I’m Sort Of Panicking…Because We’re Getting Rid of Our T.V.

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Well.

I have thought about it several times, about getting rid of our T.V. But then I come to my senses and think about all the times that T.V. has saved me from going crazy by putting it on for the babes.

Also, we have movie night every week.

And I like watching movies with my husband.

And, did I mention it’s saved me a time or two from going crazy?

Yet, I thought about it. I thought, “What if…”

Could it be better for our kids if we didn’t have it?

Could it be better for my husband and I if we didn’t have it?

Could I end up in a mental institution without a T.V. break for the kids?

All valid questions.

Then my husband, about a month ago, says, “Why don’t we just get rid of our T.V.?”

And I was all, “Um, no…I need it, just in case, you know? Plus I like watching movies with you and having family movie night.”

I didn’t want to get rid of the T.V., but I was willing to try a week without T.V., except for movie night.

And we did it, we went a week without T.V. and it was…easy. The kids only asked to watch it once or twice, and when I said it was no T.V. week they found something else to do. They got creative. They used their imaginations. They were fine. And I was fine.

Huh.

But then we went back to watching it, because it was easy, and so accessible.

Fast forward to today.

We were driving to the library and I put in a tape about Beethoven: stories of his life and bits of his music throughout. We all enjoyed listening to it. What struck me was this: I wonder if Beethoven had T.V. if he would have realized his gift at such a young age…or even at all. I wonder if we would have his brilliant compositions if he had a T.V.? And then I thought, “I wonder how many children in my kids generation will never fulfill or discover their potential if they are too “busy” watching T.V.? How many gifts are we missing out on because kids aren’t “bored” enough to tinker and explore and think and create?”

I shared my thoughts with my husband and he said, “Let’s just get rid of it.”

And so we are.

I’m not going to lie, I’m a little panicked. It’s a crutch for me when I’m tired and I want the kids to be occupied.

But what I want more, is for my kids to use their imaginations and maybe, just maybe, discover some unexplored talent. Maybe I want them to be bored. Maybe I want to get uncomfortable so I can invest more into them, and maybe have a game night instead of a movie night.

Maybe.

Because….

What if?

Taking a deep breath and remembering that people lived without T.V. for hundreds of years,

Sarah Mae

Have any of you taken the plunge and gotten rid of your T.V.?

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  • http://www.christian-momma.com/ LaToya Edwards

    You can still watch movies on your computer :)

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Oh, and I SO will with my husband. ;)

  • delicatefade

    We didn’t have a tv for over four months from July to November. It was fine, but I missed family movie nights. Our kids don’t watch much, but they also use my ipad for Netflix sometimes. That I could put a stop to.

  • Gary Faver

    We’ve taken the first step…..we cut cable. PBS cooking shows have become pretty popular here. :-) Now the kids have Wii for the few games we allow and Netflix for the times we do TV. I’ve been contemplating this same thing for awhile. Football season without TV scares me. LOL I really wouldn’t miss much else. We (Mom & Dad) already watch shows occasionally on the computer, so that’s a good fall-back. ~Cheryl~

  • http://www.janelmessenger.com/ Janel Messenger

    My parents stopped watching TV when I was about 13. I’ve always been a reader, so it wasn’t a big deal. My husband can be a junkie, so we had one for about the first 18 months we were married and didn’t have one for the next 17 or so. We picked up a TV/VCR combo at a yard sale for $5 a few years ago. It died and we never replaced it. (We had to pay $10 at the dump to get rid of our $5 TV!!!)

    I have four children. They only watched it at the occasional out of state visit to grandmas, dentist’s office, etc. They survived and so did I.

    That said, we watch DVDs on the computer and have internet. There is just as much to do online as there is plugged in. You’ll survive. :)

  • Joanna Adams

    We got rid of our tv over a year ago. We can still will watch dvd’s on our laptop, but it’s not often. More often then not we’ll play games, play music, or read instead.

  • Laila

    My big step was getting rid of cable almost 2 years ago. I noticed that when I got rid of it we stopped watching tv as much. I know some people that have tvs but don’t have them in their living room as the focal point of the room. I think that is helpful. I don’t know that not having a tv will make my son anymore awesome than he is. I think it’s all about the value we place on it as a family.

  • Laura

    We got rid of cable. Still use netflix but allows us to choose what to watch and no bad commercials to worry about. And it’s way cheaper than cable. So we still have a tv but have so much more control over it

  • Rachel

    I keep debating this…we other ways we can / do watch tv shows / movies. We actually have done this before, for about a year. I need yo just unplug it and tell hubby to do something with it. LOL w have computers and iPads. We can watch netflix or amazon prime on both of those. We can watch DVDs on the computers. What’s stopping me? The what if’s….

  • http://project36Five.ca/ Heather

    We’ve been without cable for three and a half years now. It isn’t exactly the same, but it does mean that we sit down in front of the TV about one hour a week. We don’t get rid of it completely because we like Christmas movies, playing the occasional video game, and watching documentaries once in a while.

