Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cutting the Cables


A few months ago, we decided to cut out cable and switch to getting our TV from Netflix and Hulu. While there are some days I really miss the ability to turn on HGTV or Food Network and veg, or let Stinky watch Playhouse Disney all the live-long day, or fall asleep to CNN at night, this has been a change for the better in our household. We read more and get outside more. Magically, I have more time in the day. We are better at sticking to a daily routine. Our TV time is more intentional, rather than just in the background. We're more selective in the movies we buy, because we can stream them or get them in the mail. Cutting out the cable has been a process of getting 'more' - more money left in the budget each month and more time as a family.

I'm not writing this to brag, or to suggest it's right for your family, but it's really working for ours. It isn't without it's challenges, though. We taught Stinky to work the Wii remote for Netflix, and then had to teach him to ask us before each show, so that he doesn't watch things like Jaws or Child's Play. He will occasionally have a fit when it's time for the TV to go off- (a sign we did the right thing in cutting the cable, we think), but usually if we put some music on (our custom family dance party mix is a favorite), he's happy.

For me, the challenge is the other screen. I challenged myself the other day to turn off the computer from 11am until sunset. I made it eight hours, and finished everything on my to-do list- that never happens! Someday, I would love to have the discipline to have a 'no screens if the sun's up' policy- but I'm not there yet. How do you manage screen time in your family? I'd love to hear what's working for you. Oh, and if you've got Netflix favorites, please share them, too! I just finished Torchwood, and I haven't found a show to replace it.


M said...

Amen and Amen!

This is how we've been doing TV for years and it's the best. I'll have to check out Torchwood. BSG is my all time favorite (I'm rewatching it for the 3rd time) and for background noise I like No Reservations (Anthony Bourdain) or Man vs. Food. I usually do no screen time until after rest time (1-3 in the afternoon)...then it's per request. If I feel particularly crappy, then we do educational stuff most of the afternoon and evening. The Boy loves David Attenborough's the Life of Mammals--check it out and watch your kids go crazy go nuts.

Nathan said...

We have never had TV. and when we did have it (like when it came with the phone service) we didn't hook the TV up to it. It is just too easy to sit and watch it. We have one wii game night for the boys per week and one movie night per week. It works great for me, I tried a "no screen" policy from 8-8 on sundays which I think I will have to implement a little more gradually.

LaceyGirl said...

I haven't paid for cable since leaving my parents house 10 years ago, and aside from Sept 11, 2001- there hasn't ever been a time when I really wished I could just turn on the regular cable.

I'm currently watching the seasons of Friday Night Lights on Netflix, and have been surprised at how involved I've gotten in the lives of small town, football obsessed Texan's. It's a great family-friendly show (though you kiddies are pretty darn young) while still adressing dramatic and interesting issues.