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What do you love about having a TV free home?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I love quiet, and having quiet in the background when my children are talking and making noise instead of constant jabbering.

 

I love that it is easier to protect my children's innocence.

 

I love that except for when I am on the computer or busy with a chore, my children almost always have my attention - and it isn't too difficult for them to have mine.

 

I love seeing how creative and original my children are.

post #2 of 18

I love to see my children's imagination in action. It is crazy to me that parents would prefer to park their kid in front of a TV. without feeling guilty. When my DS come across a occasion to watch TV at a friend house he looks like a zombie and it break my heart.,

I find that I get more done in the house without a tv.

post #3 of 18

I've not owned a TV for 15 years now, although I've had to deal with roommates having one in the past. I love the peace and quiet of not having that box babbling. I love not having to feel incredulous and angry by the ridiculous claims and implications that commercials make. I'm glad not to live amongst people who can't hear what people are saying, because they are so zombified by the television, or who would rather watch "Friends" than hang out with friends. There is so little time in comparison to everything I want to do in this life, and I'm glad not to be wasting it on television.

 

Now that I'm a mother, I'm even more grateful to be TV-free (and super grateful for a husband who was willing to give up TV once we moved in together!). I'm glad that television won't be a constant part of my child's everyday experience. Today, as I was listening to my 8 month old son bang a wooden disk against a wall, hit it against another toy, "sing" and babble to himself while playing, and experiment with the noise it made when he tried to "sing" with it in his mouth, I though about how nice it was that he could hear himself make all of these noises, without all kinds of background noise. Of course, it's not always quiet; we do like to listen to music sometimes, but mostly we only have the sound of our voices, our cats, and any music we play ourselves at home.

 

As he gets older, I hope his creative play will continue to be truly creative play, rather than the acting out of TV shows that I've seen so many children engage in. I hope his first thought will to run outside and play on nice days, and to read or create something on rainy days. The occasional movie will be a conscious choice, not the go-to thing to do when bored. And, when he watches television at his friends' homes, as I'm sure he will, I hope he'll start thinking after a show or two of everything else they could be doing, and say, "This is boring. Let's go outside." Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here, but that's the kind of kid I was (we had a television at home when I was a kid, but we didn't watch it much).

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetmilk View Post

I love to see my children's imagination in action. It is crazy to me that parents would prefer to park their kid in front of a TV. without feeling guilty. When my DS come across a occasion to watch TV at a friend house he looks like a zombie and it break my heart.,

I find that I get more done in the house without a tv.

When I think about how my two younger brothers would parrot what they heard on Cartoon Network (ick) as we were growing up, contrasted with how creative my children are, I know what you mean! My brothers are smart but they could have turned out better if they had read more, 

 

By the way, you could try what I do with my 7-year-old: she can play with her friend across the street at her house on the condition that she will not watch TV or movies. My daughter is close enough that she felt comfortable confiding to me that her friend wanted her to watch a few times, and she did. So the next time her friend was over here and she invited my daughter over there, I said no TV or movies so that both of them could hear me. Usually her friend backs me up when I tell my daughter to do something so I was confident that she would respect my wishes.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by SaguaroMoon View Post

I've not owned a TV for 15 years now, although I've had to deal with roommates having one in the past. I love the peace and quiet of not having that box babbling. I love not having to feel incredulous and angry by the ridiculous claims and implications that commercials make. I'm glad not to live amongst people who can't hear what people are saying, because they are so zombified by the television, or who would rather watch "Friends" than hang out with friends. There is so little time in comparison to everything I want to do in this life, and I'm glad not to be wasting it on television.

 

Now that I'm a mother, I'm even more grateful to be TV-free (and super grateful for a husband who was willing to give up TV once we moved in together!). I'm glad that television won't be a constant part of my child's everyday experience. Today, as I was listening to my 8 month old son bang a wooden disk against a wall, hit it against another toy, "sing" and babble to himself while playing, and experiment with the noise it made when he tried to "sing" with it in his mouth, I though about how nice it was that he could hear himself make all of these noises, without all kinds of background noise. Of course, it's not always quiet; we do like to listen to music sometimes, but mostly we only have the sound of our voices, our cats, and any music we play ourselves at home.

 

As he gets older, I hope his creative play will continue to be truly creative play, rather than the acting out of TV shows that I've seen so many children engage in. I hope his first thought will to run outside and play on nice days, and to read or create something on rainy days. The occasional movie will be a conscious choice, not the go-to thing to do when bored. And, when he watches television at his friends' homes, as I'm sure he will, I hope he'll start thinking after a show or two of everything else they could be doing, and say, "This is boring. Let's go outside." Maybe I'm being overly optimistic here, but that's the kind of kid I was (we had a television at home when I was a kid, but we didn't watch it much).