    For media, we turn to YouTube, or read, or play games, or build Lego, or play Minecraft (a huge favourite of my 6-year-old). Life essentially without TV is easy after the first three months or so. Although, admitting you haven’t seen the commercial everyone is talking about (really?), can be a conversation killer.

  • Heather Fryfogle Strickland

    We got rid of the big cable package,but kept a bundle. The stations are just local news and like TBN. We watch a lot of t.v.,well DVD’s. I love putting in Little House and just watching it with my boys. I have noticed when they watch something they usually leave after it’s over and go act out what they just watched ha! We have thought about getting rid of the few stations we have,but my husband is in Law Enforcement and we like the direct access to the local news.

    And if I see mine wanting to just do nothing but watch t.v. I tel them no lol and put on Klove then they go and play! If you feel God calling you to do,more power to you! There is no telling what He may do once you get rid of it,He’s awesome like that!

  • Marywhite

    We have not had tv for 4 years now and it was the best decision ever! We did watch Netflix on our computer for a while but this year cut that off as well. I wouldn’t go back if I was paid too. My 2 children are much better off without that influence continually pouring into their impressionable brains. My son is so much more creative, balanced, happy since I eliminated electronic media.

  • Pamela

    We gave up our TV and went through a similar process. Except mine involved “How am I going to take a shower without the wee ones destroying the house if we don’t have TV?!” It was gone for awhile and our lives were richer for it. We love that Beethoven cd too. And The Mouse and the Motorcycle is fun on audiotape.

  • http://www.jessiquawittman.com/ Jessiqua Wittman

    My parents gave up TV when I was a teenager. And my children have never watched it. We’re all perfectly stable, happy human beings. :)

  • Christin

    We have not gotten rid of TV completely, but we did get rid of satellite and now only have our local stations. It has cut out TV almost completely. Sometimes we turn it on for local news or a football game, but there are times now that it doesn’t come on for days. For us, this was a great move. No more TV on just for background noise. :)

  • Allison

    We got rid of cable in 2001 after being out of power for 8 days during an ice storm. It was nice without it so we turned it off. We get netflix DVDs and watch those movies on the TV. We have had instant netflix before but got rid of it because it was still too much access to too much tv. Episode after episode of series. Etc. Many times Ive thought Id like to throw them out, but haven’t. We have 5 kids and a huge house. There are 2 TVs in rooms that are off the beaten track.

  • SQ

    Cable comes with our apartment lease package, but we have decided to not use it anymore. I do use the t.v. for educational dvd’s because my daughter really responds to this learning tool. We went years without cable and felt great knowing that we were spending more intentional time together and keeping a lot of worldly and inappropriate content out of our home and children’s mind. We started watching it as a way to just kind of survive during the busy moving in days, (newborn, toddler, 6 year old… husband working night and day… need I say more.) Unfortunately, some behavioral issues and whining for more and more t.v. time started to present. So cable is out again and I have no regrets.

  • http://thefrugalgirl.com/ The Frugal Girl

    Well, we’re somewhere in between. We have no cable (just netflix and a roku box) and our TV is down in our office, so it’s not super convenient. This means that we don’t just flop down and channel flip…we have to decide to watch tv, which means more mindful viewing.

    As it stands, we watch occasional sporting events, and once a week, we watch something together with the kids (like an episode of Rockford or Diagnosis Murder or something along those lines, or sometimes a movie.)

    I feel like this is a pretty good middle ground for us…it’s not expensive, and we spend very little tiem watching it, but we do have it for those times we really want it.

  • April

    Yes! We did for months and it was wonderful!! The kids were creative and argued less. Then for some reason we let it back in our house and I HATE it but use it as a cruch too. I would love to remove it from our home, so it’s not even an option.

  • Jacqui N Ian K

    I have not owned a tv since I left my parents house 10 years ago (for college). I love the freedom! We still watch movies every now and then on the computer, but I’ve never wasted whole evenings in front of a tv. Its great and I don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything! I recommend it to everyone!

  • http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com/ Sonya McCllough

    We have gone for seasons without TV … we just ended one from FEB 10 2013 – Dec. 20 2013. In fact that is what I gave my children for Christmas on the last day of school, before the holidays. We now have netflix & a roku box only. We did a trial run of HuluPlus … but Hulu’s home page gives me the willies. When my children were young (like yours) we had zero TV and a reading closet. Although we did have FAMILY movie night.

  • http://tuningmyhearttopraise.blogspot.com/ ro elliott

    When my kids where young many years ago…we went for years without a tv…we did have an old tv with a Vcr(that dates us) player built in and we used that for movies. I can say it will enrich your familiy’s life…you will be amazed how much more your children will play outside…the creative things they will do…and I will say your house probably won’t be as neat…but well worth the mess!!!

  • Bea

    After watching my toddler wide-eyed while watching just the COMMERCIALS on TV, I figured it was time to cut the cable. I was trying to shield her from just the commercials while I watched House hUnters in the kitchen!. Now we just watch DVDs. But I think you are spot on and congratulate your effort to do away with the thing altogether. I’m stuck because my daughter is learning sign language through the Signing Time videos and just loves it and she is already reading and not even three years old and I think that is a huge part of it. I also enjoy a good movie…but…I think it is better not to have it.

