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post #41 of 94
Amanda, I just checked out your blog and added you to Bloglines. You have a beautiful family and I just might have to make that bird mobile!
post #42 of 94
We are not a complete tv free family. I probably only watch maybe two hours of TV a week...and one hour is of LOST. The other hour or so is spent watching the History Channel...I like to think that isn't completely bad. Except now that it is summer we will be watching the Cleveland Indians baseball games....I hope I am still welcome here.
Anyway...we decided to cut way back on the TV after DS was born. I would go all day without watching TV and then as soon as DH would get home he would turn it on. I had been getting frustrated with his TV addiction for some time. He is an amazing father and I think I finally got through to him by saying DS would think that in order to have daddy at home the big black box would have to be on. Soon he suggested moving the TV out of the living room. Now we only have one in the basement. Since then he has actually read a book!! (only the second book I have seen him read). I could go on about how it has benefited us but you all know that story...

I am so happy to have found this TV free forum. I am interested in seeing how others deal with the TV issue in other homes like grandparents...eek. Man that is a whole other issue!!
post #43 of 94
Thread Starter 
Anyone interested in reducing or eliminating TV from their or their children's life, or who is currently living with reduced or no TV, is welcome here.

ETA To clarify, everyone is welcome here, it's just that this place was created to support all the above described persons.
post #44 of 94
Whoo hoo! I'm so glad this is here!

I've been tv-free for about 2 years, but my DH is sooo not on board. It's hard, especially when he lets the kids watch (1-2 hours/day), although I've gotten him to promise to limit to certain shows/vids. He is home with them during the day, and also has his own business, so there are definitely times when he uses it as a babysitter.

Ironically, early in our relationship *I* was the tv-addict, and he would always make me feel terribly guilty about it, as he wandered through the living room with a big fat book. But when I went off tv, he suddenly developed a love for stupid "documentaries" on the History channel, and now *I'm* the one rolling my eyes at him!

Anyway, that's my situation - I'm looking forward to learning how other families work through conflicts that arise as a result of turning off the box!
post #45 of 94
Hi, my name's Naomi and I'm a recovering TV-addict.

I have a terrible time dealing the the attention-sucking device known as TV. O.o As a result, although we do have a television set, we do not have cable or an antenna or anything like that.

I first lived TV free when I joined the navy a little over 6 years ago. I learned that I had SO MUCH time... I never looked back.

Now, DH (who also went tv-free when he joined the navy 7 years ago) and I do watch certain shows on DVD and netflix/computer; we pick and choose and have to be very careful not to get sucked in and finish a whole disc of X series when we turn it on, but we're generally pretty good about it.

I try very hard not to watch anything while DD id awake... sometimes we do watch while she is up but I distract her from the tv by nursing or playing with something; but I'm not sure that will work much longer... so I need to figure something out for when DH wants to watch while she's up.
post #46 of 94
I just found this subforum and I am so pleased I did! We went TV free when our son was born in 2006. Well, let me amend that. We still have the tv but just to watch DVDs after DS goes to bed. We never watch them when he is awake and when we do watch, it is for such a short period of time that it often takes us 3-4 days to watch a feature length film.

Anyway, we are definitely outside the norm for our region but we are so glad that we turned off the tube. DS's vocabulary is through the roof (much more so than his peers in dc) and I attribute that to the amount of time that we spend interacting with him rather than him and/or us just sitting around the tv.

His dc has "move day" about once a month were they will show a Veggie Tales or Dora episode and DS could care less. I'm so glad that they show it in the play room and let DS play while the other kids watch. If they forced him to watch, we'd have to move him. I know that some people will say that we would have moved him after the first movie day but, overall, the dc has been very supportive of our decisions and, like I said, DS is free to do other things while the movie is on.

