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#1 of 18 Old 11-26-2008, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been a tv free household while the kids are up for a few months now. My 11 ds has a few hours a week that we let him watch and my youngest 2 yr old ds can watch a movie every once in a while. For the most part though our tv is off till our kids are in bed and then dh and I watch tv. It was quite the battle at first though, when I first suggested it dh was dead set against the idea mr "I work all day and pay for that tv". But once I finally put my foot down and let everyone know I was serious things were great. Kids are calmer, we spend more time together, projects get completed, house is cleaner etc. But sometimes if I sleep in on weekends or go out and leave dh with kids, he turns the tv on!! It drives me crazy. His excuse is always there was nothing to do, ugh. So the other day he tells me that for Christmas holidays the tv WILL be on. I say no and he says well then why should I even bother taking time if work then? OMG! Is he serious? Does he really hate spending time with us that much? He says there is nothing to do with no tv and I am constantly giving him ideas. He says fine we will play boardgames the whole time and that I have to play or the tv is going on. He is saying this to annoy me as I don't really enjoy our family game nights as him and oldest ds always end up fighting and yelling and I always cancel the game, with good reason though. I feel like I have made this decision in the best interest of my family and the kids are doing well with it and dh was in the beginning but now that boredom has set in for dh he is trying to sabotage a good thing. So tv free mamas what can my family do to keep occupied for the holidays and every other day too?
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#2 of 18 Old 11-27-2008, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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does no one have any ideas?
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#3 of 18 Old 11-27-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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We never have the TV on while our son is up (apart from the little TV that we let him watch), and we're always busy. This is what we do at the weekends:

- Go outside somewhere interesting - park, museum, petting zoo, playground, to the river to feed ducks etc. During Christmas/New Year we typically take a sled and find a hill, or go to a frozen lake to watch people skating, or walk in the woods. We bring food and have a picnic. :
- Visit friends and family
- Invite people over for lunch / dinner, cook something and make preparations together :
- Play games. It sounds like your husband and son could do with practicing some social skills in that department
- Since it's the Christmas holiday you could make and write thank-you cards to people that have sent presents, cards or letters
- Holiday or not, there's always housework to do, nice if everybody helps
- Paint, draw, make something with scissors, paper and glue
- Read books, go to the library and borrow new ones
- Sing songs, perform family puppet shows, or a combination of both
- Arrange a festive lunch for the family, with a beautifully laid table and candles
- Sit down and have a cup of tea or cocoa, nibble Christmas cookies, and just talk to each other

I think the challenge is to get the TV off, because as soon as it's off, it's easy to come up with things to do. Does your husband understand WHY you don't want the TV on all day? Maybe you can get him to agree to having a couple of TV free evenings together with you, so he can experience for himself that this is actually a good way of getting some quality time together, have better conversations etc.? Then maybe he can see that being without the TV isn't just to take something away that is valuable to him, but to add something that is valuable for the family.

I don't know if this helps you at all - good luck!
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#4 of 18 Old 11-27-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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I lurk in this forum because I hope one day we will have a very limited TV household. We are far from it right now.

It sounds, though, like your husband does not share your view on this subject, and I think it's important for both parents to be on board with certain decisions. If the purpose of no-tv lifestyle is to bring the family together, then you can hardly achieve that goal if your dh does not agree with you. I think you have to start looking at things from his point of view a little bit.

He likes the tv, and he wants to feel free to decide how he spends his free time. That's a difficult argument, as he is an adult, and while your way of living might be healthier, and more productive, BUT he is an adult, and you can't decide for him, as he can't tell you "THIS is what YOU'll do with your free time, and here are some ideas, and if you don't like any of them, well, tough luck." KWIM?

The only option? I'd think your only option is to look for a compromise. How about asking him whether or not he sees the benefits of tv-free lifestyle? What could you BOTH do to reach for it. Sounds like you are putting a lot of effort into this, but it is all one-sided. You have to bring him to your side for things to work out, otherwise they will only deteriorate, kwim?

Sorry if I was rumbling too much, it was an eventful Thanksgiving heh...

