It has been one month since we pulled the plug on cable TV in the McDonell home. I have to say that while there are grumblings from time to time, the absence of TV for the most part has opened up greater opportunities for us and the kids have maintained a healthy weight and mental wellness. I have no idea what the last Sportscenter Top 10 looked like, my kids couldn’t tell what happened to Sponge Bob this week or how Snooki fared on Jersey Shore. To be real honest with you, they really don’t care. Homework seems to go better, there are less distractions around the house and we are spending more time outside looking and interacting with each other.
So the question that begs to be answered is, if not watching television on a regular basis provides for greater opportunity for the family to interact, get more done, spend more time together and not be exposed to stuff we would rather not expose our kids to, then why do we do it?
I believe watching television has become such an ingrained part of the American culture, that to not have it is considered strange. To not stay glued weekly is to miss out on popular culture and to peer in on the lives of others. Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it an opportunity to escape from our daily routine? Of course. But at the expense of what?
I am certainly not going to say that dropping television from the daily diet of your family is what you should do. I certainly find value in some of the medium. Nevertheless, any opportunity I can take advantage of that brings my family closer and provides us greater opportunity and time to grow together is one I must take advantage of. Are there tradeoffs? Definitely. But as jam packed and fast paced as our lives tend to be these days, any decision we can make as parents that turns our attention back to ‘family’ is one I am ready to make.
Sorry ‘Swamp People’, I’m going outside to climb a tree with my daughter.