We are canceling cable. I have not told the kids yet, for I have to first buy some oxygen masks to keep them from passing out. Honestly, we are not doing it to punish anyone, but to improve everyone, including us the parents. I have to admit that television watching has crippled me mentally, emotionally, and physically. It’s my safe zone.
I put my brain on zombie mode, eating salty chips with sweet grapes, and watch other people’s hard work come to fruition in their reality TV shows, home design shows, etc. I, too, have many dreams I would like to bring to life, but I fear the failure of every one of them, so I give them the procrastination treatment, and escape to my cozy couch and to a million pretty bright pixels . . .
Now, the kids. That is another story. They have no dreams they are in a hurry to achieve, or any practical expectations out of life. They watch TV because it’s there, readily available, helping them achieve deep craters in my couch and shrapnel of food remains under it. I am done! I realize that having no television at all is an archaic reality, but it was my reality growing up. I survived, and so will they. After a short, but serious mourning period adorned with “NOOO!” “Whyyyyy!” “You’re the meanest parent ever!” “I can’t believe you’re doing this!” and “You’re ruining my life!” I pray and hope that major boredom sets in, which in turn will propel them to read more, build more, explore more, help more, go outside more, make eye contact more, and eat healthier snacks more. (This includes me as well.)
I have been too lenient with allowing cable television in our lives. We are all addicted to it. When I think of the Bible verse from Matthew 6:22, guilt sets in: “The eye is the lamp of the body. So if the eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Ugh. So, yes, I am making my own children the culprits for canceling cable, but I am really going to throw my own tantrum, and go through withdrawal symptoms as well. I will probably sigh often, open the pantry door even more often in search for chocolate, sigh some more, pace about, but I know that in the end our whole family will benefit. We’ll have to stick to some television watching, and our favorite DVDs. I mean, I’m not giving away my television set!
So, I think I am making a good decision and we are going to try out and see what happens. I may lose my mind and sign up for cable again but without the kids knowing! He-he.
Roxana Hackett is a regular contributor to Christian Woman. Her new book ‘When Are Your Parents Coming To Get You’ published by Ark House is now available.