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Why does he get to take the easy way out?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

My hubby and I have conflicting ideas about TV. I want to limit it more strictly for our 3 y/o and try to completely avoid our baby watching it at all. My hubby grew up watching a lot of TV (he's an only child so TV was a "friend" for him). He has said that we should limit TV but then he never follows through.

 

I went to a support group last night that was preferably for mamas and the children at home. Hubby agreed have me leave both kids in his care. He just put on Spiderman for our toddler on the laptop (yeah I have issues with that not being age appropriate) and then turned on the TV, watched whatever while the baby crawled around. Then he said the baby sat on the floor and was watching TV so he picked him up and the baby drifted off to sleep as they watched TV together.

 

Around 1 am, the baby woke and cried for a while until he did an explosive poop. I imagine it's a good chance that the poop was caused by the Wendy's Frosty my hubby shared with him.

 

Today, I have argued with the toddler about how much TV he can watch. I struggled to try to get the baby down for his morning nap but everytime I popped him over the breast, he woke back up. So right now I'm thinking why don't I just let the older one watch  whatever TV for as long as he wants, not worry about the baby sleeping or eating nutritious food and life will be easier for me. I am glad that everyone was happy while I was out of the house last night but I am jealous of how easy it was for him. I wish my day could be easy....

 

Anyway, I guess something I am looking for advice on is the TV issue. If you and your partner don't see eye-to-eye on TV, what has been your solution? Mondays tend to be tough since hubby lets the toddler watch TV a lot so I really want to come up with some plan to reduce TV viewing during the weekend.

post #2 of 39
Do you have cable? Is your TV easy to access? How old is the baby?

I ask because, we dont have cable, therefore in order to watch anything on TV we have to stream it through netflix, which means DH has to make a conscious decision every single time a show goes off. IDK, his behavior would be okay with me every now and then, but not every time he watches th ekids.
post #3 of 39

We also try to limit TV.  We have 3 kids - DD1 is 6, DD2 is 3 and DS is just 2 weeks.  We TRY to have no TV until kids are 2 - this was much easier for DD1, the others do watch some since the older one is watching.  What we do now is we have a "TV Day" where they can watch one show in the morning and one in the afternoon, then they have 2 days of no TV.  We don't have cable - they have some movies that we bought and once in a while we rent one for them too.  It works pretty well, but we do get asked a lot on non-TV days to watch, and to be honest, with the new baby they do get to watch a little more than usual if I need a nap or am just too tired to entertain!  Another thing we have done in the past is we got this timer thing - I think it is called "time's up" and you hook it up to your TV and you program however much time you want to have daily and once that time is up the TV shuts off and the time renews after 24 hours.  It was good for us but, there is a key that comes with it that you can use to override the timer and we found that we would just put the key in and give ourselves more time! lol  We do use it for the internet too - we spend too much time online!

 

post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Do you have cable? Is your TV easy to access? How old is the baby?
 



Yes (there is zero chance of me convincing hubby to get rid of it). Yes. Nine months.

 

I was also annoyed because he didn't change the baby's diaper or clothes before bed. I did make sure to change the baby's diaper before I left but an infant prefold was not going to hold up to 13 hours of wetting! I think that would even be expecting a lot even if it was a disposable.

 

post #5 of 39

Because we let them.  Honestly I have a way I want my girls raised, DH has his own ways.  I limit screen time he allows it.  I watch their diet, he lets them eat as they please... whatever they want even if it's Cheetos from the gas station for breakfast.  Does it drive me nuts?  HECK TO THE YES!  There are stations and shows he won't allow so they are limited in someway.  I'm not sure if this actually makes it easier for him though.  I do know they have a heck of lot more fun when I'm not around and their relationships rock.  I'm pretty sure it's bad cop good cop mentality but thats only my  life. 

post #6 of 39
How often does your DH 'watch' the kids on his own? If it's a very rare thing, he might just struggle to get into the groove. When I first started leaving DH alone with DS he just didn't know what to do & got frustrated easily and almost always took the easy way out (and/or didn't change diapers etc.) but now he has spent a lot more 1-on-1 time with DS and he is much more confident so doesn't resort to those things. He knows how to entertain him and is more in-tune with his needs and all... So if that sounds like your DH, maybe having a regular night once or twice a week that he's totally in charge (whether or not your home -- you could be taking a bath or sleeping or whatever) would help him gain the confidence he needs?