I look forward to learning from other tv free families, esp. those with older children. Thanks so much for creating this forum!
post #47 of 94
there really must be something about lost that gets even the TV-free people to watch, huh? i admit we download from itunes on fridays to watch on the computer after the kids go to sleep.

we are a tv-free family, have been for several years. i grew up without a tv and as a teenager, felt like a weirdo for not "getting" so many cultural references, but that probably had more to do with my general feelings of being an outsider and having peculiar interests than not knowing what was happening on "general hospital" or whatever. my partner grew up watching tv about 24 hours a day. he used to have a hard time falling asleep without it, but we've really seen how great being tv-free is for our family and our relationship. my kids are great friends, they have fantastic imaginations and make and do things all day long. they have seen a few movies on the laptop, "my neighbor totoro" and "kiki's delivery service", a leo lionni video and maybe something else, but those have been when i have been too sick to keep them safely entertained. my partner and i do get netflix, and watch a lot of documentaries and even some tv-on-dvd like "weeds" and "six feet under". my partner gets a lot of teasing about not watching tv, especially at work, but no one ever says anything about/to our kids about it--i think they are a testament to how cool and fun a kid can be even without knowing a single thing about high school musical.

i'm glad this forum is here. it's nice to have a place to come for support and camaraderie.
post #48 of 94
Originally Posted by Julie1014 View Post
I just found this subforum and I am so pleased I did! We went TV free when our son was born in 2006. Well, let me amend that. We still have the tv but just to watch DVDs after DS goes to bed. We never watch them when he is awake and when we do watch, it is for such a short period of time that it often takes us 3-4 days to watch a feature length film.
Just wanted to say that we can totally identify with it taking several sitting to watch a dvd.
post #49 of 94
Hi everybody! I am so glad to see this forum. We are a small, very close family of three, and I can't imagine giving up family time to the television.

We've been TV-extremely-limited for years, even before our DS was born. We (DH and I) do watch the occasional series that we really like, usually on DVD. We also watch Frontline sometimes.

DS rarely sees TV. We occasionally record space shuttle launches, and he has a video of trains he watches every few months. Otherwise the TV is off when he is awake. Sometimes if I find a good YouTube video of a train or a space shuttle I will show him, but those are about 4 minutes max, so it's not a lot of time.

We are concerned about the commercialism, and what TV does to kids' brains and attention spans. DS can play for long periods of time by himself, and I credit some of that to the lack of TV.

I hate going place where TVs are on. It seems so intrusive and it literally makes my ears hurt.
post #50 of 94
Hi, we are tv-free, but have been watching youtubes lately!

post #51 of 94
Hi! I grew up without a TV. At some points in my childhood, I was surrounded by kids from TV-free homes, and at others I was definitely the odd one out. I used books as my escape instead of TV. :P In college I watched a bit here and there, and then I married a TV addict. Fortunately he was willing to limit most of his [hours upon hours of] TV-watching to after the kids were in bed, so they have both grown up TV-free so far--except that our oldest (3.5) would watch the occasional episode of Veggie Tales, recorded on the DVR so that we could fast-forward through the commercials. Oh, and he did get to watch a bit of the Planet Earth series, which I actually think is really great, and wouldn't mind if he watched it on DVD.

A few months ago my husband and I split up. He took the TV with him, and we haven't missed it. Okay, most of the time--though sometimes after a hard day when I'm feeling lonely (adjusting to being single), I wish I could curl up on the loveseat with a glass of wine and watch something from PBS, like an episode of Mystery. And I do miss the yoga show I used to get on FitTV.

My current addiction is the internet, which I think is a bit more wholesome than the TV because I can dodge the commercialism, and have a bit more control over what I see--but it's still escapism, so I'm trying to cut back/limit my time.

ETA: Another thing I miss--watching the political debates! I heard that there's a debate coming up between Clinton and Obama and I wish I could see it. But I don't want to see it badly enough to go through the hassle of asking someone to record it for me, and watching it at their house. Oh well.
post #52 of 94
Hi all,

We have recently gone from a moderate (heavy compared to a tv-free family of course) amount of TV for the kids to almost none. I used the TV as a babysitter for the years I was in school and we were away from family. I only let them watch Noggin, and only when I was desperate for a nap or a shower or to get my homework done. I tried really hard to limit it to an hour a day. But now that I'm out of school and we're around family more, I've decided that they need to recover from television viewing. We are living w/ my mother-in-law temporarily and I was horrified to discover she had placed a tv in the bedroom the girls were to use! But it isn't plugged in and won't get that way. I've been amazed at how well they've adjusted to playing and not asking for tv. Out of sight out of mind it seems. Now that they're a little older I can even shower while they play and I don't worry about it. They have watched tv once in the last month and for 2 days afterwards they did ask for it pretty often.

