I know there are a lot of TV Free Households out there, and I think that is awesome and I can completely understand the desire to not have a television. It will never be my choice though. I love my TV oh so much. I love 30 Rock. I love The Weather Channel. I love Spongebob Squarepants. I love it when I'm sick in bed and there is "nothing good on TV" and I find myself watching something trashy and genital warty like Rock of Love or something smart that I've seen a thousand times like The Hunt for Red October. In case you're not following me, I love my TV.
When it comes to what my kids watch I would probably be considered liberal, perhaps even too lenient, by most. My son is allowed to watch just about anything he wants, including raunchier shows like The Cleveland Show or Family Guy. We allow this because my son is a good kid, he can be trusted to not repeat things he hears on TV, and also because we usually watch these shows with him and have no problem discussing some (ahem) unsavory things that may arise. Say what you want about junk TV, but it definitely opens the door for communicating about topics that may not otherwise come up in everyday conversation. Well, at least not everyday conversation with an almost 12 year old.
Of course my way with the boy doesn't work as well with the girl. I made the mistake of letting her watch South Park because I thought for sure she wouldn't understand it, get bored after five minutes, and then fall asleep. Well, my plan backfired and now I have a preschooler running around the house singing "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo." Yeah, not my best work as a mother. There are going to have to be a different set of rules for the girl.
This isn't to say that our household is completely lawless when it comes to television. Even I have my limits:
*I hate the Disney Channel. HATE IT. I hate the phony and unrealistic children, teenagers, and families that abound on that channel. I hate the nauseatingly fake chasteness of Hannah Montana. And don't even get me started on The Jonas Brothers and their purity rings. Barf. I mean it. BARF. It's not that I've ever banned the channel, I've just always passed right on by it when looking for something to watch, and for the most part the kids do the same.
*I hate how Nickelodeon airs shows over and over and over again. For instance, there is a show on Nickelodeon called iCarly. It first aired on September 8, 2007. I don't doubt that I've seen certain episodes 20+ times. Sometimes I'll see the kids watching the same episode for the second or third time in a week. This is about the time I turn off the TV and tell the kids to go find something to do.
*Aside from checking out the weather, I don't watch TV during the day. It's just far too much of a time waste for me. All it takes is one episode of Law and Order to suck me in and the next thing I know I've sat on the couch for five straight hours, having left only once to open a can of garbanzo beans for lunch.
*We cancelled our digital cable. This decision came after I realised the only thing we were watching were Nickelodeon cartoons, albeit on a different channel, that we had already seen dozens of times. Yeah, well worth the extra $20 a month.
*Personally, I try not to just flick through the channels watching crap. If there is nothing on that I really want to watch, I turn the TV off and read a book.
I have to admit that what originally prompted me to write about television was that I keep seeing the commercial for the FLO TV Personal Television. In case you haven't seen it, it shows a boy about preschool age locking himself in the bathroom at home with his personal television. As much as I love my television, I think it's deplorable that a personal TV is being marketed to small children. Why does a child, who is at home, need to barricade himself in the bathroom to watch TV? ( I won't even begin to rant about the fact that the kid is watching The Fairly Oddparents, a Nickelodeon cartoon that's on at least twice a day!)
Which brings me to my final rule:
*No portable TVs and, aside from the occasional video clip, no watching "television" on the computer.So, now I want to ask you, do you have a TV (or TVs)? If so, are there rules in your house as to what can be watched and when? If you don't have kids, do you have personal rules about your own TV viewing? Of course, no judgements here, I'm just curious.