  • Jo

    I grew up without tv. It didn’t bother me much until I went to high school, then it did cause everyone was talking about tv shows and movies that I was clueless about. We have tv at home but is is used for movies and games. Other than that we watch movies or shows online

    We have tv at home, but for games and movies.

  • Emily

    What a great post, it challenged me! But I’m curious, what is defined as “getting rid of T.V.”? I ask because I have thought about it myself – does it just mean no physical TV (i.e. no cable, etc.), or does it mean no screen time (including Netflix, You Tube, or anything accessible online through the computer, etc.)? I totally get what you’re saying about wanting to have a fall back plan for those crazy and tired times when a video or some screen time can buy us some sanity or quiet time. What you said about, what if they can tap into an area of talent or we find ourselves investing in our kids in new ways when TV is not available….that’s powerful stuff! We live overseas so, even though we do have a physical TV it does not function as a normal TV, and if we get rid of it, nothing really changes because we can still watch DVDs and Netflix on our computers. The question I’m pondering is, is there a reasonable middle ground, or is this an all or nothing deal?

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      For us, it’s physically removing the T.V. from our home. We do have an Amazon Prime account, so if my husband and I want to watch a movie we can. :)

  • http://hikingtowardhome.com/ Sharon@HikingTowardHome

    We have a TV but it is not connected to cable or even normal network TV. We still have a TV but it is only connected to the dvd, VHS (yes we still have it and use it) ….and the internet. :-/
    Because there is a lot of great inspiring stuff on the internet if you use it for good. We watch as a family only on Friday night or Saturday night but we watch stuff like thePianoGuys or the Skit Guys on youtube.
    There are times I have the urge to just get rid of it all together. Living among the Amish is challenging sometimes to want a simpler life in SOME areas of life. Do you ever feel that way?

    • http://joyfulmothering.net/ Christin

      We’re the same way. Only hooked up to our DVD player and VHS player.

      I soo respect the Amish for their simple life!! Sometimes I really crave that!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net/ Christin

    We got rid of our TV for a whole year. Sometimes I miss those days, honestly. Our kids whined less (for TV and just in general). Our children (and myself) were forced to get creative. When we got a TV again, it was from a friend who felt sorry for our children. Ha! Then we bought a fancy wall-mounted TV and eventually moved it to the basement, so it was out of our main living space.

    We just recently moved it back upstairs. We try to keep it off during the week, (but nobody’s perfect)! But, we left the wall-mount up on the wall downstairs in case we decide we want to put it back down there because it becomes a problem.

    I believe you’ll really enjoy life without TV. :)

  • CW

    I grew up in a T.V. dependent family, but we don’t have one. My husband and I realized that we were busy enough without it. Our kids have no idea what they’re ‘missing.’ Now, if we can only keep from wasting time on the internet…

  • 1NOLAmama

    :) We just cut the cable. Didn’t get RID of the TV, but the wierd panic of cutting off the cable was, well, like I said…just wierd. I am looking forward to more board games and puzzles and Bible study with my kids. Let’s just take a deep breath and remember, life went on just fine without TV for thousands of years!

  • Janice

    I grew up without a tv because the church my parents were in did not allow them. I hated it then, but in hindsight know that we were better off ;) Now as a married mom of 3, we have chosen not to have one. I feel like with a computer and internet, we waste plenty of time as it is. Can’t imagine with a tv as well! None of us are super disciplined in this area either, so it’s a good thing just to not have the option. We do have netflix so the kids can occasionally watch things and we use the library to borrow movies or rent from amazon sometimes if my husband and I want to watch one. So you’re safe if you are desparate for a break sometime or if you just want to reward the kids or let them watch something for the fun of it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissa.fields.wallace Melissa Fields Wallace

    We cut off our satellite last week and Wow! We do have Amazon Prime and Netflix for when we want to watch something. It has been great not having the background noise. I have noticed even over one week how much more time we spend together and do other things.

  • becky

    I think in this day and age you have to define “tv.” Most of my tv watching happens on my laptop (netflix) and I’m not getting rid of that :-) I think many people are “tv-free” nowadays, not because of any grand intentions, but just because the laptop is a more convenient tv. It’s portable and you can watch almost whatever you want online, commercial free!

    Our regular tv is in the basement and gets used mostly for xbox playing. And most of the tv watching we do on the regular tv is netflix. We’ve never wanted to pay for cable/satellite and the amount of broadcast tv we watch is minimal. I do enjoy Masterpiece Theatre (though this is available online too) and my teenage son is a sport nut so he likes to catch a couple football/basketball games every week during the seasons. Even though we don’t do it much, I like having the ability to watch broadcast tv for the occasional breaking news story or presidential inauguration.

