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We Tried It: No Weekday TV

I’ve written before about my family’s dependence on television as an “electronic babysitter” as we get ready in the morning and during dinner prep at night. But inspired by the Obamas – and driven to the edge by my almost 5-year-old’s daughter’s zoned-out noncompliance with the morning routine – my husband and I decreed no more TV during the week.

I braced myself for it to horrible and wondered if I’d ever shower in peace again. And then like so many times when you prepare for the worst, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, aside from one mildy whiny morning, my daughter didn’t protest at all. (My son, 9 months, reacted by continuing to have no idea what TV is). Now my little girl listens to music, eats her breakfast, gets dressed and figures out ways to entertain herself. Yes, I sometimes miss how completely out of our hair the TV kept her, but mostly I just feel good we’re placing reasonable limits on her screen time, especially as the homework years ramp up. When Friday night rolls around, we do movie night after the little guy goes to sleep, and it’s truly a treat for all of us.

If the TV’s on a lot at your house – hey, you’ll get no judgment from me. But if you’ve been feeling guilty about it, and are considering pulling the plug, I’m here to tell you: you can do it!

Get started:
The get-real guide to TV
4 ideas for TV-free fun
5 conversation starters as an alternate to TV