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Mamas of TV Free Children Rollcall - Page 2

post #21 of 1527
TV free children for over 3 years now. My kids attend a Waldorf school where they have a 'No Media' Policy. I have to say this is one of the main reasons we chose Waldorf and probably one of the reasons we may hang around even though I have other major issues with Waldorf at the moment. DH & I watch DVDs occasionally after the kids are in bed. I ask friends & family to turn off tv when we arrive, they don't we leave. I know thats harsh and extreme but I don't really care for my kids singing a Micky Dees jingle or repeating some rubbish they heard on some tv program for 'kids'.

Many many evening go by and the TV (which is locked up in an armiore) does not get turned on, DH & I would rather read, chat or knit. My parents keep their tv on all the time, so we don't visit, they come here and have to live w/o it.

DH didn't get much TV growing up (outside US) so he doesn't even know who ET or Lions and Tigers and bears oh my is or where it comes from and he could care less.

I can't stand radio either, too much chatter, hate that background noise. I like to get my news on the computer, when I want to and what I want to read about.

I tell my kids stories, read books do puppet shows, knit, walk, play, hike, etc.

I honestly don't know when I would ever have the time before 9pm to watch tv, between kids and household chores :
post #22 of 1527
Originally Posted by Attila the Honey
Any room for semi-tv families in here? maybe families in "tv transition"?

We have a tv, but we also have rules - no tv during daylight hours, 'mindful' tv watching only (meaning, watch when you want to see a particular show, do not just turn it on and watch whatever is on). Also, I don't want dd to realize children's programming exists for a looong time, if ever.

At the moment, we watch about 3 shows a week and dvds. So, yes, the tv is on everyday. I would love to get rid of it altogether, but I love movies. I am a movie addict, as is dh. We belong to netflix, and they ahve such great docu.s, independent films etc. I think the movies we get are usually quality films that engage the brain, so I don't really feel guilty about watching them. (TV shows, otoh, are junk imo.)

Anyone in my position? Eager to give up the TV but not wanting to stop watching dvds? (fwiw, we do watch the dvds after dd is in bed or while she naps.)
the title of this thread interested me, so I popped in, we have been on again off again with the t.v and have come to a happy medium of "mindful" as you put it, tv viewing, I dont believe it is all bad or detrimental for a child to watch some tv...I dont know if there is "room" here for you or I but I do know I am there with you mama

A question,

Many of you said your kids never get bored and I found that interesting, are any of your children only children? Because my dd doesnt get bored either but she does get lonsome playing by herself and needs someone (me usually) to play with and the reality is that sometimes we both need for her to kick back and watch sesame street or a dvd for both our sakes...when her daddy is home (military) it is muuuuch easier to keep the tv viewing to very little or none if we chose...anyway I'm rambling...its awesome that you all "killed your tv's" btw
post #23 of 1527
Thread Starter 
Boatbaby, keep on preachin'!

I'm loving all the responses. I do have a question for everyone. How do you deal with going to other's homes who watch TV? I see a lot of you say you just try not to go. This is what I do too but it is so frustrating. It baffles me that people can't turn it off for one hour while we visit? I don't get it. It's *that* important and necessary? Isn't the point of visiting with people to visit with them?

Originally Posted by rainys~mama
I dont believe it is all bad or detrimental for a child to watch some tv
I do and I'm looking for other mothers who feel the same the way and have "TV Free" children.
post #24 of 1527
I have the same question as MamaAllNatural. Since our ds is only 3 months old, I am wondering about what we do at other people's homes. Especially in the winter time when people tend to be more inside and snugged up to the TV. How have others with older TV free kids asked friends/ neighbors to turn off the tube when you're around without being offensive?
I find I am already getting weird looks when I ask people to turn it off or they see me turn him away so his eyes don't catch the screen.

post #25 of 1527
We are TV-free but do some videos with the kids. Keeping the TV off is not a problem as we live in a remote area that doesn't get TV coverage. We had been wanting to throw it out for years, and the move here made that easy. We watch movies after the kids go to bed and occassionally let them watch a kids movie (usually blues clues). But, the visiting relatives has been a problem for us too. I am amazed at how often at family gatherings, adults will put in a video to "keep the kids quiet" and most times we find the choices inappropriate for the age of our children (6 and 2). We've found it really hard to leave like some have suggested. Especially since we have usually driven all day to visit during the holidays, we have no where else to go. We've tried to keep our kids from watching the movies, but that is difficult as it means trying to find other "kid space" at their house to hang out in. We've also tried explaining to the other parents that the material is inappropriate for our kids, but that doesn't seem to make them inclined to turn it off, as it is such a convenient babysitter. The best solution we have hit upon is to compromise and bring videos or DVDs that we are willing to let our kids watch and put those in instead. At least then we can have some say over what is being shown. I find it sad that when we go places, our 6 yr old son brings several board games to play with the other kids, but is often turned down because the other kids would rather watch a movie.

edited to add this:
BoatBaby, I just had a thought for you. When our kids were younger I told people that I was following the American Academy of Pediatricians advice that children under the age of 2 should not watch any television whatsoever, as it affected their brain development. (this is true) It seemed to work well when the kids are younger but not as well now that our kids are over that age.
post #26 of 1527

Wittering On, and On, and On.......

