or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › TV....and being a SAHM
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

TV....and being a SAHM - Page 3

post #41 of 61
We do very little tv in this house, but are not completely tv free. Most days it doesn't come on at all. If it does come on it is for a 30 min. video or preselected show. We check out videos from the library and about once a month we have a movie night at home. I'm so happy with our arrangement and let me tell you, the kids play so much, keep themselves occupied and are in there own little imaginary world and that makes me soooo happy!

It wasn't always this way though. My kids are almost 5 and almost 2 1/2. I restricted tv from my first born and when he was 2 he started watching. I tried very hard to limit it, but when my second was born and he was colicky- well the tv became my saving grace. During those first 6 weeks I would catch some sleep if the baby was asleep while my ds1 watched Dora. I was literally hallucinating from sleep deprivation and my husband was working in another state. My second would only sleep in my arms for naps, so the first 10 months he would nap in my arms and I would sit on the sofa with ds1 and we'd watch tv for an hour or two.

Well, once my colicky baby became a toddler things got better. I didn't want him exposed to the tv, so that set a limit on when ds1 could watch (naptime only). DS1 is now in preschool during naptime, so there went tv watching as we knew it. When he isn't in preschool we often use that time to read, but sometimes he'll watch something. Like I said, most days there is no tv.

I get my real alone time at the end of the day when the kids are asleep. That time is SO important to me. During the day I have no problem going to the bathroom with the door wide open. I also shower with the kids.

I think it does get easier as they get older, unless they never learn to entertain themselves and then it will get harder to keep it off. The beautiful part is, you can turn it off! It will be a process to get used to, but it can be done and you won't regret it! You will get some free time too!
post #42 of 61
I don't moderate tv use here, but it's never been an issue niether. I'm getting my MDC time with the help of the Toy Story tape that DS has become addicted to (he watches it every day ) but he doesn't watch anything else, and plays and looks at books and helps me around here too.
post #43 of 61
I also hate tv, for many of the above-mentioned reasons, especially the advertising! GRRR.

I do TiVo Sesame Street every day (deletes the old one when the new one starts) and I have some classics like "Singin' In The Rain'" and "7 Brides For Seven Brothers" and "Grease" that are saved on there. I would never let them just sit down in front of the tv, but I will put on something when I need a shower, or just a moment alone!

Some dvds I let them watch: "The Music Man," "The Sound of Music," (do you see a dancing/musical theme?) "The Best of The Mickey Mouse Club," and some other shows that I know cannot really be advertised to kids. Like, you can't find a "76 Trombones led the big parade" tshirt at Target, thank goodness!
post #44 of 61
I think what the OP and PPs have said about recognizing your limitations is so true. What works for one family regarding TV time may be totally unacceptable to another family, b/c of the adults' limitations.

For me, I like to shower alone. I do have the infant du jour in the bathroom with me while I shower, (that doesn't bother me) but once they hit toddler-dom, I want them out of there while I shower. So, TV goes on during my shower. I don't mind the occasional treat of having my 4 yo son shower with me, but it is so not happening on an every day basis. And frankly, I'd worry too much about him going outside or injuring himself or whatnot to let him "roam free". I know if he's in front of the TV during my shower, he'll be there when I come out, safe and sound. DS knows that when I'm out of the shower, the TV goes off. He even turns it off himself.

OTOH, I have no problem with the kids joining me for potty time. That's just not a limitation of mine.

But I do need downtime in the day, every day. This is usually during the kids' quiet time/nap time. If my son doesn't nap, he must play by himself quietly in the bedroom. But there have been days when he didn't nap and he's been unable/unwilling to play by himself, and I do end up letting him watch a movie those days just so I get time to myself.