It drives me crazy when DH says he agrees about something but doesn't follow through with it. Sometimes though I think our agreements are unclear. So I know you said he SAYS he wants to limit TV time -- but have you talked about what exactly that means to each of you? Maybe once a week while you're out is fine in his view? Maybe when you say 'limit' you mean no TV but when he says it he means only an hour or two a day?

And finally, maybe he just needs a list of activities he can do with the kids. I'm addicted to pinterest lol and DH sometimes checks my "Toddler" board to get ideas of what to do with DS (visual bookmarking makes it way easier for him to see the ideas & try them!) And I might also tell him there's a story hour at 6:30 or that DS has been asking to go to the pet store to see the animals or that he hasn't had much outdoor time & could really use a walk. I try hard not to dictate his time but I know he really needs the suggestions because he's not around other moms or reading books & blogs and getting all the great ideas of things to do with a toddler that I get throughout the course of the day! Sometimes they use my ideas and other times they get busy doing their own thing -- but often just having the ideas as a backup plan helps them to figure out what they want to do together.

As a last resort, you could always try moving the TV to another location in the house so it's less accessible & he'd have to make a really deliberate decision to turn it on. We don't have a TV in our main living area anymore and that helps a ton on the casual/mindless TV viewing (we also don't have cable or netflix or anything, which really helps!) I tend to say DS is TV-free but a couple times a month he might watch a 3-min video on youtube or, more rarely, part of a cooking or home improvement show with me, so he's not 100% tv-free. One thing he loves is listening to music or audiobooks (which I find on youtube or B&N online storytime) so that kind of takes the place of TV-viewing for him.
post #7 of 39

I have a similar situation. DH will agree on things, see eye to eye, etc., and then never follow through. It's too hard! (don't get me started)

 

Anyway, here's what you can do. Decide on a WEEKLY maximum for TV (example, 1 hour a day x 7 days = 7 hours a week.) Then if DH lets the kids watch 4 hours of TV when they are with him, then you just limit the TV they get for the rest of the week. They used up the quota, sorry! Yes, that makes you the heavy and BOY do I understand that. I am the enforcer around here, for sure. But oh well, someone's got to do it or their head will be filled with TV garbage 24/7.

 

We HAVE noticed a deterioration in our son's behavior since watching more mainstream cartoons. Lots more snark and attitude; his voice actually starts to sound just like the cartoon characters. That stuff has a real effect.

 

Anyway, my basic idea is you can only control what YOU are going to do.

 

Best of luck!

 

 

post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

Anyway, here's what you can do. Decide on a WEEKLY maximum for TV (example, 1 hour a day x 7 days = 7 hours a week.) Then if DH lets the kids watch 4 hours of TV when they are with him, then you just limit the TV they get for the rest of the week. They used up the quota, sorry! Yes, that makes you the heavy and BOY do I understand that. I am the enforcer around here, for sure. But oh well, someone's got to do it or their head will be filled with TV garbage 24/7.

If you decide to do something like this, maybe you could take it out of your control and put it in your kids' control. So there could be a jar with 7 small tokens (coins, pompoms, whatever) and each represents an hour -- one is removed for each hour of TV watched -- and they only get refilled on Sunday so when the jar is empty that means no more TV. Then you aren't the bad guy, it's all the jar.

