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#1 of 17 Old 09-14-2011, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD (14) has been upset for a long time that I allow DS (4) to watch TV. His TV time coincided with her coming home from school because that's when I needed to get started with dinner, etc. Two weeks ago she wrote me a long letter and criticized my parenting and told me that she's worried that I'm ruining DS's brain by letting him watch TV.  I had a long conversation with her about it, and I told her that I think she's right about the TV, and I'm eliminating TV time during the week for both of them.

 

DS is adjusting to the change really well. It's been 10 days, and he maybe asks for a show once a day, and he's easily distracted with games, books, time on the swing, etc.

 

DD, on the other hand, is angry. She wants to be able to watch TV again. I know she's been watching Netflix when we're not home, but I haven't said anything about it. On Monday she asked if she could watch one show during the week, and I said I'd think about it. Today she called while I was working and asked again. I said I'd like her to try to go TV-free during the week for two months, and then we'd reasses. She hung up on me. Grrrr.

 

TV was never a big deal with her before this, but I think she got hooked on it while she was staying with her dad this summer. My thinking was that after two months she'd remember that she has other interests (which she does). I don't want to fight about it, and I don't want to make her more rebellious. I also think it's unfair if she's allowed to watch and her brother's not, and I really am happy that he's losing interest in it. But I'm worried if I'm too strict with her I'm creating a beast.

 

What to do?

 

 


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#2 of 17 Old 09-14-2011, 01:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lunabelly View Post

DD (14) has been upset for a long time that I allow DS (4) to watch TV. His TV time coincided with her coming home from school because that's when I needed to get started with dinner, etc. Two weeks ago she wrote me a long letter and criticized my parenting and told me that she's worried that I'm ruining DS's brain by letting him watch TV.  I had a long conversation with her about it, and I told her that I think she's right about the TV, and I'm eliminating TV time during the week for both of them.

 

DS is adjusting to the change really well. It's been 10 days, and he maybe asks for a show once a day, and he's easily distracted with games, books, time on the swing, etc.

 

DD, on the other hand, is angry. She wants to be able to watch TV again. I know she's been watching Netflix when we're not home, but I haven't said anything about it. On Monday she asked if she could watch one show during the week, and I said I'd think about it. Today she called while I was working and asked again. I said I'd like her to try to go TV-free during the week for two months, and then we'd reasses. She hung up on me. Grrrr.

 

TV was never a big deal with her before this, but I think she got hooked on it while she was staying with her dad this summer. My thinking was that after two months she'd remember that she has other interests (which she does). I don't want to fight about it, and I don't want to make her more rebellious. I also think it's unfair if she's allowed to watch and her brother's not, and I really am happy that he's losing interest in it. But I'm worried if I'm too strict with her I'm creating a beast.

 

What to do?

 

 

I think there is a huge difference between a 4 yr old and a 14 yr old that is not being taken into account here.

 

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#3 of 17 Old 09-14-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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No I like this.  Do you think she was upset about him watching TV when she felt she should be and she tried criticizing you to get the TV?

Either way, she told you what you should and should not be doing as a parent and you really used her advice against her.  Doubt she'll be critiquing you anytime soon. 

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#4 of 17 Old 09-14-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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Personally, my parents were anti-TV all my child/teen hood. We were allowed a very occasional PBS nature show. Sometimes they'd allow a single Saturday cartoon. It obviously wasn't BAD for me but as a teen, I was annoyed at being continually out of the loop with my peers. I left the house at 18 and obsessively watched HOURS of TV a day through college. That wasn't so healthy but I got it out of my system.

 

As a parent, we choose to balance things out. At 4, both my kids had a favorite show they watched after preschool 2 or 3 times a week... usually a PBS kids show or preschool Disney. We would occasionally watch movies together. Their brains are still in tact. At 10 and 14, they don't watch much. When they do watch it's usually us all as a family (we love Dr. Who on Netflix.) 

 

I wonder if her letter was fueled by pure concern for her brother or if it was just a way to dig at you. Certainly my own 14-year-old has taken similar routes to pick fights with me about things I knew she didn't care much about. The fact that she's willing to put standards on him but not herself is hypocritical. She's still a kid. Her brain is still developing. I don't tell my kids they can't have a piece of cake and then go eat it myself KWIM? 

 

Maybe just have a sit down with both the kids and work out something reasonable if you aren't against TV as a rule. It's totally in your power to say "no TV for 2 months." It's not like it's going to HURT them not to watch TV. 