Hi everyone!

Finally taking some time to talk on this thread.

Yeah, the going over to some else's house can be an issue. Fortunately, very, very few people I spend lots of time with have the TV on a lot.

Most I know only have it on for a movie...and then we all agree about it.

Frankly, I don't work very hard to keep him from it if we are out of our house. ( I explained it about half way through this very long post http://www.mothering.com/discussions...54#post2082954 on a thread where I grumbled a lot. ) If he points at one and says something, I just respond very factually and very literally. I have been told that my answers are "over his head" ; but, I figure that that is how we learn. I'm not going to dumb it down. So, when he saw someone watching Wheel of Fortune, and said something about it, I said that is a game being played by people far away for money. And he looked for a minute longer, shrugged and walked away to try and take stuff off the dining table and make a mess. :nana:

If he goes for the remote (and what kid doesn't love buttons?), then it is removed because I told him it turns on the TV and we aren't watching the TV.

I'm pretty lucky that I grew up in a family that really didn't watch a lot. When I went to visit my aunt and uncle in August, my uncle was watching a lot of TV (this is something that has happened to him in the last few years, a lot of us have been worried about it, especially as he watches all those "fear" programs like Law and Order). My cousin and I were outside fussing with something in the garden and he went over to the satellite dish and started leaning on it, covering it up. :LOL He said he wanted to see how long it took his dad to get out of the barca lounger and come outside to investigate. (I told him that at 50-something, he should have grown up by now. But I laughed, too.)

On the other hand, I know that TV gets watched a lot in my husband's family, but they are in So. Cal. and I don't go there much. We'll deal with that when we have to.

I don't see my pixie ever bored, that I know of. But, let's think about "bored".

What is so bad about boredom? The way I look at it, boredom leads to creativity. Some think that it automatically leads to the most "negative" creativity -- that stuff that is naughty or troublemaking. Yeah, I'm sure that is true. But, again, I think it is a matter of perspective.

I remember in Minnesota one summer's day many years ago >>>>she gets a dreamy expression on her face<<<<< when I and some friends decided to build a cannon out of a tennis ball can. (OK, I'm dating myself here. Yes, once upon a time, tennis balls came in actual cans, made of metal. They even had metal lids that went pssssssst when you snapped them back.) So, we drilled a hole in the side near the bottom, put in a few drops of gasoline from an eyedropper , loaded an old tennis ball in from the top, braced it against a small earth-berm, and put a match to the touch-hole.

KA-----BLOOEY! That ball went a long way.

And we proceeded to do that for the rest of the afternoon.

Well, none of us got hurt.

And, seriously, I think we were really lucky.

But, I learned a lot from that. I learned first-hand stuff about expanding gasses. Thermodynamics in action. (I did really well in that class in college.)

Anyhow, most of the time, my creativity was far more benign. D&D, painting, figuring out new versions of tag and follow the leader. Reading books. Climbing trees. Taking my nickle and getting on the 3 Jackson bus (in San Francisco) and going downtown and going to an exhibit of Ansel Adams or to a library or bookstore or photo equipment store.

Taking a Super 8 movie camera and some playdoh and making snakes out of balls that when all the frames were run at normal speed kept morphing into other ball-snakes and towers and trees.

Or I went to the Mechanics' Institute and up to the 4th floor and played chess (badly) against friendly grown-ups who had dreams of playing Kasparov. (Boy, I must have really wasted their time. )

And I was an only child.

There, was that long and OT enough?

post #27 of 1527
I suggest very nicely that we turn off the tv b/c it's distracting & I'd really like to focus on our conversation. If they refuse, I say I have to go. Most people who know me know where I stand with TV, so the suggestion usually gets the tv turned off. If they kids are watching tv, I ask them to go play outside, weather permitting, otherwise I ask them to leave the playroom if the tv is staying on, if that doesn't work we promptly leave. Their cousins are big tv watchers, in every room and in the playroom, my girls tell them they refuse to watch rubbish tv so play or we will leave.

