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"But they'll be FREAKS!"

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
We're currently simplifying our lives. We have decided to do away with TV for the time/brain/money suck it creates.

While my extended family is shocked, they haven't judged. I keep getting comments online (so taken with a grain of salt, though they show just how society really thinks) that my children are going to be freaks because we don't let them watch TV.


My kids play outside (well, when it isn't super hot and humid). They have imagination. They play with each other. They currently go to preschool and haven't been labeled a freak.

The freaky kids are those who are obsessed with a TV character. They are the ones who watch TV all day long.

When did having a traditional childhood become "freaky?"
post #2 of 48
well an old-fashioned childhoos certainly isn't the norm, and therefore is 'freaky.'

it's also really unfortunate.
post #3 of 48
Don't worry about it. Kids are amazing....they will STILL know all about whatever it is that is the latest even without tv (unless they are totally immersed in a world without pop culture references, in which case it doesn't matter).

My friends are all amazed that I know exactly what is happening on "Flavor of Love" or "Project Runway" because we don't have cable. But I go to the gym and watch TV there (and not even that often...I'm usually in exercise classes). Just seeing ONE show every three weeks keeps me up to date.

Kids are even more ingenuous than that.

Probably there's a level of "Oh, I so wish I wanted to get rid of my tv" if that makes sense. It's like telling someone you did a dietary cleanse, or ran a marathon, or read War and Peace. Lots of people have perceptions about the type of people who do those things and admire the qualities that make one do ________. But they don't actually want to DO the thing themselves. So they just try to keep you from doing it. (read: TV free often appears to others as a higher intellectual plane, so if YOU get rid of your tv, you must be smarter than them. Silly, yes.)
post #4 of 48
Then your little freaks can be friends with my little freaks, because we are not raising our children with TV, either.
post #5 of 48
Add our to kids to the feaks.

We do watch movies though.

People are always trying to have conversations with us about the latest shows. Dont they have anything else to talk about

I love the way kids play when they dont have TV
post #6 of 48
lol they'll be freaks? thats ridiculous IMO.

that said, i have a major tv problem, lol. I have to have the tv on at all times, and when im at work, theres no tv, so i have the radio on, lol. im a dork than needs major like stimulation all the time.

Hopefully, my kids wont end up that way, so i think you're doing them a great service
post #7 of 48
My little freak can also be friends with your little freaks!

We watch Mr. Rogers, the occasional Little Bear, and that's about it. Mr. Rogers was recently pulled from our local PBS lineup, so we are down to the occasional DVD the show that is borrowed from friends. We don't know about Dora, Blue, or the Backyardigans. Dd went to Lowes the other day and thought Santa in the Christmas decorations was Noah (as in the Bible story)! Yeah, we're freaks.

But, we play well, read a lot, sing, and talk. I'm a media addict myself, so it's a discipline for all of us.

Here's to the freaks!:
post #8 of 48
To quote Jimi Hendrix, "I'm gonna wave my freak flag high!"

Ask them what all the freaks did before tv was invented.
post #9 of 48
I guess my kids are naturally freaks, because we have TV, but they really aren't interested in it. When they do watch, they stop 10 minutes later to go pretend play.
post #10 of 48
My kid doesn't have TV. He's obsessed with book characters and penguins and the Beatles. Oh yeah, and in typing things in search boxes on the internet, and teaching himself to write. He seems to do more than okay playing with other children.
post #11 of 48
Yeah for the freaks then! I think it takes a lot of discipline to go tv free in today's world. I think you're doing a great thing for your kids. I'm debating on going tv free myself. I think the only reason I haven't is b/c we signed a contract why did we do that?) I think as soon as its up we'll go to no tv too. Just movies as a family now and then. What it really is though is you don't have tv as a 'babysitter' now. Some people don't want to take the time to deal with their kids or play with them. Sad as it is. I think its great that you won't have tv. Although I'm going to have to overcome my Desperate Housewives addiction first!
post #12 of 48
I think people tend to think that people who live without TV shelter their kids, make them live in a bubble. It's the same reason people think home-schoolers are weird. They usually just assume that you don't allow TV because you don't want your children seeing what goes on out there, so they think that your children aren't going to fit into society because of this.
post #13 of 48
This would be a great conversation for a TV-Free Forumn!!!
post #14 of 48
Originally Posted by LittleYellow View Post
This would be a great conversation for a TV-Free Forumn!!!
Is there one here?
post #15 of 48
Oh, Little Yellow, you got here first!

