Could You Live without TV for a Week?

{This guest post from Ginny at Lemon Drop Pie.}

It happened in a moment of anger. “No TV for a week!” my husband blurted out to my two daughters. They had been misbehaving, and this was the only consequence he could think of on the spur of the moment.

no tv

Later, in private, my husband apologized to me. He goes to work early in the morning and so I would be the one who would have to carry out this consequence. I have a guilty confession to make; I let my daughters watch TV in the mornings so I can check my email and Facebook and get in the shower.

I feel guilty because I know that too much TV is not healthy for my kids, and yet I use the TV as a babysitter. When my oldest daughter was a baby, I refused to let her watch TV. My in-laws thought I was crazy; other moms told me it was a great idea, but just wait until I had another child. I stubbornly stuck it out, and Lily didn’t watch much TV at all until she was 2 years old. Having a husband who doesn’t like to watch TV helped immensely.

But then…I had another baby. And the other moms were right. I was tired all the time, so when Lily wanted to watch TV, I let her. My second daughter has been watching TV since she was an infant.

So when my husband took TV away for week, I froze in fear. How was I going to survive without TV? Sure, it would be good for the girls, but what about me?

The first day was rough; I got out the Legos and sat on the floor and played with the girls, and their whining soon stopped. By the second and third days it was even easier. We played, we did more art projects, and we went to the park.

I’d like to say that our ways have changed and we don’t watch as much TV anymore, but alas, that wouldn’t be true. We slipped right back into our TV watching habits.

But I know a week without TV is possible, and that it can even be enjoyable. I don’t think I can live without TV permanantly, but I’d like to try to spend less time with my kids in front of the ol’ boob tube this summer.

What about you?

Ginny Guest Post HeadshotGinny Marie’s favorite TV shows include The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory. Her secret favorite, though, is Word Girl on PBS. She blogs about becoming a mother after breast cancer at Lemon Drop Pie.


  1. says

    I know I let my kids watch too much TV, play too many video games, but with 4 kids I just can’t entertain all them them all the time and still have my sanity. Moderation in all things. I’m trying to do better and limit their electronic time (especially with the 8yo and 6yo boys) and it’s been working so far, but it is so much easier to just put the 2yo in front on a Disney movie and only have to worry about the baby. Sigh. Someday I’ll get it figured out…right?

  2. says

    Yeah I can live without T. V. In early days i was fond of TV so much that I can’t miss any latest movie or serial. Now my kids are the same. but now a days I dint have time to watch it.

  3. says

    aaaaaah! Thanks for posting about this Ginny! I often feel horrible and even worse when I try to “turn the box off” just to turn it on again later and feel like a total failure! I know I need to decrease the tv watching, that’s for sure! Find more activities and things to do… especially now that we moved to Tx and while the girls get more adapted to this muggy, humid, super hot weather! they are constantly sick, which means we have to be inside most of the time -sigh- Thanks again.

  4. says

    I am not into TV but my husband & son are fans. (Actually, if it weren’t for DH, I’d toss the TV)

    At times we’ve cut out TV (& computer, DS etc) and after a bit of drama, my son will settle down with Lego or something & then forget about the electronics.

  5. says

    My kids are older but this is something I have wanted to do for a while. My husband is the resister but I will figure out a way to turn off the tube!

  6. Tricia says

    Ginny, I don’t watch TV at all except when I am at the gym and it is on. I just found out Tom and Katie are getting divorced! Usually I do not find things out until someone posts about it on TV. My problem is not the TV it is my computer. Lane is upstairs right now “napping” with the iPad.

  7. says

    Once again the old adage, “all things in moderation,” holds true. TV is fine, even as a babysitter, as long as you don’t misuse and over-do it. Any parent who says she hasn’t plopped her kids down in front of the TV to get a reprieve isn’t being entirely honest. I’m glad you all survived the “punishment.” I bet it was actually kind of a fun challenge once you got going on your week.

  8. says

    I have been considering this for some time – not as a punishment but to re-engage the family. We take weekend trips to the lake where there is no TV and its amazing how the kid’s attitudes change – they don’t get upset at an interruption, we don’t hear the “just a second” a dozen times. Thanks for the post, now I know we can survive it at home. It shouldn’t be long before they misbehave and I have an excuse to take away the TV :-)

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