I don't think ANY tv is okay for kids. I could go on and on with the reasons but I don't think this thread is to convince 'TV free' kid's parents, so I won't.
Videos and DVDs, even 'educational' ones are TV in my book. My kids are media free, that means no video games or computer.
post #28 of 1527
cuqui -- I would be really interested in your thoughts about no computer and no video games. We are struggling with that. I don't want to hijack the thread tho. PM me if you want.
post #29 of 1527
In response to rainy's mom, I have two kids. They spend a lot of time playing together, and my dd needs some alone time to draw, paint, write, etc so in those times my ds sometimes wants more of my attention, so we read, play outside, but most of the time he is just happy to be involved in whatever myself or especially what my husband is working on.

Sohj- I hear what you are saying about boredom being a window to creativity. I think a lot of children feel bored and turn on the TV, but many TV free kids use it as an way to come up with new, exciting ideas, or just to have quiet time. So that is what I mean by never being bored; they just come up with creative things to do and do not have a need to be entertained.

As far as TV exposure in other people's homes... this is usually only an issue at the grandparent's home, and they respect our desire to limit media exposure. If we are at a party and someone puts on a video for the kids (this has happened once), I just go in and offer to read to the kids, play outside, etc. It is up to them in that situation; I am not going to force them away from the other kids, but so far I can come up with some fun ideas to keep everyone occupied without videos.
post #30 of 1527
Originally Posted by rainys~mama
...have come to a happy medium of "mindful" as you put it, tv viewing, ...
But, if you look at the evidence Marie Winn presents in The Plug-In Drug, you might come to agree with many here that the very nature of the medium makes "mindfulness" especially hard to keep while watching.

The brain wave state changes. And not to an alert level.
post #31 of 1527
My household is not tv free, but my kid is. I live in a collective, and we like to watch movies. So, the rule is, the tv only comes out when dd is asleep or not there. Although the tv is in the living room, it is under a big cardboard box covered with pictures. Dd doesn't have the faintest idea that there's anything under there!

I think tv is totally crap. I have yet to see anything that is not in direct contradiction to everything I believe in and hope to raise dd to believe in.

I tell people that when she is old enough to make a convincing arguement that she should be able to watch, why then, she'll be able to watch.
post #32 of 1527
Originally Posted by sohj
But, if you look at the evidence Marie Winn presents in The Plug-In Drug, you might come to agree with many here that the very nature of the medium makes "mindfulness" especially hard to keep while watching.

The brain wave state changes. And not to an alert level.
I will take a look at that, the issue I personally have found with being tv free also is the same issue I found with being a raw foodist, vegan or anything else is that it can easily can lead to stress, obession and also isolation...in my experience it is much more managable to be flexible, moderate and find a happy balance in life.

I agree that commercials being aimed at our children are a huge problem and I am very mindful about what my dd sees and what I buy for her...I got rid of any commercialized toys she had and she has not missed them.

My daughter watches PBS an hour or less a day and about 3 dvd's per week and yes, no tv would be ideal but sometimes in life we cant always have what we want so we make the best of our situation.

My husband has been in Iraq for 7 months now and away from home for 14 months since joining the military....it is a rare occasion that I get a break from dd...so for me being 100% tv free while also taking care of my dd 24/7 by myself...not to mention everything else that needs to be done and the stress of a deployment without having a little help from PBS or a DVD makes life real tough and doesnt help me to be a kind, patient and happy mama.

I didnt come to this thread to debate anyone, I think its great that you are able to be tv free. I was tv free when my daughter was an infant but things change. We are Elmo free!...dd does see him on Sesame Street and doesnt ask for any elmo stuff when she see's it. I am proud of the fact that I can go into any store with my daughter and she does not have tantrums over me buying her "stuff".

We live in a very commericalized and consumeristic society and for most people whether we like it or not we have to deal with it. I am teaching my dd to live within the world like it is being *aware* of these things and teaching her moderation in all things. So my point is that sometimes in life we have to bend so its never best to be too stringent about anything because life happens
post #33 of 1527
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rainys~mama
I didnt come to this thread to debate anyone
Can I respectfully say that it does feel like that's what you're doing?

You don't need to defend your dd watching TV to us. I'm just trying to gather some mamas of TV free children together here to chat about being mamas of TV free children.
post #34 of 1527
post #35 of 1527

Don't have a TV

We don't have a TV, but watch lots of videos on our PC / DVD. Love that we don't watch TV and think that some videos are OK. We can also go a week without watching movies.
post #36 of 1527
At first I didn't think I quite fit in with this tribe. We own two tv's. One is a bigscreen (with doors that close). I want to say my kids are tv free, but we just let the 4 yo watch Olympics a couple of nights a few weeks ago. There were several nature videos we checked out from the library when ds2 was newborn. They have watched it with permission a couple of times. Which means they aren't quite tv free, as much as I wish I could say it.

They don't watch tv at all in a normal sense of the description though.

All of my friends know my boys don't watch tv. If they invite us over, it's with the knowledge that I expect the tv to be off. I have had to gently remind some a few times. They've always been more than willing to oblige.

