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Mamas of TV Free Children Rollcall - Page 5

post #81 of 1527
I'm a semi tv person too... My daughter is now 26 months and though when she was little we'd watch some Sesame Street, we found that she was becoming addicted in a way. She'd want to watch tv when she was tired and would cry if you didn't let her. We've always known that a lot of tv was not good, so this bothered us and then I read coverage about several studies saying that tv is really not good for kids under 2 (or 3) so we pretty much cut tv out dds life cold turkey. Now on rare occasion she will watch part of Finding Nemo or Monsters, Inc.
post #82 of 1527
Somebody please define "tv free children" to me!

In my mind, this is the definition (but it doesn't seem to fit all of the posters here):

No tv. Don't own a tv. Don't own a vcr. Don't own a dvd... or any other contraption that plays movies or tapes or shows or whatever on a tv screen. And, no dvd on the computer. Isn't this the same as TV?

My mind also tells me this: no tv at all for anyone in the family. No "do as I say, not as I do" tv.


Some of you may know that I have been struggling with this myself lately (started my own intervention thread, even ).

I just find it odd that some posters say "yeah, we're no tv, but.... [fill in the occasional tv/computer dvd viewing]"
post #83 of 1527
TV -free children was my understanding of this thread. DH & I watch dvds AFTER and only after the children are sleeping, NEVER during the day or while the children are present. NO TV, no videos, no computer games or viewing for my kids, heck I don't even turn on the radio when they are in the car, or tapes or cds for that matter, no prerecorded music, (except the occasional salsa cd I can't resist while cooking dinner .
post #84 of 1527
I don't know what the real definition is, I just know what *I* do. For me, no tv means we don't watch the tv :LOL Watching DVDs on the tv is still tv. It's not broadcast tv, but it's still tv. And I would think that watching DVDs on the computer is still tv. We do own a tv though. We only went tv free three months ago and twice in that time, dh and I have watched a video when the kids were at Grandma's. And next week dh intends to tape a mini-series and again, we'll watch it when the kids are at Grandmas (we even have to get someone to tape it for us since we aren't hooked up to cable anymore!)

I guess it depends on your opinions on tv. I think tv is bad for little, developing minds. I don't see it as a big deal if dh and I watch some (twice in three months mind you!). I am happy we don't have it as an everyday option anymore though. I don't want to get back into the schedule we were in where there was something we *had* to watch *every* night of the week. I think life is better now.

But even my kids are not totally tv free according to this thread. In the past three months they have seen some at a friend's house when we went for a playdate and at Grandma's when they were babysat. For me, it's important that we don't have tv available *in the house*. It's not something that we can do every day. It's something that I don't think is a big deal if it's once a month at Grandma's house. And some people *do* think that's a big deal. I respect that opinion, I just don't agree with it.

So I don't think you are going to everyone to agree. But maybe the person who started the tribe gets to decide
post #85 of 1527
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ShannonCC
maybe the person who started the tribe gets to decide
post #86 of 1527
We've been semi-TV free for over a year. We do still own a TV, but it is now in a very inconvenient spot (unfinished basement). On a very rare occasion I will allow my 3 1/2 yo to watch a special DVD (but Disney, etc is OUT) We tend to watch (together mind you, she isn't just plopped in front of the 'boob tube') a language or sign language video or Veggie Tales. DH and I will watch a movie on a rare occasion about once a month. I would eventually love to get rid of the TV entirely. It's been a slow process, but we're working on it.
post #87 of 1527
In terms of the definitions, I grew up television-set- and computer-free.

However, DH and I do own a television-set. But we don't get TV. That's how I think about it anyway - there isn't cable or even an antenna. We are big fans of film noir movies, and early cartoons (1900-1930) and we have lots of DVDs in those categories among others, but most are made before 1970. Which IMO is much different than modern movies. There is no "attitude" in any of our cartoons, they're all pretty peaceful, etc.

When we have kids, we will let them watch these cartoons and movies like the Wizard of Oz and that sort of thing. But no Disney and that sort of (IMO) crap. So maybe we won't be completely TV-free but I think that watching 1 hour of a DVD per week is so close that I'll call us that.

