Monday, December 23, 2013

The "No TV" Homes

An interesting observation and trend that I have been hearing / seeing in many Indian homes (Especially with children) is this concept of The “No TV” Home.

So, what is a “NO TV” Home – You may ask?

In some homes, parents have made a conscious choice / decision to NOT buy a TV / have sold off their existing TV’s (Did this shock you? I was shocked when I heard it too. Nischala’s Tip here: Please refrain from making this suggestion in your home if you think it will become a “No Mummy” / “No Daddy” Home J instead of the “No TV” Home)

In some homes, parents have made a decision (carved in stone) that TV viewing will be limited to 1 hour a day, at least when children are awake.

Basically, NO TV homes are homes in which parents have made a conscious choice (in thought, word and action) to limit TV Time on a daily basis. After all, TV is one of the biggest “DISTRACTOR” in today’s day and age.

And from what I’ve seen in such homes, there are so many positives – especially when it comes to children. The noticeable differences being:
(1)    Children are healthier – They are physically active, indulge in more sports and outdoor activities. And in general, are definitely not victims of childhood obesity – which is a common phenomenon in the homes of those who watch excessive TV
(2)    Children are more creative – Yes! You can see the differences in the way they approach anything they do. They take an active interest in some art form (be it drawing / painting, etc), indoor games and enjoy such activities for hours at length. Good that the creative juices are flowing!
(3)    Children have better social interaction skills – Again, such children are more expressive and communicative, and hence end up with better “real-life” social interaction skills. You’re more likely to see them around the block (simply because there’s no TV to keep you busy), and they say “Hello” or smile at you when you meet, than the “TV kids” who are hardly seen out of their homes!
(4)    Children are “Doers” – So what I mean is that they actually DO things themselves – Big / Small. For e.g: They’re more likely to fetch water themselves. While the kids who watch TV all the time end up being “Orderers”. So they will order someone to do things - even the basic things like getting a glass of water!; simply because a break in TV watching is unimaginable!
(5)    Children are happier – In general, the kids from the No TV homes appear to be happier!  They laugh more and they have well-rounded personalities (At least from what I could tell!)

These are some strong compelling reasons to go for the NO TV Homes..

However, many parents argue that not watching TV can actually be a disadvantage for their children since everyone else in their peer group knows things from watching TV, and hence the kids feel “left-out”. Well, I’ve not personally found any such “gaps in knowledge” in children from the No TV Homes. Children can always read and learn from other channels – Books, Videos, etc.

When I quizzed a few of my mummy friends who strongly advocate The No TV Homes, here’s what they said “TV is an Idiot Box & does nothing more than creating Idiots. I don’t want my daughter to grow up under the primary influence of an Idiot” , “ Not only is it good for the children, it is also so good for the couple. At least, we see each other more and spend time communicating. A man on the couch with a TV in front is like a crocodile in water. The laziness, inertia, and interest in the world around, I tell you! It’s unparalleled”.. Ha Ha! I couldn’t disagree!

In my view, the TV is one of the best inventions of the century. And is also one of the most important sources of knowledge and information; & also any-time every-time entertainment. The challenge for most of us (children and adults) is self-control and finding that balance between using TV as an “Idiot Box” , “Learning channel” and “Entertainment Medium”. The thing about “Balance” and “Self-Control” is that it is easy to write and theorize, but so HARD to practice and follow!

I don’t know for sure whether the NO TV home is meant for all, but definitely restricting TV Time can do wonders to your kid’s overall growth and development.

That’s my view. What’s yours? Leave a comment to let me know

Originally published on Parentous; Edited and re-published here

Linking this to the December 2013 NaBloPoMo at BlogHer


  1. Lovely post. Although my little one is probably too young, both my wife and me have ensured that she doesn't incessantly watch TV, in fact so much so that we curtailed quite a few of our own TV viewing habits and movie viewing habits all this time until she turned two yrs old. In fact, even nowadays when the little one is awake we make it a point to let her watch TV only for around one hour to 90 mins a day, and in any case, she isn't too interested in the same as well. :D

  2. Hmm..this is a tough one. Like you said, finding balance is key, which takes superhuman effort, even for adults to restrict their own TV time!! For me right now, doing away with a TV completely does seem rather drastic, but I don't know if I'll reach there some time later. All I know is that I can live without the TV, but not without the internet!!