Monday, February 14, 2011

To TV or Not To Watch?

Years and years decades ago we kept our home free of television.  I don't think our kids were bored or deprived.  When the older ones were little, I was a very full-time SAHM stay at home mom, imma, who enjoyed keeping my kids busy and well-entertained.

I'd play games and LP records all the time when we weren't outside.  The girls* didn't go to gan, nursery, pre-school until they were three, which was considered rather old for our Bayit V'Gan, Jerusalem neighborhood.  Everyday we'd go to the local grocery store and the playgrounds at least once.  We had a few friends who kept a similar schedule.  Life revolved around hanging the wash, shopping, playing and visiting.

Periodically we had TV's, including the two years on shlichut in London.  At some point television became a regular member of the household.  Maybe it was because the kids spent too much time watching it at the neighbors.

TV is pleasant entertainment for me today, but I really credit the lack of television for better pre-school intellectual development in my kids.  That personalized one on one stimulation can't be done when the screen beckons.  And I certainly read less when the TV is on, but once you have it, it's hard to keep it off, even when there's nothing really worth watching.  Our TV is in the livingroom, and our living room is one big open kitchen/diningroom/livingroom. 

If you really want to restrict TV time, it's best to have it in a room you rarely enter, but that's a luxury many don't have.  Space is at a premium.

*The boys were raised in Shiloh.  The older one was a month and a half when we moved to Shiloh and our youngest was born when we already lived here.


Anonymous said...

i am not at all a fan of tv. it eats up time, and most of the programs are not particularly good.
we never had it, and we are the better for it.

Batya said...

a, I wish I had never started, but at least it's rare for me to just sit and watch. It's mostly background noise and company.

Hadassa said...

My family in America didn't watch much TV so it wasn't hard for me to give it up entirely in Israel. Kids are definitely much better of without it, for many reasons. Can't the computer do for you what the TV does, but less?

Batya said...

I used to have the radio or cd/records on all the time. Only on Shabbat can I live with silence.

Ariella said...

Some people have the TV on all the time -- it really is just background noise for them. But I like to work in quiet, especially if I am writing. Also it's much better to never get started with a TV in the house. Those parents who watch themselves but do not want their children to do the same fall into "do as I say, not as I do," which is rather poor chinuch. I also believe that children who watch TV would be less likely to pick up a book for entertainment. Admittedly, though, the same applies to the temptation to play games on the computer. Happily, I'm not addicted to any online game, but the whole online thing might be considered its own game.

Batya said...

Very true. I'm glad my grandkids aren't growing up with TV. They're always busy with other things.