ETA: No video games. Period.
post #88 of 1527
To me, a tv-free kid is a kid who doesn't watch tv. It doesn't really matter whether there's a tv in the house. A family can have a tv, the parents can watch tv, and the kid can still be tv-free. Although, with the prevalence of tvs in every public venue these days, I think you'd be excruciatingly hard-pressed to find a kid who has NEVER EVER seen a nanosecond of tv.

I do wish that my husband didn't turn the football game on when my daughter was around, but that's because I don't want her exposed to the commercials. I don't believe that watching a few minutes on and off of a football game is going to hurt my daughter in any way. I know others disagree with that, and that's ok! I do plan to allow my daughter and son to watch pre-screened, live-action educational videos (like Wild Kingdom and Lonely Planet stuff) when they are old enough to benefit from the material presented. Maybe 7 or 8? I'll have to see when they get to those ages.

post #89 of 1527
Originally Posted by AdrianneWe
My mind also tells me this: no tv at all for anyone in the family. No "do as I say, not as I do" tv.
Not trying to be snide at all, but I don't let my daughter cross the street alone, drive a car, use a sharp knife, or bathe alone, but I don't think I'm setting a "do as I say, not as I do" example. I'm just not allowing her to do things that could harm her given her stage of physical and emotional development. I see the tv issue the same way.

post #90 of 1527

in need of a few words of advice

i am a hypocrite. i have always believed in tv free kids. ds does not watch programming or videos. and really, he could care less. he is more interested in the remote because it makes things happen on the screen!

so here is my problem. i have found myself in a depressed rut whre i have convinced myself that there is nothing else to do. so as ds and i are home during the day, the tv is on. i am watching crap. remember, no cable, so it's not even educational stuff, it's crap like people's court and oprah. i am so ashamed to even admit this to anyone!

we live in a place where there are no families that i would even consider striking up a relationship with. (we are in so cal where hosue prices are so high we had no choice but to buy here). so, no friends close by, no money to fix up our huge yard so there is no palce for ds to play (he is 18mo, btw) and not a lot money to get memberships to museums and zoos, etc.

i have met with some semi-local moms and they meet for play dates, but the timing has been off because of naps for ds.

noticing a trend, i am making excuses for everything.

help! i need some motivation to get creative. any advice would be greatly appreciated. i am really stuck and i can't get myself to shut the damn thing off!
post #91 of 1527
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Not trying to be snide at all, but I don't let my daughter cross the street alone, drive a car, use a sharp knife, or bathe alone, but I don't think I'm setting a "do as I say, not as I do" example. I'm just not allowing her to do things that could harm her given her stage of physical and emotional development. I see the tv issue the same way.


That is an excellent point, dharmamama.

I guess the way I was thinking about it was "parenting by example" - if I don't think tv is good for ds to watch, then I shouldn't be watching it, either. By the same token, if I don't think eating McDonalds is good for ds, then I won't eat it (not that I would want to! ).

Spsmom - s - it's hard when you feel isolated! Do you have a car? Can you get to a park or playground or library every day or so? I find that exposure to fresh air and sunshine always lifts my spirits.

also... when I turn on music my ds really loves it, and it sets a new mood for the room.

I am trying to find activities for my ds when I feel really tired or unmotivated, and the most recent hit is this: I took a bag of rice and poured it into a big bowl, and got out a few different digging/pouring objects, then let him play with it. I also poured the rice all over the train track and told ds it was snow, and he played with it for at least an hour.

Reading books is an easy activity that we both love. Also, playdoh.

I'm sure lots of posters will have more ideas. My biggest piece of advice is to try to go out somewhere every day!
post #92 of 1527
TV free for 6 weeks!! We're expecting ds in 2 months and dh and I want him to have no screen time (defined as tv, movies, computer screen) for minimum the first 2 years. So I went away for a conference, came home, and found that dh had put the tv in the closet under a bunch of stuff! We have said that we'll take it out to watch a movie one of these days, but we haven't yet ... and I expect that we won't for a really long time.

