The No TV Experiment

No TelevisionToday is Day 12 of the No TV Experiment in our home.  On Tuesday the 13th of January we turned the TV off in an attempt to keep it switched off forever.  We have managed to live without it for 12 days except for 10 minutes last Thursday, when my husband decided he really really wanted to watch the News and then I tricked him and turned it off again.  The decision was based on an article I read about how television affects the ability of children to communicate among other things.  It stated that children under two who watched more than two hours of television a day spoke less words than children who watched less than two hours a day.  The thing is, my daughter didn’t really watch television, but would be in the room while it was turned on.  I would let her watch some Baby Einstein so that I could take a shower or cook a meal.  She loved it, she would sit and concentrate and wave at the pretty pictures and dance to the slow music.  I thought it was a babysitter in the tube that I could rely on for 10 minutes of baby free time.  She would also watch Fatafeat with me for cooking inspiration but it didn’t seem to entertain her that much.  I would also sometimes let her watch Sesame Street because I thought she would catch on to the words and numbers.  Before I gave birth I had this crazy idea that I would not let her watch at all, but in desperation I ended up letting her watch.  The real problem is not the children friendly kind of programming but that she would be present when we watched the news and other blood pressure increasing shows.  I know she doesn’t understand but I am sure she could sense us tense up.  The other factor that made me take the decision was that she was having trouble sleeping and would be so excited and refuse to fall asleep even though her eyes would close on their own and she would rub them for hours before she would surrender to the bed.  My husband, would also sit in front of all of the depressing shows and channel surf for hours instead of doing anything useful and would end up getting agitated from all of the negativity.  Personally, I am not much of a TV person, I do enjoy the odd show or documentary here and there but I usually download what I want to see and just see that.

So, in light of everything, the decision to try TV free living was an easy one and was met by minimal oposition from all parties involved.  I think I am ready to make some conclusions regarding this experiment.

  • It really helped my daughter sleep better when we stopped watching TV.
  • My husband and I have more conversations which are deeper and more interesting.
  • We are all more relaxed at home.
  • My daughter is learning to entertain herself on her own for longer periods of time.
  • I enjoy more play time with my daughter.
  • My husband plays more with our daughter when he is at home and loves entertaining her with puppets and toys.
  • We are all more aware of each other’s feelings and needs.
  • We watch only what we want on the DVD player without the silly ads and are more selective in our viewing.
  • We are generally eating less and have less late night cravings.

I know that this is not for everyone and that eventually we will watch some television but the main idea is to minimize it as much as possible because life really is more interesting without TV.

11 Comments

  • At 2009.01.24 21:37, Shimaa Gamal said:

    I am not a TV person myself. I almost never turn the tv on, and whenever I have the chance to hold the remote, I will usually switch to fatafeat then turn it off.

    I don’t imagine how our home will be like if there wasn’t a tv, but it is really interesting to know that you had less late night cravings when you stopped watching tv.

    Good luck fighting the temptations :)

    • At 2009.01.24 22:04, jessyz said:

      I don’t find it tempting at all, the problem is with my hubby he wants to turn it on and just watch whatever is on the other channels that he’s not watching so he neither really watches nor lets us sit in peace. We really had less cravings, I am not sure why though.

      • At 2009.01.24 22:21, Shimaa Gamal said:

        Oh, he seems to be a cc of the men I have around the house here. They just turn the TV on and keep switching between channels.
        If everything else failed, try to put a no news rule. I guess it will be more peaceful to live without the stress of war and catastrophes around the world

        • At 2009.01.25 11:25, jessyz said:

          Yes the news has become depressing and I try not to watch it anymore, reading it is better.

          • At 2009.01.25 14:45, Verbal Alchemy said:

            the best thing u can do for ur relationship/kids is to eliminate TV hours! most couple councelors will tell you to never have a TV in the bedroom coz it will decrease (if not perish) all deep conversations between the couple, also will have an effect on ‘physical interaction’.

            personally i think kids dont need all that much TV, games and quality time with parents mean so much more than shows that limit their imagination.

            so kudos!

            • At 2009.01.25 15:11, jessyz said:

              I would totally die if we had a TV in the bedroom, I hate it aslan and I hate how it sucks up the time. Some shows really are enjoyable like a good documentary but I just download those and watch them only it is also great because you don’t get all the ads and stuff.

              • At 2009.01.25 19:34, Lasto adri said:

                Well.. I’ll save ur post for future reference actually..
                your words make sense.. yet I can’t wait to read your judgment after the 12th month..
                lets see, then, if you didn’t get bored .. or if it worked best!

                • At 2009.01.25 23:36, mona said:

                  Wow, that’s really admirable. Those are some really good pluses.

                  • At 2009.01.26 08:51, jessyz said:

                    @Lasto adri: I won’t get bored because I am not a TV watcher anyways, I enjoy reading and doing other things. I am more of an occasional watcher. Unfortunately my husband is not like me.
                    @mona: yeah you should try it with the kids, I am sure they will probably make some amazing things.

                    • At 2009.01.26 10:33, Juka said:

                      Wow. Impressive. I could never pull that off, too much of an addict.

                      • At 2010.06.29 20:33, sameha said:

                        Loved this..Iam a TV addict especially episodes :) and fatafeat and national geographc and everyhting :)