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Friday, August 19, 2011

Netflix is reviving my kids' imagination...sort of

Michael and I are always trying to figure out what works best financially and philosophically for our family, so we like to change things up a lot until something really works.  That's why we've had probably seven different budgeting programs before we found one that we loved, about thirty different approaches to discipline, and about a gazillion different potty-training methods.

So one of our latest switch-a-roos has been our TV situation.  Up until the whole digital switch, we just had a regular ol' TV (a big tube one) with an antenna, and the kids watched PBS during the day.  It was actually pretty nice because they didn't get all demanding.  Then we went big-time and got a flat screen and DirecTV when everything switched to digital a few years ago.  We scaled the number of channels down, but we had a ton of kids' shows on the DVR.  Enter the demands...

Despite our attempts at limiting the kids' TV watching with various charts and cards and rewards and whatnots, it was making us uncomfortable with how much TV they were getting away with watching.  Plus, we were wanting to spend less money on such a pointless activity that didn't match up with our values anyway.  So we decided to switch things up once again.

We did away with DirecTV and decided on a Netflix and HuluPlus subscription.  Now, unless you buy movies and shows ala carte, there is a very limited selection.  For many people this is a major problem, but for us it was brilliant!!!  We don't want to watch much TV.  We want TV to serve us, not us to serve the TV!

So now the kids actually get pretty bored with TV since they end up watching the same things over and over and since they are only allowed to watch it when the baby is sleeping and at a low volume.  Thus, they play a LOT more!  I love hearing their huge imaginations blossoming and expanding as they play with their trains and toys and create their own stories.  AND they are more well-behaved!  It's really been amazing.  I'm so happy with this switch.

So that's where we're at with TV.  How do you tame the TV beast in your house?
Oh, and you probably didn't notice, but I TOTALLY forgot to do my Thursday photography challenge yesterday!  The topic was "Dinner", and I made the most awesome carrot pancakes last night, but we ate them all!  So now I just have to make them again so that I can share them with you.  They are, in a word, awesome, and you just have to make them, too!

Have fun this weekend!  School starts on Monday for our little kindergartener, so we're going to take it easy this weekend.  I hope you have a good one!  :)


  1. I've been wanting to do this exact same thing. Alora already loves watching Super Why on Netflix, and with school starting there's no reason to have the TV on all of the time anyway. I think that I'm going to call on Monday and cancel our cable. It's costing us $70 a month! Are you happy with Hulu Plus though? I'm worried about seeing my shows!

  2. Well, that's the other thing...I don't really watch any TV anymore. I considered canceling HuluPlus, but I want it for when the sitcoms come back on in the Fall. I really like The Office, 30 Rock, and Modern Family. I could even just watch them on the computer, though. It's not that big of a deal to me. But I really LIKE that it has me not watching as much TV. I'm too busy for it anyway.

  3. We're 100% Netflix around here, too, and we love it. I love that the Roku can be set to only display the Instant Queue! I only have appropriate things added there, so when it's t.v. time, they can exercise their right to choose! :)

  4. The problem that we've had is hooking up one of our computers to our TV. The PS3 has a Hulu Plus app that we can use though, so I don't think that it would be as big of a deal. Then we do Netflix on the Wii. The kids are watching Pingu right now!

  5. BRILLIANT with the rule of only watching when the baby is sleeping. That keeps them quite so the baby can A) go to sleep and B) stay sleeping.

    I like it. Well done.

  6. Our TV goes out after lunch for "Service" wink wink. Everyday! Usually stays off till daddy comes home around 6:45 - 7:00pm.

    I do turn on their TVs in their room around 4:00 - but they usually end up in the living room with me playing!!

    That's how we work it at the Stalcups!


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