I grew up watching TV - it was a major part of my life. Re-runs of Bewitched, Dr. Wellby, Lavern and Shirley and Eight Is Enough brings warm and fuzzy flashbacks of my childhood. I remember when my family finally bought cable, I was in the 5th grade and I was thrilled. I watched ET over and over again - it was an exciting time and soon we had a VCR, remote controls and Intelevision (although I wish we had Atari ). TV was God. When I entered the 7th grade I did a great imitation of Madonna - thanks to MTV. The greatest movie of all time was Fast Times at Ridgemont High...ok so maybe back then it was. TV is influential and no doubt I was influenced. It was always on in our home growing up. That was the norm in our family - seemed like the norm for all American families. I never questioned it and why would I - I enjoyed it - I loved it.
But now that I am a Mama I do question it - so I took the first step and disconnected our cable. Not as a punishment or for a drastic statement but because it is a waste of our money. I stopped watching TV a little less than a year ago - from time to time I would watch House Hunters or a Nature program on PBS. Before that I was addicted to reality shows or sensationalized journalism. I loved "The Hills" - blushing as I admit that. I never set out to stop watching TV - it just happened that way. But I noticed that I started to feel more connected with real life - more interested in our life without TV. I read more books and learned about the ideas of Waldorf families. There was no looking back after those books. I slowly withdrew Ella from the TV. The girls watch Caillou and Little Bear once a day - which does not warrant $80.00 a month. Although this feels like a big change for our family - it really isn't. We have just turned in our "security blanket" for something much better - our imagination free from TV pollution. I can't wait to see what unfolds without the convenience of cable.
My hope is to change this corner of my home and put the TV in a cupboard - so we only would have to see the TV when we are watching it. Now it just seems to be sitting on an alter wanting to be worshipped. I have adorned the TV with do-dads to distract the little ones while they watch their two short shows - a tray of fun nature finds, a basket of yarn balls, my lyre and a balance beam. You wont catch me saying "Sit down and watch your show!"
My simple truth is - I think if I got completely rid of the TV - I 'd be like a fish without water. I like TV - I like that my girls enjoy some TV - but what I really like is that my family is not influenced by TV.