We had already cut out lots of violent viewing -- none of the Law and Order crap for us ... and we went and saw Bourne Supremacy a couple of months ago and basically coudln't even watch it. We just can't watch violence anymore.

My mom and her husband have the tv on in every room (bathroom and kitchen included) all the time. Mom even watches while she talks on the phone to me! Argh! So when they come to visit, it will be a real struggle. I want to tell them, "you're here to meet your new grandchild!!" but dh says we might have to compromise and put the tv in their room while they are here, so they don't have an utter fit.

our friends don't seem to understand that we're tv-free! One said, "how will you ever get a baby sitter?" lol. I guess they don't understand lots about us!

we LOVE baseball and have been listening to the games on the radio -- its been lovely. I sort recipes or knit or get a backrub and we just listen to the game. We also listened to the presidential debates on NPR and found it amazing -- our take on the content and delivery was much different from thsoe who watched it on the tube.

anyway, I'm happy to be here!

--rainy (not rainy's mom! its funny to have two rainy-types here....)
post #93 of 1527
just wanted to add, in the irony dept:

dh was an actor for 10 years ... theater, film, and TV.
post #94 of 1527
We've decided to wean off TV almost completely. First step, we're getting rid of the DVD player and television set. I e-mailed our church mailing list and several people jumped on the offer for them. Yesterday at church a couple people commented on us going TV-free. It's funny how people seem to think it's amazing a family could be TV-free but at the same time insists they could never do it. We went through our DVDs and are starting by selling about half of them. Over time we plan to continue weeding them out and selling them off. For now, if we choose to watch a movie, it will be on the computer. We are hooking the VCR to the computer because we use Calvert School and have Melody Lane and Come Read With Me videos for school purposes. Those are pretty much the only VHS tapes we have, though. Eventually, we hope that the only "TV" will be those videos used in relation to school only.

In the empty space in our entertainment center where the TV used to be we have put a bunch of framed pictures. I love how it looks now. It's clear just by looking at our entertainment center where our priorities lie. Family pictures, tons of books, and homeschooling supplies.
post #95 of 1527
I can't believe I discovered this thread after it was 5 pages long! We own multiple TVs (we were childless for a long time!), but ds and I don't watch tv at all - unless we're in a tornado warning in which case we have a small one in our tornado area to watch the path of the storm. Dh still tunes in occasionally after ds (and usually me!) is asleep. He has really come around as he was initially opposed to the idea of a tv ban, and he is proud of the fact that ds is still an "innocent child" and very imaginative! Oh yeah, we don't watch commercial videos, but before our camera went on the blink, we would occasionally play back video of ds. But only occasionally as he would zombie while watching then bounce off the walls! We don't do dvd's either. My biggest vice (vise?) is this computer and these forums!!!
post #96 of 1527
Heh, I have no problem watching violence :LOL We saw Shawn of the Dead the other week (in the theater). I like "fake" violence though. Zombies, yes, realistic torture scenes, no. I used to love X-Files. I was glad it went off the air when it did or I'd be sorely tempted to watch.

Dh and I used to watch Farscape which was pretty violent, scary and sexual at times. They are having a Farscape mini-series next week and we are having it taped for us. It will take us awhile to watch it all because we'll be doing it an episode at a time when the kids are out of the house. I am looking forward to it but at the same time, I'm glad it's just a 4 day mini-series with a definite END to it as opposed to getting sucked into watching something on a regular basis again.

On the do as I say, not as I do, I think it's like alcohol. Ok, I personally don't drink, but I don't think it's a big deal if dh, a man who's done growing, has an occasional beer. It would be a big deal if dd, a 6 year old who is still growing, had an occasional beer (and worse than dd would be the 2 year old ds). Yet it would be a big deal if dh, whatever his age, drank a six pack a day, every day. So for tv, no big deal if adults watch *some* but the younger the child, the more damage it has the potential to do to them. And no matter how old someone is, if they watch 8 hours a day, I think it's a problem. Just my take on it.

