Limiting Television Time

Of course we all know that it’s best to limit a child’s television time, but how do you do that? 

First off, you have the option of not owning a television set.  I know many homeschool families who do this.  That seems to work well for families who choose that option.  I think it’s terrific if you can do this.  If you’re used to not having television, this will be easier for you, but if you are accustomed to using the t.v. as your babysitter or plopping on the couch after a long day for your own relaxation, you’ll find this more difficult to do.  I’ve known families who have done it, though, so if this is your route to limiting t.v. time, then you go for it!

Second, you could move the television to an inconspicuous area of the house.  We did this in our last home.  We mostly LIVED upstairs.  That’s where our bedrooms were.  It’s where our living room was.  It’s where our books were and our kitchen and our dining room.  In other words, it’s where all the essential areas for living were.  Our “den” was downstairs.  That’s where we kept the television.  This worked out perfectly because it was dark and dreary and no one really wanted to hang out down there!  Now if your television is in the middle of a brightly lit living room with comfortable couches, a fireplace, and it’s simply a nice area for gathering, this is the perfect place NOT to have your t.v. if you really want to avoid it.  Unfortunately, this is exactly where most people have it.  So the second suggestion is to wean yourself off the television by moving it to someplace less accessible in the household.

Third, get rid of your cable or satellite services.  If you only get two channels with rabbit ears, you’re going to be a lot less likely to spend time watching t.v.  This is what we have now and I guarantee you, just like putting the television in an inconspicuous place, it works.  We watched the Super Bowl tonight as it’s one of the two or three channels we get (depending on the weather) and that was the first time we had watched the television since we watched the election results in November.

Going along the same lines as the last idea, if your motivation is to avoid a bunch of the bad things on television these days such as immoral commercials, bad sitcoms, ungodly language and behavior, you could follow the last option with a twist.  We actually don’t get cable or satellite, which I’m happy to say severely limits our television time, but we do subscribe to an online movie rental service.  It only costs us $21 a month and we order as many movies as we want per month.  The goal for us is NOT to rent a lot of movies.  Instead, the goal is to rent things that our family wants to watch, such as uplifting, quality family movies, or movies, shows and documentaries that will supplement our homeschool studies.  Over the past few months, we’ve watched shows on the Great Pyramids, how to build bridges and another on tunnels, the history of weapons, etc.  Right now we’re watching the miniseries Roots to help the children better understand the history of slavery. 

No matter what you do to limit your television time, I would highly recommend that parents take control of this secret invader into the home.  Many people don’t realize it, but the television brings in violence, sex, profanity, immoral behavior, and much more.  Even if you monitor your child’s shows, these things can be seen just in the commercials and recently they’ve been found in children’s shows, too. 

Kick out the unwanted guests, move your television to a corner in your basement, and rent movies now and then.  How are you supposed to keep the children busy if you do this?  What are you supposed to do all evening if you can’t watch television?  Read tomorrow’s article and find out!

Sonya Haskins


2 thoughts on “Limiting Television Time

  1. We used to have a problem with too much tv. Once I realized this we quickly started “week without tv”. We unplugged the tv for a week and found other ways to amuse ourselves. Once I plugged it back in, we didn’t want to watch it that much anymore. We were better connected as a family. I still sometimes have to do week away from tv, especially after a cold snap when we’re all couped up inside tending to watch it too much, but overall we’ve learned to limit our tv to what is really important (news, PBS, a few game shows) rather than just background noise or a babysitter.


  2. We decided to invest in a DVR, and only record those shows that are ok for the kids and our family. Then, we pick a show whenever we want, fast forward through the commercials, and we can record every one of our favorite shows.

    Just thought you would like to know about another option!

    Our kids know they are not allowed to turn the TV on without asking, and when they do they can only watch something on the recorded list. They mostly watch science and pbs shows.


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