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#5 of 17 Old 09-14-2011, 06:32 PM
 
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I think that she kind of got what she asked for. She had no real business telling you how to parent your son. It really is a natural consequence! I think though, after the two months if she is still so obsessed than you may want to consider how important this is to you. If it is something that you could live with compromising on, then it may be worth it..one of those 'pick you battles' instances. Perhaps she has one or two favourite weekly shows that would involve her watching one show a couple of days per week. Of course it is all about what you feel is best, but I also think you don't want to alienate her from her peers if there are a couple of days per week that she'd like to watch an age appropriate show.
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#6 of 17 Old 09-15-2011, 06:11 AM
 
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I think she said she's still sneaking netflix. DH and I talked about this last night. I personally thought you handled quite well. I hope I remember things like this when the DD's are old enough to pull these shenanigans!
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#7 of 17 Old 09-15-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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Put DD aside for a moment - do you want your household to be tv free, tv in moderation or unlimited? 

 

Answer that question and proceed from there.

 

 

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#8 of 17 Old 09-15-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Put DD aside for a moment - do you want your household to be tv free, tv in moderation or unlimited? 

 

Answer that question and proceed from there.

 

 


 

I think this is a great piece of advice.

 

I also agree that 4 and 14 are a world apart. 

 

You've seen what a TV free household is like, now decide on how you want it to be going forward. 


 

 

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#9 of 17 Old 09-15-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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I think the bigger picture is that her 14 yr old daughter tried to manipulate her about the use of the TV by using her younger brother and the ails of TV watching. All while she's still sneaking netflix. And of course wanting to watch it herself.
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#10 of 17 Old 09-16-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

I think the bigger picture is that her 14 yr old daughter tried to manipulate her about the use of the TV by using her younger brother and the ails of TV watching. All while she's still sneaking netflix. And of course wanting to watch it herself.


Maybe she was talking out of jealousy because her brother is being treated differently than she was as a child.  I remember being very angry as a teen when my mom let something go when my brother did it even though she completely flipped out when I did the same thing a few years before.  Her resentment, if it is there, is something that should be taken into account before moving on with a decision on this issue.  She may have also had a real concern if she wasn't allowed to watch tv when she was younger because her mom taught her it was bad for development.  Perhaps she truly believes it is bad for young kids but not for older kids because her mom eased up on the guidelines for her as she got older.  

 

Even if her teenager did use manipulation I still don't think that warrants such long term removal of the tv, especially not without a talking to her about her offense.  Manipulation and parenting insults are hard to take from your own child, but responding with something that feels so much like a long term punishment without any discussion seems very passive aggressive. 

 

OP have you talked to her about your conflicted views on tv and offered her a level of control that you are comfortable with in this regard.  If she knew you were feeling overwhelmed and you had slipped up by letting your ds watch tv she may see the change back to the old way in a different light or you may come away knowing how adamant she is to have more control over this aspect of your life and you can use that information to guide your next step based on how set you are on making a stand on this issue. 

 

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#11 of 17 Old 09-16-2011, 11:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

Personally, my parents were anti-TV all my child/teen hood. We were allowed a very occasional PBS nature show. Sometimes they'd allow a single Saturday cartoon. It obviously wasn't BAD for me but as a teen, I was annoyed at being continually out of the loop with my peers. I left the house at 18 and obsessively watched HOURS of TV a day through college. That wasn't so healthy but I got it out of my system.


 

I have an old friend who is very like you. Her parents were very strict about TV, and the minute she got out of the house she became a complete addict.

 

My parents used TV as a baby sitter and spent very little time talking to me, taking me places, playing games with me etc. When I moved out, I didn't own a TV for several years. I still watch very, very little TV because I now, as an adult I *get* to do other things!

 

With my own kids, when they were four they saw only a little, commercial free TV. Now they are teens and the self-regulate both how much and what to watch. I watch their shows with them sometimes so we can talk about them, and I always try to find something positive to say, even about America's Next Top Model. winky.gif

 

Making blanket parenting decisions for a 4 year old and a 14 year old makes no sense to me at all. I'd like to think the 14 year old was having a real conversation with you based on caring about her brother and thinking about her world. But you used it against her. She wanted to be treated like an adult who can help make good decisions, and instead, you treated her like a 4 year old. She was criticizing your parenting, and with hindsight, you agree with her. But in the end, you punished her for being right about her little brother.

