The short answer is that the ex-husband took it when we separated and I was broke, broke, broke so never got another one. But truly, I was never too keen on having a TV on at all hours of the day. Being without it has changed our family life. Yes, of course, my kids feel that they are being deprived of the opportunity – of ….what? I had to think about that. I guess they feel deprived of ‘the right’ to veg out and unwind after a long, hard day at school. They like to know what their friends are referring to when talking about the latest TV show – although increasingly it is the latest Youtube personality which we don’t need a TV to follow. They like watching movies on their dad’s big screen TV, although when we have family movie night screened on my 13 inch MacBook, everyone is immediately enthralled.
I don’t find the idea of keeping up-to-date on current events to be a compelling argument for having a television either – there is little wonderful news out there in our world, and even less I want to expose my kids to. It does mean that almost everything they learn about our political system they learn at school, which happens to work well as our political views align with the public school system they attend!
Enter Grammy. Grammy, my mom, who lives next door, has five televisions. Yep, Grammy, who lives alone. She even has two televisions in one room 🙂 So it’s not as if my kids don’t get exposed to current events and the occasional hilarious – although admittedly inappropriate – Trevor Noah skit. Although she insists that she keep it mostly educational, I know they watch too much political satire shows as Grammy is a political junkie.
As a result of having no ‘boob tube’ to turn to, my kids spend a lot of time outside – we live on a street where they have many friends their age, along with space to scooter and cycle –Luck us! 🙂 We also spend plenty of time doing puzzles and playing board games. When I hire sitters and let them know that we are a low-tech family, they frequently will bring along new games to play with the kids. We have tons of books around and a little Lending Library outside in our front yard – if the kids I get bored with the books we have, they can literally open the front door and get something new. It may be that in the future I cave to adolescent pressure and purchase a TV, but personally I feel like the lack of one has been a boon to our family.