Dh and I watch Lost, The Office, and Desperate Housewives ( : ), all without commercials (TiVo). We only watch once the kids are in bed, and since this equals less than 3 hours a week (more like 2!) at this time I am comfortable with our viewing. We also rent the occasional movie, and dh does watch a hockey or football game sometimes. (I always read while he watches sports, and he works on his laptop while he watches, so that's a more... um... productive use of the tv, I guess.)

I don't think we'll ever be totally tv-free. But I would like tv to be a resource for my kids rather than a crutch, and I don't want them to miss it if it isn't around. I know I learned a lot watching nature programs and documentaries as a kid, and I don't have a problem with occasional entertainment for its own sake. The main thing is I never want my kids to tell me they are "bored" because they are accustomed to being entertained, and I don't want them to waste their childhood with mindless entertainment. I think back to all the afternoons I wasted watching Teddy Ruxpin and Transformers and the Cosby Show, and I wonder what I would have been doing for all those hundreds of hours if I hadn't been in front of the tv. What other interests would I have developed? How much smarter would I be?

OK, I'm going to sign off now, because my 5-year-old is begging to watch animals giving birth on youtube! (Usually she wants to watch the human birth videos, so this must be a special occasion.)
post #53 of 94
I am so happy to have found this forum. I have been lurking for a while and am finally ready to introduce myself.
We are a T.V. free family when the kids are awake. My DH and I turn it on when they go to bed. I so truly enjoy our media free family time each and every day. I am the odd one out in my community. I have actually gotten to the point that I don't even mention it anymore. I don't think that people belive me. I constantly used to get "what do you do all day?", "not even PBS?", "but there are no comercials". "What about movies from the library". NOPE!!! My kids have only watched T.V. at others houses (when I can't flip it off) and not very often at that. I am so happy that there are other kids out there that have the benfit of a T.V free life. My 3 yr old and 15 month old are just the joys of my life (catching me on a good day), and I intend to keep them T.V. free as long as possible. Of course this lends itself to my intention to homeschool.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for being here. It's made me feel like I have a place to belong.
Looking forward to posting.
post #54 of 94

Well we are pretty much TV-free! We own a TV and we occasionally (perhaps once every few months or so) will watch a rented movie on it, but we don't have any channels, so we never actually watch the TV.

I grew up not watching TV except the occasional Reading Rainbow. DH grew up watching too much TV. I never missed TV as a child, in fact, I felt bored when at a friend's house and they had it on (and still do). I grew up with a very active imagination and a HUGE love of reading and playing outdoors. I want to give the same opportunities for my kids!

We love not having the TV on, in fact, I don't really even liking to look at it sitting in our Living Room. I enjoy movies, but I hate commercials and all the sexuality, bad language, disrespect, and awful values that are represented on commercials/television shows.

We read in the evenings or get on the internet or just talk.

When we are over at a friends/family house and they have the TV on in the background, I turn it off/ask them to turn it off. I feel like you cannot have a real conversation with that thing blabbing on in the background; even if it's muted it is distracting.

I have an-almost-one-year old son, and we were given a Baby Einstein DVD for him. I showed it to him a few times, but he has no interest. On the other hand, he loves his books and toys and getting into my kitchen cabinets.
post #55 of 94
Hello. I am Amanda and we are TV-free.

I got rid of cable in '03. Then, my dh and I got rid of the rabbit ears in '05. We never watched it for tv purposes so we moved the entertainment center to the guest room. We sold our tv in '06.

We would occasionally watch movies on our computer, but one day it crashed just as we were getting ready to watch as a John Lennon documentary. So, we went and bought a 13 inch dvd/tv combo. It mostly stays in the closet, but I did use it a lot during those early weeks after my baby was born. I had a friend who lent me lots of movies.

We recently got a new computer, so I don't know if we will keep the tv or not.

My parent and in-laws both watch a lot of tv. My mother in law turns it on and turns down the volume like all the way, and then goes about her daily activities. My siblings purchased a tivo for my parents a few years ago, but I refused to pitch in on the gift.

