These are notes sent to me in response to my latest newsletter article, Confessions of a TV-Using Mom, from the Noble Mother community of mamas. Thanks, mamas!!
Congratulations raelee! Being a TV-free family is great! We made the same descision when our first child was born, 8 years ago. We have never regretted it. We still have a small, 13in TV, behind closed doors in our bedroom, and we have family movie night twice a month. On these nights, we all cuddle up together, under the covers, and my husband and I enjoy sharing our childhood favourites with our kids, as well as watching timeless classics – like Shirley Temple movies (my 5 year-old’s fave) and the Andy Griffith show (my 8 year old’s fave!).
We’ve also started to watch some select new movies – we’ve even gone to the local movie theatre (we only have one in our small town, it only shows 1 movie at a time, and a kid’s movie about once every 3-4 months) after we noticed that our son was feeling a little out of the loop socially, and my husband and I have definitely added some new favourites to our repertoire. We’ve talked about product placement with the kids (and for older kids, the movie Josie and the Pussycats is a fun way to demonstrate how this works) and I feel that this advetising stretegy is less overt than commercials, although toy spin-off’s from movies may be alluring even so.
Thankfully, living in a small town,with no box stores, shields us from the worst of that commercialism as well. Life is far from perfect – the kids fight, they make a lot of messes, they get in my hair (unavoidable in a 900 square foot house!) and they still whine for TV every once in a while, but we also play a lot of board games, we have a family bluegrass band, and both my kids were early readers, and continue to have a passion for reading. I’ve agonized and second-guessed myself over many of my parenting descisions, but staying TV-free isn’t one of them! Welcome to the club!
I think you’ll appreciate this article I just read for the Wilmette course, “Human Flourishing and Moral Development” by Darcia Narvaez: http://www.nd.edu/~dnarvaez/documents/NarvaezFlourishing2008.pdf
She includes this quote: “Who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behavior. It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now its a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.” (Gerbner, 1994)