Since we're broke, we decided to give up television once we moved and I was really worried about that for a while. How would my children thrive without the companionship, supervision and education from their nanny-in-a-box?
I'm a couple of weeks into it now and not only is it going way better than expected, there have been some benefits I hadn't considered.
We've been getting DVDs from the library and Netflix. We get a good mix of tv shows and movies and we can each get 6 and keep them for one week. Here's what's been awesome:
1. No endless reruns of iCarly. I love iCarly but I'm pretty sure we've seen every single one ever made at least 70 times. Big Kid would have to watch them every time they were on but doesn't seem to miss them at all now that they aren't available as constant background noise. Also, it's like the Jonas Brothers were never even born. That's a good thing.
2. I have more control over what's watched. This isn't always true because every once in a while a Pokemon sneaks through, but for the most part we've been watching great television. The kids are hooked on cartoons like the Flintstones, Jetsons, Animaniacs, Loony Tunes, and the Simpsons and have enjoyed movies like the Neverending Story and Princess Bride. We watch Blue Planet and nature documentaries. And we like it, because that's what's on!
3. There are no advertisements. Ever. I have not heard ONE "Can I have that?" since we've moved here. It's nice to watch shows without evil corporations reaching out to my kids every other minute.
4. It's fun to watch things in order. I've been watching the Office on DVD lately and I just got to the one where Jim first told Pam he loves her and kissed her. (*swoon*) I missed that one somehow (season 2, casino party) and it was even sweeter after watching their flirtations gradually progress from season 1 episode 1. I've also been watching a lot of stuff I wouldn't normally pay attention to and loved (most of) it.
5. It's easy to turn it off since things come to a stopping point. I have been reading more and the kids have been playing more. They spend time looking at National Geographics and kid magazines they get, which were quickly forgotten about before.
I'm amazed at how little we miss satellite television. The kids haven't complained one time, it's like they haven't even noticed. Also, now I can be one of those holier-than-thou anti-television moms and can put "restricting outside media influences" on my competitive motherhood score card.
All of that for $70 less each month.