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Love it or hate it, television is so much at the centre of family life nowadays. It’s still the focal point of most living rooms, and now are used for so much more than just watching tv. Even our house has finally celebrated smart tv (although through a stick as ours is a very old and out of date smart tv. Not like televisions of more modern years like Panasonic’s tx certified 4k display televisions. I don’t think we’d cope, or want to, without a tv.
Family time viewing
While our choice of tv viewing is very different, there are certain shows that we’ll watch together. Countryfile is quite often on as obviously farmers need to get accurate weather for the week forward. The news is key viewing for the OH, and N has watched (or at least been in the same room) the news since he was very young. For me, it’s important that he’s aware of what’s going on around him even if it can be quite ‘old’ and complex current affairs for a child. Television gives him a chance to ask questions and for us to discuss things before he learns about them elsewhere we can’t support his questions or concerns.
While I’d like N to have less screen time across various devices, he watches very little tv on his own nowadays. My theory is that he gets enough exercise and outdoor time at school and at weekends, he plays a lot of tennis, and also plays with toys, and sometimes does colouring and drawing. Tv can add a different aspect to his knowledge and skills in working out how to access the shows he wants.
N watches mainly educational programmes (I was so pleased when he moved up from watching CBeebies to CBBC!). Favourites include Operation Ouch and Horrible Histories. He knows so much more about history from tv than I ever learnt right up to the end of secondary school in history lessons. He quite often spouts out facts he’s learnt from watching tv shows, and will then take them in better when he’s reading about similar things.
While we don’t have family film nights, and N isn’t really a big film fan, we all have our favourites to watch (or try and ignore if the OH has his choice on). N has just got into Police Interceptors so that’s always on just before he goes to bed and is something all 3 of us enjoy. The OH likes to have the tv on in the evenings so he can escape from the hard work he does daily. He might watch action movies, war films or westerns. Or the football if it’s on.
For myself I prefer romcom films, crime or drama series (as well as a bit of trash or anything dance based). I’ll watch most of the big sporting events, and I’m someone who loves to talk about what we’re watching. The OH hates that, but maybe it’s because he’s usually falling asleep in front of the tv while hogging the remote control. Don’t you just hate that?!
In most of what we watch, we’re not that compatible. I tend to record and store up my favourite shows to watch after the OH’s gone to bed early, or when no-one’s around and I can watch in peace. Some say watch on iplayer, but doing something else with earphones in feels like I’d be removing myself from the room and companionship.
So tv tends to be the background for our evenings. We sometimes have music on instead when N’s still up, but once he’s in bed, the tv is on. The OH might snooze thanks to early mornings. I’ll blog or edit photos with a bit of distraction going on as I’m watching at the same time.
TV as a multipurpose platform
Nowadays, our tv like so many others, is used for more than just watching live tv:
We watch music festivals and shows through it, a favourite of all of ours.
Catch up on shows via iplayer or Amazon Prime*.
Find Youtube videos N wants to show us.
Get inspired by people we see during big sporting events or through other skill-based competitions.
Linked up to the games console so we all get to watch N play farming simulator, then laugh at the OH’s bad driving when he takes over.
The tv is the centre of family life. It’s part of our home, to interact and enjoy, get hooked on what we’re watching, or to just enjoy a few laughs. And it’s nicer to watch as a family.
How does the tv fit into your family?