    When my children were younger (they are elementary-high school now) I would put on a video (yes, it was VHS back then) or turn on a PBS cartoon so I could take a shower, make a phone call, do bible study, etc. Looking back, I don’t think 5-10 hours a week of this was detrimental to them and it sure helped my sanity! They still had many, many hours of creative play time, homeschool/reading time, and let’s not forget nap time :-)

    There is something to be said for teaching children moderation and self control so I don’t see that getting rid of temptation altogether is more valuable than learning to choose wisely. Just because I keep candy in the pantry doesn’t mean my kids can eat however much they want, whenever they want. They are learning that candy is fun and tasty but is to be enjoyed in moderation. That said, I’m sure there are families and situations where it’s best to not have it around at all (tv OR candy!) And I can see the value in abstaining or “fasting” from time to time. But a young mom who is responsibly guiding her kids’ time should not stress or worry over the fact that she turns on a netflix cartoon (whether on the tv or laptop!) for her little guys every morning so she can jump in the shower. Now, if she’s letting them watch for 5 hours a day so she can read her favorite mommy blogs in peace, that’s a different story! :-)

  • Jessica Fowler

    We have been without Satellite for almost a year now. It was a huge jump and leap for us as well. We still have our TV. We stream Netflix for around $8 a month.(A lot cheaper than $75 a month for Dish!) We still don’t watch TV like we did in the past. It’s nice to have a break and be able to watch a show or two. We still have our movie nights and they are so special to us. Especially since we don’t have the TV on every, single minute of the day. My sister in law came over and was astonished at how quiet and peaceful everything was in our house. I told her, you don’t realize what a big part TV plays in your life until you take it away. I do miss HGTV, I’m not going to lie, but I don’t regret it at all!

  • Eme Bassey

    It reminds me of a church retreat we went for and someone suggested that instead of fasting from food for a month we would fast from TV and facebook. You would have laughed to see the panicked looks on everyone’s faces! And the questions and arguments. No TV? none at all? All day long? “could we at least switch it on to see the football scores? etc. Lol! Most people preferred to go without food than to go without TV.

    You are a brave one Sarah Mae. I feel the panic just thinking of it. And I dont even watch TV that much – perhaps a couple of shows a week if that. But it has been a crutch for me to help me manage my kids. thanks for sharing. Food for thought indeed.

  • Jill S.

    You can always go to a theatre if you want to do a movie for a special treat. We never were able to get reception after TVs went digital (even with a new set). So that was the end of our network TV watching (the garbage on shows and commercials has not been missed at all). If we want to watch an educational DVD, we can use our computer. We do have Netflix but I have a password on it so they can’t just go watch it without permission. I do like that Netflix now has a kid’s home page so they don’t have to see inappropriate offerings from the regular site.

  • spiritjoy

    We don’t have tv, but our computer is set up in our living room like a tv. So we still watch lots of “tv”, maybe more than we should. We use Amazon Prime Instant Video and Jelly Telly. The few tv shows we like we can see on the networks’ websites like Downton Abbey and The Middle. I applaud your decision!

  • M Lindsey

    We don’t have cable but we do have a TV for education videos. However, recently I’ve noticed my kids keep asking to watch videos/games more often on their kindle or my computer. So I have to monitor that as well. Just wondering how you deal with all of the other forms of media? After school, I will let mine have a little computer/kindle time as reward. …but i feel like it’s becoming the same hassle as having the TV was. Plus, I usually watch any TV shows on my computer. So taking away the TV doesn’t really help. :)

  • Lisa White

    We have been without TV for over a year. My five homeschooled children rarely ask to watch a video now. They are very creative and get along well together, usually solving their own problems before bringing them to the parents. Because their world is no longer in sound bites, they take the time to problem solve on their own. My husband and I will occasionally download a movie to watch together, but our time together is more often spent reading aloud to each other, planning our garden, dreaming house renovations, praying together, candlelight dinners, or games with just the two of us. Our children are older, so we can go for walks, too.

  • Cori

    We were without a TV for the 8 years and recently got one. Because we lived without for so long, we have “good” TV habits. The girls only watch a couple shows per week and my husband and i turn it on a couple times per week as well. We don’t have TV, just a DVD player and Amazon Prime. My 4 year old likes to find movies from the library about various topics. Her favorite right now is Hellen Keller. I really feel like our 8 year break from any TV served our family well to make healthy TV decisions moving forward!

  • Melanie

    Wow, congratulations! We haven’t had a T.V. for over Ten years and I have five children under the age of 8 years. I can say we do have an iPad and Computer which we allow them only educational apps and VeggieTales or Animated Bible Stories. We listen to Adventures in Odyssey and Radio Theatre Dramas. We play board games, build Teepees outside and have a lot more fun on a day to day basis. I’ll be it, our house gets very crazy at times, but I have to look and see that our kids are playing and interacting together as a family…not zoned out all on their own or simply being babysat by the T.V. :D Many Blessings to you and your family!

    Melanie at http://www.thedyslexichomeschooler.blogspot.ca

  • Marcie

    Any suggestions for someone who would like to go that route and has a husband that is resistant? When we moved to this new house, my husband suggested we give up the tv and I was SUPER excited. It lasted a week and because we’d cancelled our old service (a grandfathered plan), we now pay significantly more for the same service (here in Canada I’ve heard it’s more expensive than the US — I think it’s $150/month uggggh) and that still didn’t deter him. He’s considering getting rid of satellite to save money, but wants to replace it with Netflix and will probably search for a lot online. I’m not completely against tv, but it seems to dictate our lives.

