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Mamas of TV Free Children Rollcall - Page 41

post #801 of 1527
oh, I can't wait until Maya has more fun playing independently. She really still needs my presence most of the time -- she's 2.5+ -- most often, she'll help me with what I'm doing, but, really, she mostly wants me to play with her directly. It's hard. But I have found that the "I'll be right there, in just a couple minutes, after I finish xyz" often works. And, more often than it used to be, if I ask her to wait she gets into playing herself. Oh, those are the glory times!

I am CONVINCED, however, that the time will come when she is brilliant at entertaining herself because her little brain is so full of its own growing instead of the bombarded electronics of the television.

--Heather
post #802 of 1527
You know, I moved all my dishes to low cabinets and my 2.5 yr old and 4.5 year old unload the dishwasher with me, and reload it. They fold laundry with me, and the LOVE to do anything that involves spraying and wiping. They have small brooms and ''help me'' and our vaccume can be shortened and they use the real vacuum and each take a turn before I finish up. Some days they do a tiny spot, some days they do the entire living room themselves. My oldest can cut soft veggies on her own now [her own cutting board, but with me] and my 2.5 year old can with help. They like to sit and hand me the veggies as I ask for them for making dinner. They love to sprinkle the cut veggies into the salad or pan. They liek to strip down and help scrub teh bathtub.

They usually come in and out of housework... it slows down when they join in, but I know it is invaluable for them. Then as it bores them they meandor off to play.

Include them in your ''work'', they can learn so much from it.
post #803 of 1527
Thanks everyone for your replies. Good idea about moving dishes to lower cabinet. I've been meaning to do that with her dishes and snacks etc..

She is at least very easy to distract from the TV and eager to play and work with me instead.

I'm planning to slash our cable service and it's giving me the willies lol
Like giving up chocolate or something!
post #804 of 1527
as I've said before, Maya is 100% tv-free, but Josh and I watch quite a bit -- we consider it something like sharp knives, driving a car, voting, etc. A right and responsibility when the age is appropriate.

that said, we know life could be so much calmer if we didn't ZONE out in front of the tube. we've started to use dvds instead of having a HUGE monthly cable bill. it's a lot mellower, we save $, and we still get our fix of "good tv."

I love the days, by the way, when Maya really wants to help with the household tasks -- I've realized that lately she's been fighting some kind of bug/virus so that explains her apparently regression into dependent-only play. I'm hoping she'll get into folding laundry when she wakes. :-)

--Heather
post #805 of 1527
Hi again!

My zapper isn't here yet, and I really wanted it today! We went for breakfast and the 400 sq ft pub had FIVE, count them, FIVE televisions in it! It's sensory assault. There was a father there with his two little boys, they were all stuck like flys to paper. We aren't going back, and I'm writing a letter as to why.

It's so amazing the things one can get finished, or even started, without the TV:

READING, sewing, knitting, cleaning, cooking, TALKING, scrapbooking, dancing, pet care, freezing, canning, drawing, games, LEARNING, decorating, exercising, meditating, organizing, etc...

Turn off your TV week is coming up this April, is anyone planning any activism?
post #806 of 1527
just did the interview with the woman writing the book about tv-free families, I wandered quite a bit off topic, but it was awfully fun.

didn't know about turn off your tv week, but for those of you like me who didn't know: http://www.tvturnoff.org/ has info.

I'd love to do something around that week!

how sad is it that I thought, "would it count if we videotape the one show I'd care about missing?" sad, sad, sad.

:-)

So glad M is tv-free.

Heather
post #807 of 1527
I saw Brokeback Mountain with some friends the other night (it was excellent, by the way). As I tried to go to sleep that night, I found it difficult with all those images swimming around in my head. Added to that were many many many images of other movies and shows I've seen. When I watched a lot of TV, I remember having images and thoughts of TV and what was going on in my shows and what would go on. They were easier to dismiss then, but I spent so much of my intellect thinking and wondering about these things. What a waste.

I enjoyed the movie, and I enjoy thinking about what I saw but I wish, on the whole, that I had been more selective about my TV and movie viewing. It is amazing to my some of the images I can pull from the things I watched in my childhood. I want those brain cells back. I don't need to have horror movie pictures popping into my brain when I am contemplating something totally unrelated.
post #808 of 1527
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumo
I enjoyed the movie, and I enjoy thinking about what I saw but I wish, on the whole, that I had been more selective about my TV and movie viewing. It is amazing to my some of the images I can pull from the things I watched in my childhood. I want those brain cells back. I don't need to have horror movie pictures popping into my brain when I am contemplating something totally unrelated.

My daughter's teacher always tells us to be selective about what images we allow into our children's heads because once it is there, you can't get it back.
post #809 of 1527
So true! I've really started being selective about the images I'm exposed to.... the last straw was when a girlfriend begged me to come to a zombie movie with her, I spent much of the time with my eyes shut and my fingers in my ears! Not because it was scary, but because it was really offensive and once something is "in there," it's there forever.
post #810 of 1527
I just got off the phone with the professor doing the study on TV-free families. It was nice for once to freely verbalize all my thoughts about TV and our family's reasons for not having one without fear of judgment or snide comments.

