No TV??? Living Outside the Box – Book Review & Giveaway


Have you ever thought of getting rid of the t.v.? For many this sounds like a scary and even radical decision. In fact, if you were to ditch the television, there’s a good chance some of your friends and family would think it was downright child neglect. But what if you did it anyway and discovered your family had added extra hours to their day to enjoy each other, take up new hobbies, and just plain relax? This is the purpose of Barbara Brock’s book Living Outside the Box – TV-Free Families Share Their Secrets.

Barbara Brock has spent years researching the effects of television on families, and her information is thorough and fascinating. In 1999, Barbara set out to survey t.v.-free families to see how living without the television had affected their lives. She put out some small ads in national magazines and was flooded with responses. Over 500 families wished to fill out her extensive survey, happy to share their personal stories. Later, hundreds more families agreed to turn off their t.v.’s and relay their experiences. The result is this powerful book

What Barbara discovered were hundreds of families enjoying themselves, relaxing, taking up worthwhile pursuits. Their children had higher grades and weren’t pressured into wanting all the latest toys and video games. They spent more time outside, were healthier, talked to each other more than ever. And what’s more, the children simply were not interested in television and even complained after visiting their friends who wanted to sit in front of the box for hours.

We have a television, but funny thing is, no one really watches it. I can tell you from personal experience that not watching television has been one of our best decisions ever. When I was pregnant and about ready to have my son, I suddenly was repulsed by things I was seeing on television and didn’t want to watch. Call it nesting, hormones, whatever. But when we made our beautiful new bookshelves the focus of the living room and moved the television to the basement, no one was sorry to see it banished. We do watch occasional DVDs and plan on having a select collection for viewing every now and then with our son, but television no longer plays a role in our daily lives. Because of this, we do spend a lot of time talking, reading and blogging about it, taking walks, and just plain living. I could only nod my head in agreement throughout my reading of Living Outside the Box. Barbara Brock certainly has a noble cause in helping families go t.v. free, and I can do nothing but applaud her.

Each April, National TV-Turnoff Week comes around, and this year it’s April 21 – 27. Want to give it a go?

To help you prepare, I have one free copy of Living Outside the Box to give away. There are three ways you can enter. 1.) Subscribe to this blog to be automatically entered into this and all future giveaways here at dkMommy Spot. 2.) Leave a comment telling me about your family’s television watching habits and what you’d like to change. 3.) Post about this giveaway on your blog with a link back. OR you can do all three and have three entries! I’ll draw a winner at random on April 2, 2008, 12noon EST.

An interesting blog: While doing research for this post, I came across a great blog called Unplug Your Kids. Hop on over and take a look to see how this mom keeps her kids busy without the t.v.!

111 thoughts on “No TV??? Living Outside the Box – Book Review & Giveaway

  1. We are almost TV free. At about nine every night my husband bounces channels looking for something to watch. He ends up watching part of this and part of that. At ten he turns it off. The book sounds great!

  2. I think this is a great cause. Last year my library sponsored events for Turn off the TV week, and we decided in our house to watch less tv. The results are great- my children are doing well in school, they suffer from less “gimmes” and our house doesn’t have the extra racket in the background. I wish every family would give this a try. Now, if every parent could teach their child to love learning…

  3. We have 3 tv’s for a family of 4. Husband and kids watch their own programs and I prefer to be on the internet. I often have wondered if this is how it is gonna be. Growing up we had 1 tv and it wasn’t even that important. Now we can’t live without all this information, but I long for those carefree days, when we didn’t know about drugs, pedophiles and violence. Also as a mother of a 10 year old, I am so overwhelmed with the amount of sex and sexual talk on tv. It doesn’t matter if it’s The Simpsons or reruns of Raymond you can’t get away from it no matter how much you monitor it. What a great idea, I will make an effort to turn off the TV.

  4. When my youngest of four sons was in 1st grade the teacher asked me how I got such smart kids. I said “they watch a lot of TV” At 29,27,23 and 16 they are 1)working in Intelligence in the U.S. military fluent in Chinese, 2) valedictorian of his high school class, graduated magna cum laude from an Ivy League school and a stockbroker, 3) Dean’s list at a top 50 university and working on the Magnificant mile in advertising in Chicago and the 4) straight A’ in an all Honors program at a private school and scores in the 99% on everything. Planning on being an attorney. I watch TV. It helps me know what is going on inthe world good and bad. We also read alot, work out, make faith and friends and family important. I LOVE watching American idol

  5. I have a tv, but I don’t watch it much. There are alot of negative influences on tv. I am limiting more and more how much tv the kids watch, and I have always been selective about what they watch.

  6. It sounds like a great book. We’ve been married 12 years and have been tv free for 10 of them. I can’t imagine going back to that time waster. The thing that bothers me is that instead of disliking TV my kids watch it every chance they get when they are at other people’s houses. Hopefully they will appreciate what we’ve done for them when they’re older. Since we home school they spend many hours a day reading and playing outside. I can’t imagine a better childhood.

  7. Reading more and watching less television; what a concept! I always thought I could live without mine.

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