When I am at my in-laws I have nothing to do. They live in the country, on a dangerous road. My husband goes and hangs out with his dad in his taxidermy shop or goes fishing or hunting, etc, etc. I just sit in the house with my son, staring at the tv. It makes me so glad we are tv free because it is such an energy sucker. Sometimes I walk back and forth on their driveway just to have something to do instead of being trapped in the house with the giant tv. I am hoping that now that the weather is getting warmer, ds and I can go along on some of the adventures.
post #56 of 94
Hi! I have been reading this forum for a week or so now and finally made it to this topic. LOL

I don't think I have ever classified myself in terms of the TV, such as TV-free or TV-lite or the like. Interesting concept.

I choose not to watch TV very often. Currently, I watch LOST on TV whenever there is a new episode. (I don't watch reruns or the version that has the subtitles.) However, with it coming on an hour later now, I am seriously considering waiting until Friday to watch it online instead. I like the show a lot and it makes me think a bit too much for that time of night! LOL This season, I have also watched Survivor with DH since it is on the same night as LOST. In seasons past, I often only joined DH for LOST. He used to watch Battlestar Gallactica (sp?), also, which I caught 3 episodes of over the years. He recently stopped watching this show. We watch movies occasionally, too.

Our DD, who just turned 7, has been raised without much influence from the TV. At home, it simply isn't on during the day. I've worked part-time off and on since I was pregnant (full-time before that, although I had taken a 5 month sabbatical right before getting pregnant). When DD was really young, I worked outside the home with her in a holistic health office. There was a TV that looped various health topics and yoga videos. Neither of us paid any attention to it. (I had seen them all before she came into this world.) When DD was about a year old, I formed a babysitting co-op with my playgroup. DD went to two different homes during the week and children came to our home other days. TV wasn't discussed, but I never saw it on. (It wasn't on at my house for sure.) The children involved were all only children at the time and they were so busy playing with their friends, I doubt it even occurred to the other moms to turn on the TV. Eventually, I chose to use a home daycare for two days a week while I worked (both outside the home and later at home). The TV was on there sometimes. DD didn't care for it and went into a different room to play or outside during movie times or cartoons. (It wasn't daily.) She has always been sensitive to noise and I think that is what bothered her most. In her preschool, there were no TVs. In Kindergarten, she strongly disliked movie days and told me and her teacher about them and refused to participate...always choosing to sit as far away as possible. They weren't very often and the teacher didn't encourage her to watch (supported her decision, in fact), so I left it alone. In first grade, we had a rather rainy winter and they show movies at lunch on rainy days. DD found a spot to sit that is quiet enough for her and it happens to be behind the TV, so she is happy enough on those days. (She'd rather be outside playing during recess, even in the rain.)

We do watch family movies sometimes. One summer, I took her to several free film showings at a local theater. I quickly discovered she doesn't care for most animated films. She has strong opinions on what makes a movie worth watching. At home, we've had a few movie times usually in the late afternoons or early evening and we make it a special event. I think these started after DD was 5, but I haven't really thought that much about it before.

I grew up with limited TV watching, although my dad recalls it differently than I do. LOL I figure the truth lies somewhere in between his version and mine, so I'll just state it wasn't a consistent influence on me and I was often unaware of the jokes and movie references as a teenager. My closest friends often (lovingly) tease that I grew up in a cave. I did go through two periods of heavy TV watching as a young adult, but they faded in and out without much effort on my part. I'd have to say I am just not that interested in what is on TV most of the time.

DH grew up with no restrictions on TV watching, to my knowledge. He has a love of movies and entertainment, but he has discriminating tastes. He watches far more than I do, but it isn't excessive. At least I don't consider it excessive because it hasn't interfered with our relationship or his relationship with his daughter or our family time. His TV watching has declined over the years of knowing me, but it could simply be the decline in good programming over the same time frame.

For our daughter, I initiated not having the TV be part of her life, but it wasn't something I had to fight for or convince DH about. I simply don't watch it and I am the primary caregiver in our house. My main objection is commercialism/marketing and DH is just as opposed to all this as I am. I also dislike the "zombie" effect and DH doesn't quite see it the way I do, but his view is close enough to mine that it isn't an issue. The violence and noise and fast movements and so on (brain development and emotional effects) are also part of my reasoning. Not to mention it takes up SO MUCH TIME that I'd rather be doing other things and I want DD to know all those other things. As she gets older, she'll have more choices to make and I wanted to start her off with what I (we) felt were the healthiest choices.

