Life Without TV: More Discoveries on Week 2 of our Family Experiment

Life Without TV: More Discoveries on Week 2 of our Family Experiment

An unexpected tragedy has occurred in our household: our TV died. One fateful morning, my kids gathered around our old pal to enjoy their Saturday living room matinee, only to discover that he passed peacefully that night. To be honest, we weren’t too shocked about it. It cost us less than $300 about 4 years ago, so it wasn’t SUPER state-of-the-art. Still, we care for our things too much to just see this beloved, massive black relative pass away. Too soon, TV. Too soon.

In light of this seeming tragedy, hubby and I started exploring other models (we were over him pretty quickly and were back in the dating game within a couple of days) and even shopped around for a projector. (It must be noted that I thought this was a stupid idea from the get-go; this was just going to become a stupid little shadow theater of children).

Our shopping procrastination, combined with lots of other fun homeschooling stuff, work, and toddler manicures, led us to actually establish a routine in which we didn’t really need the old TV. It’s now been a week and we can’t say we’re aching to get a new one. Here are my most significant discoveries so far:

The bookshelves are lovin’ it!

There has been an incredible surge in our book activity for the past week, and we are so thrilled to see the true nerds that reside within our children blossom. Noni has taken up new books in English and Spanish as part of his schoolwork, but now without the electronic distraction, he finds himself with his nose in a book more frequently.

I discovered that my children are far less attached to things than adults:

My kids (ages 2 and 6) love TV as much as any kid, but they didn’t go into anaphylactic shock or anything, as most parents would expect. They would ask for a movie from time to time but my 6 year old would quickly correct himself: “oh, right. The TV died.” His little sister quickly followed suit. My husband and I promptly realized that it wasn’t simply lack of an understanding of the concept of money or the importance of caring for things, but a much simpler appreciation for what this thing was… just a ‘thing’. After all, there are many other ‘things’ in our household. What’s more, he knew it cost a lot of money but I got the impression that he didn’t fret too much not to make Dad or Mom more upset about it.

I'm amazed at my kids' simple detachment from material things. Why can't we be more like them?


Money well spent:

Being too cheap and lazy to get a new TV also served another great purpose. We were inspired to do something we should have done long ago… We took the money that we would have used for another TV and got our kids a new bunkbed, a cute reading light, and more books. The fun time at Ikea and family night out reading fortune cookies were welcome extras. Kids are now snoozing in style, loving their little fort and our oldest is reading till he dozes off. Too. Cute.

A renewed Sunday:

It’s no secret that a Sunday well spent brings a week of content, and for our family, this could not have been truer. This Sunday there was no TV to watch Disney on, so we did something far more fun: nothing. We kind of rolled around the living room carpet and goofed off, which resulted in a massive tickle fight and Daddy sandwiches with two slices of Noni and Ana. We spent the better part of Sunday piled up on each other, talking, reading and just being with each other (and napping, #winning). This wouldn’t have happened if they had been glued to the screen.

On to week two:

Today was the beginning of week 2 and now I’m starting to feel like the deceased was kind of a possessive jerk… but there’s also a chance we may be experiencing a deep phase of denial, followed by severe withdrawal. Stay tuned for my week 2 update and share your thoughts on our experiment.



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