What, No TV?

cabletvI believe I have mentioned once or twice that we don’t have television in our house. Oh, yes; we have a box that plays videos, but no reception.

Some might find it very hard to believe, but until very recently (and only by name) did I learn who “Snooki” was, who the last five “Bachelors” have been, or who has been on “Dancing with the Stars”.

While some might argue I am doing our children a disservice by not providing them with main stream television, I am not moved to action.

If my children are somehow missing out on reality TV, ridiculous sitcoms, and cartoons made more for adults than children, so be it. If they are not listening to music that is filled with mature content and or watching people be immodest, more’s the better.

Our children are usually not even permitted to watch movies during the middle of the week. We would prefer they find some other form of entertainment. We have plenty of books, coloring activities, crafts, and creative endeavors they might pursue.

When we do permit them to watch a film, we know whatever they watch is clean and wholesome. If they are not learning something new, at the very least they are not being bombarded with nonsense.

Every so often, we are chastised for not providing our children with television. After all, thereย are good programs as well. The History Channel, TCM, and others provide wonderful shows.

In our opinion, there is not enough good coming in to warrant either the expense or the junk being avoided to force us into a different position.

Now, I am not saying that those whoย doย have television need to change their position to match ours. No, I believe each family needs to seek the Lord and make a decision based on His leading. I simply believe this is the path that He has given to us.

I don’t imagine we will change our position on this issue any time soon. My children are so accustomed to us not having television, the issue doesn’t concern them in the slightest. I also don’t see us wanting to spend additional funds on cable TV.

Nope, I think we will leave things just as they are and, hey, if we really want to look something up, there’s always the internet, right?

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65 thoughts on “What, No TV?

  1. I’ve thought about doing that, my girls are getting addicted to their ipods, they keep texting their daddy and their grandparents and checking to see if they respond.

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  2. I always admire families that have homes with no t.v.
    i would love to implement this into my household but dear husband is unrelenting. he LOVES television to the point it makes it hard for me to communicate with him about anything. i literally have to turn it off to get his attention. he also thinks it is how he spends time with our daughter, sitting in front of the t.v. when he is at work, the t.v. is NOT on, we do other things to occupy our day. i just recently started homeschooling my daughter and i find as long as the t.v. is off, she is more receptive to interacting and learning. once daddy is home though, all bets are off and i lose the battle. i keep praying on it though.

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    • This is definitely an issue that both husband and wife must agree upon. I would by no means be able to enforce this without my husband’s consent.

      I encourage you to keep it in prayer. The Lord knows your heart and He will either do a work in your husband’s heart or yours.

      Perhaps it might help to actively suggest an alternative, such as game nights? If they have something else to occupy their minds, they might not miss the tv so much? I know some of our husband’s use the television as “down time” and I can’t blame them for that, but sometimes they just need alternatives presented for them to move onto another arena.

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  3. I SO wish sometimes that I too could “kick” the TV out of our home. But no, we have the digital converter box still and still watch probably way too much tv. I do try to make sure that the kids are not watching something that they do not need to watch.

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  4. I grew up with no tv in the house. My dad had very strong views on the subject. He likened it to flushing a toilet in the living room! ๐Ÿ™‚ Once our family was keeping some children for another family in crisis and another friend of theirs accused us of being in some sort of cult because ‘they don’t even watch television!’ Nowadays we live with my parents and we have a DirecTV package! LOL My dad has mellowed out a little I guess. I, like your children, never felt like I was being deprived because we didn’t have television and I didn’t listen to the mainstream music all my friends were listening to (until high school when my mom and dad loosened the reigns a bit and I got to listen to whatever I wanted on the radio. LOL) I think there are times when our kids watch too much television, but we do try to keep a good balance. We are planning a move soon, so perhaps we’ll make new changes then. But, I agree – this is an issue on which each family must follow God’s leading.

