26 answers

No TV for the Summer. Will We Make It?

I have decided to implement a tv free summer this year. Not to say family movie night will be banished, just the day to day junk. I too am going to attempt an Oprah free summer, lol. I am also going to limit my computer time and my son's video games are going on the shelf. I am hoping this will encourage us to have more outdoor family time and exercise. So am I crazy? Do you think we can do it? Words of encouragement are greatly appreciated. Anyone want to get in on the action?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Congratulations! I would love to implement the same thing in my house. Good for you to try and step up to the plate! I personally feel tv is a big waste of time! I'm embarrased to admit that I sometimes use it as a babysitter. We do get out for many family activities though!

Hats off to you and good luck!! I remember when I was a kid the last thing I wanted was to sit in front of the tv all summer. True, that was in the days before computer games and Nintendo Wii, but, still, summer was the time to be outside. With that said, just plan to have a lot of activities ready to keep him occupied and remember, you can always get a group of his friends together and teach them the games we played outside as kids.

You can do it!!! :) Five years ago my BIL put their tv in the attic because he felt they were all watching too much tv. He enrolled my nephew in boy scouts and some sport. He enrolled my neice in cheerleading and something esle. They do a lot of outdoor activities, crafts, organized activities, visits to the beach (they live in SC), daytrips, etc. They do now allow themselves movie time and occassionally watching old favorite tv shows via the internet. BTW, after the tv was in the attic for a year they gave it away.

More Answers

totally not crazy. We haven't used our TV as anything except "what the VCR and DVD player connect to" for the past 4 years and everyone in the family is fine with that, and I think it's been good for my kids b/c they aren't inundated with advertisements and are perfectly content to read, do pretend play and art projects in the yard, and when they *do* decide to watch something, it's something of their own tastes (which tends towards nature documentaries, classical music, and American Girl movies)

3 moms found this helpful

the first week is hard. It's the week where YOU catch yourself wanting to tell them to "go ___________". lol ((At least, if you're ME, that's what happens))

Keep this phrase close:

"Boredom Breeds Creativity"

3 moms found this helpful

I left the television behind with my first marriage when my daughter was in 5th grade. She complained and begged for the 2nd half of the school year that she was missing all those great shows her friends got to watch.

But after a summer away from TV and most of the buddies, she was shocked to find them boring after school started again. She complained that they never did anything interesting – just watched all those dumb shows. Plus, we weren't barraged by all that desire-creating advertising, which helped both of us live within a tiny budget.

I've now been without TV for 30+ years, and have no idea where I'd fit one into our lives, or home. There are so many more interesting things to do. And my daughter has a television, but seldom turns it on. She just lost the hang of sitting and staring. Her 4yo son watches chosen videos, but no TV.

By the way, folks who watch a lot of commercial news, which sensationalizes the worst and scariest in human behavior, tend to have an overblown sense of how dangerous the world is, how untrustworthy people are, how evil government is. It must be an uncomfortable way to live.

3 moms found this helpful

All my childhood we didn't have a TV... well to be more precise we didn't have channels. We had a tv and used it for movie nights. As a kid I never missed it. I always found something to do, and my parents and I found other ways to entertain ourselves which created bounds that I rarely see in my friends' family. Also you will notice how less stressed out you will become! It's nice to not "take-on" the misery of the world :)
Anyway, you can do it! Explore fun ways to communicate and play with your kids and husband.

2 moms found this helpful

You definitely can do it! I know it's not the same but when Hurricane Ike hit we were without power for 2 weeks in our house. We were lucky, no damage, no flooding, stores opened within 3 days, but at our house in Houston in the summer, no power for 2 weeks. We survived and in a strange way once I was past the initial excitement of the air conditioning turning back on and having lights again, I was sad to see all of the other electronic "time wasters" come back to life. For 2 weeks we were forced to play games, talk, and go outside and have fun without all of the gadgets.

Good luck!
K.

2 moms found this helpful

We have a summer home in the upper north woods of MIchigan I have spent every year since childhood there and I am 44. There is no electricity, no phone, no running water, nothing. I llove it and so do my children.
You'll survive.

2 moms found this helpful

You are not crazy. I made a calendar (thinking I would have the summer off with the kids, but that did not turn out that way - long story) of all the things we would do. I think planning out an easy schedule will keep the kids occupied and not bored. We have stuff like a zoo, butterfly house, festivals, library... all kinds of stuff that is either low priced or free!