She was especially keen to talk to my husband, so I'm thinking her pool of respondents at this point is probably mostly female and she's trying to even that out a bit.

I'm eager to see the results of her study when she finally publishes them. She mentioned that her own family has been TV-free for about 12 years.
post #811 of 1527
I just wanted to say that I'm new here and we are a *mostly* TV free family! I say mostly because DH and I do enjoy football, though we don't watch much with the kids because the previews for other TV shows are AWFUL.

(I know that football in and of itself could be considered yucky programming, please don't flame me for that.)

I just hate the TV and how the kids zone out and don't interact or think for themselves. Yeah for all you no TV mamas!
post #812 of 1527

Computer/Television=screen time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Honey
Does anyone else have trouble rationalizing using the computer when you or your child is TV free?...Although the computer does have a lot of benefits, to me it's also 'screen time'...I wonder if sitting in front of this glowing box really fits in with natural family living at all...

Does anyone else worry about this, or is the computer just completely different to you? I think I am gearing myself up for a computer free spring/summer, and to be honest the thought isn't a pleasant one.
The same thought occurred to me about a year after we went TV-free. I was still in school at the time, and the computer was a "neccessary evil". But shortly after I graduated, we moved, and the computer did not.

We live about 6 blocks from the University library's computer lab, so we still have Internet access for things like research projects, etc. (And once-in-awhile games for the kids/ MDC for Mumma ), but we have to decide if we want to go online badly enough to walk the 6 blocks to get to the library.
At first it was a pain, and EVERYone went through withdrawls, but there are some significant benefits to having to use public internet.

1. Because the library has a time limit on patrons' Internet use, it doesn't get out of hand, (and I'm not the bad guy who's telling the kids, "You have to get off the computer, now!")
2. There's no way to stay up all night online, because the library closes at 11:00!! )
3. The library has a whole crew of IT guys to fix the computer if neccessary; I don't have to even think about repairs/maintenance, let alone pay for them.


I promise, being computer-free is not as bad as you think.
post #813 of 1527
I've got my TV-Be-Gone!

Whoo-hoo!
post #814 of 1527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitty
I've got my TV-Be-Gone!

Whoo-hoo!

Have fun!
post #815 of 1527
I'm subbing... I have tried to do limited tv in the past (putting the tv in a closet unless there's something we really want to watch, for instance), and we always ended up, sooner or later, watching too much. I'm thinking now that I can't manage to keep it balanced. I am one of those who gets hypnotized by the tube -- if it is on, it draws my attention. I'm an information junkie, and if a show is on -- even if is is a silly 80s sitcom rerun -- I feel like I HAVE to know how it turns out, and so keep it on even if there are other things I would rather be doing. My oldest kid -- now six -- seems to be very much like me in this respect. He would watch tv all day if I let him. He would take breaks for other things eventually, but if he could choose, the majority of his time would be spent with the tv. When I had a newborn and we were stuck in a cluttered basement during renovations, that's exactly what he did. So, I think I'm coming to a point where I realize that our family just can't strike an acceptable balance, and we'll just have to get rid of the tv. I feel badly for my dh -- he's an info junky as well, and doesn't enjoy reading as much as I do. When he watches tv, he doesn't watch sitcoms unless it's something he really likes. He watches mostly history documentaries, science shows, etc. We will be moving shortly and won't be bringing our (old, clunky, not working very well anyway) tv with us. I have unhooked it from the vcr and dvd and will be packing them up shortly; we can't watch any channels without them acting as the antenna.

I was worried that it would be a rough transition. For a few years now, we've had the tv in our basement. The kids have a few toys down there -- a car track that is too big and loud to have upstairs, a trampoline, a rope ladder, and a swing. If they wanted to watch tv, they had to go down for that express purpose, and would often end up jumping and climbing as they watched. Now that it's all unplugged, they sometimes ask to go down, but I just tell them it isn't working right now and suggest something else for them to do. It seems that the out of sight, out of mind thing is working for us here. I think it has also helped that a couple of days after unhooking the tv, I pulled out a play pen someone gave us. We have an 1.5 year old, and she has started getting into everything the older kids play with, and becoming bored with the parts of the house she has explored over and over again. The kids are all having fun playing with the play pen -- I am decluttering our "schoolish" toy closet and right now, they are pretending that the play pen is a store and making up a monetary system using legos and big wooden beads. They have been playing very well together. There used to be a lot of fighting over what they watched (with our antenna, we pull in CBC and TVO, and both have commercial-free "educational" kids' programming), how loud it was, how loud the other person was playing in the basement so the one watching tv couldn't hear it, whether or not the person who stayed downstairs during a movie while the other person went to the bathroom paused the movie and kept it paused, yada yada yada. They have been playing so well together, now that they're actually *playing*. Imagine that! I thought the mornings would be particularly rough -- I have been staying up late at night to declutter and clean for the move, and I sometimes sleep in and then have to get done the work I usually do in the am before the kids wake up. Normally, I would let them watch some tv. This morning, I looked in the livingroom partway through my work -- my two older kids (6 and 4) were sitting on the couch together, each reading (or in my 4 yo's case, looking at the pics in) books they were given for Christmas. I have occasionally used stories on tape (or on cd or online) when we want some effortless entertainment. I can only do so much reading in a day

