than her parents and is interested in more TV it seems an approach like this (only on Sundays or whatever) may be a reasonable approach.


We just did exactly the same thing in September - no tv/computer/game cube/electronic mind numbers Mon-Thurs night. It's working wonders here too - our kids are much nicer and a pleasure to be around.
I notice even when they go on a playdate and watch tv - they come back all riled up and much more testy than usual.
I think it's brilliant!

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