Who can miss out on a good water sprinkler in the front yard?

Good luck to everyone!

2 moms found this helpful

You can do it!

Every summer we turn our cable and internet off and implement a "no electronics policy" (xbox/computer) during the day. The kids are allowed to play electronics ONLY before breakfast and after dinner...that's it! The rest of the day is spent doing something else...preferably something outside :)

We still occasionally have family movie nights...which has proven to be enough TV for us. I thought it would be impossible...but it wasn't!

Kids ages: 18,15,14,10,6,4 &2

Schools out next Monday...and off goes the cable!

2 moms found this helpful

We don't own a TV and I can't imagine having one now. I already feel busy. It will take the kids a while, they'll resist, but ultimately you may decide never to go back. Really, what is the gain? I ask that about all of our entertainment or information we have at our disposal. What are we tuning out from? Usually, from one another. For decompressing/down time, my daughter and I read, listen to music, garden, etc. Good for you mama!!

J.

2 moms found this helpful

You are going to love it so much you might just get rid of your TV. We went without for two years.

2 moms found this helpful

Sure you can do it! I'm doing it too, I decided a couple of weeks ago when I caught my 2yo singing a commercial jingle. Just unplug the cable from the back of the TV. That way you can still watch movies if you want, but even if the kids flip the TV on, they'll only get static. Tell them that the TV is broken and you can't get it fixed yet. ;) Maybe they won't look in back and realize how to "fix" it! lol!

I guarantee that we're both going to be so happy with the results that we won't plug the TV's back in at the end of the summer!!

1 mom found this helpful

Way to go, Mom!!!! Of course you can do this. I like that you've thought it out and kept the parts that encourage growth and connectedness. You'll even save money on your electric bill!
We've been cutting down on screen time a lot this year and it has been wonderful. Thank you for posting this. It's a wonderful encouragement for the rest of us.
:D

1 mom found this helpful

If you implement TV free for your kids, you have to do it too. Otherwise it's not fair.

I would never do this in our house. We don't watch much tv as it is during the week (1/2-1 hour for my daughter and I each) but do watch more on the weekends. For us, it's a good time for downtown or resting. Otherwise we're playing outside or doing crafts or playing in their play area. I actually enjoy watching some cartoons and a lot of tv shows.

My brother and SIL have a TV but their kids hardly ever watch it so I know it's doable. You didn't mention how old your kids were. I think instead of implementing a tv 'free' summer, why not just put a limit on how much they can watch? Are they home with you all day? Maybe give them 1/2 hour in the morning and 1/2 hour at night.

I just can't imagine a rainy summer day where you've played all your games and just want to veg and zone out and aren't allowed to? Or maybe this is where your movie night comes in?

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Good for you!!!!! You're going to have a great summer. There are so many fun things to do. Go to the zoo, go to the library, go to the beach or the lake. Check out all the local playgrounds in your area. Go for a nature walk.

1 mom found this helpful

We have never had a television in our home. Growing up I had one in my room and I watched a TON of TV. But since I left at 19, I've never owned one.

My kids have never lived in a house with a television, but they LOVE it when they are at gmas. So they get their fix from time to time and we have Netflix for occasional intentional watching.

There is so so so much garbage on TV that I would never allow people to do in my living room, so why invite them into it on the tube? I'll never understand.

Even cartoons... never mind.

I encourage you with all my heart and soul to stick with it. In my mind, this really is only going to work if you physically remove the TV from the house and put it in the garage or the nearest Goodwill.

Enjoy your family time!

1 mom found this helpful

Bravo to you. I love TV so I won't be trying it! Most of our days are spent going places and doing fun things during the summer. My son doesn't watch that much TV, he likes to be outside with his friends, but he does like a little video game time every day. During the school year, he doesn't usually watch TV, video games or computer (unless it's school work related) during the week because we are too busy with school stuff and sports.

Excellent idea L.!! We normally do no TV during the school week, so summer can get TV overwhelming!!! But I vow to not let that happen this year. I think movie nights are a nice family time event but overdoing it isn't good for anyone!
Good for you, I wish you luck and this little reminder will help me keep the TV and video games to a minimum this summer.
Thanks!
E.:-)

Hats off to you and good luck!! I remember when I was a kid the last thing I wanted was to sit in front of the tv all summer. True, that was in the days before computer games and Nintendo Wii, but, still, summer was the time to be outside. With that said, just plan to have a lot of activities ready to keep him occupied and remember, you can always get a group of his friends together and teach them the games we played outside as kids.

