Why we got rid of our tv – and why it won’t be coming back

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According to statistics, there are more televisions than people in the average American household. Children 8-18 watch around 3 hours a day.

When we tell people we haven’t had a tv in 10 years they look at us like we have three heads. No, we don’t wear matching outfits and all play instruments together in a family band – yet 😉 . Not that there’s anything wrong with people that do.

Growing up, we never had a tv in the “formal” living room. You know, the room we never really used. But we had tvs elsewhere, and we used them often.

My grandma never had a tv in her house. I always loved visiting her house. I loved playing on her antique organ, or playing with the toys my father had when he was a child.

We did things like walk to the park. We played card games. We played a game called Carroms together and always had great fun shooting those little disks into the pocket holes.

Those are memories that I cherish.

When my husband and I got married, we had a tv in the living room. That was really the only place in our tiny apartment that one would fit. We never had cable. I think we had maybe 3 channels.

As the years progressed, our tv watching diminished. We just didn’t have time.

A few years later, there was a shift in technology. TVs went digital instead of analog. The old tube tv wouldn’t work anymore. We were faced with upgrading to a flat screen.

Instead, we opted to get rid of the tv.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Now before you go thinking how deprived my kids are without a tv in the house – “how will they know what the ‘real world’ is like?” “Why are you sheltering them?” We do have Netflix, Pureflix, and DVDs. We can watch those on our small laptop screen.

Yes, 6 people huddled around a laptop screen for “family movie night” is a funny concept. But honestly, it keeps us from watching too much just because it’s pretty inconvenient.

This actually works really well, and here’s why:


  1. There are NO commercials. LOVE IT!

My kids are not being constantly marketed-to about things they don’t need that they didn’t know existed 5 seconds prior to a silly commercial and now they must have it or break down in a heap.

They go to toy stores and buy toys – with money they’ve earned. But they don’t have those annoying flashy marketing scams constantly jingling around in their heads.


  1. The show we watch are good, wholesome, family shows. Occasionally we’ll have to stop a movie and discuss the appropriateness of it. But we’re careful about what we put on in the first place.

Someday our kids will grow up and make their own decisions about what to watch. I know I may not agree with them 100% of the time. But we’re giving them a great start in discernment of what is worthy of your time and what is not.

Frankly, there’s just not much on regular tv that is worth the time. Occasionally, there are a few good shows here and there. We watch them on Netflix – with no commercials!


  1. We love to play games! Again, don’t get me wrong, we still have plenty of screen time. But instead of watching a screen every chance we get, we play games.

Here are a few family favorites in case you’d like to check them out (affiliates):

Games get our kids’ brains active. They are having to plan ahead, count money, strategize, and remember. Plus, they’re great family unity builders.

What do you think, could you go without a tv? Would you be willing to try it for a week?



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