    My daughter doesn’t watch too much and prefers educational or food network shows and family movie nights. My husband watches for hours a day, whenever he is home the tv is on. He actually bought a second 50″ TV so that if my daughter wanted to watch a movie or show, he could still watch his shows on our main tv. Every night after my daughter goes to bed, I can expect 4 hours straight of tv watching, sometimes recording other shows at the same time to watch later. He insists on eating in front of the tv – even when we have company, he will eat his meals on the couch with the tv on.

  • Sheila Jones

    We ditched cable and watch WAY less TV, the only thing we really miss not having cable are some of the sports games. We have our computer/netflix, if I get desperate or the kids get sick… We have not looked back once. Our kids rarely watch tv unless it is PBS, they will play games on their kindle or play outside. :)

  • kim t.

    I was a serious tv addict. in 13 yrs of marriage we never paid for tv service. only watched what we could get by antennae. then the children started getting old enough that i didn’t want them to watch what i was watching. we realized that we had to rush to get home to watch “it” – whatever had us at the moment. at one point we had to move the antennae and lost reception. forever. then tv went digital and we couldn’t get it unless we bought an antenna, which we weren’t about to do. at this point, we didn’t watch it anyway, but i was still a movie addict and reserved them at the library. then i realized that there just isn’t time to watch them and still get a good night’s sleep, and we were tired of putting a movie in and a few minutes later having to take it out for the garbage that it was and we couldn’t stand to watch it. that’s how i feel about tv now. garbage. i want to like it, i think, so when we are somewhere with one i am somewhat excited, but to turn it on is such disappointment! commercials and bad taste, immorality, etc. all “normal” to the world. we still have our tv. we watch a video on occasion/rarely. we don’t have a fancy console, but we cover it with a blanket that resembles the wall paint and we don’t notice it. like everything else, it’s a journey.
    you will be thankful on your journey, even if it is tough sometimes!

  • http://www.ps67.blogspot.com/ Daniel and Sarah

    I grew up mostly without a TV (there were the few years we had one after my aunt realized we didn’t have one, freaked out, and sent us one, but we only used it to watch movies!)… and I am really thankful for it. When we got married, my husband brought along his TV, but we never had cable, and then when our son was born, we got rid of it all together. That was 6 years ago, and we are so thankful to not have one and to have our kids growing up without one. They are very creative in their play, do lots of crafts, spend tons of time outside, and play with each other all of the time. They do watch a DVD on our computer maybe once every couple weeks… and my husband and I watch a movie together maybe every couple of months. Our lives are very full, so we talk about how we can’t imagine how we’d find time for more TV/movie watching! I think you’ll find a TV-less lifestyle great!

    • http://www.ps67.blogspot.com/ Daniel and Sarah

      I will add… we live in another non-English speaking country, so maybe the “temptation” to stay up on current shows and such is not as big for us. I absolutely love not ever having a TV on in the house, though, and having any movie watching we do have be a special event instead of the norm. You’ll have to keep us updated on how it goes!

  • TruthMom

    We’ve been without a TV our entire marriage of 14 years, even before kids! I have many friends that are TV-less and it seems that more and more people are ditching it.

  • e.

    Go for it! It’s a HUGE blessing + our family definitely hasn’t regretted it. =)

  • Ronda

    We actually got rid of our TV before the kids were born, so we haven’t had one for about 25 years. BUT… When we got DSL Internet, things changed. The kids found some sit-coms ons YouTube, and one thing led to another… In the past few years, it’ gotten worse. Most TV shows are now archived online and you can sit and watch until your eyes bubble–no more problems with “nothing on TV.” So our resolve about no TV in the home has kind of crumbled the past few years. Just a warning–be really careful! Now our 22 yr old son has opened a Netflix account, and we’ve all gotten a little hooked on TV, so really, you still have TV. Just try to keep your kids from finding that out as long as possible! :)

  • Chesca

    I think asking the “What If?” questions as a Mom is key! Reflecting on our lifestyles & determining what’s great or what could be better helps our families grow & helps us mature in our role as a Mom. My husband & I decided to donate our last TV a lil over 5 yrs ago (before having children). At first, many people (especially family) thought we were weird but honestly I have no regrets! At that time my husband’s work schedule made life very challenging so we decided removing distractions would help us focus on quality time together…IT WORKED! And we’ve tried to keep that same mentality ever since bringing our daughter home from the hospital…she’s 3yrs now. But I will say there are some things to consider…here are some challenges I face now: (1) when family comes to visit I make sure I’ve thought through ways to keep everyone entertained/not bored, (2) that “crutch” can quickly become the internet or any mobile device kids love, (3) traveling can be a challenge especially when staying in a hotel because…well, let’s face it, the TV is usually the biggest thing in the room/suite…also we have to think through visiting friends/family — visited some friends & they kept the TV on all day long…UGH! I highly recommend communicating as a family exactly what “getting rid of the TV” means in ALL settings/situations.