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  5. I *love* this!! oh.yes.I.do. We limit compared to the worlds standards, but oh.not.nearly.enough. I find media stuff to be a time zapper, a relationship deterrent, and overall the enemy’s way of keeping us distracted. It is a sad picture when we add up the time (in a lifetime) of sitting on our tush letting the hours slip away in the name of entertainment. We still watch a lot of sports, netflix, movies, etc… but I can’t express how thrilled I was when I no longer knew most of the names on the magazines at the check out isle (and why are we so obsessed with others lives, the actors or the characters they play, instead of our own?). Funny enough, we will be doing a Media-free March. Pray for us would ya? =)

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  6. We also don’t and never had tv in our house, but we do have computers, and I found that either watching dvd’s or playing games can also take over your every waking moment. We also have times that the computers are off, we choose the dvd’s (whether documentaries, stories, animation, etc.) we want to watch, or allow our kids to watch, as well as keep a close eye on the games the boys are allowed to play (whether just fun or educational).
    I have unfortunately found that some of my friends’ kids only wanted to visit if we allow them to play on the computer, and allow them to play what they want to play. At home they are allowed to play whatever game they want to, but here, I don’t allow that, and if the sun is shining, you will play, outside or inside, but not on the computer! And I don’t care whether your parents allow you to play adult computer games at home, here I have an age restriction when/what you are allowed to play on the computer!
    One of our radio stations have the most wonderful broadcasts over a weekend – very informative, and I would really prefer to listen to the radio show on insects, different countries, animals, etc. but I seem to be the only one in the house!

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    • My husband enjoys listening to old radio shows like the Dean & Jerry Show or The Shadow. My kids have learned to enjoy these as well.

      I agree with you, when our kids’ friends come over we encourage them to play. We do not use computers when others are around or other electronic devices.

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  7. I don’t think there is anything wrong with not watching tv – we do have a tv and tend to have it on a lot, but when my little girl was a baby I refused to let her watch tv at all and wouldn’t put it on when I was with her. I have now given in as my partner didn’t agree, but if it works for you I think that’s great ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. There is nothing wholesome about today’s television programming – from Gaia cartoons on Saturday morning, to Scripturally inaccurate Bible documentaries on the History Channel.

    A church I used to play for, cancelled Sunday night Bible study for the Super Bowl. That was the same year that Janet Jackson’s bosom was “accidentally” exposed on international, close-up TV, during the half time pagan festivities. Last year, Madonna/Esther performed a full blown Baal priestess ritual for millions of adoring acolytes. By shielding your children from this kind of programming and designed desensitization, you are being an exemplary “keeper at home.” Tit.2 God bless you.

    Proverbs 19:14
    House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.

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  9. We do have a tv but 99% of the programming the kids watch is off of netflix-shows that their dad and I have put in their “instant cue.” They get to watch an hour or so of tv on Saturday and Sunday mornings (while I selfishly sleep until 730) until we awake. Otherwise, there are no electronics during the week unless it is school related (which is pretty rare). I have to agree that I am not against or for tv. I just enjoy the sound of the world around us and music. WHen the tv is on, we all miss so much going on around us.

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  10. We only have a tv for videos and dvds too. No reception. I don’t really miss it, and the kids enjoy their videos more than tv time they can get at Grandma’s. I also like that fact I don’t have to worry about innapropriate commercials playing during their show when they watch videos instead.

    The internet though is a whole other story though I am afraid. Not for them, but for me. I have a tendancy to waist a lot of time on here without even realizing it, but I am trying to get better about that.

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    • I also found that if I didn’t check myself, and set strict time constraints on my internet time, I would sit here the whole day, chatting to friends and aquintances, instead of actively playing or working with my kids and in the house!

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  11. I’m the tv watcher in the house, but we’ve lived without cable before (we couldn’t afford it at the time), and I did notice that I read a lot more, especially non-fiction, since it takes longer to “digest” I tend to put it to the side to watch Grey’s Anatomy or CSI. We’re moving in a few weeks and have seriously considered leaving cable behind. As a kid, we didn’t have cable/satellite in our house, and I never missed out on anything.

