Wednesday, March 12, 2008

So long cable tv

We got rid of cable tv today -- which means, no tv at all because we don't have an antenna either.

Don't panic -- we have a dvd player -- but the constant temptation to watch pointless crap had to go (and by pointless crap I mean The Real Housewives of Orange County).

I said we would never get cable because if we did, I'd watch too much tv -- we did, and I did. How many times can you watch the same episode of Top Chef? And more importantly -- the tween shows had to go. We really only allowed Hannah Montana -- we are mostly still into the Nick cartoon stuff, but between the commercials and the times my kids weren't actually watching, "it just came on" and they were "just about to turn it off" -- some very snotty attitudes were seeping in.

From the first time I saw a Mary Kate and Ashley video I haven't gotten it -- I don't get what's supposed to be cute or cool about talking sassy at people. I don't mind a clever wit against a bully, but that's not how most of these shows go -- they're more like 'how to be a mean kid 101'. And not that the tots the show is aimed at need to be digging deep into heavy issues, but they don't need schoolin on how to be superficial and mean spirited either.

Again, I point back to Hannah Montana, because there you go -- you can take a 3rd grade load off and be entertained for half an hour and the kids are good natured with the rivalry stuff. And with dvd's there's no commercials :o). Kids of the Mary Kate and Ashley videos age should stick with Blue's Clues.

I seemed to have stepped on my soapbox -- wasn't where I was going with this but as long as I'm here I'll tell you of the first time I lost a battle of parenting vs. the influence of the tube -- it was back when we still had an antenna and before cable and I had PBS kids.


Friggin Arthur turned my kid on me. The episode was about name calling -- D.W. called someone stupid, or vice versa and people were upset and then things got worked out and all ended well on the show.

Well, not for me -- my kid was fascinated, she was 4-ish and didn't get what had everyone on the show so riled up -- she asked me many questions until she glowed with understanding. Did she walk away with the message the show was going for?

No. No she did not. My child picked up on the fact that certain words have the power to make some things go down and shake some people up.

Now, of course I didn't ban Arthur from the okay list, but I did take that experience as a big heads up to not underestimate the influence of the tube. To this day, consequences be damned -- when that kid gets mad, the "stupid" gets yelled at someone. And granted, they all pick it up sooner or later and we parents have deal with the name calling issue and other issues of right and wrong, but I'd rather it be later and not because of the television.

And with any luck maybe they will never be exposed to an MTV dating show. If they do though, hopefully they will have the kind of foundation in place that will cause them to be sufficiently repulsed. Serious.



Blogger kay said...

i so understand what you mean!! (especially by the orange county housewives. what a waste of time that was!) :)

my hubby says i have to be able to see the race/game/this old house show that i can't see on regular tv. i would love to pull the plug too.

except Arthur. i do so love that show. but i agree with you about the stupid. that DW needs to have her mouth washed out. and that is not a word that is approved of here either.

i'm very proud of you. and hopefully i can use you as an example with my DH!!

9:57 AM  
Blogger TTQ said...

cable gone? How the hell are you going to be able to watch the real housewives of NYC? Oh right, you can watch tv shows on the puter and Rich and the kids never have to know.. Oh wait that's bad behaviorisms. damn ism's.

I was thinking of you today and how I need to burn a cd for you.

As for concerts we got our tickets for Eric Clapton in Tampa May 3rd it's Honey's B-day that week so we are going to stay over night and eat cuban food and buy cigars.

Did you get my message about my friend who wrote a book especially for people like us?

7:12 PM  
Blogger KATE said...

I think I would cry. I know that sounds so horrible, but really I like my shows. I DVR them & watch them when kids are in bed.

I totally hear ya on the kid thing & I'm SO impressed that you just turned it off! Good JOB mom!! My huge issue is when you're watching a kid friendly show, or even just the stinking news in the early evening & THEN, the danged commercials are almost R rated!! What the crap? I mean seriously, if you're not watching the show, they put an advertisment on for a show that is horrible or has a horrible sex scene AND they SHOW it on a commercial during late afternoon when kids are watching TV!! WHY do they DO that? It infuriates me!!!
for instance that new Brooke Shields show has horrible sex scenes on the commercial AND they show it DURING all times of the day! What the freaking crap, I don't understand!!!
Well, I am completely impressed that you could let it go! & I'll get up on a soapbox with ya anyday!!

12:49 AM  
Blogger kim said...