  • Michelle

    We have gone back and forth in our 9 years of marriage with having cable and not. The last stretch lasted about 18 months. We have 3 children (7 and under) and one more on they way. We don’t really allow a lot of tv time for the kids – mostly movies, if anything at all. I also really limit internet/ipad use. We do home-educate as well. However my husband, who is usually very passive on most subjects, told me that it is important to him to have cable access on the tv since he loves to watch sports. Out of love for my husband, I honored his wishes and we have had cable for about a year now. I would say we have phases of watching tv a little more than other times. I wouldn’t be heart broken in the slightest to get rid of cable (although physically removing the tv is a little dramatic for me personally). How would you handle this type of situation? My husband is a very hard worker and a beautiful, supportive, and loving spouse. He is very hands on and an amazing father. I feel like if it is something so simple that improves his life then who am I to judge and remove it. He says he could do without “regular” tv really, but there is no way to get the sports channels with out the access to every other channel (trust me, I tried). Watching games via the internet is costly unless you only view updates, but not actually watch the game. Anyway, I am glad you both seem to be on the same page mostly in regards to this subject. I have multiple friends that don’t have a physical tv in the house, or have it put away in a closet or such – it’s used rarely since it is such a pain to pull out and set up. I am sure you will adjust to a tv free home not a problem and will find other ways to occupy the kids while you keep your sanity. Best of luck.

  • Lynn

    When my first children were small, I hated the way everything turned to very slow motion. We didn’t have the time to waste that way. As foster adoptive parents we haven’t had a tv for at least ten years. We have a set to watch videos on and for an occasional video game. All 15 kids have survived just fine. Losing the media/merchandising saves us much money. Selectively choosing what our children watch for videos allows us to minimize exposure to non-Biblical world views. That has to be important. And my first children? At 28, and married 5 years-they do not own a television. They are satisfied with internet options. At nearly 30, and married 3 years, she did not own a tv, or want one, but she conceded that her husband wasn’t willing to live without one, but they agreed to a small screen size. Neither couple has children yet. If you do Amazon Prime, or Netflix you can watch anything commercial free. That is worth a lot.

  • http://joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/ Joyce (and Norm)

    When hubby and I got married 8.5 years ago, we decided not to get a TV so we could focus on our first year of marriage without that distraction. We watched A LOT of TV and movies during our dating years. We had our first baby, and we moved to a new home. We still didn’t buy a TV. Our girls are 6 years old and 4 years old, and we still don’t have a TV. They don’t ask for it. If we wanted to watch anything (like the 49ers game!!), my parents and 3 siblings live within 10 minutes of us, or we can go to friends’ homes. I did borrow my brother’s big screen twice when I hosted (in)RL at our house and another time.

    And also, most things we can watch streaming online an hour after it airs. We check out DVDs from the library. I can get any news quickest from any form of social media. So we are all set. :p

  • Sheri P

    We have never had cable/digital service for our TV just the basic chanels(no black box). My kids have never questioned why and really don’t know what the miss. It’s a treat Grandma and Grandpa’s to watch the Disney Chanel on occasion. We have our movie nights and just borrow the movies from the library. Enjoy!

  • Gina

    Yes, as a child my parents got rid of the t.v. , movie nights back in the 80′s was spent at the theaters or at grandparents or friends houses, which made it more special anyway. great memories of just playing and being creative.

    • Gina

      as an adult, I never watch tv. I have one but it’s rarely used.

  • Jess

    We haven’t had cable in about 4 years. We grab 4 kids cartoons from the library each Saturday, and those last us the week. If I need 30 minutes of quiet to prep a meal, we watch a little Magic Schoolbus or Word World. My kids are 3 and 6 and haven’t been taught to use the TV/DVD remote controls by themselves, so if they want to watch something, it requires adult permission and assistance. It isn’t as easily accessible to them, so they don’t expect it often. We have family movie night on Fridays, and thankfully our library system has a great stock of Disney classics for our little ones. My husband also has netflix, but I don’t even know the log-in info! When we want to watch something after the kiddos are in bed, we snuggle on the couch with the laptop and choose together, but we rarely have the energy to make it through anything longer than an hour! Good luck on cutting the cord!

  • Beth Williams

    I find that people use the TV as a crutch way to much these days. Sure my hubby and I watch TV some, but very little. You can usually find me watching Food Network, HGTV or ice skating. We record a few shows to watch at night, but that is it.
    Lately I don’t like any of the new shows coming on. I find there is to much promiscuity and just plan trash on the tube.
    Bravo for everyone getting rid of the TV. It will allow more creativity and encourage thinking.

  • Janelle

    I don’t have good memories of going TV free as a child. But I know its how they went about it. My father, who lacked good common sense, decided it would be great to shoot out the TV screen with us kids there watching. Not in the house, mind you, but still, it was confusing to us, and all we ended up doing a few days later was pulling out our tiny tiny little black and white TV and all gathering around it to watch our favorite shows; Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy. This experience obviously scarred me a bit and jaded me for doing anything drastic, like going TV free, in my own home. However, having said that, I think its a potentially good thing for some families. It seems to work for the Duggars, for example. I could go on but I don’t want to write a blog post in response to your blog post. lol I wish you all the best in doing this. I think if you stick with it, your kids will be just fine.

