Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Engels: UNplugged

As of today we are officially unplugged. From TV that is. Dan and I have been thinking about doing this for the past several months but he asked that we wait until the end of the Reds season and as we all know that happened when they were swept in the the first round of the playoffs, so today we are officially taking back to the cable company all of their equipment so the cable can be shut off and we have physically taken the TV out of the bedroom and given it away. We are going to keep (for now) the TV in the living room in case we want to watch a movie for a "date night in" but it is my goal to get rid of that as well eventually.

So why are we going unplugged? Well, many reasons, but the biggest boils down to the fact that I don't want Jackson watching television. The studies that have been done make it clear that TV is just not good for children. And really you don't even have to read the research, have you ever watched or tried to talk or interact with a child who is watching TV? They go into complete zombie mode. Mindless zombie mode. I would argue that TV is not good for adults either, but as an adult you can make the choice yourself to watch or not watch. Children on the other hand rely on us, their parents, to set the rules and in our house the rule will be no TV. With that in mind we want to teach Jackson through our example more than anything else which means that if we expect him to not watch TV then we better not be watching TV. I am a HUGE believer in teaching children through example as much as possible. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson summed this up this quite nicely once when he said 
"“What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.”

 Added onto all of this I honestly just do not want to spend my life and my time sitting on the couch with the TV on. I do not want the memories we have as a family to be of just watching TV together every evening. The list of things I would rather be doing is endless, but even with those feelings the TV somehow still ends up on, even if in the background... that is until it is just not there. It is no longer a choice and I am so happy about that.

Now, to be fair, we still have the internet. So, we still need to be disciplined and not spend too much time online either. But, I need to have it for my career and I also think that when used appropriate it is an endless bank of open knowledge to be soaked up. We will just need to lead by example and teach Jackson when and how it is and is not okay to be online. One step we did take to minimize time online is that we got rid of wireless in our home. So it's no longer an option for each of us to grab a laptop and hang out "together" when really we were both on our computers. We must physically get up and go to the desktop computer. 

We may sound crazy. I'm okay with that. We may sound over-the-top. I'm okay with that too. I'll gladly be an over-the-top-crazy-mom who is off living life and making memories with Jackson any day! 

So, JP, some day when you read this you will understand why you grew up in the house with no TV. But you will grow up in the house with endless love, fun and learning. I love you, little man!

1 comment:

  1. I think that's great! We haven't had cable since we graduated from college and it's totally doable! Of course we still get the regular channels, but not having cable keeps us from watching TV all the time.


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