And if you want to be REALLY tricky, make it so they are only refilled on Monday!! Then you can 'use up' as many as you want/need to during the week and if they are all gone by Sunday then DH won't be able to let them watch TV while you're out. LOL that's a bit devious but couldn't resist mentioning it...
post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Because we let them.  Honestly I have a way I want my girls raised, DH has his own ways.  I limit screen time he allows it.  I watch their diet, he lets them eat as they please... whatever they want even if it's Cheetos from the gas station for breakfast.  Does it drive me nuts?  HECK TO THE YES!  There are stations and shows he won't allow so they are limited in someway.  I'm not sure if this actually makes it easier for him though.  I do know they have a heck of lot more fun when I'm not around and their relationships rock.  I'm pretty sure it's bad cop good cop mentality but thats only my  life. 


Sigh. That is so true.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

How often does your DH 'watch' the kids on his own?
It drives me crazy when DH says he agrees about something but doesn't follow through with it. Sometimes though I think our agreements are unclear. So I know you said he SAYS he wants to limit TV time -- but have you talked about what exactly that means to each of you?
And finally, maybe he just needs a list of activities he can do with the kids. I'm addicted to pinterest lol and DH sometimes checks my "Toddler" board to get ideas of what to do with DS (visual bookmarking makes it way easier for him to see the ideas & try them!)


He doesn't spend much time with them both alone. Maybe once a week, I shower alone. On the weekend, he is much more likely to turn on the TV than do anything else with our toddler. He also has to be asked, then reminded to change diapers.
Excellent point about setting up a more concrete agreement. We've never talked about actual numbers.

Pinterest? I'm not familiar with that. I can use always use extra ideas for myself if nothing else.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

I have a similar situation. DH will agree on things, see eye to eye, etc., and then never follow through. It's too hard! (don't get me started)

 

Anyway, here's what you can do. Decide on a WEEKLY maximum for TV (example, 1 hour a day x 7 days = 7 hours a week.) Then if DH lets the kids watch 4 hours of TV when they are with him, then you just limit the TV they get for the rest of the week. They used up the quota, sorry! Yes, that makes you the heavy and BOY do I understand that. I am the enforcer around here, for sure. But oh well, someone's got to do it or their head will be filled with TV garbage 24/7.

 


Yup, I already feel like the TV grinch.
 

 

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonrose View Post

He doesn't spend much time with them both alone. Maybe once a week, I shower alone. On the weekend, he is much more likely to turn on the TV than do anything else with our toddler. He also has to be asked, then reminded to change diapers.
So what about every week you make a point of leaving them alone for an hour or two? Go out & do your errands or sit in a coffee shop or close the door to your bedroom & read a book (if you can avoid being disturbed!!) If it's a regular part of the weekly routine then maybe your DH will start thinking & planning ahead and enjoying the time more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonrose View Post

Pinterest? I'm not familiar with that. I can use always use extra ideas for myself if nothing else.
Go to pinterest.com -- be careful, you might get sucked in!! Lots of ideas for kids (and also tons of recipes, home ideas, photography, all sorts of stuff). I have gotten a ton of ideas for DS this way, and they are basically bookmarks but they are image-based so you end up with basically a gallery of all your ideas (so you can just look & see what you want to do rather than sort through a long list of bookmarks in your browser).
post #11 of 39

Oh how we suffer with this trouble too. Dh's family home had/has the tv on 24/7 whereas we NEVER had cable & tv was very limited for my brother & I. This has especially come to a head for us since dd was born 'cause every time I ask dh to take ds for a bit to give me a break or a nap he puts on the tv which is an easy way out imo but it is also irritating to me. I ask dh to take ds with the intention that they DO something that hopefully will use up some of ds' energy & give me a break at the same time - let's face I can turn on the tv. We're still working on solutions. Dh is very hesitant to agree to a set number of hours each week/day.

post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

So what about every week you make a point of leaving them alone for an hour or two? Go out & do your errands or sit in a coffee shop or close the door to your bedroom & read a book (if you can avoid being disturbed!!) If it's a regular part of the weekly routine then maybe your DH will start thinking & planning ahead and enjoying the time more.
Go to pinterest.com -- be careful, you might get sucked in!! Lots of ideas for kids (and also tons of recipes, home ideas, photography, all sorts of stuff). I have gotten a ton of ideas for DS this way, and they are basically bookmarks but they are image-based so you end up with basically a gallery of all your ideas (so you can just look & see what you want to do rather than sort through a long list of bookmarks in your browser).