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#5 of 18 Old 11-27-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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: Thinking...

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#6 of 18 Old 11-28-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
He likes the tv, and he wants to feel free to decide how he spends his free time. That's a difficult argument, as he is an adult, and while your way of living might be healthier, and more productive, BUT he is an adult, and you can't decide for him [...]

The only option? I'd think your only option is to look for a compromise. How about asking him whether or not he sees the benefits of tv-free lifestyle? What could you BOTH do to reach for it. Sounds like you are putting a lot of effort into this, but it is all one-sided. You have to bring him to your side for things to work out, otherwise they will only deteriorate, kwim?
Yeah, that's true. But at the same time it isn't reasonable to demand that you have to live with a TV on all the time either. I know I couldn't stand it, it's too much "noise pollution", distracts the little kids from playing, and is generally disturbing and annoying.

What if you agree that the TV is on when there's a show that it's particularly enjoyable or important for him (or you, or the kids) to watch? Of course as long as it isn't disturbing for the kids, and as long as it doesn't result in the TV being on all day. If he also agreed to try to have some family time without TV you might have a workable compromise, maybe?
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#7 of 18 Old 11-28-2008, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you rabbitmum for the list, this is just what I was looking for. I hope to get some more similiar responses. As for Oriole, I think maybe I made my dh sound worse than he is which I did not intend. He has cooperated with the no tv rule for the most part, it's not all the time that he does put the tv on but when he does I find it insulting I guess. The comment he made about xmas and the tv though was very hurtful and seemed to come out of nowhere as I thought he was doing ok with no tv. I do know that he is addicted though and we do have more than one tv and he is more than welcome to watch tv in one of the 3 other rooms that have tvs that my little one does not have access to which he chooses not too. I have not truly forbid him from watching tv during the day but our main tv in the living room must be off during the day.
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#8 of 18 Old 12-01-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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We are not tv free. I hope it's ok if I post a thought.

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Originally Posted by cera View Post
Thank you rabbitmum for the list, this is just what I was looking for. I hope to get some more similiar responses. As for Oriole, I think maybe I made my dh sound worse than he is which I did not intend. He has cooperated with the no tv rule for the most part, it's not all the time that he does put the tv on but when he does I find it insulting I guess. The comment he made about xmas and the tv though was very hurtful and seemed to come out of nowhere as I thought he was doing ok with no tv. I do know that he is addicted though and we do have more than one tv and he is more than welcome to watch tv in one of the 3 other rooms that have tvs that my little one does not have access to which he chooses not too. I have not truly forbid him from watching tv during the day but our main tv in the living room must be off during the day.
Quote:
But once I finally put my foot down and let everyone know I was serious things were great. Kids are calmer, we spend more time together, projects get completed, house is cleaner etc. But sometimes if I sleep in on weekends or go out and leave dh with kids, he turns the tv on!! It drives me crazy. His excuse is always there was nothing to do, ugh. So the other day he tells me that for Christmas holidays the tv WILL be on. I say no and he says well then why should I even bother taking time if work then? OMG! Is he serious? Does he really hate spending time with us that much?
Even if your dh has been cooperating for the most part, Oriole's point is still good. And your husband doesn't sound like a bad guy at all, he sounds very typical. It also sounds like you are both telling each other " this is how it's going to be." This isn't going to work. He hasn't committed to going without the tv. He may have been simply putting up with it, and it's a lot harder to keep that up when it's not your idea and you're not happy about it. Basically, it sounds like he's doing it for you, but can only keep it up for so long.

Having the tv off when you're with the kids requires you to really be there and be engaged, for the most part. You can't zone out. Honestly, interacting with kids can be tiresome when your head isn't in the game, when you're not committed. Perhaps this is what your dh is experiencing. And it doesn't mean he doesn't love them from the bottom of his heart or that he doesn't get a kick out of interacting with them sometimes.