 

I think that with teens, knowing that they will leave home in a few years, rather than trying to control what they do this minute, it makes more sense to teach them how to make choices, how to think about what they are doing. I intentionally and mindfully let my 14 year old decide what TV to watch and when to watch it, I cannot relate to a parent of a teen this age being annoyed that they watch netflex when everyone else is out of the house. This is someone who will be driving in 2 years, going off to college in 4. She's old enough to work the TV. shrug.gif

 

My questions would be if her time is balanced, is her work getting done, is she developing other ways to relax, etc.

 

But I think that 14 year olds should either be able to self-regulate or should be working towards that as a goal if they aren't there yet. Self regulating TV watching is a life skill.

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#12 of 17 Old 09-17-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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14 should be able to self regulate, however they shouldn't be telling their mother how to parent. There were all sorts of differences in our family. I was 10 yrs older than my sister as well. We weren't a TV family but there were other things she was allowed to do that I wasn't. At that age of course. I'm the one that rallied for her to be able to go to sleep overs and watch some TV.

Maybe there's a lot more to this than we've been told. Is this the only injustice she sees? Are they treated differently? Do they have different fathers? And I only ask this because my Dad was no where near as strict and when my parents were together I was allowed much more freedom. When my mom remarried my step dad was very different about raising kids. Much more strict. Not bad but there was a decent difference.
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#13 of 17 Old 09-17-2011, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if I was clear. I do let them watch TV on the weekends: DS is allowed two hours a day, and DD self-regulates.

 

I really like having the TV off during the week now, though. We didn't have any TV in the house when I was a single mom. When we moved into our new house there was a TV here, and we just didn't get rid of it. I didn't really like the kids watching, but I was too tired to work on it. So, part of DD's issues stem from jealousy for sure, but I wasn't trying to be passive aggressive. We had a long talk about how she's feeling and why I parent DS the way I do. She seemed receptive.  

 

I've decided to stick with the rule for two months with her and see how it goes. If she's still totally miserable I'll reconsider. It's just hard because there's no privacy in our tiny house, so if she's watching TV when we're home, DS is going to find out.


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#14 of 17 Old 09-17-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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OP I hope you didn't think I was calling you passive aggressive.  I was responding to the poster who was saying things like this but I am not sure how to multi-quote.  The idea of making a decision with this type of revenge mindset and no discussion with the child telling them why you are feeling vengeful seems very passive aggressive.  I don't think your decision was passive aggressive though, especially since it was going back to an old way of living and you explained the reasoning to your dd.

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No I like this.  Do you think she was upset about him watching TV when she felt she should be and she tried criticizing you to get the TV?

Either way, she told you what you should and should not be doing as a parent and you really used her advice against her.  Doubt she'll be critiquing you anytime soon. 



 

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#15 of 17 Old 09-18-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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#16 of 17 Old 09-18-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunabelly View Post

 

I've decided to stick with the rule for two months with her and see how it goes. If she's still totally miserable I'll reconsider. It's just hard because there's no privacy in our tiny house, so if she's watching TV when we're home, DS is going to find out.



I'm having a really hard time seeing this as an issue.  Is that becasue there is not space for DS to go elsewhere and *not* watch the TV?   My two are only 2.5 years apart and they understand that sometimes DD gets to (or has to, lol) do things that DS does not get/have to do.  The spacing between a 4 year old and 14 year old is so extreme, that *to me* it is very easy to say, "Well, your sister is older, we'll talk about you doing that when you are 14."  Additionally, do they go to the bed at the same time?  That is one way we have allowed DD to increase her screen time without impacting DS--- she has some after he is already in bed.

 

Good luck.

 


 

 

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#17 of 17 Old 09-18-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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I'm having a really hard time seeing this as an issue.  Is that becasue there is not space for DS to go elsewhere and *not* watch the TV?   My two are only 2.5 years apart and they understand that sometimes DD gets to (or has to, lol) do things that DS does not get/have to do.  The spacing between a 4 year old and 14 year old is so extreme, that *to me* it is very easy to say, "Well, your sister is older, we'll talk about you doing that when you are 14."  Additionally, do they go to the bed at the same time?  That is one way we have allowed DD to increase her screen time without impacting DS--- she has some after he is already in bed.

 

Good luck.

 



I can see tv on in the living room as a source of frustration for DS if he is not allowed TV.

 

I do  think this can be bypassed by using a computer screen as a computer or placing a tv in a non-frequently used room - say your bedroom or a basement if there is one.

 

It is a Pita to move around a tv, but then again, an angry 14 yr old who cannot watch tv because her brother should not is also a problem.

 

 

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