Kay -- my hubby noticed right away. It changes the family dynamic instantly, at least in our house. I think because we added it and knew what life was like without it -- we couldn't justify the downward change. If I'm low energy -- forget it, that tube is on in the background all day -- a little voice tells me to shut it off, but I just can't...drone.

ttq -- shhhh, don't give me any ideas! That countess sure was stirring the pot against that romona -- did they kick her butt in tennis or what?

You do need to burn a cd for me :o). And I will be getting your friends book based on the fact that he has a chapter "a temporary epiphany" -- too funny already.

You should send me your e-mail address. and Clapton -- rich would be so jealous.

Kate -- Once upon a time I would have cried, but the novelty has worn off for me. Plus, you sound like a responsable dvr user, like my sister. She's the one who told me how great it was. TV is rarely on in her house and some nights she watches her tivo stuff and some nights not -- depending on if she has the time or not. WTC is that? she's a recreational user, lol. While I was doing drugs in high school, she was president of the student council -- it's like that.

As for the commercials -- indeed. we taught the kids to cover their ears, close the eyes and "lalalalala". So funny-- something would come on and nobody would be near a remote -- it was like panic, "lalala!" and their trained hands fly up to the ears "lalalalalalalalalal!"

It was pretty funny that we trained our kids to lalala.

9:58 AM  
Blogger KATE said...

I love that! That is seriously so funny! We just have the Disney Channels on now for the kids & then our stuff after they are in bed. But yeah it can even be during the stinkin news!! I'm going to have to remember the lalalala technique!! Good job!!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Melek said...

the only thing i like to watch on tv any more is Seinfeld, the Office, Raymond, and Idol. everything else is just filler or background noise. and it's all awful. i would love to cut off Cable, but i think i'm afraid, and i like using Video on Demand for rentals instead of going to Blockbuster.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Melek said...

saw these right after i read your blog.... very appropriate :)

1:45 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

How are you going to go through life mentally stable without any "Top Chef?" (freaked-out face)

Seriously. Good decision. The moment--I mean THE MOMENT--Prime Time TV becomes a habit in our house, the tv is a goner. I think that's why I'm ok with it thus far...because my husband isn't a big nighttime tv watcher. He watches it after kids are asleep--for sure--but it's not quacking away during the evening when it's family time.

And I'm totally with you on the thought that you'd rather have the reality of bad behavior come later, rather than sooner. Our kids are going to deal with negative influences--that's reality--but why invite those influences into our homes?

I'm so proud of you! Good mom.

I have to go now, though, so I can catch "Iron Chef."

2:31 AM  
Blogger kim said...

So funny you mention Iron chef -- a chef I worked with is going to be on there and we would have gotten rid of cable a month ago if not for waiting to see chef Bartolotta.

guess we will have to have someone record it for us -- still no word of when he's even going to be one...

thanks for the encouragement. it has been surprisingly painless. the kids didn't even have a fit like i thought they would -- they were just, "oh, okay".

9:02 AM  
Blogger Swishy said...

Good for you ... but I would probably be with TTQ. You know they have now!

12:27 AM  
Blogger TTQ said...

Weird thing only you would get. I met Augusten Burroughs and showed him my box of nicorette and asked him if I could sit and chew with him...

12:57 PM  
Blogger TTQ said...

Oh wait I failed to mention it was in a DREAM. God I'm still losing brain cells.

1:00 PM  
Blogger kim said...

swishy -- i laughed when i saw your hulu post. we can download off the x-box 360 too...still, i'm so glad the cable is gone.

ttq -- either way, that would be cool. he would either totally chew gum with you, or write a story about the lady freak who thought she could win him over with her nicotine.

11:16 PM  
Blogger TTQ said...

Maybe both!

3:57 PM  
Blogger wordtryst said...

You're the kind of mom I admire. When my husband and I went out separate ways my son was five. Ex took his precious TV with him and for the next 11 years I would not allow one in the house. I'm positive that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

A bit extreme, but the thing is insidious. I didn't need my son being exposed to language, situations and people I wouldn't allow in my home.

7:44 PM  
Blogger kim said...

"When my husband and I went out separate..."

Your typo cracked me up because it made me think your mind would not allow you to use "husband" and "our" in relation to your ex. Instead your mind gives you husband = out, husband/out now!


10:41 PM  
Blogger wordtryst said...

LOL! Must have been a Freudian slip, cause that's exactly how I feel!

1:53 PM  

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