Our family of five shares one TV that is in the living room.
Along with only having one TV, we also only have Netflix, Hulu and a few other TV apps downloaded for the kids and for us. We’ve been without cable for over four years now, and have not once been tempted to go back.
As a parent, it greatly reduces the amount of TV time.
While we turn it on on Saturday and Sunday mornings to watch The Wiggles or Mickey while we eat pancakes, it’s rarely turned on until after the kids go to bed on weeknights. The time after dinner is reserved for sharing our days and goofing off as a family – a special time full of attention for one another without the distraction of the TV.
I have also found that having one TV has been a good “excuse” for our older child to continue to watch the younger shows.
Because everyone is watching when the TV is on, we have to pick shows that are good for everyone, from our two-year-old twins to our four-year-old daughter. I think this is one of the reasons she doesn’t complain about what she calls the “baby shows” like Daniel Tiger or Sesame Street. While she thinks she is only watching them because of her younger siblings, her dad and I appreciate the underlying messages of these shows as opposed to some of the shows geared towards her age group.
As a couple, I find that one TV brings us together as well.
It makes us choose shows together and to be more cognizant of what the other person wants. We have purposely found shows that we both enjoy, from serious shows like This is Us to reality TV shows like The Voice for when we need to just veg out for a bit.
Of course, we carve out our own personal TV time since we have separate interests. On nights when I want to watch a guilty pleasure like The Bachelor, I will fold clothes while watching the show while my husband sits on the sofa next to me and plays on his Nintendo Switch. And on nights where he wants to play a video game on the big screen, I’ll stay near reading a book or writing a blog post.
We also don’t have a TV in any of the bedrooms including our own, which I believe has kept our bedroom as a place for rest and intimacy.