Other people have higher or lower limits of how much alone time they need. I agree with the PP - there is so much pressure to be the "perfect parent", that our needs can get easily forgotten. And it's easy to compare ourselves to other parents, even in just replies to this post. "Oh, such-and-such only lets their kid watch 1 hour a week What a fabulous mom!" or "Oh my goodness, this person lets their kid watch 3 hours of TV a day! What are they thinking?" When IMO, it comes down to personal balance. We're all different with different needs.
post #45 of 61
Hi,
In order to shower alone, I have to do it befor DH leaves in the morning. When my first was tiny, it wasn't a priority, so I would skip the shower, or whatever. Life has gone on and showering is now happily a priority, of course!

The TV thing, if it's important to you for TV not to be the backdrop of your childrens' lives, then you have to go through a little bit of pain to have the result you want. I never wanted TV to be the backdrop of my kids' lives. That said, they DO watch a little TV/and or a DVD here and there. For instance, older DS will ask for a video one morning before school, or after, but then for DAYS he doesn't ask for it at all. I am not anti-tv (DH and I DO watch TV at night when the kids are asleep), but I never want the TV to be the backdrop to our lives. Music, yes. TV no. We have a TV cabinet and it is just not opened AT ALL most days unless DS really wants to watch one of his firefighting videos or something.

And about free time? Well, I don't have any! But I don't think that has anything to do with TV or no TV. It's just the age of my kids. I sometimes sneak into the kitchen with a magazine, or when my little one is sleeping I try to squeeze in some reading or computer time. Going to the bathroom by myself is a luxury!

If it's a priority to you for your kids to watch less and less TV, and eventually be mostly TV-free, then you'll make it happen.
post #46 of 61
The TV is on quite a bit at our house. However, we just go about our business, rarely paying attention to it. I keep the volume down to almost none, and the captions on, in case I glance at it and want to know what is going on.

My children will glance at it every now and then, but it doesn't interfere with their activities. My oldest has learned a lot from shows like Sesame Street, Mr. Rodgers, Barney, etc. She really likes to watch movies, but again we stick with more classical/clean movies. We also like ones with lots of music. During the normal day with me, she doesn't get her movies, but they have become a special thing for when her daddy is home and in the car. At 2, she can sing the songs from Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sound of Music, etc.

Like restricting delicious foods, trying to restrict the TV will only make them want it more. I just don't see the point in making a big deal of it one way or another.

Also, I don't get into advocating for them to get hooked on a certain show, or buy products relating to the shows. This doesn't stop others from buying the stuff for them, but I don't see my kids attached to them in any way.
post #47 of 61
I limit TV by not having cable, so it's PBS or videos only. We have the TV in a different room then our main hang out. Since ds would rather be with me, he will leave the room to check up on me then not go back. Young kids like repetition, so I don't worry about providing much variety with video tapes. I try to make sure the tapes are slow paced, like Blue's Clues with Steve.
post #48 of 61
We are tv free and I have lots of reasons, but they are the common ones available anywhere anyone chooses to look about the effects of screen time on little ones and on the rest of us. So, I won't get on that soapbox, but I would encourage anyone who wants a little push to give up tv to do even just a little research.

I put a baby gate on Ezra's bedroom door after Phaedra was born. He was 2 at the time. That way he could be there with free access to his toys and some rompin room, Phaedra could be in the bathroom with me or napping or in a safe baby place (this varied with age), and I could shower. It was hard for the whole first year, but we just did not have tv as an option, outside of a little blip right at the start during some medical stuff. That little blip actually just hardened our resolve to remain (restart) tv free.

I taught Ezra and then Phaedra (and even Sylvie) that they could play near me and not particularly interact with me. I am an introvert and I NEED psychological space off and on. So, we still have 1.5 to 2 hours of quiet time a day. I will read a book or email and expect the kids to interrupt, but not constantly demand interaction. The thing is they are still near me, just not engaging me. You can teach your children about your personal boundaries, but for me, it was a tricky proposition until they each hit certain ages. Like at 18 months, I could read in the same room and not hear too much clamouring. At 2, I could clean the bathroom without him/her trying to climb in the tub. Now that Phaedra is almost 4 and Ezra almost 6, I can bathe (not shower) without them running in and out of the bathroom constantly.

