Monday, March 31, 2008

On Watching TV

Stumble Upon Toolbar

We have one television in our home. It is a small 23 inch screen that sits atop an old antique end table that once belonged to my husband's grandmother.

We normally keep it off during the day, until my husband gets home from work when he likes to catch up on sports news, politics, and other current events.

I would like it just fine if we didn't have one at all, but we do, so I make it work. Occasionally, for a reward, I let the kids watch a show. They have no idea who Hannah Montana is, or Sponge Bob Square Pants, or Zach and Cody because we don't allow those shows.

It's not that I think those shows or others like them are immoral. I don't know whether they are or not since I haven't seen them. What I do know is the popular culture at large sees immorality as the norm, and I suspect that is reflected in popular shows.

What my children are allowed to watch, and they enjoy these very much, are the following:

  • Leave It To Beaver
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • The Rifleman
  • Little House on the Prairie

We also watch some movies on the Hallmark channel. One we enjoyed recently was The Ransom of Red Chief, a story we like by O Henry.

We have also watched Savage Sam, the sequel to Old Yeller, by Fred Gibson, which is a favorite read aloud, as well as Beowulf, The Ten Commandments, and others.

We mute the commercials and use that time to discuss the similarities and differences in the books and the movies. (Or get drinks or snacks or other such high minded stuff.)

I'm not saying this way is more wholesome or holy than any other way. I am just saying that this is how we do things in our family. It meets our requirements for family fun without compromising our ideals.

What about you? How do you handle the TV?


Holly said...

Who are Zach and Cody?

The kids heard a Hannah Montana song just a few weeks ago at a birthday party.

We do have a tv...but very limited. There's just so very little they can watch. Definitely no commercials...


Anonymous said...

When my kids were little, we lived in the tulies and had no channels. We had a VCR and everything that came in the house was screened.
They weren't deprived; they were cherished.

Smockity Frocks said...

You caught me, Holly. I don't know who Zach and Cody are, but I heard some girls MaddieLynn's age talking about them, and I picked up that it was a popular show.

Sooz, I've never heard of the "tulies" but I'm guessing it's somewhere near the "boonies". ;)

Shari said...

I just wrote about this same subject on my blog yesterday evening. I explained why we don't let our kids watch the shows of today. We also allow them to watch the shows you mentioned and occasionally a movie. We limit everything. There's too much to learn and it's not from TV.

ymwife said...

which ten commandments version do ya'll watch?

Anonymous said...

We used to watch TV for game shows, PBS kids, etc. But about a year ago we unplugged it and haven't missed it a day since. We check out movies from the library (currently have some Little House on the Prairies and a Cirque de Soleil) and we rent, too. In the summer we almost NEVER turn on the tv's or movies. Too busy! I'm so thankful that my children don't know any of the popular stars (Hannah, Britney, Sponge Bob, etc) but that the recognize Fred Astaire, Jerry Lewis, Doris Day, Don Knotts and Gene Kelly. :) Makes me giggle. :)

Leah in Alaska

Smockity Frocks said...

Oh, Leah! You just reminded me...My kids LOVE Roy Rogers!

Sheila said...

Unfortunately for us, our children are quite observant at the local WalMart, and Hannah Montan, Spongebob, etc. are plastered absolutely everywhere! So, though they've never laid eyes on those shows, they know who the characters are. (And, I guess it never occurred to me until recently to simply turn OFF the TV during commercials - I always "Mute" them, because they're incredibly annoying!)

Jan, San Francisco, CA said...

Love to see parents being proactive and acting like . . . parents. Wonderful! Good job, Moms!

Thehotrod5 said...

My kids LOVE Little house, leave it to Beaver, and I Love Lucy. On the other hand, we homeschool but with the popularity of Disney shows, we know exactly who they are . We handle it like this..Friday nights (or Saturday nights, depending on which fits our schedule that week) the kids are allowed to watch both Hannah Montana and Zach and Cody. However...they are watched with us. We also check out the theme of the show before hand (ok just about one of 2 reasons I like our dish) and if it doesn't bode well with us, we pull out a movie. My kids have no clue who Brittney spears is and even though they know who sponge bob is...I find that show just gross. Its hard enough trying to keep my boy from being gross on his own without adding anything to give him ideas!


Holly said...

Heh Heh. :) I have NO clue either. I'm one of those people whom others accuse of living under a rock.

rachel said...

No TV here. We also don't do movies at all. We have the Moody Science DVDs that they watch on the computer and my three year old has the "Your Baby can Read" set. Thats pretty much it. Because they've never watched more "exciting" things, they don't consider these boring as I have heard them described by others.

Michelle said...

I did a whole blog series on why I hate the TV and you know what? My readership and stats went down by half!! I kid you not. I kept reiterating that it was my belief and convictions, but apparently I offended the masses. All 3 of them. ;)

da halls said...


We have a TV as a monitor for our VCR and DVD player (no channels).
Our kids rarely watch the videos but when they do they request "Mr. Fixit" videos (our 7 1/2 year old daughter tries to get us to let them watch those "since they teach the Bible and they are good for us"), "Moody Science" videos, with the every once in awhile Pooh, Roy Rogers, Lone Ranger. (The older kids watch some family favorites with Daddy & I from time to time.)

My greek god and I purposed when we first got married that we wouldn't watch much if any TV (we choose not to get cable, etc even though we'd love to watch the Discovery and History channels mostly because we know if we had access to it we'd spend too much time watching . . . so we save watching those for when we are staying in a hotel, which isn't very often).

Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

Our family probably watched too much television. We only have one TV and we have cable. Our kids are allowed to watch cartoons and movies, although only those approved by the parents. We typically stick to the old cartoons like "Tom and Jerry" and "Looney Tunes".

My kids know who Hannah Montana, Zach and Cody and SpongeBob are. They also know that we don't approve of those shows and why.

On occasion we have found that the boys have picked up on a word or behavior we don't like, but it's given us reason to discuss it as a family and talk about why "we" don't believe a person should do that or say that.

I agree, television can be a problem, but somehow, we try to make it work.

Julie P

Mommy Cracked said...

I think that's a great thing. I call our TV the Idiot Box and wouldn't miss it except for the Weather Channel and Fox News.

Sheila said...

Okay, Connie. Now it's time for a post "On Playing Video Games." :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Swidget 1.0 6

Web Statistics