    Nell

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      OH!!!! YOU are Nell!! Thank you so much for the gift!!!!! :) I didn’t know who you were by the note, and I so wanted to, but now I see! You are so kind.

      Also, having your dad shoot the T.V. would be totally freaky.

      We have the computer and Amazon Prime, so if we want to have a movie night, we can. Plus we can take our kids to the movies for a special treat, and most importantly, we don’t plan on shooting anything. You know. Keepin’ it sane. Or trying, at least. :)

      • Janelle

        Aw I’m so glad you love it! I’m glad to be able to bless you in that way.

  • Theresa

    We’ve never had a TV so YES you can survive! (even with 6 children) I like how you have picked up on what they are missing when they just sit there and watch.Success

  • Diane Belz

    As a recovering TV addict I can tell you I wish I had back all the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years that I sat glued to the TV. I agree, how can you discover your potential if you are never looking for it? Most of us are only trying to find the remote, and not what motivates, moves and manifests all the GEMS inside of us just waiting to be discovered. If I could do it all over again, TV would never have entered my house.

  • Kristi

    Way to go! You won’t regret it! We cancelled our tv pre-kids for a few years because we realized we just came home and vegged in front of it and wasted hours of our lives! Then we moved and got it again and reverted to our old ways, so after a few months we got rid of it. That was over a decade ago! You’ll be amazed at how much more sensitive you will become to language and all the other elements that you might have just overlooked before in shows. We now have 3 kids and do movie night and have amazon and get a few movies from the library every now and again, but our kids aren’t impacted by commercials and watching tv for hours just isn’t something they know. If nothing else, you’re gaining hours in your life. Oh, and our kids think books on CD are the best thing ever! :) Best wishes on your new journey together!

  • andrea

    I am curious why you can’t just keep it and use it in moderation.

    Why does it have to be all or nothing?

    There are great programs, dvds and documentaries that are useful for educating and growing. Are Saturday morning cartoons really going to stifle your children’s creativity?

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      Well, this would be the rational approach for sure, but I find that I’m not self-controlled enough. However, we do have a computer and our kiddos can play educational games on there or even watch something if want them to. :)

      • Confused

        Sarah Mae,
        I would like to write you personally, for some guidance in a personal situation. Is there an email I can write to?

      • faigie

        You don’t have to be self controlled. Not having it will control you. Give it to someone for a month or two with the condition that if you can’t live without it they will give it back. We don’t have a TV and I am so amazed at how many people here dont have one as well. We so don’t want the culture that TV promotes into our home but, I always seem to blow away the verizon folks who try to sell me tv bundles and I tell them we dont have one.

  • http://choosetotrust.com/ Scott Perkins

    Yes, the TV is the great disconnector. From each other, from our self, and from God. Good words. Thanks. http://choosetotrust.com/2012/05/being-entertained-vs-being

  • Lorena Breneman

    We have a TV but store it up high and out of sight. We hardly ever get it out because we kind of forget about it. This is easier for us because we’ve never had cable and the TV reception in the country is abysmal! :) I LOVE your thoughts on Beethoven and what the world would have missed if he’d been parked in front of a TV during his childhood!! (and I actually just wrote something similar – http://buretachi.blogspot.com/2014/01/un-movie-night.html)

  • Lori

    I haven’t had cable in years, and I only watch movies on our tv. My bf plays video games, as well as my teenagers. But we very rarely watch actual tv. My bf and I usually watch a movie on bluray after my daughter goes to bed each night. It’s our together time. But honestly, I’m so out of the loop with tv, I’d barely notice if it were gone completely. My only problem is my 2 teenagers. I only have them every other weekend. They spend most the time with dad, where the tv is on the minute they walk in the door basically. My son complains he’s “bored” if he’s not playing video games constantly. So…..I just wish I had some ideas as to something to make him less “bored” all the time. But, I commend you for going without your tv! It’s a huge crutch in today’s society. :-)

  • Karla

    I have three kids, I homeschool and we have not had a tv for about 8 years! I love it!

  • Theo-Ann Johnson

    Before my husband and I were married, he told me that he didn’t want a t.v. Before marriage, I had a small one that just picked up a few channels and when I wasn’t busy teaching, would watch a few things. We got used to that lifestyle and it hasn’t bothered us one bit! We did buy a t.v. monitor to watch dvds/videos on snowy days, and I’ve enjoyed putting in an exercise dvd to work out at home. Now that we have kids, we monitor the shows we put on the screen and limit the time during the week. It is so nice to not have the t.v. blaring all day, but instead, focus our attention on listening to music, reading and playing outside. When we visit relatives, the t.v. is the focal point and my kids get glued for some time. After a while, they seem bored by it and would rather play! After this past holiday season, I realized that having this distraction is not good for healthy relationships. We don’t see my side of the family too often because of distance, and I was saddened that the television set replaced the time grandparents, cousins, etc., could have been getting to know each other better.

