Where we live we seem to be an anomaly. We choose not to have a television.
Here are three reasons why we don't have a TV:
1. Exposure: There are things on TV that I just don't want my kids to see or hear.
We recently went to the dentist. Our dentist, like most, has televisions on the ceiling to distract the patients while getting their teeth cleaned. I was asked if Ev could watch TV while getting her dental work done. I said it was fine, so the hygienist found a cartoon for Ev to watch. That didn't seem like a big deal to me. We don't ban TV altogether.
However, in the 10 minutes that she watched TV at the dentist's office, she was exposed to about twelve words that we don't use in our home. They aren't horrible words, but words that we don't want our 7 year old and 3 year old saying.
I want to be the one that filters my kids' world experience right now. They are little and I want to protect them.
That being said, I do see the importance of my kids gaining their own filtration system. What I mean by that is that I would like my kids to govern themselves when I'm not around. When there is something on TV or on the computer that is not appropriate, I want them to choose to turn it off.
We work on this skill right now even though we don't have a television. We are honest about what is available on the Internet (I do let me kids play games online). We have told them, even though they are young, that some people put inappropriate pictures, videos, and stories online. We have also discussed with them that if they happen upon these things they close the computer, walk away and come talk to us (their parents).
2. Time: There are too many good things to do besides watch TV.
Television can be a huge time waster. Believe me, I know. I have been caught in the TV trap. You sit down to watch TV just for a few minutes. You just need a little break from reality so you can conquer the rest of your day. Before you know it, the rest of your day has been conquered by the four reality TV shows you just finished watching. Oh boy.
Especially now that I am a mom, and a home-school mom at that, there are too many things to do in the day to include television into my schedule. And there too many fun things for my kids to do and experience to have the TV going all day long.
Don't get me wrong, my husband and I will watch movies three or four times a month, but having some sort of show running half the day seems to fill life with unimportant things.
3. Guilt: It's too much for me.
I won't lie, part of this no-TV thing is kind of selfish. I feel so much guilt when my kids waste the day away watching TV or playing games on the computer. If TV is not even an option on our home, then I don't have to feel an internal struggle wondering if my kids are rotting their brains out watching the adventures of a yellow sponge in short shorts.
So there you have it. I'm not sure how long we'll go without a television, but we have lived without one for the last three years and have not missed it.