Here's a question. How do you deal with your children's friends talking nonstop about Pokemon movies, or mario brother videos?
post #37 of 1527
I love Sohj's posts on TV.

Sadly, we are not TV free. DS watches DVD's on occassion. Once a week or less. I did read Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think and What we Can do About it and it convinced me that it (the medium, regardless of content) was bad for growing minds, but DH doesn't agree at all. If it were up to me, the kiddies wouldn't see TV, but DH likes to watch stuff with DS - and of course, DS begs/loves it. We just got a mini-van with a DVD player in it (it was part of the upgrade, we couldn't NOT get it) and DH promised it would only be used for loooooooooong trips. Fine. Well this past weekend they went for an hour drive (I stayed home with babe) and DH let DS watch TWO FREAKIN' DVDs. (Nemo & Lion King) : : :

I have to read the other anti-TV books... and thanks to Sohj's posts in the past... I'm watching less TV at night (TiVO of X-Files as I nurse my baby to sleep) and reading books I REALLY want to read (I have so many!!!!)

I am definitely anti-computer games & video games. There are new books on the that topic if anyone wants to read them.
post #38 of 1527
Hey, guys.

I just want to point out that M.A.N. started the thread with "TV-free" in the title.

And it is in FYT.

I'm perfectly happy to debate stuff about TV. As all of you know.

I've got a thread over in Book, Music and other Media that is my total grump-fest on the subject. Feel free to join the fray over there.

[And, I'm available to do on-call interventions for those of you who are trying to give up the habit. Just pm me. Have wire cutters, will travel.]
post #39 of 1527
Originally Posted by ja mama
...Here's a question. How do you deal with your children's friends talking nonstop about Pokemon movies, or mario brother videos?
Short answer: we don't.

We ignore it. Like I did when I was little.

There is always something that someone else is into that you don't know about.

And, if that is all someone will talk about, frankly, I think they are pretty boring. When I was a kid and encountered that, I just made polite excuses and l-e-f-t...IF I couldn't get them to change what they were doing.

I mean, I played some arcade games. I was good at it. But, then we were playing against the quarters we had put in, trying to get good enough, fast enough, to make the game last longer. It was more about a skill, not about entering an electronic world. And when we were done, we left the place and did something.
post #40 of 1527
Originally Posted by rainys~mama
I will take a look at that, the issue I personally have found with being tv free also is the same issue I found with being a raw foodist, vegan or anything else is that it can easily can lead to stress, obession and also isolation...in my experience it is much more managable to be flexible, moderate and find a happy balance in life.

I will bite my tongue from what I *want* to say, and try use tact instead. Honey, you are extremely off-base in your conclusions here. I am a vegan. I am TV free. My sister who lives with us is a raw foodist (and I aspire one day to be one). We lead a very stress-free life and are not "obsessed" or "isolated" in any way. We simply have the guts to practice what we feel our hearts are telling us, and there are plenty others out there who do the same. We are no more extreme than others who follow their convictions. I, personally, feel it's wrong to use animals for food or clothing. To be "flexible" in that conviction would be to compromise my values. I do not feel this is obsessive. I also feel it's wrong to have an extramarital affair. Is this obsessive and inflexible? Or should I be more "flexible" and join a swingers club? What's so bad about sticking to your values?

My children get all the socialization they desire from playgroups, LLL meetings, neighbor kids, etc. They will be homeschooled, so I feel that socialization is important to them. Sarah will soon be enrolled in Suzuki violin school and possibly our local aqua club. We are not isolated in the least. I do seek out other families like mine and I do try to have some say in the interactions my children encounter, but I would not say that being vegan or being tv free would cause me to only allow her to interact with other families that are the same. We haven't turned into some kind of hermits since we've thrown out our tv and animal foods. Please do not be so presumptuous!!!

As for what to do at other people's houses, this is where I can demonstrate that I'm not "inflexible," "obessive" or "isolationist." At my house there is no tv (or animal foods allowed in the house, since you drew that parallel). At others' houses, I do not try to tell them what to do--in other words, yes, it bothers me to see the tv on or see them dining on the bodies of animals, and yes, I worry about how these images will affect my children. But the bottom line is that it's they're house not mine. If I want to spend time with loved ones who I know run their house very differently from mine, I often suggest they come over to my house instead, or that we go to a neutral place like a park or playground. That way we still interact as often as we like and then we are not at their house too often. An occassional exposure to tv or seeing other people eat differently from us may actually present a good opportunity for my children to learn that people have different values and ways of doing things. I try to keep such exposures brief, but I do not "isolate" myself from people who are different from me--to me that would not be teaching my children tolerance or respect for different lifestyles.

The irony here, is that it is *you* who has stereotyped and been disrespectful, IMO.
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