Thoughts on TV

I don't love watching TV or movies. Once winter hits and the sun sets at 5:00, I break out my fat pants and don't mind getting sucked into a few Netflix marathons. But most of the time I try to fill my spare time with something else. I used to turn the TV on while I was cooking dinner or cleaning the house when our TV was on the main floor with our kitchen and living room. This summer we moved it into our basement because it's much cooler down there. I whined and complained about what a pain it was to have it downstairs and made Mark promise we could move it back upstairs in the fall. Although I don't watch it a ton, I felt like we wouldn't spend as much time together if Mark was downstairs watching football or something and I was upstairs, or that it would be a big pain when I did want to watch something. It's now November and the TV is still downstairs and we don't have plans to move it back up anytime soon. Here's why moving the TV to a section of the house we never use was such a great decision:
  • We have to make it a point to watch TV. We don't just flip it on for background noise and then get sucked into a trance like mindless zombies. 
  • Why do we need background noise anyway? It's good for your mind to have some peace and quite. You are able to think and reflect more clearly without all the noise and chaos of the world. If you do want background noise, music is a much better option for your mind and your soul. 
  • I want Beckett to be able to play and focus on his toys without the TV always running in the background and distracting him. While there are some educational show for kids, nothing beats playing, exploring, and learning for yourself. (I'm not against kids watching some TV. More on that below). I feel like one of the reasons kids have a hard time focusing is because they are constantly bombarded with loud flashing toys and screens, action packed cartoons, and video games coming out their ears. Those things are very over-stimulating, especially for young minds. How can we expect our kids to focus in school, or be well behaved and enjoy themselves running errands or doing activities outside if they are used to everything being action packed and super exciting?
  • I can't believe I thought that moving the TV away from our living room and kitchen would mean we didn't spend as much time together as a family. Most of the time, watching TV together isn't "family time" anyway. The occasional movie together or a show we both love can be really fun and relaxing. But zoning out in front of whatever happens to be on that night doesn't count as spending time together. Sometimes Mark is downstairs watching a game and I'm upstairs doing my own thing, but when we are both upstairs we are undistracted and spending much better quality time with each other. 
I'm not against Beckett watching some TV. Let's face it, it can be a real life saver. How come dinner time also happens to be the same time of day that kids turn into clingy, whiny, little demons? Once I turn The Wiggles on my phone, he is an angel and I can finish cooking dinner without a meltdown (from either of us). Buying Beckett a DVD player to hang on the back of the headrest for car rides was probably the best baby purchase I have made since he was born. I know they say no screen time before two, but I have a hard time thinking that watching Baby Einstein is doing more damage than staring at the back of a headrest for hours on end. Plus, he is perfectly content and happy in the car which means I'm a safer driver. 

My point in all of this is that I don't think TV is a bad thing, but like everything else, I just want to make sure that we are watching it (and using it as a babysitter) in moderation. By moving it to our hardly-used basement I have noticed we are more productive, talk more, and spending better family time together.