I can't imagine getting rid of the tv completely! What a leap of faith Butter We've found another use for the DVD player though. Dh hooked it up to the stereo so I can play my CDs on it instead of going through his huge 300 CD changer.

Sooooooooooooooooooooo we caved saturday. Dd was sick as a dog and we plugged in the tv and put a video on. The first time in FOUR months she watched tv at home. And then, after it was over, I found myself thinking what the heck *was* I thinking??? :LOL I remembered an article in Mothering (I think?) months ago about how being sick used to be special time with parents, playing games, doing crafts in bed, etc and now it's just being stuck in front of the boob tube. Ok, well, that doesn't hold true for me. When I was sick as a kid it was boob tube time. It just occurred to me how stupid it was. Here we were, four months tv free and HAPPY and she gets sick and I panic and turn it on. What the . . . . ? Why?

So I determined to do better than I had as a child. Yesterday (she was still sick as a dog) we kept it un-plugged and covered (and she didn't ask!). I tried to interest her in crafts (she was really too sick to do any but she enjoyed watching *me* do some next to her). Her dad read to her. She napped. We chatted. I read to her. A LOT Without interruption (other than me taking pee breaks and getting snacks) I read her favorite chapter book to her (Nim's Island). It took 2 1/2 hours (dh had the 2 year old out at a park). She spent most of the time lying on the couch with her eyes shut or under her pillow but everytime I asked if she wanted to nap she said no, she wanted me to keep reading to her

So needless to say, I feel much better about yesterday's sick day. I feel like I spent more time with my sick child, paying attention to her, instead of just putting on a video.

But then, I could only do this because dh was home. I can see how easy it would have been to turn to tv if he wasn't. I have a 2 year old too, you know? Thankfully, it isn't often that either of my kids is as sick as she was yesterday so I guess it won't be much of an issue. Or next time she's that sick, I could call on a grandma to come take boy-o. But how about the people who don't have extended family to help them? Just thinking aloud here.
post #97 of 1527
Originally Posted by ShannonCC
We've found another use for the DVD player though. Dh hooked it up to the stereo so I can play my CDs on it instead of going through his huge 300 CD changer.
T: This is how I play my opera DVD's when I'm not watching them. No need to buy the cd when you can get the production and the music in one DVD bundle!

The reading of the chapter book to your sick dc sounds so cozy and warm! Must have really boosted her spirits! I always loved having my father read to me. I remember well once when I was about 7 or 8 and had a bad case of the flu, and my father sat by my bed and read to me for hours. I said to him "daddy, I love you! I'm going to live with you forever and ever!"
post #98 of 1527
Okay, I've only been able to read the last two pages of this thread, but will you please (briefly) remind me why it is important to be TV Free? DD used to be.

DD was TV free until she turned 2, then I started letting her see videos that I think are pretty good. Stuff like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and other books/stories she already knows well with the original art animated. A construction vehicles video. Nothing "educational" and not Sesame Street or other PBS that purports to be non-commercial then turns around to try and sell you merchandise. She watches maybe an hour and a half a week. Why is this a problem? (I ask because perhaps I want to be dissuaded from allowing even that much!)

As we've allowed a little more here and there, I find that she asks for more and more. That disturbs me, but can't TV be enjoyed in mild moderation?
post #99 of 1527
In our case, it's a slippery slope. As you have seen in your daughter, kids tend to ask for more when they get a little. My kids will get to the point where they are begging to watch videos constantly. When they are allowed to watch more TV, I have noticed that their creativity is a bit stifled. They are less likely to come up with stuff on their own and more likely to just repeat what they have watched. And then there's the behavior. 1/2 hour of TV and my kids will be absolutely crazy for hours. Any TV viewing after 5 pm and Miss A will not (or more likely, can not) settle down until after 10 (normal bedtime is 7:30 with sleep by about 8:30). Mr. Man tends to get more violent after viewing TV (and we're talking Bob the Builder or Veggie Tales, not Kill Bill). So for us TV-free works better than limited TV. YMMV.
post #100 of 1527
Thread Starter 
grumo, see pages 1-3 Lots of good info there.
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