Originally Posted by MoreThanApplesauce
I just wanted to add a new voice in support of a TV-free forum. I was raised 90% TV free (we watched the Lawrence Welk show, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and Mary Tyler Moore show). Now, my DH and I probably watch TV once a week when something interesting is on PBS, although the TV is in the basement, and we aren't fond of spending much time down there.
We'd like to raise our children TV free, but I had a hard time as a child not being able to relate to my peers, who seemed to constantly be relating real life to something they saw on TV. Now, as an adult, we are having a similar issue. Our friends all watch lots of TV and go to the movies (which we also don't do), and we have a hard time following a lot of the conversations and inside jokes because they are all media related. I would love to be able to converse with others who are raising media-free children in a hyper-media world.
Interestingly, I find that the hyper-commercialization of of childhood has made this less of a problem than it might have been when you were a child. My kids knew who most of the popular characters were long before they ever saw them on a screen, because they populate every aisle at Target! Dd sometimes asks about movies or characters, and at this point she's seen bits and pieces of many things at other people's houses, but I don't think it's had too much of a negative effect on her social interactions.
Originally Posted by boatbaby
One of the biggest reasons I hear for families "needing" TV is to get some "down time", "me time", or just time to get dinner done etc. It would be great to swap tips with other families about how we get our down time without TV. It would be a great conversation to have for TV-free families and those who are thinking about it too...
I was going to post this exact thing! Dinner prep time is the one time I sometimes envy those who do videos. Some dear friends visited us last week. They have kids similar in age to ours, and out parenting styles are very similar with the exception of their more liberal use of videos. They basically told me I would be making my life much easier if I just put in a video when the time came to make dinner. On nights when I am really grumpy, and the kids are super clingy or getting into everything, I wonder if they're right.
: Is it worse to watch a video, or get yelled at by your mom.
So, what are good tips? All I've got is making dinner ahead as much as possible. I use the crockpot some (that would be a fun thread on a TV-free forum, "No TV Crockpot recipes"
). I also make pizza dough in the bread machine, and try to get the toppings prepped at naptime. Getting the kids involved in dinner prep helps a little, though it's hard with two 2 year olds.
I actually think one key to a happy TV-free existance is a house with an open floor plan. We've had that in the past, and it made a huge difference. You could be close to your kids, but they needn't be underfoot. Our current house is very divided. The kids all have to be in our small kitchen when I'm there, and it drives me bananas.