Our kids, at 3, are tv-free. We do use youtube, for about 10 minutes at part of the bedtime routine, usually to watch a clip or two that relates to something the kids are interested in, or something we read about that day, etc... To be completely honest, I should admit that we also sometimes watch an old Sesame Street skit from the 70's.

We do have a television, with an antenna and a 70's-era "antenna booster" so we get all of 4 -- sometimes 5 -- channels. DH and I get movies from the library and watch them after the kids go to bed. I'm working on a long-term plan to get the TV out of the living room altogether (it's taking up valuable real estate in our small house.) Decluttering is part of that plan.

I have been confronted by people who have told me that my kids are going to be social outcasts because they don't watch television. While it's genetically likely that they'll be social outcasts (), I just don't find the "social outcast' argument a compelling reason to turn on the TV. Especially not for three-year-olds.

Even without television, the kids are aware of (let me think...) the character "Dora," the character "Scooby Doo," the character "Thomas," and probably a handful of others, just from talking to other kids, seeing the likenesses on various products in stores and other peoples' toys, books at story times, and the like. The kids have expressed awareness of the character "Shrek" just from seeing him in so many grocery store displays (although they don't know what his name is) and have probably the same familiarity with "Spongebob," just from seeing him around (although, again, they don't know who he is.) So they do pick some things up just from osmosis. I'm not happy that they know this stuff, but maybe it will help them "pass" when they're up against all that social scrutiny in preschool. :

You're doing the right thing!
post #16 of 48
Oops, double post. Nothing to see here.
post #17 of 48
Originally Posted by LittleYellow View Post
This would be a great conversation for a TV-Free Forumn!!!
I thought the same thing!

Originally Posted by Let It Be View Post
Then your little freaks can be friends with my little freaks, because we are not raising our children with TV, either.
Us too! I love being TV free! And I don't think that my child is missing out AT ALL.

I will admit that my child gives a blank stare to the barber who always asks what his favorite cartoons are. Why doesn't anyone ask him what his favorite book is? Or which playground has the best slide? Or if he prefers drawing or painting?
post #18 of 48
Oh, dear! How could you deprive your children of yet another opportunity to fit in with all their peers! Next you'll be refusing them Barbie dolls and Twinkies!

Good for you. Since when does "keeping up with the Joneses" constitute a good parenting philosophy?

My family didn't have a television in our house until I was five, didn't have a VCR until I was 16, and NEVER had cable when I lived at home, even though were were leagues behind our friends and neighbors. And we weren't allowed to play with Barbies and we ate brown bread. We were not allowed to watch the Dukes of Hazard or the Incredible Hulk. And we whined incessantly to our parents about what everyone else got to do. And you know what? We turned out just fine.
post #19 of 48
Well, my parents greatly restricted the amount and kind of TV my sis and I could watch. We never had cable and weren't allowed to watch anything other than PBS-- a little Sesame Street, or later, Magic School Bus or Bill Nye. NOT exactly the shows our friends were watching-- I didn't see an episode of the Simpsons until probably my senior year (?) in HS. (Keep in mind that it came out when I was a fourth-grader or so.) This also went for movies and etc.

And yet, we both have normal social lives-- no isolated antisocial freaks here! Try explaining to those folks that there are other aspects to cuture than the television.
post #20 of 48
Honestly, I always felt rather left out in school because we weren't allowed to watch TV shows. We could watch some TV, but were very sheltered (bc of my parent's religious views, nothing with magic of any kind, and plenty of other random shows my mom thought were disrespectful etc). I still don't get jokes people make sometimes when they're from some TV show forever ago. But maybe that's just me. I do remember when my elementary school piano teacher (a pastor's wife) bought me some sheet music from Lion King. When I said I hadn't seen it she was shocked and held off on giving it to me until she made sure it was ok.

I am still trying to limit our DD's TV... she only watches videos, we have no cable or antennae, but that does give a different perspective to it. HTH
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