 

You're wise to actually get things done instead of waste time watching! :)  Life passes by so quickly.

 

If your son is anything like my sons and daughters, I'm sure his play will truly be creative. My 5-year-old son can't wait to go outside and play most days - especially when it's not winter and he can catch frogs! (in FL) This is the same son who is enchanted whenever he has the change to watch TV, which isn't often, so I'm grateful to God that he is learning how to read (he takes about 5 picture books to bed most nights!). I don't think you're being overly optimistic, especially since that's how you were and you're the one raising him.

post #5 of 18

My husband and I ditched the TV 15 years ago, when we moved to a rural area and we would've had to purchase a satellite dish for reception. We'd only ever watched this one science-fiction program (Babylon 5), so we didn't miss the TV once it was gone. We enjoy the quiet in our house, which gives us the opportunity to read, hang out with our cats, tend to our garden, do our crafts, and delight in spending time with our nine-week-old daughter. 

 

I'm sure someday she'll watch TV at a friend's house, and we'd like to prepare her with critical-viewing skills: recognizing the unrealistic portrayals of consequence-free violence and the cultural and gender stereotypes that still abound in the media world. Until then, though, we're happy that she can have the kind of creative, physically and mentally active childhood that both of us enjoyed. (We're 42 and 50 and were minimal TV watchers as children, although what TV we did watch has stuck with us, annoyingly so: I still remember commercials from the 1970s.) 

post #6 of 18

I love that not having TV on makes me more creative with my son.  I have to think of new ways to have fun with him and make him laugh.  It's harder but more rewarding than pushing a button would be!  Since neither one of us is zoned out with a TV on, we give more and better attention to each other.
 

post #7 of 18

Ummmm, I actually get stuff done! haha. We went TV free shortly after DD was born because I would see her craning her neck as an infant to see the TV. So we sold our 30-some inch TV and got a little 19" screen. DH's brothers tease us about how we even see on the screen but when we are at everybody else's house their TV seems so frickin' huge by comparison! Being completely TV free is easy for us except in the winter. We live way out in the country in MN so we do end up watching some TV in the winter. DD watches an hour and a half of cartoons a day in the winter but only like 3 days a week (and it is on PBS so no commercials is nice), I watch probably 1 hour of TV a day, and DH watches maybe 2 hours a week of TV total.

 

I think TV free has really benefit us in a lot of ways. DD is really good at self entertaining, she loves to read and color, she has a really good imagination with the toys she has, DH and I don't ever veg out in front of the TV, I think our family has better communication, and I think it just makes you more creative and productive in general.

post #8 of 18
I can't stand silence, personally, so we have the radio or other music on all day.

Less tv time has meant more time to read to my son when he was younger, and more time writing now.

It has also meant more creativity.
post #9 of 18

Here's a fun TV-free anecdote from the other day:

 

My friend came over to use my internet conection to send out some job applications, and brought her 4 year old daughter, S, with her. S was feeling shy at first, didn't want to talk to me at all, and seemed kind of freaked out by my 9 month old DS (she has an older half brother and sister, and hasn't had a lot of exposure to babies). A few minutes after they came over, S whispered something to her mother. "They don't have a television." my friend told S. S again repeated the request, and I assured her that we really didn't have one, explaining that we don't like to watch television.

 

S hung around her mother for a few minutes. I joked with her a little bit. She started saying nonsense words to me with a real word at the end, I responded in kind, and this became a game for a few minutes. She started asking about DS's toys. After a half hour or so, she was gleefully building towers out of DS's blocks, and laughing when he knocked them down. I read books to both of them, and she pretended to read books to DS. She followed me into the other room while I changed DS, asking questions about the whole process. At one point, when I handed DS to my friend so that I could put some laundry in the dryer and DS got upset, S sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to him. All the while, my friend and I were able to converse here and there, S asked us both lots of questions, and DS beamed at everyone, loving the company and attention. There was a lot of laughter all around. When they got ready to go home, S didn't want to leave!

 

If I had had a television, or been the kind of person that just keeps the television on, this visit would have gone really differently. S would likely have just been glued to the television for 2 hours, if my friend had allowed it. She probably wouldn't have gotten over her shyness with me. She wouldn't have ended up playing so well with DS, or learning about him, or "reading" to him, or trying to comfort him. She would have missed out on all of this. DS would have missed out on this rich interaction. My friend and I probably wouldn't have gotten to converse as much, as DS would have needed more of my attention. It would have been a far less rich experience for everyone.

 

That is what I love about having a TV-free home! biggrinbounce.gif


Edited by SaguaroMoon - 2/14/13 at 2:58pm
post #10 of 18

My friend came over to use my internet conection to send out some job applications, and brought her 4 year old daughter, S, with her... A few minutes after they came over, S whispered something to her mother. "They don't have a television." my friend told S. S again repeated the request, and I assured her that we really didn't have one, explaining that we don't like to watch television.