I sometimes send the big ones out of the kitchen just because I cannot work with them there. This is harder when there is only one big one, I remember. That's where the baby gate came in. Also, we had a fenced backyard and I encouraged Ezra to play outside by himself. I was totally willing to make a mud pit for him to play in if it meant I would have 20 minutes of baby only time. I of course did not get in the shower while he was outside My kids always have outside clothes for whatever the weather, and I send them outside some part of everyday, although again that is easier with two over 2 yo.

I guess I'm not much help. I think this has become rambling...
post #49 of 61
I don't think there's anything wrong with watching some tv. My dd has been watching tv since she was a baby. Only a few minutes a day of baby einstein but she would giggle and laugh when she saw it. I would try anything to see that

Now that she's a toddler I limit her tv viewing to 1-2 hours a day. She loves Dora, Pooh and Elmo right now. Sometimes she will start pointing at the tv and whining to watch it but I just tell her no gently and re-direct her attention.

I leave the tv on all day for myself, I just like the background noise I guess, otherwise it feels kind of lonely and quiet here (aside from the squeels or cries of a toddler of course). But if my shows are on she doesn't pay any attention, she only looks if it's a cartoon.

I have also used the tv to get cleaning done for one thing. When it comes to dishes she loves helping me put them away and she has a little vacuum to push around when I do that but it's impossible to do laundry or mop if she's hanging onto my ankles and throwing everything around or trying to walk through a wet spot.

I don't mind the bathroom thing, she just comes with me when I go but when dh is home I get him to watch her so I can take a bath or do it after she goes to bed. If we both need a bath we'll just take one together but I prefer taking baths by myself since that's where I read and it's my only chance. She doesn't take naps any more so I also use bed time as a time to get things done or do something for myself.

Toys don't keep her occupied or keep her attention for that long so there's really nothing else I can think of to suggest. Personally I think the best thing to do is use tv in moderation, there are studies that show how many hours is too much. I think some of it is even educational but mostly it's just entertainment. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. If other people want to be tv-free, all the more power to them. You don't have to beat yourself up or feel guilty because your family watches tv.
post #50 of 61
Thread Starter 
well OP here, to update, I tried going tv free and couldn't do it. My life turned into non stop of him asking and begging and demanding to watch just one video!

Finally he stunned me by getting into the cabinet and getting a DVD out, closing the case and cabinet and putting it in the DVD player and turning on the tv- I came out and he was watching his video! Well since he learned he can do it I haven't been able to stop him! I moved the DVD's to on top of the fridge but he just turns on the TV and changes channels until he finds some cartoon or something!

And I am going nuts!

So now I am thinking maybe I create a monster by saying NO MORE and what I should do is just allow him to watch as much as he wants- heck he will get bored won't he? Who can sit and watch tv all day? Maybe this is like that food argument where you let your kid eat sweets if they want and they will self regulate thier diet?
post #51 of 61
My ds is strong willed the same way. We do put away the TV when my neice visits (she is afraid of it). We literally disconnect it and move it out of the room so neither ds or her sister turn it on. So, like I posted above, I try to minimize it w/o denying it. Right now, ds (4) is into computer games because they are more interactive.
post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMine
So now I am thinking maybe I create a monster by saying NO MORE and what I should do is just allow him to watch as much as he wants- heck he will get bored won't he? Who can sit and watch tv all day? Maybe this is like that food argument where you let your kid eat sweets if they want and they will self regulate thier diet?
This is how we see it. DS (3) does watch more tv than I am comfortable with, but he also runs around a ton, loves to look at books and helps me with the cooking and the house. I am one of those kids who was either reading or watching tv (highly highly visual) and I ended up not watching much at all as an adult.

We also let DS make choices about food but at the same time we talk about healthy choices and making sure your body has good fuel. We believe he knows his own needs and if he wants to veg for a video (or more) that is fine.
post #53 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMine
well OP here, to update, I tried going tv free and couldn't do it. My life turned into non stop of him asking and begging and demanding to watch just one video!