I am here to discover how others navigate the older childhood years (tweens and teens) and assisting children in making healthy viewing choices. I am also interested in adding to my list of alternate activities.

Enjoy your day!
post #57 of 94
Hi, I'm Wendy. I'm an only child and TV was my sibling growing up, especially as I got older. Gee, no wonder I struggle with my weight now. I have such fond memories of tv families that weren't even real. I feel so silly about that. A growing pains or facts of life reunion makes me giddy.

As I've gotten older and now have three kids, the tv annoys me so much. I hate the constant chatter in the background. At least my dvr lets me pause tv. That's been good, but not good enough.

I've been weaning the family. There are evenings where I let them watch spongebob so I can get a moment to myself. My oldest also loves having movie nights. I don't want my kids to have fond memories of families that aren't real. I want them to have fond memories of real experiences that we have as a family. We are starting with having tv free days and limits on the number of shows they can watch. I think it'll be easier now that it has warmed up.
post #58 of 94
Hi, I'm Sandi. DH and i have been very "tv-lite" since we moved out of our parents' homes (2 years ago). We both grew up watching a LOT of tv and in one of those houses where the tv was just always on.

when we moved in together, it was a conscious decision on our part to not get cable. (50% to save money, 50% to cut down the amount of time we waste in front of it). we installed the bunny ears and have what is affectionately referred to around here as "farmer vision"... 4 grainy channels that lose reception if a bus drives down the street. I've recently heard that the local tv companies are changing the way things are done and essentially if you don't buy cable, you don't have any tv. fine with us We've both found that we don't really miss it (although if i do find myself at my ILs and TLC is on, its so easy to sit down and waste a whole day there!)

We still have a tv, mostly for the odd DVD and for DH's XBox. We have a few shows that we watch online, but on the whole we are happy that we don't watch much tv any more.

DS is only 3 months old right now, but while I was pregnant, we both decided that we didn't want our son growing up watching tv like we did. Its still early, but we are going to do our best to raise him in a tv-free household.

One thing that bothers me is the condescending way people respond if the topic comes up. Really similarly to the way people responded when I said I was planning a drug-free home birth... "oh you can say that now, but when you're in the situation, well, you'll see".... argh! It also bothers me how some people get almost defensive if i say we don't watch tv... like by me saying i dont' watch it, i'm saying they shouldn't... i dont' judge. this is just what we want to do (or not do)

I'm really excited to see this forum here, and being able to talk to people with similar POVs ;D
post #59 of 94
Hi all!! Just found this forum, glad to find a tribe for support! Our family has been TV free from the start. We do watch dvds on the laptop rarely. The biggest reason is so that DS develops his own images for his imagination and creativity. The other main reason is for myself so that I choose activities that make me feel good, where as TV has almost always made me feel bad. I like dvds especially when I am sick, because it helps to take my mind off of feeling bad.
It's funny to me how people react when DS doesn't know who Elmo, Bob the Builder, etc. are...

post #60 of 94
I want to read through everyone's posts but wanted to say HI quickly because I already started posting in other threads

We are not TV free in that we have a television & VCR. I do correspondence university and some courses come with video components. But we are and always have been cable-free, and currently live somewhere that we pick up no channels on rabbit ears. (A couple years ago I got to a point that I was watching nearly 4 hours per week of TV because we had such good reception ~ I am grateful we do not now!) We are also not TV free in that we illegally watch a couple key TV shows on the Internet (we watched Dexter in January, and just finished Weeds) or rent DVDs on weekends but OTHER than that : we are totally anti-TV. For me it's mostly the commercials that I want to avoid, especially avoid exposing DD to them. Recent threads in LWAB have me a bit freaked out about DD being exposed to shows now, ones about fast images etc., argh I don't know.

Like I mentioned in the computer thread, I make up for not watching TV by the amount of time I spend on the Internet whether actively (i.e. using a messageboard) or somewhat passively like browsing through Facebook, or totally passively watching TV shows and videos. I guess the next family goal will be limiting that somehow.
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