Yes, you're crazy. If your kids are tv addicts (or your dh) they'll drive you nuts and will try to wear you down. But it can be done if you stick to your guns.

To make sure this works, you will need to go into this with an artillery of activities to keep the family entertained sufficiently. Just like quitting anything else, you're going to have some serious withdrawls. It is shocking to the system if you're planning to go cold turkey as you have described.

Have a good supply of books, board games, crafts/hobbies, and other activities ready at a moments notice. All you need is a really miserably hot day or a stretch of nasty weather for temptation to turn to the boob tube to set in. Be ready for the first week or two to be extremely trying as it can be a shock to the system if you're used to the din of a t.v. in the background...especially for the wee ones.

Once you get a week or so under your belts, you will suddenly find that you don't miss the t.v. or electronic devices at all. It is very peaceful and you start finding that time flies when you're doing something other than watching tv.

We do television fasts during lent (usually mid March through April) and for the rest of the year we limit t.v. to only PBS and only a couple of hours a week. Other than that, no t.v.

We only have 19" t.v. and we've gotten used to the limited viewing and prehistoric provisions. However, when guests come over we find they're shocked there is no television in the main family area, and often when we have family gatherings, relatives absolutely go batty when they can't just flip on the t.v. and actually have to have a conversation or play a game for fun.

Just be ready for this to be like quitting cigarettes or any other nasty habit. Expect the troops to revolt before you experience peace and freedom.

Woo Hoo! Good for you. I am trying to figure out how to get rid of the TV too. My son is a huge sports fanatic, so I need to figure it out. Personally, I am okay watching sports.
Good luck!
S.

I wish I was as strong as you! We don't watch a lot of tv as it is, but there is always a television on as background noise through out the day. I love what you're doing though! I think there will be an adjustment period, the kids will whine, your hubby will whine (you'll whine a little too)... but once you get over that hump, I think it will be smooth sailing. I would break the rules only for certain things... if it's been raining for 5 days straight and you've all got cabin fever, watch old school cartoons together and veg out. If someone gets sick and has to stay in bed all day, t.v. might be okay then too. But stick to your guns, you can do it honey!! Think of how proud you'll be at the end of the summer, you'll look back and think with a smile, 'well that wasn't so bad, now was it?' BEST WISHES!!

We have a TV but only use it for occasional movies. We don't have cable and didn't even bother to get one of those converter boxes when broadcast went digital, so we actually can't watch TV. But it would never occur to us. My kids play outside almost all the time, or we play games together inside on rainy days. We read stories. We draw pictures and go on walks. TV just wouldn't fit into our day.

It will be harder for you because you're used to watching TV, but stick it out, and I think after a while your son will forget about it too. I watched TV as a kid, and my brother watched A LOT of TV, no matter what was on -- and that's what turned me off of it. I notice how my husband gets caught by the TV, too. He'll just watch it, whether he really wants to or not. And I can see my kids doing the same thing when we're somewhere with a TV. I prefer to choose what we watch by actively putting in a DVD (and then there are no commercials, either).

Good luck!

Congratulations! I would love to implement the same thing in my house. Good for you to try and step up to the plate! I personally feel tv is a big waste of time! I'm embarrased to admit that I sometimes use it as a babysitter. We do get out for many family activities though!

You can do it!!! :) Five years ago my BIL put their tv in the attic because he felt they were all watching too much tv. He enrolled my nephew in boy scouts and some sport. He enrolled my neice in cheerleading and something esle. They do a lot of outdoor activities, crafts, organized activities, visits to the beach (they live in SC), daytrips, etc. They do now allow themselves movie time and occassionally watching old favorite tv shows via the internet. BTW, after the tv was in the attic for a year they gave it away.

I recommend also signing up at the library. Reading is much better than sitting in front of the tv all day. (I say, knowing my tv is rarely off, even when I'm not watching it....hee)

We did it for a mere two weeks. All I had the guts for. After the initial hysterics of withdrawal it definitely was a bonding experience.

go for it!

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