Surround Sound for the Little Ones
If you have a family that loves movies and music the best gift you can give yourself is a second home theater for the little ones. Seriously, how many times has the Sunday game interfered with or been interrupted to the little one's needs to watch Disney's latest and greatest flick? I know these meltdowns occur far too regularly in my household. This is why a second home theater is an excellent idea. Your children learn important lessons and you get to watch television on occasion without tantrums and meltdowns.
There are many benefits to you for building a secondary home theater system not the least of which is spare parts should anything ever happen to yours. I know in our home I was worried that I would never see the kids once we built a system for them but the truth is they each have different tastes as well and sometimes prefer what we are watching over what brother and/or sister are watching. We also have the knowledge that our television is still bigger than theirs and there is always that to draw them back into the land of the living rather than holing up in their basement theater hide away.
Getting back to the benefits, the kids are learning to take turns even establishing a schedule and sticking to it. They are learning to make responsible choices and even to work together on occasion and compromise in favor of watching all of favorite programs that are close to ending but not quite over. It's great to see them cooperating rather than fighting all the time. It also allows them a place to take their friends when they come over that they are responsible for cleaning up and keeps the mess out of our home theater space (my personal favorite reason for having two home theaters).
For even more benefits when it comes to a second home theater in your home is that your children learn very quickly what it means to break something such as the components in their home theater and aren't likely to do so again. It teaches responsibility on a level that most toys that are lost and broken one week after Christmas could never get across. They learn to take care of the equipment, to wipe off the fingerprints, not to throw things at it, and not to pull it off the shelves and leave it on the floor as they do with their other toys. This is something that matters to them and I have been amazed at how well they have taken care of it.
Finally, a home theater system is an awesome tool for discipline. The threat of not allowing any one or all of them not to watch their home theater with surround sound or any other television in the household for that matter is a fate worse than death for them most of the time and enough to get them to walk on the straight and narrow. The few times this privilege has been revoked have been quite effective in creating a much more cooperative atmosphere of harmony at home or at school.
While there are many who believe that a home theater or surround sound system for the kids is overkill I firmly believe that it is an incredible privilege and responsibility that prepares them to deal with the world outside as they grow older. They are already learning about negotiation, cooperation, and respect.