The Noble Experiment

I was somewhere between the ages of eleven and thirteen when my parents made me an offer:  Don’t watch TV for a year and we will give you five hundred hollers.  Whoa.  Of course, I took them up on this.  And recently, I gave the same offer to my son.

He bit.  Until we got home, when he wanted to watch Hanna Montana or some other noisy show.  So, today I tried again.  I told him what he could buy with the money.  He is still clueless to the fact that it is worth much less today than it was then…it really doesn’t matter.  More than a one dollar bill to a little kid is crazy cash in their eyes.

So, we wrote up an official contract with magic marker and it is done.  Until March 12, 2010, The Max cannot watch television and he will be paid handsomely.

My goal in this is first and foremost, to have less background noise while I am doing homework or washing dishes.  Selfish?  Absolutely.    And then, of course, I would like for him to not sit and be poisoned by TV for the next year.  He’ll read books and whatnot.  It’ll be great.

I informed him, as I would to any addict (yes, my son was addicted to TV) that the first five days are the hardest, and after that he would find it easy.  Somehow that sealed the deal for him.  And now, if I can live without baseball, I can actually cancel cable and save sixty bucks a month.   Here’s to hoping!

About kristiane

killing spiders with my laser eyes.
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10 Responses to The Noble Experiment

  1. DJ D says:

    My power went out not too long ago for 5 days. I kind of had the opposite reaction at first. I was like, this is cool. I’ll catch up on my reading. Use flashlights…yeah, it’s like camping. Then somewhere around Cold Shower #2 and the realization that I was missing some of my favorite shows I realized I couldn’t go more than a week without TV without some serious withdrawal symptoms.

    If he goes through with it and doesn’t cheat, kudos to him. He deserves the $500. He’s a stronger man than me. Clever thinking on your part too. It’s a win-win all around.

  2. Amy says:

    Make sure he doesn’t find out that a lot of shows can be watched online now…that could be a technicality.

    Can’t imagine no baseball. I guess you could listen on the radio.

  3. Sarah says:

    I got a blog now sister! woo hoo. I’m hungry

  4. Guise says:

    So, do DVDs and movies count as TV? Or games?

    I think this is a great idea, though I couldn’t possibly fathom doing this as a kid, not because of tv addiction but the idea of waiting a year for the payoff. A year is like a century in kid time, I’d probably have wanted a lil regular bonus just to remind me why I was doing it! Maybe I’m just impatient though.

    Now is of course the time for board games nights and stuff; playing Operatioon while wearing lab coats or Mouse Trap with Mickey Mouse ears.

  5. Ally says:

    does this apply at my house too??
    because i dunno if its possible there

  6. kristiane says:

    We have set rules about this:
    He may be in the room if I am watching TV.
    He may watch TV at a friends house, if that is what they want to do.
    He may play games on the computer…no Netflix, YouTube or hulu etc.
    If I decide I need some movie theater popcorn, I am going to take him to the movies.

  7. Mom says:

    Maybe he’ll talk to me on the phone now if he gets bored enough.

  8. So…based on the $60-a-month for cable equation…doesn’t that imply that the value of “No TV for a year” is actually $720? ($60×12)

    Sounds like Max negotiated poorly…

    …on the other hand, Max’s mother sounds rather shrewd.

  9. Guise says:

    Is it also time to break out the reading books, colouring books and writing/drawing stuff for the Max? Throw the lad a couple of Dahl, whip out a box of Crayola and Batman pictures and finally a guest spot on the blog.

  10. mklasing says:

    The added benefit of this is that based on the number of times Obama is on TV or a clip of one of his speeches is on TV, your son will miss approximately 1, 559, 342 opportunities to hear him speak–way to go Mom–that is the real gift.


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