The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.

Kids With No Cable

Posted · 36 Comments

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It was a sunny afternoon in 2002 and the kids were zoned in on the television with rapt attention.  Dan walked in the room, stared at our bunch for a moment, and then walked right outside and cut the satellite television cable in half.  After the shock wore off, the kids slowly disappeared outside into the fresh air.  That afternoon Destini said, “I can play outside now without worrying if I’m missing Rugrats!”

Mission accomplished.

For almost nine years we’ve been television channel free, as I believe I’ve talked about before.  Our younger kids have grown up oblivious to what our older children thought of as a way of life and shows that Heather memorized at age two, the younger kids have never heard of.  This year we set up Netflix through our Wii and don’t get me wrong…we enjoy our movies and Nintendo!  But the Wii is limited to a good behavior reward, the Netflix is password protected and a movie rarely is played on a rain-free day.  Through the cold winter months we’ve been known to have Harry-Potter-Athons but in the summer we can sometimes go weeks without turning on the big, time-sucking box.

Turning off television channels is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

Because kids without television…

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Learn architecture…

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Use their imagination…

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Stay kids longer…

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Are creative…

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Get more exercise…

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Know how to improvise… (check out pliers on door…)

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Can build a house…

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Have horrific battles…

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Hang with the pets…

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Can protect themselves…

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Know how to survive…

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Learn new things…

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Know what a magnifying glass does…

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Know how to pass the time…

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Sometimes get along…

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Are industrious…

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And know how to have fun!


36 Responses to "Kids With No Cable"
  1. CarolynC says:

    I totally love this!  We haven’t “cut our cable” but I severely restrict TV time during the week (mostly documentaries) and 1 movie on Friday pizza night and they don’t know the difference.  They are creative, and playful, and energetic, and read a lot. 😀

  2. Iam_simplysara says:

    I love the image of your husband seeing the kids watching TV and then just walking outside and turning it off. I think all families should participate in limiting television. In fact, I think it is passed time to turn off my own cable.

  3. Dana says:

    Yes! It is the same here, though this past year we’ve been watching a lot more online.

  4. And that’s the way it should be! I wasn’t allowed tv as a kid, we played outside! Your horrific battles pic made me laugh 🙂 good times! We havn’t had cable since we we engaged, except for a minor blip when we moved into town. Even then it was always on the Hunting Channel or NatGeo. Those are the programs I miss, and want to share with the kids. NatGeo, Animal Planet, History, and the weather report for me 🙂 Too bad you can’t just pay for the channels you actually watch!

  5. Ritzysmom says:

    Fabulous!!!  We aren’t totally TV free, my hubby won’t allow it, he would probably melt like the wicked witch of the west if the TV died.  But when he’s not here, I have been known to remove the cable between the TV and the cable box and hide it.  We don’t have Nintendo or a DVD player, other than in hubby’s laptop and the kids get a movie night if they’ve had a good week.  My kids, too, are just as happy to run all over the neighborhood, be a gang of monkeys on their swing set and climb every tree in sight, they have crazy imaginations, love to read books, and are VERY WELL KNOWN for improvising—the photo with the “pliers on the door” looks like my girls’ rooms on more than one occasion.  My twins are constantly rearranging their room, much to their father’s chagrine, and have hung some old knickknack shelves up jerry-rigging them without use of a hammer or nails, I’m scared to look how, LOL.

  6. Excellent post!  I love the way you used pictures of your kids actually DOING all the things these types of article s always talk about!  It’s a good point, succinctly and personally made!

  7. Spam says:

    Love it! We have never had cable as well and our kids seem all the better for it! We may get rid of the video games soon…. we will just have to see….

  8. Lori says:

    We don’t have kids (yet) but we haven’t had cable tv for the 4 years we’ve been married. The only thing I miss is the weather channel for severe storm and tornado warnings/watches.

