Oct 18 2015

Two years TV free at home

Posted by     8 Comments    Posted under: The Snug

I can’t believe it myself to be honest.

This week – we are two years TV free at home.

I thought for sure himself would have cracked by now and fallen prey to the seductiveness of Sky or the lure of UPC offers that keep popping up in the daily post.

This little sticker on the letterbox will sort that problem out!

Galway Blogger TV Free at home

Last year, right around this time, I wrote about how it was to be TV free for a year. The kids all chimed in, as did himself, because clearly they were still feeling the withdrawal symptoms of going TV free at home.

This year, when I tossed the question about, I got nothing; Bubkiss.

They couldn’t be bothered even chiming in because the house is well and truly TV free, and I think they have all come to terms with the fact that the TV ain’t coming back.

One of the observations I have made, however, is that it honestly takes about a year and a half to break oneself (or actually one’s family!) of this highly addictive bad habit.

Before you go all defensive on me and cite the benefits of leaving the telly on to pacify a few kids while you make dinner, don’t worry, I totally agree that it is more important to feed the kids. But have a read of this article and this one and get back to me. There are scientific studies out there that state “TV can affect kids’ health, behavior and family life in negative ways.” The one that got me the most was that “time spent watching TV  can take time away from healthy activities like active playing outdoors with friends, eating dinner together as a family or reading.”

In one of those studies, over 54% of families have the TV on when eating dinner. For the love of god people, if you are watching TV while eating dinner with your families, please stop now.

Time spent around the table with kids, while it might be stressful especially during the teenage years, dinnertime might be your only window into their souls. Even if they are hating on you … they will talk to their siblings and you can catch a glimpse of what’s going on in their worlds.

And if you want to take it one step further, cook with them. Although a big fan of myself and himself sticking together (it is us against them after all – we are totally outnumbered!) we have just recently started to divide and conquer. The kids, bless their organic fair-trade cotton socks, are mighty for doing the dishes after dinner, for the most part that is. There are times, usually at 6am in the morning, when I pull a plate from the cupboard and it is grimy, from a child in a hurry putting dishes away that may have never seen a dishwasher.

So now, he assigns a few of them to cook with him, week on, week off. On the week they cook – they don’t have to clean up and vice versa. Seeing as I am the original dishbitch around here, I am now taking more of an active role in make sure the shit gets done the right way every time, and in a timely fashion. Because, let’s face it, as much as we all know that ‘now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face‘, I would much rather be doing something A LOT more productive or relaxing! (you can thank me later for that ear worm!)

He has also just started to teach them how to bake bread (so far they have made Ciabatta and Danish. Sourdough is next weekend) and make the basic sauces. In a few months, maybe by the start of the new year, he is adamant that they will be able to cook supper for us, from start to finish, without needing any assistance from the Chef. Fingers crossed!

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Ok – somehow I got sidetracked with kids and dishes and the real crux of the story has not yet even surfaced.

When I sat with himself and had a chat about being TV free for two years and whether or not he was ready to throw the towel in and get the TV back .. he was nowhere to be found.

Eventually, I found him hiding out in the bedroom reading yet another book. He is a trilogy kinda guy now guys and dolls – like Dan Brown and anything Scandinavia crime thrillers – any recommendations please leave them here in the comments and I can start looking for his Christmas pressie.

It took the first year to wean him of the TV and now, happily detoxed from telly in his second year of being TV free, I can’t keep up with his book buying and reading. No – he refuses to use the Kindle. No screen time for this fella unless its a rented DVD.

Sigh. My work here is done and it all happened without me even really trying.

As the years roll by us, and the kids take their leave from Tween to Teen … we are feeling them pull away in ordinary healthy ways. They are ready to be more independent in the way they dress and behave. We have very few opportunities to sit them down for a chat, without a scowl being on one of our faces, so meal times spent together – well this is truly treasured time. Sometimes we are so caught up in the parenting journey that seems to be without a destination. It can be beautifully uncertain and frightening. Full of bumps in the road – we just need to remember to take time out to appreciate the view along the way.

If you have been thinking about cutting back on overall TV time, then here are a few tips for you to get started.

Right – there is still a decent chunk of the weekend left – so off out for a walk and bit of fresh sea air today!

WiseMóna x

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8 Comments + Add Comment

  • Bravo for you guys! I believe for some people it is a great choice. Although I am not a huge television watcher myself, it actually happened in reverse with us. There have been a few shows that have actually brought us together. We now watch Great British Bake Off and Downton Abbey as a family. The rule is no electronic devices while watching, however. The boys and I have a few “super hero” shows we watch together as well as Doctor Who. The nice part is we all look forward to that bonding time together each week. I believe it is all in how it is regulated. Luckily we still only have one television for 6 of us. So no one can go off and drown in program after program him or herself. I would still be content without it, in finding other things to do as a family. So, luckily it never became the be all end all for our family. Once again, glad the success has worked for the Wise family!

    • Hi Kelly,

      I do like the idea of family watching and actually miss Downton Abby – but am planning on watching a box set for Christmas!
      Hope all is well with the family x

  • Mona, I can’t agree with you more!!! Even if the children don’t much care for the cooking time now… I can’t help to think that when they are older, you will get a big thank you. They are learning to appreciate Gods beautiful earth, and interact with others and not a TV or video game. YEAH TO TV FREE! 🙂

    • Hi Jodi,

      I sure hop you are right! Thanks for popping on for a visit x

  • I’m with you completely, Mona. Down the TV! We don’t have any TV either, in that we don’t have an aerial or TV service. We do have a TV set and, like you, we do watch movies (either on DVD or the internet) at the weekends. I also might watch a few cooking shows online when I can squeeze them in. But absolutely no scheduled telly and NEVER a TV on during the day or while we eat. Our TV is in a small room at the back of the house that we only use in the evening (if at all) so we never even see the TV set all day long. You’re right that it is a hard habit to break, though. I know so many people who just turn the TV on when they come in the door and have it on in the background constantly. I hate it – it’s just so distracting. But when you’re used to living like this it’s hard to imagine life without the TV. We’ve had friends visit us here and comment on how quiet the house is. Personally I love it! Well done to you guys for breaking out of the habit. Here’s to conversation!

    • Hi June,
      There is soon much more talking .. almost too much! Hey – congrats on winning the Diaspora blog! You totally have earned it!
      And looking forward to our next get-together …. come to Galway next time you are home x

  • Judging by wha I’ve seen, your lovely kids will be cooking all the meals sooner rather than later!! 🙂

    • Ha! I hope so Natalie … hope you and Gordon have settled back into the routine of home and cats and the rest of the menagerie alright xx

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
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Ron Wise About the Chef
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You might as well just come visit.
He prefers face to face communication.

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