Let me just say that I am really glad RK is doing this (thanks RK) cause it just gives me a topic to rattle on about - I love to talk to you all, just sometimes I'm at a loss as to what to tell you...so here are the questions of the hour - and remember that you too can respond to these questions - either in my comments area or on your own blog/email:
1. How many TVs are in your home? All hooked up to cable/dish/etc? Have you gone HD?
2. Do you have any VCRs in your house still or are you full DVD?
3. How many computers are in your house? All hooked up to the internet? How many video game systems (i.e. XBOX, Wii, etc.)?
4. What age is ok to have a TV/computer/game system in the child's bedroom?
5. Do you have DVD players in the car?
6. The big one.... Would you be able to take a media/technology break, like a day without? How long could you do it?
We have zero TVs in the house - it started before kids even, we were disgusted with what was being shown on the telly...especially commercials - you could more than likely find a descent program, but often times you didn't know what was going to flash before your eyes during the breaks. We had satellite at that time - sooo many channels and flip, flip, flip nothing to watch. It was actually my husband's idea to push it out and I said Ok. We had an adjustment period where the set was still in the house, but we just never turned it on (I do remember turning it on, checking out 9/11 coverage - that happened right before we booted the set).
I will combine some of the next few questions here...we have no VCR and only one desktop PC that is actually located in the living room. This PC can play dvds for us when we need some down time (more for the kids, than grown-ups at this point...but putting the boys in front of a movie is actually for my benefit most times :-) The pc obviously is internet capable (or I wouldn't be able to talk to you) and we did break down a little over a year ago and upgraded to dsl (I know, we are behind the times...still). We do not own any game systems. Just not anything Steven or myself have ever been into, but Isaiah will play the occasional computer game, but really not very often at all.
The kids, I don't believe, will ever have the TV or computer stuff in their rooms - just because I can only see things going south in the viewing aspect, not improving. We may do like a video monitor type thing that will allow us more control over what comes on the screen. And that really is the issue is with us - control - I just want to be able to protect and educate the kids as long as possible over what is appropriate and what kind of stuff we should be filling ourselves with. I think part of the issue is that I am hyper sensitive to imagery - stuff sticks with me way too long and I am afraid that those tendencies might be within my kids as well. I just don't want them to either continue to have issues over inappropriate things they have seen over the years nor do I want them to be so desensitized to it all that they don't even notice what they are seeing is inappropriate. Steven and I will rent movies on occasion - mostly documentary type stuff (that's Steven's thing, but really there are some really bizarre entertaining ones out there!) but even then 9 times out of 10 I totally regret sitting down to watch what Steven will bring, just because the storyline could be inspiring the acting could be stellar but there is always that inappropriate language or couple of scenes and when the movie is over, that is what is being flashed into my mind over and over again and it just makes me feel awful.
The spring/summer/fallish seasons are so much easier to do without the technology, though. We have struggled this winter with the lack of spring-like breaks in the weather that had been sprinkled among past winters. I was just commenting today that I regret what "tv heads" the kids have been this season - watching their movies while I rest mostly, but I think it was an unusual season for us - yucky weather, pregnant mom, rounds of sickness - all played together to make for a heavy viewing couple/few months. I think in the warmer weather we can go quite a few days and not even realize that we haven't played a movie. There are other things that we can do and more light to do them by. Avery will be the one that will be the hardest to break - Isaiah and Huston can play so independently and find things to busy themselves with. Avery just hasn't reached that developmentally yet, and with another baby entering the family very soon, my time to interact will be limited. The brothers always try to include him, but you know how well 2 year olds "play" - everything is fine as long as they have something that needs to be thrown around or destroyed!
And just so you know we are not a total "no moving pictures" type family. When we go to the folks' houses we sit in front of the TV too - (I still cringe at the commercials!). I would say that it is still easy to "waste time" without a TV. I still procrastinate on stuff, I still piddle with things and avoid what I should be doing. It doesn't eliminate that temptation from our lives, we just find other ways to dawdle.
We do have the dvd players for the car by the way - or did have, they just recently died, but they will be replaced! I know that generations past survived without them, but they weren't legally doomed to be strapped in their chairs for hours on end either...so it just makes for a smoother ride often times and I am all in favor of that!