Nov 302005

We have two children still at home, both in their teens, who have lived without a TV in the home for over 8 years. While neither of them is perfect, they both defy today’s stereotypes about teens. They are not rebellious, rarely unpleasant, and for the most part, they agree with their parents about the important issues of life.

So, we wonder, heads spinning, how did we manage that? At first glance, it may seem that homeschooling is what makes our family different from others. Could be. But recently, as I was thinking about the electronic influences on today’s children, I began to wonder whether being without a TV was just as beneficial. So I asked. “Why do you think you are so pleasant and easy to be parent of?” Obviously this is not a question we can know the answer to in full, and there is clearly a spiritual component, but today our best thoughts are: 40% homeschooling, 60% TV (that is not TV). My best advice? Many hours of conversation.

  11 Responses to “TV or Not TV?”

  1. Rebecca, I think you have given some great advice and I bet, in practice, what you actually do in ‘Many hours of conversation’ is
    40% [or less] talking and
    60% [or more] listening.

    Or maybe you just have two great children still at home… :-))

  2. More listening so that when I do say something it’s actually applicable.

    I also have two great children who are grown up: both smart, likable, talented, and good-looking. They, however, did not have the benefit of our best thinking when they were growing up.

  3. My parents were pretty strict about the TV when we were small, while we were being homeschooled, but when we entered high school we kind of became more disconnected, and I guess I simultaneously became more rebellious. We didn’t get any channels though, so I did a lot of reading, even when I was a “stereotypical teenager”. So I don’t think it was TV that made me bad.

    Now that I’m in university and back on track I call my parents almost every day and the conversation has really brought us closer. I’m glad.

  4. I just have to say we love our TV. It runs a lot around here and is our main entertainment. I have 3 amazing adult children, and a wonderful 16-year-old who is friendly and sweet. They are all the first ones to jump if you need help, or to even just open the door for you. And he plays video games or watches TV a LOT. (Although that gets cut back now that school has started.) It isn’t TV that’s the culprit in most cases…it’s parents who don’t actively take part in their kid’s lives. There were rebellious kids and loser adults long before TV even existed. I like what Antik says…40%(-) talking/60%(+) listening.

  5. […] habits you are building now and how they will serve your kids as adults. In the Mielke household, we have not had a TV for 10 years and we still have trouble getting to bed before the 11 o’clock […]

  6. […] habits you are building now and how they will serve your kids as adults. In the Mielke household, we have not had a TV for 10 years and we still have trouble getting to bed before the 11 o’clock […]

  7. wow – i think that is amazing that you don’t have a TV. It sounds like it is making a profound impact on your family!

  8. Yeah, it’s been good. But we did have TV when they were pre-schoolers. And now we have the new laptop, so we’ve begun watching DVDs some together. Which accounts for my sleep deprivation. 😉

  9. […] has begun posting media recommendations under the category What to Watch. After having been without a TV for this long, I need all the help I can […]

  10. […] can now instantly watch movies and television shows commercial-free on Macs or PCs. Just what the TV-free household […]

  11. I must say my kids watch cartoons. But I block MTV and VH1 and mostly they prefer to play the Wii, which I’d rather. My older son loves the History Channel and I let them binge on that and Discovery and TLC. No one watches WB shows. I just eeked out one tv in our kitchen family room. I kind of miss it, especially when I was cooking because the kids were more likely to gather around me. Now since there’s no tv they disappear to their separate quarters to do their own thing. So I don’t know. There are so many variables Rebecca to say if it’s just tv or prayer or what. Who knows. We just go day by day by the seat of our pants with the Lord’s help.

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