  • Marianne

    We do not have cable and really only watch a few shows on Netflix…but I often find it being used as a crutch for when I’m tired or need to get something done. I’d love a follow-up post about what you’ve done to “fill” those times now when you used to watch tv. Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration!

  • K
  • jp

    Giving up cable tv backfired on me. Within days I was pirating series and movies and now watch more than twice as much as i used to. I have computers hooked up to every tv in the house. every room really except for the guest bathroom. I’ve tried disconnecting the net from the house too but can’t really do that as I work as a consultant programmer from home. I tried for 3 months but found i was spending 8 hours a day at mcdonalds and gained over 50 pounds and felt horribly sick all the time. Although since the company i worked for went under I’m considering a career change just so i can get rid of the damn net. although i doubt it will help much i have over 40tb of movies and series probably half of which i’ve never watched.

  • Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

    Gave sat. t.v. up in January and it was My.Best.Decision. I still watch DVD’s (when I’ve time which is rarely) and don’t miss the trash that passes for television. Additionally, I saved almost $1,000 a year which is a LOT of DVD’s…although I don’t spend that much. A lot of people thought I was crazy, especially since Dave, my husband, died and sat. t.v. was a contact with the world but, imo, a negative contact. Books, DVD’s spinning, weaving, bread making and LIFE have filled that negative t.v. void and LIFE is richer than ever.

  • Jacqui N Ian K

    Don’t WORRY… you CAN do it! I’ve never had a tv since leaving my parents home for college 10 years ago! I now have a 21 month old and a 3 month and my older one is sooo good about entertaining himself, I’ve gotten several comments on what a confident little boy he is. I don’t think he’d be that way if he always sat in front of a tv! Anyways, I have to wonder, with the invention of the tv way back when… did people notice it taking over their lives in the same way that smartphones do today? We all have the decision to make for our own lives… I think you made a great one that you will not regret!! :-)

  • Jenn

    I could have written this! We just last week got rid of our tv that was in the living room. It was 25 years old and finally quit. We have another old one in the basement. We went a week with no tv at all and my kid’s behavior improved. I thought it was a coincidence. We got the tv hooked up in the basement and my kids watched a show (old school vhs) and they have misbehaved all day. My husband said lets get rid of it, and I think I am finally ready to agree!

  • carol

    I was raised without a TV back in the early 60′s and raised my kids without one and now my grandkids are being raised without tv. We all saw TV from time to time and it was never taught to us that it was bad, just not needed. We read the bible and books, I still can hear my parents voice reading to us, played games, laughed, had “talent” night, cooked together and went to movies, plays and concerts. As one of five kids (the baby) we would put on “shows” for our parents. Never did I miss TV nor did my children and I have never heard my grand children say they only wish they had a TV. As a grand mother I am so glad to see more and more of you cutting the tv cord. You will be blessed with a closer family and joy only a non tv home finds!! May God bless each one of you as you move forward training up your children in His ways.

  • Cassie DeLapp

    We got rid of our TV 3 tears ago. I am so thankful to gave donee so. It took a couple years of prayer and sharing with my husband as to why I thought it was best for our family before he finally agreed. It has been a great choice for us. It’s not on all day blabbing a bunch of junk into our ears. I don’t have to worry about the commercials or what my kids are watching. We Dow own a couple hundred movies and so we have movie night weekly. Now, though, we gave an issue with the overuse of our iPad and computer. From one addiction onto another. Before we got the iPad and didn’t gave TV it was good. Since purchasing the iPad we now have a new struggle. The enemy is on the prowl and will use technology to get in between your relationships just as he uses the TV. Prayers for you all, pray for us also.

  • Diana

    You will end up loving it, I bet :) We didn’t have a TV growing up and I’m thankful for the quietness that was part of our home instead. Books on tape (ha! CD now!) are a great distraction but still allow mental development and the kids to do creative things while listening.

  • http://www.kindredspiritmommy.com/ Lindsey

    I would feel panicked, too! ; ) But the truth is that kids adapt even better than we do! I have taken breaks from TV and the kids are always able to find something quiet to do when I need time. Putting music on in their room for them works wonders. : )

  • MommyBugg

    I am so excited for you! I am praying on this one myself as my husband LOVES television. I never owned one, not when I was a kid and not when I was an adult. during the day since we homeschool I keep it off more often than not but oh I remember such freedom and peace when I did not have one. I do encourage my husband often to consider getting rid of at least one even… It is such a blessing I think to be able to be; to be able to explore and learn and what a difference there is too!

  • TruthMom

    I’m not sure why this post was sent out in email today as it was from January, but I hope you are doing well without your TV! We haven’t had one ever in our marriage and that is about 15 years, so my children don’t know what it is like to have a TV. We do let them watch cartoons and educational things on our computer but we limit that and it is more controllable than a TV.

  • tideprider

    Sorry, gotta watch my Alabama Crimson Tide football.

  • Ashleigh

    I have given thought to doing this exact same thing in the past, but have never fully taken the plunge. I never even thought about what the kids could be missing when it comes to developing their imaginations and talents…this is completely thought provoking and challenging to me. I am definitely going to be talking to my husband and considering taking the plunge and removing our TV. Thank you for sharing.