Oh my gosh...I think I've been sucked in by pinterest! Thanks for the link!

I was reading it and under the kid section, there are "busy bag" ideas. This might be a great idea for your DH to have. The kids will probably be more interested in them than TV. I'm already going to go out to the store and just get some felt orngbiggrin.gif

Also, I know what you mean about him just taking the easy way out! If DH offers to help and make dinner while I go somewhere or something, I'll come back and they are eating pizza, Chinese, or some kind of quick cooking thing that he had to go to the store for! It's frustrating because I feel like saying, Why can't you just look in the pantry or refrigerator and think of something to make like I have to do?
post #13 of 39

I asked my husband for a two month trial period.  (I would have escalated it to a demand, except that it never came to that.)   I proposed  no cable, no antenna, no nothing for two months of true no-TV, and then if we had truly had no TV during those two months, we would have a discussion at the end of the two months. We actually had the cable turned off.

 

I find that most people can agree to a one or two month trial because they see an end in sight.

 

At the end of our two months, my husband was able to see that his life was just fine without TV, and he agreed to continue the no-TV practice.

 

Our two month trial started five years ago, and we've been TV-free ever since.

 

Cable is easy to cut off, and cable is easy to reinstall.   Yes, there might be a fee for reinstallation.  But then again, maybe not.  When we cut off our cable, the cable company was willing to do all kinds of things to try to persuade us to come back. If we had asked, I am certain they would have waived the fees to reinstall cable.

post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilysmama View Post

I asked my husband for a two month trial period.  (I would have escalated it to a demand, except that it never came to that.)   I proposed  no cable, no antenna, no nothing for two months of true no-TV, and then if we had truly had no TV during those two months, we would have a discussion at the end of the two months. We actually had the cable turned off.

 

I find that most people can agree to a one or two month trial because they see an end in sight.

 

At the end of our two months, my husband was able to see that his life was just fine without TV, and he agreed to continue the no-TV practice.

 

Our two month trial started five years ago, and we've been TV-free ever since.

 

Cable is easy to cut off, and cable is easy to reinstall.   Yes, there might be a fee for reinstallation.  But then again, maybe not.  When we cut off our cable, the cable company was willing to do all kinds of things to try to persuade us to come back. If we had asked, I am certain they would have waived the fees to reinstall cable.


^This.

 

We did the same thing when we bought a house and moved. I was like "let's just NOT have cable installed and see how it goes!" - and we did and it was great and we are very nearly completely TV-free (and loving it).

 

post #15 of 39

We have agreed that we can only watch things we BOTH agree are age-appropriate in front of him, and it has naturally lessened the amount of tv he watches (we also don't have cable, only hulu and movies) because we don't have as much we like to watch with those limitations. When he does watch TV it's nearly always in the evening after dinner for 1/2 -1 hour or a little more. I don't watch tv often during the day because I have other things to do. We also  don't watch anything specifically oriented to him (so no kid shows) so he seems to have an attitude of mainly that tv is not really for him, and he never asks for it- he usually wants to read or play when the tv is on. He is 2 now.

post #16 of 39

I also just thought of this, but I learned a valuable lesson from a neighbor once. I don't remember exactly how it came about, but she said "what can I do? He's their father." his may not sounds like much, but it seems to me to be acceptance of each other's fault, and also each other's feelings and attitudes towards child rearing. He is their father, and they are his as much as yours- he will influence them, and has a right to as much as you do.

post #17 of 39

It sounds like you are living with a bad babysitter, not the father of your children.  I suggest getting an actual sitter and taking him out to talk about specific ways you want him to step up and start sharing the load of parenting if this is something that is causing a lot of strain on your relationship.  My ex viewed parenting a lot like your dh seems to and it is a tremendous strain.  If it was one issue, like tv watching, than I would say that you should try to find a compromise.  It sounds like he is just not there for you as a co-parent though and I really suggest trying to find a way to address that issue as a whole rather than trying to put a band-aid on things by pushing for no tv.  IME not having a tv did nothing to make my ex decide to take on responsibility as an adult.

