Books win over television any day!

People think I’m weird when I say my kids don’t watch TV during the school week. Some people think I’m strange when I confess I don’t wake up and flick the TV on in the mornings, or watch the box post dinner until bedtime. And, most people think I’m nuts when I say I probably watch all of three hours of scheduled programming per week.

What could be classed as The Kids TV Ban was imposed when Kid #1 started school. It’s just the way it’s always been in this household.Β  I have never believed that educational programming is an acceptable babysitter, never agreed that any TV programme is able to teach any child colors, shapes and numbers unless a parent or caregiver is sitting with them, teaching and helping them understand. Honestly, I always thought that a good book was better company for either one of my kids than any TV program. Ever.

As a result, I’ve created a pair of monster readers. There are books everywhere, under beds, beside beds, on or beside couches, inside cupboards, schoolbags, handbags and the back seat of the car. Kid #2 even reads on road trips, which usually makes Kid #1 and myself want to barf at the mere thought of reading in a car, not mention make us both insanely jealous because we lack this amazing ability L

I used to watch an average of two programmes every day. Home from work, dinner on the couch and stay there until bedtime. Things changed when I started writing. Things had to change. So it became, home from work, dinner and writing until bedtime. No more TV. Okay maybe only on a Friday night – Supernatural is a pretty good reason to watch any TV. And it’s research!

It didn’t take long for me to realise that 2 hours of writing after dinner meant an average of 2000 words per day, which in turn translated to 15k per week, which was really a decent first draft written in a month.

Dedication? Habit? Hard slog? Sacrifice? Call it what you will but when you set a goal you’d better be sure you don’t move the goalposts because then you will sabotage you own success.

Another thing that happened when TV was no longer a staple in our house- we had so much time we were forced to find things to do with that time- like talk to each other – Yup, I said it! Yes, really! Talking/chatting/shooting the breeze happens often at my place. We talk about our days (although sadly nobody is dying to know about my daily sales or my editing pains), our dramas and our good times. We happen to know a lot about our kids and I like that way thank you very much.

Plus, there’s loads of time for homework, and reading too J

Now, it’s not as if we don’t watch the box at all. We just prefer to have TV free weeks. The kids record what they want to watch and because they only have so many hours on the weekend to watch the recorded shows they are more discerning in their choice of viewing pleasure.

So I’m not saying ‘Ban TV’, all I’m saying is control the amount of time spent watching, be discerning about what to watch, and weigh the pro’s and con’s between reading or socialising, and soaking up the tv-rays.

On a small side note, when we do watch TV, we end up talking about advertising. I know right? What a terrible mother I am? My girls are actually aware of the objectification of women in modern advertising. They point it out! And, they get mad about it, which makes me really proud of them… So yes, it is true, I ruined TV for my offspring!

10 thoughts on “Books win over television any day!”

    1. Hey- I think its just so cute when kids read. I just think its so much more that just processing words. It’s about using your creativity, conjuring those worlds in your mind. We were all Alice in our own Wonderlands at some point – and every single Wonderland was unique – isn’t that just amazing? Now there is a huge difference between that and watching a movie version of Alice. I think it’s just that reading creates and awareness that there is a difference between what happens between out ears and what we see on the tv screen. IMO


  1. TV is a black hole, just like malls. Once you enter them, you disappear and finally emerge hours later! I love stories, therefore I love TV! I record things so I can watch them when I want and not when they say I should. Still, I disappear far to often when I should be writing. I love books. I love their covers. I love their smell. I love the words inside. I love everything there is about a story so I try to balance my writing and tv viewing but I fail often.


  2. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one out there who does not think TV is a positive influence in our lives. There are so many better things to be doing, and reading!


  3. You know, I’m really hoping that once we get the right meds for Ivy and she can focus and all, she’ll start enjoying reading. My other girls love looking at books and we spend heaps of time reading, but Ivy is past the stage of wanting to be read to, so, cross your fingers for me!


  4. When we lived in the Napa Valley, you couldn’t get T.V. unless you had cable. My wife and I made the decision not to have it and instead listen to the radio, talk, discuss with my son and step children and for the most part read books. Ah yes, at first my son wailed at how mean we were and how deprived he was, however his grades improved, and many other things as well. His teachers were amassed at his wide scope of general knowledge and in the end he actually thanked us for the road less traveled that we had ‘ forced ‘ him to tread. Now, even though he is quite computer literate, he still reads, continues his education on his own, with a thirst for knowledge that he freely admits he came by from the decision we made for our family long ago. Tough but worth it in the end. There is a book called the Seven Arguments For the Elimination of Television, very interesting reading for any couple with children starting to read and watch T.V. Read that first and you will never let them watch more than a few hours a week of the tube.


    1. I’m definitely sold on the stance that the less TV you watch the better. I just feel it focuses on absorption of what is presented as opposed to leaving the interpretation up to the viewer. Thankfully my kids love that fact that reading is a joy- and I love that its made them more discerning with their TV viewing too


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