Wednesday, December 12, 2012

TV or no TV? That is the Question.

Since moving out of my old apartment, I am completely TV-less.  My old TV was a big, boxy TV and I didn't feel like hauling it into storage and then into my new place. The original intent was to put a new flat screen on layaway at Wal-Mart during their holiday layaway program. Well, turns out I waited too long and that is no longer in effect.

At first I was a bit peeved, but then I changed my tune.

I had already decided upon finding out that I was pregnant, that I was NOT going to have a television in my living room, only my bedroom. Growing up, the only television we had was a tiny portable one that I would sit on the hearth on Saturday mornings and watch Christian Television. Other than that, the living room was used as the "family" space where everyone gathered and talked; not gathered and watched a program together.  Maybe it's the old-fashioned girl in me, but that's what I want my living room to be like. A hub of people talking, spending time together, drinking coffee and just enjoying each others' company. I want an environment where people aren't grabbing over each other for the remote and yelling, "See what's on!! I think the game is on channel 12!" "No, we don't want to watch football, put on HGTV!"  *shutter* No, thank you!

Another reason I decided against a television in the main room is because I am totally going to be a helicopter mom regarding what my child watches.

As a child, my program options consisted of the following: Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street (on occasion), Barney, Lamb Chop's Play-Along and Reading Rainbow. None of which started until I was probably five years old. I was allowed to get videos from the library. (Yes, the library. Remember those? Before NetFlix, Hulu and Blockbuster took over, people actually checked out movies from the library.)  But my mother carefully inspected what the film was about and what it was rated. She would also watch it over my shoulder (she may think I don't know that) if it was my first time watching it and she was very quick to turn it off if she saw anything that didn't live up to her standards.

Of course as a kid I HATED the practice of having every thing I put in front of my eyes monitored, but as an adult I am completely grateful it. I see now the effect that television has on children. I have a HUGE issue with cartoons and believe 100% that most of them do nothing but encourage ADD. The bright lights and colors, fast movements and loud noises; no 2 or 3 year old can process that. Their brains are no where equipped to do so at that stage of development. Hell, I'm 26 and my brain has a hard time processing it! I also plan on holding back on exposing my child to television as long as possible. While I've had people tell me, "Just wait! You'll use it when you need a break!" I still challenge that and meet that opposition head on. For the LONGEST time as I kid, I listened to tapes. Story tapes, song name it. All children's songs and children's stories. I would listen for hours on end, my mind racing with imagination, creating pictures of what I was hearing in my head. Some might say that's the equivalent of watching television for hours, but I highly disagree. TV is a mindless form of entertainment. It requires nothing but watching. But listening, that requires attention, imagination and creativity.

So for now I am completely TV free and have no plans to purchase one in the near future. The first two nights in my apartment sans TV have been very nice and relaxing. I've actually enjoyed the silence. I intend to make a trip to Barnes and Noble and buy a couple of good books to start. I also plan to start writing again in the evenings. We shall see. I might not be able to go for long without the tube to keep me company, but for now I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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