We're probably considered TV-free-ish.
I am TV-free and DD is TV-free. DH is not, but his viewing habits don't interfere with either of us. He has a handful of shows he watches and that's about it. I used to watch LOST
, but that's over now. I am sometimes in the same room as DH when he watches his shows and I have seen a few here and there by choice.
We own two TVs (living room and family office) and use them more for our Wii and movies and home movie editing than we do for regular TV programming. We just have basic cable, which is a limited number of channels for $14/month. We don't even have Netflix or any other movie subscription.
The transition...hmmmm... Well, first of all, DD never really has watched TV. I never watched TV during day and we just never got into the habit of her watching kids shows. We would have Friends
on once in awhile (syndicated) when she was young before dinner. She was way too young to understand anything besides Mommy and Daddy are laughing. We eat dinner in our kitchen (only place for a table in our small house) and there is no TV in line of sight. I did have a few Baby Einstein videos and would remember to put them in once in awhile and a few other random kids videos. This wasn't even as much as once a week, though. The joke in our playgroup was any time I hosted an indoor playdate (rare, but occurred enough for it to become a joke amongst us), I would have to call my DH at work in order to get the movie playing on the TV. I'm pretty good with mechanical things and computer programs and such, but it just shows how rarely I turned on the TV and VCR or DVD player together. The sequence of buttons to push on which remotes just never became second nature.
The transition for me is interesting, I suppose. I grew up in a house with one TV and it wasn't on all the time. None of us kids were allowed to watch TV unless our homework was done. My dad's story and mine don't mesh, but it is clear that TV wasn't a priority for me no matter which story is told. I spent my summers visiting my mother and grandparents. My mom's husband was transferred to Puerto Rico and I was far more interested in the beach and rainforest and neighborhood kids and pools, etc to be bothered with TV programs and movies with subtitles. I did watch a TON of TV at my grandparents, though. Kind of weird when I think about it. I watched reruns and cartoons and movies. We were outside most of the day, so I guess it was at night but I don't actually remember.
Anyway, as a young adult, I had a variety roommates who all watched a ton of TV and I got sucked in. At one point, I would literally watch three straight hours every afternoon on ABC (daytime soaps) and then all the night-time shows of the time. I was in college full-time and worked part-time to full-time and was an honor student and did well in my jobs. I have no idea how!
I'd say my TV watching was really high for about a dozen years. I have no idea what made me slowly cut it back or even if it was slow. By the time DH & I met and got married and lived in one house, my TV watching was mostly HGTV and a few popular evening shows...a little less than average, but high for me.
When DD was born, I was working part-time and we were fixing up our house slowly and I liked doing crafts, etc. After the adjustment to parenthood, I remember thinking something has to give in order for me to manage everything I want to do and have to do and so forth. I was so overwhelmed by everything. I found some structure to be beneficial, as long as it was flexible, if that makes any sense. So, I proposed a plan to DH with various things spread out over the week for a loose structure. DH is pretty easy-going and went along with the plan for the most part. I discussed the priorities with him and included him in the process. Slowly, the focus shifted for me away from TV and towards all the other things I wanted to do with my life.
By default, DH's TV habits also lessened a bit. He was never as high as I was, I don't think. He has no problem watching a show at 8 pm, then turning off the TV at 9 pm when it is over and then turning it back on at 10 pm for a second show. He might not have done that before our reduction in TV, but it is easy for him. By contrast, I would either watch straight through for three hours (in the past) or simply forget altogether and never turn on the TV in the first place (now).
In short, it was a shift in priorities for me and it went pretty smoothly once I made up my mind to do it. No real challenges or backslides. I just gradually filled my time with activities that were of greater interest. DD was the perfect age for all this to be seamless. She doesn't know any different and has access to TV in other situations and just doesn't have much (any?) interest. She doesn't really LIKE movies much, either. She enjoys a few here and there and we don't restrict her movies or TV. She doesn't even really know a single TV show for kids. She's probably heard of a handful from her friends, but has thus far shown zero interest in watching any. When push comes to shove, I don't really care if she begins watching a little TV now and then. She is 9 years old and has a good sense of right and wrong and very low tolerance for marketing hype, etc, so I feel my main job is done. Content would still be a concern, of course, but her own judgement thus far is appropriate.