Finally he stunned me by getting into the cabinet and getting a DVD out, closing the case and cabinet and putting it in the DVD player and turning on the tv- I came out and he was watching his video! Well since he learned he can do it I haven't been able to stop him! I moved the DVD's to on top of the fridge but he just turns on the TV and changes channels until he finds some cartoon or something!

And I am going nuts!

So now I am thinking maybe I create a monster by saying NO MORE and what I should do is just allow him to watch as much as he wants- heck he will get bored won't he? Who can sit and watch tv all day? Maybe this is like that food argument where you let your kid eat sweets if they want and they will self regulate thier diet?
I respectfully diagree. If you want him to stop, then get rid of the cable so that he can not watch TV, even if he does turn the set on. You are the mama. He may be upset at first, but if you decide that there is to be no TV, then he will have to learn. It is our job to impose what we think is best on our kids sometimes, even if they disagree. Sometimes they need to learn that no means no, even if it takes them a week or two to learn it.

I ate sweets all the time as a kid, and I developed an eating disorder...I also watched WAY too much TV as a kid. I wish my parents had pulled the plug. I did NOT self-regulate.

We are TV-free in our house. And we are GD. But there are things that I feel are harmful (TV being one of them), and those things we do not allow.
post #54 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWine
I respectfully diagree. If you want him to stop, then get rid of the cable so that he can not watch TV, even if he does turn the set on. You are the mama. He may be upset at first, but if you decide that there is to be no TV, then he will have to learn. It is our job to impose what we think is best on our kids sometimes, even if they disagree. Sometimes they need to learn that no means no, even if it takes them a week or two to learn it.
Honestly, I feel the same way. Shut it in the closet or something.

It's like when I hear some parents say, "all he'll eat is (insert unhealthy junk food)!" Well, you're the parent, so you decide what to have in your house. If you want him to stop eating something, stop buying it. Yeah he might tantrum awhile, but he'll get over it.

I feel that way about TV.
post #55 of 61
I am torn between those two ideas... give free reign and they will learn to self regulate vs. limit things you find harmful. I did not self limit well as a kid. We were allowed to watch a lot of tv, and I was/am entranced by it. Literally, that's what it feels like. It feels hypnotic. I'm sure my oldest is like me in this respect. When we had the tv in the livingroom, it was hard for him to think about doing anything else, even things he loved. I remember being that way as a kid. I look back on my childhood and mourn over the hours upon hours I wasted glued to the tube. On the other hand, no one was making me watch it -- it was my choice. I think that was where my parents were coming from. They wanted to give me options, let me choose my activities. They were also tired at the end of the day and it was easier for them if I was happy watching tv. I think also that they were conflicted about it (they knew too much tv was bad) and I picked up on it. I think my mom tried to convince me not to watch, but it came across as shaming (to me) and really didn't help me in breaking the habit. As an adult, now, I have to not have cable and keep the tv in the basement to "self regulate" my viewing. When it was in the main room, I would turn it on at the slightest provocation. My ideal is to have it fairly limited -- one (or two) family movies a week, including nature shows or other "educational" videos.

Oh, but on the other hand, I do wonder if things are done well with "free reign" (not getting upset and trying to manipulate kids into doing other things if they watch too much, not setting up tv as a special, desireable activity by saying 'You can't watch tv until xyz is done', etc.) if kids would learn to self regulate just fine. I just tend to think that tv is such an unnatural phenomenon that trusting 'nature' to help children self regulate is unreasonable. Same thing with sweets -- the amount of sweets we have access to is certainly unnatural.

