We are not tv free. I hope it's ok if I post a thought.
Originally Posted by cera
Thank you rabbitmum for the list, this is just what I was looking for. I hope to get some more similiar responses. As for Oriole, I think maybe I made my dh sound worse than he is which I did not intend. He has cooperated with the no tv rule for the most part, it's not all the time that he does put the tv on but when he does I find it insulting I guess. The comment he made about xmas and the tv though was very hurtful and seemed to come out of nowhere as I thought he was doing ok with no tv. I do know that he is addicted though and we do have more than one tv and he is more than welcome to watch tv in one of the 3 other rooms that have tvs that my little one does not have access to which he chooses not too. I have not truly forbid him from watching tv during the day but our main tv in the living room must be off during the day.
|But once I finally put my foot down and let everyone know I was serious things were great. Kids are calmer, we spend more time together, projects get completed, house is cleaner etc. But sometimes if I sleep in on weekends or go out and leave dh with kids, he turns the tv on!! It drives me crazy. His excuse is always there was nothing to do, ugh. So the other day he tells me that for Christmas holidays the tv WILL be on. I say no and he says well then why should I even bother taking time if work then? OMG! Is he serious? Does he really hate spending time with us that much?
Even if your dh has been cooperating for the most part, Oriole's point is still good. And your husband doesn't sound like a bad guy at all, he sounds very typical. It also sounds like you are both
telling each other " this is how it's going to be." This isn't going to work. He hasn't committed to going without the tv. He may have been simply putting up with it, and it's a lot harder to keep that up when it's not your idea and you're not happy about it. Basically, it sounds like he's doing it for you, but can only keep it up for so long.
Having the tv off when you're with the kids requires you to really be there and be engaged, for the most part. You can't zone out. Honestly, interacting with kids can be tiresome when your head isn't in the game, when you're not committed. Perhaps this is what your dh is experiencing. And it doesn't mean he doesn't love them from the bottom of his heart or that he doesn't get a kick out of interacting with them sometimes.
Did you institute this change cold turkey, or did you take the tv away gradually? Maybe it would help your husband if you asked him to commit to, for example, keeping the tv off in the mornings when you're sleeping in, but have it on for an hour or two in the afternoon. Personally that's when I need down time from the kids, anyway. Maybe he needs down time from interacting as well.
Don't expect it to be a smooth transition. It's okay if it's difficult at first. Tell your husband that you notice he and ds have been clashing. That's okay, and let him know it's going to get better, but he needs to commit to being the adult.
In the mean time, get busy with projects that require the tv to be off. Be away from the house. My successfully tv-free friends' kids are all so busy with swim team, piano practice and homework that they simply don't have time for tv. Notice, these aren't things that necessarily require anything of their parents, other than taxi service.
But the tv is off.
Ask your husband to help the 11 y.o. cook dinner a couple of nights a week. Suggest he pick out a long complex book to read to the 11 y.o., something that takes 20 minutes to an hour to get through a chapter, not five minutes and goodnight. This will really help their relationship, too. I read to my daughter until she was about 11 years old, not because she can't do it herself. She's a prolific reader. But because we just thoroughly enjoyed it. She's got a huge vocabulary because I always read something a little beyond her own abilities.
I've also heard that it helps if for the first month you plan some extra special, fun activities to help ease the transition. No one can afford to go bowling all the time or go to the arcades or an expensive science museum, but A family bowling trip might be fun and help facilitate some bonding. Or go-carts or lazer tag! This is fun stuff, not drudgery.
Really, you're asking him to make a big change in HIS daily routine. That's not easy and will take time.