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The Great TV Debate

Should we have a TV in our lake house? This is a question most lake homeowners will spend some time considering. We have friends who insist on having no television, and others who have their big screen with a complete home entertainment system at the lake. We have ended up somewhere in between.

How Did We End Up With Two TV's?

When we were building our lake house our three boys were all under 10 years old. Great! We thought we’d stock up on plenty of board games, decks of cards, puzzles and books there, and all share a lot of quality time together in our off-water time. Hmmm, except sometimes after a long day on the water we are too tired to play, and the kids might need a little relaxing entertainment before bed.

So, we broke down and got a TV for the lake house, but it was only for watching videos, as there is no cable and no antenna reception out in the country. That worked for a while, but then the older boys became very interested in ice hockey, and missing ”important” games became an issue. That is when the satellite dish was added to the picture. And of course, the kids wanted to play their video games as well, so a second smaller TV was added in the basement. Where will it all end?

We're Here To Enjoy Ourselves - Right?

Maybe we were just idealistic in thinking we could keep the kids entertained without television. We did at least put the TV in a cabinet with doors that we can close, so that the family room still looks rustic when we are not watching anything. And out of sight – out of mind is always the hope for shutting it away.

We want the kids to enjoy being with us at the lake. If their enjoyment of that time is diminished by not having TV, have we accomplished that? If they view the lake as a place where they are deprived of TV, rather than the place we all go to have fun together then we have not reached our goal. And you can bet when they have a choice of whether to be with us at the lake or not, they will be more inclined to go if they think they will enjoy themselves.

So, relax and enjoy yourself, even if that means giving up some of the ideals you had for a lake house. TV is not inherently bad. With a little parental control over the amount of time spent watching or gaming, it can be a pleasing addition to a lake house. All right, I admit it, sometimes we watch even when the kids aren’t there.


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