  9. S Joy says:

    Good job and love the pictures to prove your points!!  I have been trying to at least scale down what we get on cable but we have to have the internet from the company for my Son who has to work for his job at home…he has to be connected to the home office with it.  There is so much we don’t watch because of the trash presented on television it is frustrating to have to pay so much for it!! The cable company does not help because they charge alot for just internet and the basic cable as the full deal.  I am not giving up though!  We all need to exercise more…as a country and I am going to keep lobbying for limited or no TV so we can get out more and do things out of doors!  Our whole country needs to pic up on this!  As a matter of fact the internet has ways of watching select tv programs and anyone with a PS2 or 3 can set it up on the gaming machine so we don’t really need the regular tv channels anyway!!  Thanks for sharing!!  Keep up the good work!!

    • “Trash” on television is an understatement! I’m amazed at what is deemed suitable!

    • Momgoesincircles says:

      The ache deep inside my heart, is a longing for a place where my kids CAN play outside. I started following this blog because I want to live in Alaska! ha I’m a Seattle-ite stuck in Kansas. We don’t have land or places where the kids can play outside. meh..

  10. Aboudreau333 says:

    Love it! I would love to take away the tv and the cell phones! But not sure how my boyfriend would react when he has a tv in every room of the house except the bathroom!

  11. Amanda says:

    My husband comes from a home that had a TV small enough that Mom could pick it up and lock it in a closet (which is where it was much of the time). Since we’ve been married we only had a TV when we had friends living with us. Our kids don’t know that having a TV is the norm in other families. My 5yr old entered kindergarten at a 3rd grade reading level. My kids act out stories that they’ve made up and movies area special treat that we all enjoy together as a family. I’m grateful that we’ve decided to be a TV free home. My children have thrived without one. 🙂 I see yours have too! Way to go not taking the easy way out!

    • just pictures myself trying to shove this ancient t.v. into a closet….I’d need some help! ha And yes…hard to explain to people who watch a lot of t.v., the freedom it allows when you don’t have it as a choice. We DO watch Netflix and movies…but only on really lazy days…like today. Ha. We are having a Cosby show marathon.

  12. Karij says:

    I love this and just did a short series on my blog about electronics vs the world.  You might get a kick out of it.  We also must be on the same motherhood wave length because we seem to post similar things at the same time, Kari

  13. Laney Connell says:

    I am pretty strict about TV watching.  You’re right, kids do incredible things when they aren’t sucked into a flashing box.  Not to mention when we go into a store they aren’t all ‘gotta have it’ with commercials whipping through their head. 

    Well done Mom!

  14. Rene Shepard says:

    Nicely done!

  15. We are totally tv free too. And while we tend to do the Harry-Potter-thons in the blazing AZ summers, we love that we don’t have to worry about what the tube is teaching our kids. Because it isn’t!

  16. Annette says:

    Love this! When TV went digital a while back, we didn’t.  We do not miss having TV at all.  We check out movies from the library occasionally, while we are there getting books to read.  Any news we need we can get from the internet.

  17. kathylhiatt says:

    yay, Dan:)

  18. Jesse says:

    I love this and glad to see I’m not the only one. We have TV but the kids hardly watch it during the week and are limited on the weekends.

  19. Hollygallant says:

    I like how all the kids sit on the floor in the same way to work on something.  We were no allowed to watch t.v. when I was young and I am an avid reader. My own children on the other hand have hd a t.v. in front of them their whole lives and none of them read. Oh to go back and start all over again!

  20. Nhtrisha says:

    so true!  We have never had cable, and are the only ones we know who don’t.   We still get plenty of channels, but we aren’t allowed to watch a lot.  People always say “how do you get your kids to read?”   Easy answer:  “shut off the tv”.   🙂

  21. Miste says:

    I clearly need to get rid of my TV, my life is not that exciting!

  22. mamae says:

    tv free here for 4 years with a 7, 6 and 2 year old.  don’t think we’ll ever own a tv!:)

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