Did you institute this change cold turkey, or did you take the tv away gradually? Maybe it would help your husband if you asked him to commit to, for example, keeping the tv off in the mornings when you're sleeping in, but have it on for an hour or two in the afternoon. Personally that's when I need down time from the kids, anyway. Maybe he needs down time from interacting as well.

Don't expect it to be a smooth transition. It's okay if it's difficult at first. Tell your husband that you notice he and ds have been clashing. That's okay, and let him know it's going to get better, but he needs to commit to being the adult.

In the mean time, get busy with projects that require the tv to be off. Be away from the house. My successfully tv-free friends' kids are all so busy with swim team, piano practice and homework that they simply don't have time for tv. Notice, these aren't things that necessarily require anything of their parents, other than taxi service. But the tv is off.

Ask your husband to help the 11 y.o. cook dinner a couple of nights a week. Suggest he pick out a long complex book to read to the 11 y.o., something that takes 20 minutes to an hour to get through a chapter, not five minutes and goodnight. This will really help their relationship, too. I read to my daughter until she was about 11 years old, not because she can't do it herself. She's a prolific reader. But because we just thoroughly enjoyed it. She's got a huge vocabulary because I always read something a little beyond her own abilities.

I've also heard that it helps if for the first month you plan some extra special, fun activities to help ease the transition. No one can afford to go bowling all the time or go to the arcades or an expensive science museum, but A family bowling trip might be fun and help facilitate some bonding. Or go-carts or lazer tag! This is fun stuff, not drudgery.

Really, you're asking him to make a big change in HIS daily routine. That's not easy and will take time.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#9 of 18 Old 12-01-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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Journeymom, you have some really good suggestions for things to do that doesn't require a TV to be on. Still I would like to comment on some parts of your post, if you don't mind.

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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
Having the tv off when you're with the kids requires you to really be there and be engaged, for the most part. You can't zone out. Honestly, interacting with kids can be tiresome when your head isn't in the game, when you're not committed. Perhaps this is what your dh is experiencing. [...] Maybe it would help your husband if you asked him to commit to, for example, keeping the tv off in the mornings when you're sleeping in, but have it on for an hour or two in the afternoon. Personally that's when I need down time from the kids, anyway. Maybe he needs down time from interacting as well.
My experience is that kids that are used to the TV not being on, become good at entertaining themselves. I have never used the TV to get downtime from my kids and I feel that doing so is rather counterproductive.

I can definitely relax around my son and granddaughter, even though I can't "switch them off", so it does happen that they need attention at a time that I would prefer not to interact so much. But they don't want to interact with adults the whole time anyway, so it evens out - except if they're sick or there is a specific reason why they are particularly needy one day, when this happens I do want to give them the attention that they're asking for.

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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
Really, you're asking him to make a big change in HIS daily routine. That's not easy and will take time.
But he can go and watch TV in another room if he likes. I can't really see why that should be hard for him. Isn't it much more demanding of him to ask other familymembers to have a TV on in the middle of the room where everybody else is?
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#10 of 18 Old 12-01-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post
Journeymom, you have some really good suggestions for things to do that doesn't require a TV to be on. Still I would like to comment on some parts of your post, if you don't mind.
Not at all!

Quote:
My experience is that kids that are used to the TV not being on, become good at entertaining themselves. I have never used the TV to get downtime from my kids and I feel that doing so is rather counterproductive.

I can definitely relax around my son and granddaughter, even though I can't "switch them off", so it does happen that they need attention at a time that I would prefer not to interact so much. But they don't want to interact with adults the whole time anyway, so it evens out - except if they're sick or there is a specific reason why they are particularly needy one day, when this happens I do want to give them the attention that they're asking for.
This is my experience, too, mostly. My kids are tv-free Monday through Thursday. When we first stopped they bitched and moaned, but they got used to it. They have indeed gotten better at entertaining themselves. But it didn't happen immediately. I think this is important for the OP and her mate to understand. There was an uncomfortable transition time, uncomfortable for ME, as well as the kids.

Also, this may not be a popular idea but I believe moms and dads typically have differing levels of commitment to ideals. Seriously, how many moms come here despairing because their mates aren't towing the GD line, want their babies out of the bed already, want to be free to spank? It wasn't their idea, they're not committed.

