The Great “No TV” Experiment: Week Three

Well, heading deep into week three of the Great No-TV-For-Lent, Gotta-Read-Five-Hours-A-Week-Or-No-Pizza-Party Experiment. (My original post about this idea is here:

I'm delighted to report that, while I've yet to get them to embrace fully my "five different types of books each week" idea, the basic plan itself does seem to be working. Even for Craig and me. That's really something, because we have more control over our choices than our children have over theirs.

Then yesterday, Valentine's Day, took an unexpectedly abysmal turn (I'll spare you the details) and … for just a moment I was tempted to go with the old standby: Mikes Hard Limeade in one hand, remote in the other. But the sight of three pairs of eyes watching me expectantly made me stop. Then I put the remote back in the drawer and closed it firmly. Chasing the kids off to bed, Craig and I just sat on the couch and talked. Till almost midnight. It's been a while since we've done that (usually one or both of us are working when the kids are sleeping).

Three hours later, just before kissing me goodnight, Craig said to me, "You know, we hardly ever talk like this when the TV is on."

Hmmm… maybe my dad was on to something when he pitched our television set out the bedroom window when I was in first grade. (Not quite there yet. Sorry.)

Christopher is a "Stars Fanatic" now, though. Tonight on the way home from his piano lesson, he wanted to know if he could have a star sticker (which I've been giving for 30 minutes of reading) because he did well on his piano lesson. I about choked.

"Christopher," I said very seriously. "Those lessons are our gift to you, and you are very blessed to be able to take lessons from someone as gifted as Mrs. Thoene. You should be giving ME a star for these lessons!"

That shut him up. Seriously, I was looking around the teacher's house tonight. In her living room she has a pipe organ, harpsicord, clavicord, and upright piano. Yes, that's right … all in one room. And she charges the same as my parents paid thirty years ago for my lessons, which were done on a little Hammond electronic.

You know how you always want to give your kids what you didn't have? Jackpot.

I had it pretty good too, of course. Without all that TV, I had lots of time for my music lessons. I still can sing every verse of nearly every hymn in my "Great Hymns of the Faith" by heart. And I was the only junior high student who had a regular organist/choir director gig at the local Lutheran church.

Anyway … how is YOUR Lent going so far? I'd love to hear from you …  head over to "Mommy Monsters," and drop me a comment! Here's the link:

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Guest

    That's a really great idea.

  • Guest

    When our children were heading into Lent, I would often pray that the TV would go on the blink; one season it happened just that way. Another Lent I decided to put teeth into the practice and cut off the plug. My husband is an electrician, an easy fix.

    The older siblings were paid a nickle a book to read to the younger ones. This practice encouraged two to become teachers,  All six became avid readers.

    "Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God , the angels, and the saints. These are your public. If you are afraid of other people's opinion, you should not have become Christian." St John Vianney

  • Guest

    We gave up TV reception three years ago for Lent and it made such a change in our children and us as parents that we never got it back.  It kind of helped that we had a baby a month later.  We did have our TV still and had movies and videos to watch.  Just not regular TV. 

    Three years later we're having another baby at the end of Lent.  This year we gave up our TV itself, videos and all.  I'm totally amazed at how well even our two-year-old is handling the no television.  Every time she asks for it we just say, "You can watch the tv again when the baby comes".  Problem is, she's doing so well and the kids are spending more time with her and they're getting their things done that I'm so tempted to sell the TV.  Only I promised them I wouldn't do that.  Plus we have a rather large selection of videos and movies collected over the years from garage sales and store sales that I'm at a loss as to what to do. 

    Some television isn't a bad thing.  It's keeping it in moderation that's the difficult thing. 

  • Guest

    No t.v great idea.  I have been listening only to Catholic radio and praying the rosary in the car.  No regular radio or CDs.  My husband and I like it when we just have the radio on and our 18 month old running around. 

    But sometimes you just want to veg and watch t.vFrown 

    What would be moderation?


  • Guest

    eli1118: I think "moderation" would be to pick a program, watch it, and then turn the one-eyed-monster OFF!  Having it on as "background" or, worse, as "baby-sitter", defeats all attempts at moderation.  Good luck.