Archive for August 6th, 2009

No TV Week….Er…Life

kill the tv Pictures, Images and Photos

Each September there is a Nation-wide campaign called “No TV Week”.  We participated last year and it was actually nice to have some silence–well, as much as you can have with 2 kids!–for a change!

The last month I’ve been looking through our bills and trying to find areas that we can cut back.  Taking out all the unnecessary things, cutting back on groceries and eating out (that one is proving difficult–we love eating out!), and finding little things in our budget that can be eliminated.  I have been thinking about canceling the cable for awhile and have decided that it is time!

We didn’t have cable for the first 4 years of our marriage because we just couldn’t afford it!  It was a luxury that neither Aaron or myself had grown up with.  When we were little, cartoons came on Saturday morning only and the only “kids” shows we watched were “The Cosby Show” and “Full House”!  As a result, we both spent a lot of time outside.  I can remember riding bikes with my neighbor for miles at a time! ( It was 3 miles one way to my Granny’s house and we rode there almost everyday!)  We didn’t know any differently.

When we got married we just couldn’t afford it.  We ate cheap, we never went out and we watched movies or played video games in the evenings!  When I was pregnant with Annagrace I convinced Aaron to let us get cable.  You know–for her.  We’ve had it ever since.

But now that I have 2 tv junkies in the house I am seeing how much my children (and I) “depend” on tv and I don’t like it.  We spend too many hours just flipping through stations.  My kids waste time that they could be reading, or learning, or exploring outside, watching “kids” tv shows that are really way too advanced for them (Hannah Montana for one–I don’t need my 7 and 3 year old to see her chasing and kissing boys).

I have two blogging friends who have recently blogged about tv.  Kind of funny to me and it has helped me to make my decision to cut it off!  Sarah limits her child’s tv watching to 30 minutes a day.  My kids watch probably 4 HOURS a day.  Yes, I’m ashamed.  Once we cut back we will only have networks so they can watch Sesame Street on PBS and that will be about it.

Lindsey recently posted about limiting her son’s tv viewing.  She posted a link to a great article in Mothering magazine about a family that moved to the middle of nowhere and didn’t have access to cable, or even network tv.  They thought it was going to be the death of their children but in a very quick amount of time the kids lost interest in tv.  In fact, when they visited their grandparents their daughter watched for a few minutes, got bored and said, ‘I’m going outside.”  I loved it!

So we are canceling all cable tv.  I still want access to the networks because we live in Eastern NC and it’s almost hurricane season.  Weird, I know–but I feel the need to keep an eye on the weather particularly at this time of year!

Next decision is should we cancel our home phone as well.  We don’t use it much at all and never seem to use any of our monthly minutes on our cell phones so I am thinking we can let it go.  Dropping both will save us about $80+ a month!

Here is a list of FREE things that we can do instead of watching tv:

  • Walks or bike rides in the neighborhood (giving us a chance too to meet the neighbors!)
  • Board games (I’m going to invest in a few new ones over the next few months)
  • Family movie nights (we have Netflix so we’re going to start getting more family friendly movies)
  • Trips to the park (there are a ton of them here and we’ve only been to one so far)
  • Reading together outloud as a family (I have started a list of possibilities including the Narnia series)
  • Cooking/baking together
  • Yardwork (okay, so the kids may not go for that one but I love to do it!)
  • Crafts/Scrapbooking
  • More visits to the library (we go about once a week but I’m all for going more often!)
  • Trips to local museums (won’t be free but will be cheap and fun)

Also, canceling the cable will allow us to afford piano lessons for Annagrace and dance classes for Madalyn and I feel much better about spending that money on those things rather than on tv!

See That Post Below?

That is my 3 year old at her finest.  I just came in and pulled up my blog and somehow she managed to post that.  LOL!  She is a computer junky.  I think when she grows up she’ll be an IT tech or a software developer or something along those lines!


August 2009