 

Funny that was so surprising - S's family apparently doesn't have Internet... which a lot of people would consider more of a necessity than a TV! (My spouse and I would be in that category, anyhow.)

post #11 of 18

Thanks for sharing that lovely story!  It really makes you consider the hold that 'the box' has over people.  Especially children, when they could be doing so much more enriching things.

 

I've not lived with a tv for about 5 years, since my early 20s, and can honestly say I don't miss it in the slightest.  I actually told my parents recently that I am so glad that they forbid my brother and I from having tvs in our rooms when we were growing up!  We were p***ed off at the time but looking back I am so grateful for that rule.

 

We are expecting baby #1 in a couple of months and I am very happy that they will be from a tv-free home and will spend most of their time playing outside with friends, being read to by us and exploring life on their own - without the influence of tv and being bombarded with commercial after commercial for all kinds of crap!  We watch movies on our laptop so when our child gets a little older we will probably watch nice kids movies together.  I find using the computer so much more interactive and stimulating, and we definitely consider it an essential item in absence of a tv.  Couldn't imagine sitting in front of a tv so passively for hours on end like so many people and families do!

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes, thank you SaguaroMoon for telling us about that.

 

naturelle, congratulations! I will pray that all goes well with your son or daughter's birth and first few months (of course the months after that too, but the first few can be some of the hardest).

 

Today one of my daughter's school friends asked her if we have a TV, and when my daughter answered no, her friend asked her why. When she told me this after school, I told her she could say "because it's a waste of money, and because most of what's on TV is bad". I wonder what her friend will think, and what my daughter will say of she objects. Honestly, I can barely get everything done without a TV, and I don't work outside the home, so I can't imagine what it would be like to try to juggle everything *and* sit down and watch TV, *and* try to get my children interested in their chores like they are now.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Mama View Post

naturelle, congratulations! I will pray that all goes well with your son or daughter's birth and first few months (of course the months after that too, but the first few can be some of the hardest). Yes, keep us posted, naturelle! smile.gif

 

Today one of my daughter's school friends asked her if we have a TV, and when my daughter answered no, her friend asked her why. When she told me this after school, I told her she could say "because it's a waste of money, and because most of what's on TV is bad". I wonder what her friend will think, and what my daughter will say of she objects. Honestly, I can barely get everything done without a TV, and I don't work outside the home, so I can't imagine what it would be like to try to juggle everything *and* sit down and watch TV, *and* try to get my children interested in their chores like they are now.  Hm, I wonder what it would be like to just say something like that to the daughter's friend - "we're so busy we don't have time to watch TV..."  

While I agree that TV is a waste and most of what's on is bad, to say that to a TV-watching person could make them a bit defensive, KWIM? shrug.gif (Then again, I've had co-workers call me "The Unabomber" when I told them I didn't own a television, so it's not like TV-watchers are very courteous sometimes, either.) 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you, that's a good point. Also, saying "we have better things to do than watch TV" could seem stuck up. Maybe busy is the best excuse/reason as you said. :)

 

Yikes, you were called "The Unabomber"? The worst I've heard is (right after our firstborn was born almost eight years ago) "You really need to get a TV". My husband and I were so enchanted by our daughter that we flatly disagreed, wondering how anyone can watch TV when they have a baby to watch! (we didn't say that to him though)

post #15 of 18

Love these stories!

 

I love that we make music & noise as a family to pass our "free" time in the evenings.

 

I love that instead of sitting, we are often making something (food, crafts, play) together.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

t2009, what do you like to make together, if you don't mind my asking?

post #17 of 18

Catholic Mama, we are often cooking together. We make pancakes, he helps prepare our morning oatmeal (which we soak the night before), he makes pizzas with DH, we bake bread or cookies, he "chops" crisp vegetables like bell peppers or onions with a butter knife. I know that a lot of families rely on TV when it comes to meal time & our solution has been to include DS as much as possible. Sometimes he's really not in the mood & we help him get started on some play or set him up with a picture book.

 

As for crafts, I like to sew pamphlets & do other paper arts. We make little books together. DS loves to make music with DH, who plays guitar. We also garden together & will be planting some seeds together this weekend.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

I love that when it's rainy like today, I can play nice classical music and listen to my toddlers play with their many toys in the background instead of hearing constant advertisements (commercials) and whatever the programs want to tell us. Plus my children's toys aren't all - or even most - from TV shows or movies. Sometimes it's peaceful. We go from helping each other wash the dishes to doing sit-ups to finishing cereal at the table (my toddlers like to get up from the table early and go back about an hour or so to eat more, sort of graze, instead of eat it all in one sitting) to cleaning and doing jumping jacks instead of rushing to finish something so that we can go to the couch in time for the next show.

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