In Which I Give In

After nearly 9 years (nine!) in a television-free household, sometime on Saturday the folks from DirectTV  will be coming over to install, well, TV.   Not just TV in the living room, but also in the basement where the kids can watch it.  Can you tell this was most likely NOT my idea?  I am a little bit disgusted, too, at how easily I caved when the subject was brought up, falling for the hip smooth guy with the checkbook who says, “But baby, I will pay for it!” (In all actuality, what I saidwas, “I don’t care what you want to do as long as I never.ever. have to talk to someone from DirectTV.”).

This whole TV thing, though, I don’t know.  Sometimes I miss the news (though I get my fill online and on the radio, and I suppose there are a few channels I wouldn’t mind having-PBS, and maybe CNN.  Still, we have been so long without it, by choice (mine, not the kids’), that it almost seems a matter of pride to NOT have TV.  I know people think we are strange-but I have kind of cultivated that strangeness, if I am honest.  Maybe a little bit of something to prove to the world that I am just a cut above, I don’t know.

The fact remains, however, that despite the fact that not all my TV-free motives have been pure, the benefits to my family have been great.  My kids love to eat oatmeal and cream of wheat because for many years they knew nothing else; no Trix or Lucky Charms advertisements to contend with.  Even now, they are equally happy with the Malt-O-Meal brand of sweetened cereals rather than insisting on the name brand, and I am proud to say that none of them have any idea who Tony the Tiger is (and no, thank you, he is NOT an icon; he is a cartoon character created to suck your kids into the vortex of blind consumerism.  Just sayin’).  Come Christmas time, I have not yet had to contend with the pleas for this or that toy as seen on television.  My kids are all avid readers, and they actually know how to play outside with sticks.  We have a lot of family time, maybe more than the kids would like, and I really believe that all of that is due to the fact that we aren’t glued in front of the television every evening.

I know that people watch TV and still manage to raise happy, healthy kids-they have this thing called balance, which allows them to set healthy limits on such things as TV and computer time and all of that.  The balance part is what worries me, especially now that winter hours are setting in and it gets dark early.  That itself cuts down on much-needed outdoor time, so what is there to do in an evening besides stay inside where it is warm?  And really, IS there harm in watching a television show rather than reading a book?  Maybe less so than I think.

Or maybe, just maybe, I, too, will get sucked in to the media choice of the masses and will soon start avidly scheduling my evenings by what is on television.  Maybe I will find those shows I hear about so irresistible that I, too, will be glassy-eyed and drooling, simply waiting for my next fix.   Just make me a promise, dear readers: if I start giving you recaps of shows I have seen, ones that you could see too if you wanted and therefore would not NEED a recap, well, just shoot me.  Please.

TV.  Can you believe it?  I think I need to invest in a new library card.


37 thoughts on “In Which I Give In

  1. Good for you for holding out so long! I think it’s fabulous that you’ve raised your kids without TV. I’d love to do the same with my future children, but I’d be a hypocrite; hiding in my room watching when they’re not looking. LOL.

  2. Televisions, they’rre grrrrrreeat!

    Sorry. heh.

    What you did was noble and brave. I can’t imagine what I’d do without Spongebob to give me a half hour of me time every once in a while.

    But on the flipside, my kid knows everything about every animal because he loves Animal Planet. And he knows about the Roman Empire because of History Channel. But yeah, we wants Trix every time we go to the supermarket. :/
    .-= BusyDad´s last blog ..Time to Bring the Heat: Tastemaker Challenge 2K10 =-.

  3. You’ve given them a great foundation, it’ll be fine. Not to mention, consider it the beginning of lessons on consumerism and how to resist those urges!
    And PLEASE will you watch The Daily Show, at least?
    (And, yes, I got the balance reference. And I love you for it.)
    .-= April´s last blog ..Sublime Single Parents =-.

    • @April, Yes, The Daily Show! I suggest the Colbert Report too. So funny! And if you stay up really late, Chelsea Lately is on E! at 11:30pm (pacific time). She is hilarious.

      Yeah, you’re going to have a lot of shows to watch. LOL.

      • @Julie, Clearly you don’t know me all that well; if I am still up at 10:00, that is late. This, my friend, is what happens when you get old. 🙂

  4. My parents have never had any sort of paid tv, though we did use our rabbit ears to pick up the network channels. We had incredibly strict tv rules, and I read all the time. Unfortunately, while the reading has stuck, tv totally sucks me in because its still more of a novelty to me than to my friends who grew up with five thousand channels and the tv on all the time. I think there’s really a no win situation with tv in the end. Or maybe I just have no willpower 🙂
    .-= Tutugirl´s last blog ..Put On A Happy Face =-.

