Around two years ago, I approached the husband with the proposal of getting rid of television. Middle child had an issue with TV. By an issue, I mean no one else in the world existed when the box was projecting images in front of her. He looked at me like my hair was on fire. When he realized I was serious, he went into survival mode. He couldn't bear the thought of not having football or nightly shows after the kids went to bed. Then, he attempted to play the trump card, how could we let youngest child grow up not knowing what cartoons are? I'm sure I rolled my eyes at him, it is instinct when he makes asinine arguments. I pointed out to him that I grew up just fine and we could get bunny ears and he could still watch football. In addition, we would save a substantial amount of money each month. He pouted for a few days, but after fighting with middle child about shutting the television for dinnertime for the millionth time, he caved.
Immediately after ending our cable subscription, we started talking more. Each night, instead of finishing dinner and retiring to watch television, we talked. The kids wanted to play board games or they would actually go outside. Oldest and middle started reading books, so many that they are one of the top readers in their schools. We spent time as a family that we never knew existed. It took the husband a full two days before he said those magical words to me, "You were right." He knew it was a great decision for our family and for us.
About four months after getting rid of television, I surprised the brood with a subscription to an online TV viewing service. It was actually a birthday gift to the husband. The brood however, does not have full reign to the service. Television episodes must be earned. This can be done by good deeds, doing chores, or mommy and daddy need a half hour of quiet. Yes, I condone using the TV as a babysitter as needed. So, youngest child still gets cartoons once in a while, oldest and middle see shows they want to watch once in a blue moon, and the husband doesn't even watch football anymore. We are too busy having fun. It stopped being a necessity long ago.
When people make pop culture references, our family is a bit lost. We live in our little bubble. When one of us tells an outsider that we don't have television, they look at us like we are deprived. Then, we tell them what an amazing experience it has been for our family.