You might be able to relax around the kids, but perhaps the OP's husband cannot particularly well. He's not used to it, he's used to having the tv on to buffer the relationship between himself and the kids.

I guess I'm just pointing out that the OP is going to be hitting her head against a wall if her husband hasn't really committed to going without the tv, and for what it's worth, not to be surprised if the transition doesn't happen immediately.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#11 of 18 Old 12-01-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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I agree about the transition time. It may take awhile, but after repeated interactions like this:

kid: I'm boooooored!
mama: Gosh, that sounds like a problem you'll need to solve.

they will indeed come up with other things to do.
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#12 of 18 Old 12-02-2008, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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journeymom, thank you I appreciate your post. You did raise some good valid points. For us the loss of tv was gradual for the kids and I during the day but DH is the one that made it cold turkey for himself once he came home. As I stated before we have 4 tv's all in different rooms and it is only the one tv in the living room I am asking to be kept off. DH has chosen himself to not go to another room to watch tv, granted he has always watched tv in the living room, there is nothing wrong with any other room or tv. This is a choice he made. This is what I find frustrating. I know it's not easy and I never thought it would be especially for him but I made this decision to better our family. He was not on board at first but is coming around but I just think that he is the one making it harder for himself b/c he is capable of going to another room alone to watch tv if he really "needs" it that badly. Reading this back I must sound like a tirant but I don't think what I am asking is so bad given that he does have options.
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#13 of 18 Old 12-02-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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ACTIVITIES:

Books
painting
playdough
baking
imaginative play in general
flashlight games
puzzles
sewing (my 4 year old loves just cutting fabric and messing with needle & thread & playing with buttons)
playing with coins & jars
making a fort out of blankets/ play silks
telling ghost stories or just making up stories
do your chores around home & let them help
In the summer/ spring/ fall go outside after dinner and run around/ take a walk

listening to books on CD if you can't get them engaged in an activity

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#14 of 18 Old 12-02-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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All these lists are good! I like family projects like gardening or making perogies that everyone can have a hand in...then it feels like we're doing something productive not just killing time.

My DH is all good on the no-TV-for-DD in theory but definitely looser in practice than I am. So I handle it by asking him specifically what he wanted to watch, then scheduling another activity, possibly outside the home, for me and DD at that time.
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#15 of 18 Old 12-02-2008, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH is all good on the no-TV-for-DD in theory but definitely looser in practice than I am. So I handle it by asking him specifically what he wanted to watch, then scheduling another activity, possibly outside the home, for me and DD at that time.

I like this idea of planning to leave so DH can watch something specific. Well I am not thrilled about it but it is a good back up plan, lol.
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#16 of 18 Old 12-03-2008, 12:07 PM
 
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It's a compromise for sure but it does keep the understanding that "watching tv" is not the default activity in the home, it is something that intrudes on family time and should be treated as such.
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#17 of 18 Old 12-05-2008, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's a compromise for sure but it does keep the understanding that "watching tv" is not the default activity in the home, it is something that intrudes on family time and should be treated as such.
well put, I will have to try to remember that.
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#18 of 18 Old 01-06-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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Other ideas:

Find a hobby - it's limitless really, do some online research there's bound to be something that interests your husband. I was raised by my mom, but my dad is really into the painting & making models. Often when we visited my dad we would do that stuff with him. Even though I'm a girl I still enjoyed making a model of an airplane and having my dad help me. I really remember those moments.

Goal-setting - read an inspiring book, then talk about it and set personal & family goals. Each day you do something towards a goal.

Get a magazine subscription for your son - That should spark good conversation between him and your husband and a lot of kid's mags have activity ideas in them.

Exercise. hundredpushups.com is a challenging but easy program that everyone could do together and you don't have to leave the house.

Large family project - whatever gets the whole family involved like remodeling your son's room, building a patio, etc. During these cold months you can spend brainstorming, designing plans, picking out color schemes, etc.

Volunteer.
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