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  12. We also don’ t have a TV ๐Ÿ™‚ I find we are far more productive with out one…although we do have an external hard drive for our computer with our favourite films stored on there… I think that still counts as no TV?!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  13. I curse my last tv to break quite regularly. I completely agree. Even the “”good”” shows have those awful mind-consuming, hypnotizing commercials in them, don’t they?

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  14. We have basic cable only because it’s cheaper for the internet, but we don’t watch it because the kids still would rather watch PBS on the ipad without commercials and pick and choose their favorites… I honestly do not see the need for garbage TV, it’s so sad what it out there these days and people look at me like I’m also crazy and I’m depriving my children or a loon LOL … I’m with you sister!

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  15. We also have liberated our home from the constant bombardment of mainstream mediaโ€ฆweโ€™ve found that because of this our boys are not consistently asking for the โ€œlatest and greatest new game or toyโ€. We donโ€™t pay attention to the negative media that happens and we donโ€™t know whoโ€™s dating who and what going on with American Idol or Survivor. We are closer as a family and spend more quality time together actually talking and discussing life.
    One of the best things anyone can do for their family is get rid of Cable TV.

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  16. We’re using BJU homeschool materials, and they’ve got this teaching videos a bit like Sesame Street. Other than that, our kids watch Veggietales and Flying house and Superbook, and a bit of Disney movies now and then. There are also some other Christian videos from the net. Having no tv(or reception) was one of the most liberating things for our family as well.

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  17. Good for you!!! We got rid of our tv (cold turkey) 2 years ago–no regrets! We don’t even miss it! People think we are crazy–but we really do spend a lot more time together as a family, and we get a lot more done! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  18. We have a television set, but we only use it for watching movies – wholesome movies. I haven’t watched actual T.V. in years. Our family movie nights are Sundays and Thursdays. For a special treat we might watch a movie on other weeknights in addition. So, I still have no idea who those charachters are that you mentioned – like I said, we don’t watch “T.V.” My son has never watched it, so he doesn’t feel like he is missing out on anything – he just looks forward to “Movie nights”.

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  19. I don’t like the TV. Had many a year without one. My children went to school and when they got older they persuaded me to get one so they could join in the conversations at school. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    But as adults neither of them have TVs. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  20. It has been almost 3 years since we stopped watching tv. That was when our son was born, so you would guess that he has never watched tv in our home. He likes to be in charge so he even turned off the tv at grandma on a couple of occasions. We don’t watch Netflix or anything like that and we believe that he is too young for videos/movies. He has plenty to do and see and learn from nature and things around him that I don’t really see him watching that much movies/videos even when he is older.
    People will have their opinions-my family is constantly telling me I am doing my children a disservice because I plan to homeschool, we keep a nap and bedtime schedule, we don’t let people babysit, we use mostly natural products….sometimes I get really frustrated with them but I must stop letting it bother me because we are doing what is right for OUR children.

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  21. Not alone at all in that choice Mama. We don’t have TV either. We do watch throughout the week, but it is either DVD, Netflix, or Hulu. I don’t want my children watching junk shows, and I try to limit their exposure to commercials. When my girls watch it is often a family show, or something I have suggested. They aren’t missing anything. That was the right choice for our family.

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  22. I have 4 tv’s in the house 1 in my front room which has sky + 1 in my bedroom which has a sky box too, the one in the boys bedroom has no aerial connected it is for watching DVD when we permit it, at the weekend or when they are off school.

    The Tv in my bedroom the boys are allowed to watch when we are together, I have a tendency if we are feeling a bit under the weather to have a “duvet day” and snuggle up in my bed with some disney film.

    I dont watch much TV the shows I do watch are sky + and I watch them when it suits me.