I a week or two, the kids and I will head off to stay with my parents for a while, so dh can work on getting the house ready to sell. It will be tough being without tv there -- their house (and my ILs, they live near my parents and we will be visiting them as well) isn't particularly kid-friendly, and I have no help when I'm there, as my parents both work and have a long commute. I usually try to pack light, but this time we'll bring lots of fun toys. Bringing the play pen should help. My parents usually have the tv on for most of the evening, and my dad obliviously watches shows that I don't consider appropriate for my kids -- but they want to be with grandpa. (He's really a great grandpa, but he has a very physically exhausting job and needs to relax and unwind at the end of the day, and as much as he loves reading, his eyes have problems that can't be corrected with glasses, so he can't really do that for any length of time.) So, I'll likely spend some of my "free time" there reading this thread for encouragement.
post #816 of 1527
just wanted to share what happened to us friday night. we were at my 4 yo niece's b-day party at her house. at one point, her 5 yo sister asked me if we were leaving. i said no, not yet, we'll be here a little longer. she told me she wanted me to leave. (! i'd been assuming she was *hoping we'd stay longer ) a little later the 4 yo said to her mom "when they are finished leaving, can i watch a movie?"

wow. i really appreciate that my bil & sil are supportive at least 50% of the time of the fact that we don't want dd to watch tv. but it's somewhat disturbing to me that the girls needed to watch tv so desperately, especially when there were all kinds of brand new toys that they'd just gotten and adults willing to interact with them....

hope this makes sense, i typed quickly so i could join dh for lunch.
post #817 of 1527
Hi! I'm psyched - I didn't know you all were here?! Haven't had time to read all the posts, but . . .

I have two year old twins. They were very low TV (about 1.5 hours a week) till 18 months when we just went cold turkey.

DH and I will watch a DVD (our only one is in the basement office, where the kids don't go) after they go to bed once or twice a week, but that's cause we're too brain dead by then to do much else. We've talked about getting rid of it, but we both love the documentary selection on Netflix

Happy to subscribe . . .
post #818 of 1527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander
just wanted to share what happened to us friday night. we were at my 4 yo niece's b-day party at her house. at one point, her 5 yo sister asked me if we were leaving. i said no, not yet, we'll be here a little longer. she told me she wanted me to leave. (! i'd been assuming she was *hoping we'd stay longer ) a little later the 4 yo said to her mom "when they are finished leaving, can i watch a movie?"

wow. i really appreciate that my bil & sil are supportive at least 50% of the time of the fact that we don't want dd to watch tv. but it's somewhat disturbing to me that the girls needed to watch tv so desperately, especially when there were all kinds of brand new toys that they'd just gotten and adults willing to interact with them....

hope this makes sense, i typed quickly so i could join dh for lunch.
That is just messed up. Shows you how addictive the screen is.
post #819 of 1527
I'm new to this thread but wanted to post even though I haven't read through many of the posts.
I WAS a TV free child for the most part, my parents got rid of the TV when I was in the 4th grade. It was fine and I never missed it although I was 'glued' to it whenever I was around it. Thats why I can't have cable, or I just 'flip' and zone all day. So, we don't have cable but we do have a TV. And I am ready to get rid of it if only to be able to say (as a few moms said at the start of this forum) my kids never say they are bored!!!! We don't watch much TV but we do watch at least 1-2 'movies' (kids things, sometimes movies, sometimes taped shows) The things is, we bought the TV and I have a hard time getting rid of something that we paid so much for in the first place! (stupid I know) So we keep it around for movies and such but I miss what used to be called 'family time' which while grownign up was where we played games and enjoyed each other and the quiet. In this family we 'watch a movie' together and call that family time! . And I have to say my biggest 'vice' is that I put on a short 30 min movie in the morning so I can have my cup of coffee and be online for a little while. So....all you mamas out there with more experience any help and encouragment you might have would be greatly appreciated!
post #820 of 1527

Frightening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander
.... it's somewhat disturbing to me that the girls needed to watch tv so desperately, especially when there were all kinds of brand new toys that they'd just gotten and adults willing to interact with them....

I guess that's why it's called the "Plug-In Drug". (And why there are withdrawals when we go off of it cold turkey!) I wonder what else in American culture is "innocuously" addictive? (Food additives, for a start. )

It really makes me happy about my decision to eliminate television from our home, and reinforces my desire to NEVER own another television.
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