post #18 of 39

yeah...I think this sounds less like an issue with hours of TV watching, and more of an issue of you not being able to trust DH to actively parent--instead of parking the kids in front of idle distractions while you're not there.  yes, he's their father--but the man ought to step up to that role a lot more effectively than what's been described here.  it sounds like it's not that he has different beliefs about TV watching, but that he's just using whatever works to placate the kids so he doesn't have to actively parent while he's alone.  not fair or healthy IMO.

post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 

The subject got broached last night because hubby noticed I was tracking our toddler's TV time on our fridge dry-erase board. I said I feel he's been watching too much and would like us to work together to reduce his screentime. My hubby's response was that he feels it is fine and he would rather pop him in front of the TV than play with him since he (hubby) is tired. Also when I said I don't want our kid being raised by TV, he said "I was and I turned out fine".

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by emilysmama View Post

 

I find that most people can agree to a one or two month trial because they see an end in sight.

 


I honestly don't know if I could convince him to try a single week without TV.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post

 

We did the same thing when we bought a house and moved. I was like "let's just NOT have cable installed and see how it goes!" - and we did and it was great and we are very nearly completely TV-free (and loving it).

 



We recently moved and one of the things my hubby liked about the place we rented was that it was Fios-ready. I told him that was not on my priority list.

Quote:

Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

It sounds like you are living with a bad babysitter, not the father of your children.  I suggest getting an actual sitter and taking him out to talk about specific ways you want him to step up and start sharing the load of parenting if this is something that is causing a lot of strain on your relationship.  My ex viewed parenting a lot like your dh seems to and it is a tremendous strain.  If it was one issue, like tv watching, than I would say that you should try to find a compromise.  It sounds like he is just not there for you as a co-parent though and I really suggest trying to find a way to address that issue as a whole rather than trying to put a band-aid on things by pushing for no tv.  IME not having a tv did nothing to make my ex decide to take on responsibility as an adult.


You are right - the TV thing is definitely part of a larger issue.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post

yeah...I think this sounds less like an issue with hours of TV watching, and more of an issue of you not being able to trust DH to actively parent--instead of parking the kids in front of idle distractions while you're not there.  yes, he's their father--but the man ought to step up to that role a lot more effectively than what's been described here.  it sounds like it's not that he has different beliefs about TV watching, but that he's just using whatever works to placate the kids so he doesn't have to actively parent while he's alone.  not fair or healthy IMO.

 

Yes, I want him to be a more active parent. He thinks it is unnecessary. I suspect it is from his upbringing and culture. He views a dad's responsibility as bringing home a salary and later teach some sports. I believe his dad was quite absent from his childhood and I almost feel as if he is trying to justify his parents' choices (putting work ahead of family, not restricting TV time) by sticking with the same decisions.

post #20 of 39

Yuck!  I'm sorry.  In my experience DH and I argued numerous rounds about an on line video game that DD was playing.  It got ugly.  He allowed her so much time on that thing it was ridiculous.  I'm talking hours and she was 6 at the time.  However it didn't take long for him to see the light, while he thought by making her read all the directions in order to play would help her reading and comprehension he didn't realize that it would take a toll on her mentally.  He finally saw that she would rather play the game on line than play with her friends outside.  NOT GOOD!  As far as the TV goes, we have a rule TV can be on in the mornings or in the evening but there is a huge window where the is absolutely no reason it should be on.  The shows are recorded and they can pick from the list.  The TV in our Living room is for sports.  Soccer (me), Football (us).  Otherwise it's off. 

 

He grew up as a Navy brat, TV was his friend at every new place he moved.  And he now realizes that it would have been better if his parents just took and active interest in his well being and hung out with him. 

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