  5. Well Kori, I get it. I would have done it but I married a TV lover. We did agree no TV during the week when the kids were up. They could watch on the weekend, if they had good school reports. Same went for computer.

    As they got into HS that got harder and most were watching more by that age.

    One week when Dad was gone we didn’t even turn it on. The kids commented on it after the fact that we hadn’t even had it on.

    Some control and balance will be the key. There are some good things on TV, so maybe you can direct them that way.

  6. If my husband had his choice it would be the same way. We would still watch tv, though, just on dvd when it was free at the library. Even though we currently have cable, my children don’t watch tv they think it is a magical box that sometimes plays movies if they are really really good. hahahaha
    .-= jennie´s last blog ..Be Careful What You Wish For =-.

  7. Yay. Lots of rants to catch up on!

    I’m constantly cursing the television, wishing I had the balls to chuck them out the window and tolerate the kids’ revolt and subsequent mutiny. But alas, as much as I hate to admit it, tv is an easy babysitter. Maybe I’ll cowboy up, cupcake as Ms Moon would say.

    Glad I can read again
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..scary mommy =-.

  8. Oh well, it was bound to happen sometime. Although I know how you feel about the winter coming and all that. But it won’t kill you guys and it might give the older ones a much-needed break from each other.

    As for arranging your schedule around it, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Even when we had TV, I never had time to watch it. I finally gave up; Mark and the boys ruled it from the get-go and probably will again if we ever sign up again.
    .-= FreedomFirst´s last blog ..Friday Fragments =-.

  9. Oh my … I had no idea you guy didn’t have TV and to be honest, that’s just about the most excellent thing I’ve ever heard in my life. I’m not a TV fan at all myself and the girls don’t watch it for the most part either (rather, the occasional DVD). I don’t know … I just think that’s all kinds of neat. Good for you, Kori – 9 years! That’s so impressive 🙂

  10. The trick is making TV work FOR you. We have never had cable, and my wife and I, going on our 19th year of marriage, have never had a TV in our bedroom. Growing up, TV’s were everywhere. My folks would turn on the TV before they turned on the lights. We watched it at dinner. All the time.

    Now, we watch what we want. And catch some stuff on the internet if it’s on cable. Like Mad Men. I’m addicted . . .

    You’ll find a balance . . .
    .-= tysdaddy´s last blog ..The Wild Rumpus =-.

    • @tysdaddy, I think having the tv on all the time growing up is part of why I hate it. And I will SO not give in, no matter what, to a TV in the bedroom. If I am going to be staying up late in my room, it will not be because I am watching TV or fighting. 🙂

  11. I have to say that I LOVE Directv. DVR is the best ever cuz you can just zip through those pesky commercials. There are many many many good channels to become addicted to like National Geographic, The Learning Channel, Discovery & Discovery Health, A&E…

    I do think it’s great that your kids haven’t had the TV influence up to this point, giving them a good foundation. But, now, oh boy.. there’s lots to learn.
    .-= Jill´s last blog ..Idea for a new blog =-.

  12. I see both points of view. If it were up to me, we wouldn’t have a TV… but living in my mom’s house, the TV is a big centerpiece.

    I’ve noticed on days that I come home and I’m alone, I leave the TV off- and I get so much done. On days when my Mom is home first and has it on (always on, always blaring) it always manages to suck me in. I really don’t want Boy growing up with TV, and I dream of having my own place, where the only TV is in my room and Boy sees none of it. (unlike previous posters, I don’t have anything better to do in the bedroom)

    That said, I love watching movies, and I enjoy the hell out of a few shows- Modern Family, The Office, 30 Rock, Mad Men. But I’m really wary of TV for kids, mainly because I know what it did to my attention span as a child, when it was on ALL THE TIME.

    But it seems like you’re aware of all that, and it’s probably just going to come down to setting limitations- on your kids, yourself, etc. I hope it works out well, and if not- hey, at least you weren’t the one dishing out money for it.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..Weight Loss =-.

  13. Thanks for the email on your feed. I was beginning to worry!

    I think that it is great that you enjoyed nine lovely years without television. You didn’t miss much.
    .-= Claudia´s last blog ..Long Hand =-.

  14. LOL. Welcome to the world of bad TV. Hopefully you’ll find some good stuff to watch. And then late late at night you’ll watch…..*whispers* reality tv. nothing like some Rehab at the Hard Rock to destroy your faith in humanity.

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