Thursday, November 28, 2013

Kids without TV

Okay, sort of without TV.  For the last three years, we have had telus internet and tv.  While the quality of service has been good, the rates have constantly climbed upwards.  What's the point of a locked in contract if they can jack the rates when they want?  So when our time is up in January, we are ready to give telus the boot. 

Our kids had gotten used to having tv.  For a long time it wasn't really a problem - even if it was on, most of the time they weren't watching it anyways. But over the last six months they have become a lot more zombie like when watching it.  This concerned both me and my wife. 

The excuse to actually do something about it came a month ago when we moved back to new west. Between visiting relatives, piles of boxes and uncertainty as to where to put the tv, it basically got tucked away for three weeks.  

The fist week was hard for the kids. They were much crankier, quicker to get angry, and bickering with each other far more often. 

Interestingly, they never got upset specifically about the lack of tv. Moods were definitely soured though.  But after a week, things slowly started to mellow. My son had been rapidly improving his reading skills the last six months, and instead he would take a book to his bed and sit there for a while. 

Our daughter started getting more physical with us, wanting to use me as a jungle gym all the time instead of just half the time. We already enjoyed playing board games together, but it started happening much more frequently. We made even more trips to the playground or the swimming pool. 

After three weeks I'd say the dynamics were just as good as they were before the tv disappeared. It was no epiphany or miraculous improvement in how our family live and love each other, but it was good. 

The kids vegged out less, but that also meant the grown ups couldn't veg as much either. Some days were tougher than others, but in the long run it's better for us too. 

Eventually, thought, boxes got unpacked, furniture set up and the tv returned.  We used the opportunity to impose much stricter limits on the amount of tv we watch. Our plan is to dump cable and go to Netflix come January.  We are still keeping the Wii and DVD collection, but at least we will be making our screen time more focused. Hopefully we have a little less zombie and a little more fun. 

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