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  23. Our children watch very little television. This forces them to use their wonderful imaginations for their free time; as a result, over time my kids have developed fantastic creative gifts. Three of my children regularly paint and draw. One of my children writes stories. One does 3-D origami. Sometimes my son writes stories and my other children illustrate for him. One of my children has developed incredible original Lego scenes. Three of my children built a tree-fort together (in the city of all places!) I know in my heart that God has blessed them with these gifts because of the free time they have to NOT watch TV. Great post! – Gwen

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  24. Great topic! We do have a t.v. but no cable (for almost 4 years now). We are currently subscribing to Netlix because we do enjoy a “family movie night”. We still get caught up watching too many movies though. We commit to a Media Free Week once every couple of months. It really helps to recharge our minds.

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  25. We have only have one t.v. in the house, and no cable. We use it for movies that we own, only. Several people have asked me before how I’ve managed to survive without t.v., but I don’t really think I need it. And from what I’ve seen at friends’ houses, when theirs have been on, I don’t personally think I’m missing anything.

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  26. When I lived with my Dad we didn’t have t.v. and it didn’t scar me emotionally :). We don’t have cable at our house. We are all very big into movies and video games but I’d like to think we have balance and spend a lot of family time too. It’s not my conviction to chunk the tube but I admire your stand :).

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  27. I love this post. We went without TV and internet for years. Now that we have allowed TV back into our home it is still heavily regulated and my kids still don’t know much about pop culture. We have some great local stations that only play old TV shows so my kids love to watch I Love Lucy, Dennis the Menace, and the old Western shows. We also get a lot more done when we shut it off and spend time together. Thanks for stopping by and liking my blog, it is a great source of encouragement. I look forward to reading more about your family and your journey.

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  28. I love this post! We never had cable as a child, and I never knew any different–my parents couldn’t see the reasoning behind paying for television, when you got it free! My wonderful husband grew up in a home where cable and television were always on though, and with little, if any, supervision. We do have a television, lol, one so old that it has a VRC built into it, but we don’t have cable. I would love to get rid of it, but I just don’t see that happening. Hubby mainly watches DVD’s of shows like “Duck Dynasty,” and “Ice Road Truckers,” but I would have a fight on my hands come football season, if he couldn’t watch his Saints! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • I confess, there are times I would like to watch a good basketball game or a boxing match (yes, I like boxing). I appreciate not having one most of the time though.

      TV isn’t all bad; like anything else, it’s what you make of it.

      Thanks so much for stopping in. I hope to see much more of you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  29. Neat! WordPress sent a message to say you had “liked” my minimizing technology article, so I wanted to see who you are . . . Love this article! Great to have another homeschooling family blogging about the same issue and from the same angle. I haven’t read much more of your blogs, but from the three I have seen, I will be back.

    Anne (over at http://minimalisthomeschool.wordpress.com)

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  30. I have to say that we were addicted to cable tv for years. Several months ago we canceled the cable and signed up for Netflix just because we could not justify the amount of money spent each month on lame or disturbing shows. I know it is not the same as “no tv” but it is a huge change and for the better. My daughter is allowed to watch tv during the week with my supervision and direction but she actually chooses to watch science shows and documentaries most days (and for hours if I would let her!) As a mom, not having to constantly censor the commercial breaks is awesome. Especially during the Halloween season. Looking back on the amount of time and money wasted on the senseless shows on cable tv I am sad that we did not make the change sooner.

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  31. Well, after many likes from you, I’ve finally got around to thoroughly checking out your blog. This article cracks me up because it’s very similar to a post I did! Another post you have is along the lines of something that’s been stewing in my mind. As a matter of fact, I see that we’re so parallel in so many of our standards and ideas, that I’m wondering if I should even keep going! You’ve been blogging for longer, and I’m sure you’ve put all of my thoughts to post by now, haha. Great writing style ๐Ÿ™‚ All the best to you in your homeschooling and blogging endeavors!

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  32. We have not had cable at all since we got married over 6 years ago. We do have a TV and a Blu-Ray player so we can enjoy movies. The movies that we allow the kids are aimed only at kids. I was disgusted when I watched Cat in the Hat about 6 years ago before showing it to my oldest who is almost 9. The whole movie had barely disguised adult related humor throughout. It was an eye opener. My husband and I made the decision then that cable wasn’t worth the cost and the content would be hard to control so it wasn’t a good fit for us or our family. I am glad to see that other parents make the same decision for the same reasons. Your blog is lovely.