I agree with the above posters. My kids, especially my oldest, would ask and beg and plead and cry and whine for tv (we had cable for a while when our third was born, I used it as a help when I was busy with the baby or depressed, and we have had to 'wean' off of it). I tried unplugging it when it wasn't in use, but if he sees it, he wants it. Right now it is in the basement, he doesn't really like to go down there on his own, and there are lots of fun toys down there to play with instead. He is watching much less and now is asking to watch it rarely -- only if I get distracted with getting something done and he is bored. Offering to read to him or play a game now usually works. But it took more than a few days. Oh, and I find that it is great that he is bored sometimes now. Some of their most creative play has come at times that might otherwise be filled with tv because they were bored and whiney. Sometimes the boys (6 and 4) just aggravate each other and don't play well, and those times I step in. But other times they manage to think up great games together, or 6 yo practises reading or writing and 4 yo draws or pretends he is a baby cheetah.
post #56 of 61
Thread Starter 
I agree that some kids seem more "attached" to TV than others. My eldest is that way- the one I am having issues with but he has friends and we go to their house and the TV is always on and the kids just ignore it...they don't even look at it. My son can't ignore it. He has to watch.

My house is small enough that I don't have an out of the way room to put a TV and my husband would not be OK with us being TV free or cable free. This has to be handled by me.

Generally I try to avoid a fight if I can but this is an issue I can't avoid or find a systemic solution to (Like getting rid of the TV). I hate having something that will be a dicipline issue every day several times a day! Somedays it has been an all day struggle!
post #57 of 61
I believe in self-regulating ----but age appropriate. My 3 year old is one of those hypnotized by tv. I could turn gone with the wind on and come back two hours later and she would be there all glassy-eyed. Maybe when she is older, I will let her decide how much tv is enough, but not now.
post #58 of 61
Well my children self-regulate their own tv viewing habits and it is working fine for our family. They are only allowed to watch parent-approved shows and they don't control the television remote by themselves but they can watch when they want to watch and turn it off when they want to watch. Some days they watch none, especially in the summer. Some days, especially in the winter, they will watch 4 hours. I know that sounds horrible to people but they are awake 11 hours a day so I figure if they feel like vegging out occasionally that is their business. I know I have days when all I want to do is wrap myself in a blanket, grab some snack food and park in front of the tv. They are wonderful at imaginative play and make up stories and games all the time. Often they will be watching tv and one of them will suggest a game and they will turn it off and go play. I used to be in the no tv camp, heck I used to believe a lot of things, but then I realized I was only doing that and saying that because of what I thought I "should" say or what Mothering would say. Now I do what I think is best for my kids and we are all happy with it.
post #59 of 61
My children are older,but when they were younger,I really monitored what they watched...I really dislike alot of the childrens programs on PBS,I felt that some of them talked down to children.'
Now that they are older, the television is off except when dh is home,then it is only on Discovery Kids, Science Channel, National Geographic, or other educational channel..Occasionally he will watch a classic movie on TCM or AMC.
They would rather read or other activity.

Now with my oldest television was a baby sitter,I didn't know any better ...LOL
post #60 of 61
I have a baby and two year-old too. I was never comfy with the 1/2 hour to hour we watched nearly every day, and I had had it with the tantrums from turning it off. Well, one week, I just never turned it on. Not even to shower. I just didn't consider it an option. And he never missed it. I think maybe when they're two they're less likely to ask for it than if they're older?

Well, we had some hitting-the-baby-issues, so I've gone back to using it when I shower, which for me was imperative for my mental health and if I got up (at dawn) before them to do so, the baby would wake as well. Perhaps for you something else is more important. But I don't turn it on beyond that one golden thing (showering), unless he's sick or it's a REALLY bad day or something. I just don't view it as an option, and it's hard, but that completely TV-free week showed me that it wasn't as hard as I thought.

I find also at this age that they don't always play well by themselves, but sometimes he does, and I was just afraid that too much TV would completely eradicate those times. I say don't beat yourself up if you need it to shower or prepare dinner, but otherwise I don't worry so much about getting things done, and don't turn it on. I'm guessing that the TV battle will only get harder as they get older and the habit is more entrenched.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Stay at Home Parents
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › TV....and being a SAHM