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Any helpful hits?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My four boys (1, 2, 4 & 6) are watching way too much tv. I would quite happily give the tv away, but that's how my husband relaxes. I want to start banning the tv when my husband isn't home. I don't think it will be too difficult to limit on weeknights as it's about dinner time when my husband gets home & by the time we clean up, it's about time to start the bedtime routine anyway. I'm hoping this will help my husband cut back to as I'd rather he pay more attention to me

So any suggestions for cutting cold turkey during the day?
post #2 of 4
Honestly, the best and easiest thing is just to get rid of it (or put it in the basement/garage/closet). I would talk to your DH and see if he can't find some other way to relax at least for a while. If he absolutely refuses, then why not have the TV in your bedroom and he can watch in there in the evenings. It's much harder to enforce a tv-free home when the kids see dad watching, but if it's in the bedroom and not in a main living room it could be OK. Cold turkey is definitely best though. Perhaps cut out all "TV" but then have a family movie night or something like that, then you can select movies that don't have all the marketing content that television programming and commercials have. And definitely plan some activities or things to do when the kids normally would be watching tv. Audiobooks, going to the park, or bring them into the kitchen to help you bake something.

Good luck. I strongly feel that not introducing my DS (3.5 now) to television is one of the best parenting choices I have made! He has not ONCE asked me to buy him some character-laden crap (not even at Disneyland), has incredible imagination in his play, and thinks Batman is a guy who plays baseball.
post #3 of 4
I agree with Elizabeth that the easiest approach is cold turkey, and that if there is a way to get DH on board with tossing the box, that would be the way to go. If that's impossible, try putting the tv(s) away and asking DH to support your efforts by not turning on the tv when the children are awake.

As far as the kids go, the first week might be tough, but I think you'd be surprised at how soon they adjust to the new no-tv norm.

I have 3 boys and one very active girl. My secret to sanity: I keep them moving, and we spend a lot of time engaged in physical activites--swimming (lessons, beach time, and free swim at the local pool), basketball, biking. The three oldest play soccer and two do dance. They also take piano, and that requires a good bit of practice time. Some might think they are a little overscheduled, but lots of their activites are open ended and fun--for example, I plant my beach chair, hand out the buckets, shovels and boogie boards and relax (sort of) while they do their own things for hours at a time. But still, since they don't watch any tv and watched exactly one movie all summer they have plenty of time to play tag in the yard or collect daisies or read or draw.

Sorry for the novel. The bottom line is not having the box or at least not giving the kids access to the box is a big first step. You'll find your own new way of keeping them engaged and busy very quickly.

I'll warn you of one thing: once you give it up for a while, you never want to go back. In fact, I think that once you reach the point where you are now--sick of the thing and painfully aware the box's costs--you won't really be happy until you do wean the kids (and yourself, if you watch any) off it. You're just too aware now to not go forward!

Good luck.

Also, you're house will get messier (and louder) but the kids will have time to help more!
post #4 of 4
I agree with cold turkey... We still have our TV though, as my DH likes to unwind everynight with it, and I admit I like to unwind some nights as well...

But, DH knows my stance on the kids and TV, and he has seen what it has done to his DD... so he has actually cut back A TON on TV time. Weekends the TV is totally off.

We just keep busy... we go out, visit family, or go to the park, or play outside, or do art projects. DSD helps us make meals...

Staying busy is key, as soon as there is a lull, TV will be quickly mentioned. Even playing quitely in her room, as long as we are there with her has worked to keep her occupied.

Good Luck!
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