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  33. I’m so enjoying wandering around your blog… Clearly this one struck a chord with people!

    My husband and I eliminated the TV shortly after we were married when I accidentally broke the tv part (we were still able to watch movies, this was back in the days of VHS) and all of a sudden we had all this free time, we had so much fun picking up hobbies, going on walks, baking together. At one point my brother was staying with us and very helpfully fixed the TV. We intentionally broke it again and as soon as we had the capability of playing a DVD on a computer, we got rid of it.

    We still have technology woes, but we appreciate that with watching documentaries or movies on the internet, there is a conscious decision at the end of each one what to do next. You can’t just stare glassy-eyed and pretend you don’t notice that it’s show number four. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m so grateful that this is one area my husband and I are in complete agreement, I know many are not blessed in this way.

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  34. When I married my husband he didn’t have cable, and I thought, “how is this going to work.” But I don’t miss it at all! We do occasional movies nights as a family, and very rarely PBS at lunch time, but that’s about it for us. The kids don’t miss it at all – and I know they watch it a ton at their other houses, so I’m glad they notice the difference we’ve chosen to make in our home!

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  35. I have never had a TV (we have, like you, a box that plays Bluray and DVD and certain Netflix shows previously approved). I hate the idea of wasting time being a couch potato. Plus I have greater control over what my child sees this way and when she does see the occasional thing, which I catch right away because prerecorded viewing is always a together activity, we can talk about it and put it in context at her age level without desensitizing her to things like I feel mainstream TV would do.

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  36. huloa! mama of five home raised kiddos, we too have t.v for occasional video/dvd viewage but no “t.v/cable/etc.” . . . . funny thing is just yesterday while i was chatting with my sister on the phone and nursing our youngest, the house went quiet. i looked out and saw four children working together on setting up a sheet house, i smiled and was like “lovely” ๐Ÿ™‚ well after i got off the phone and the baby woke from napping, i went out and heard soft sounds from in the sheet house . . .saw an electric cord leading to it, and suddenly i connected the dots!? . .. they’d set themselves up an outdoor movie theatre and were ever so pleased about it, still gives me a chuckle!

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  37. I like this. We don’t have cable (satelite/Pay TV) and haven’t had our TV tuned into any channels for about ten years. Plenty of DVD’s ๐Ÿ™‚ Nowadays, we’ll selectively use YouTube via Google-cast, Netflix, Stan. or ABC iview, voting with our streaming choices. Better conversations, improved focus and being empowered to make better viewing/visual education choices are a result.

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  38. We are in the same boat. We have a tiny tv that is used for our Wii, and DVD’s, that are Momma approved. Our kids don’t care that we don’t have cable, or antennae, etc. With no tv, we have more quality time to spend together as a family, and to seek God’s will, and read His word. Great post.

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  39. My dad grew up with no TV. Rather, they got one for 3 weeks and my grandparents realized they weren’t talking nearly as much as they used to but were glued to the screen. So, they got rid of it and raised some great kids! That has always stuck with me. We have one TV in the house and my kids very rarely watch it. Great job Homeschool Mom!

    I love this excerpt from Richard Louv about TV in the car. His book is excellent!
    https://thecontemporaryhomeschooler.com/2016/07/28/tv-in-the-car/

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  40. More power to you! We have done away with cable and only use Amazon Prime and Netflix now. The rule in our house is that the television stays off till dad gets home from work. This has worked well for us and I am very strict on what I think is appropriate television. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. We also don’t have any cable TV. I have a roku stick that we use to stream content that is acceptable. I am horrified by much of what is on TV, and if it isn’t total hedonism it is mindless junk. I don’t want my kids watching all those commercials encouraging them to buy buy buy.

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