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Old 12-31-2008, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 21 so when I mention TV Free to friends (and family) I get chuckles, eye rolls, and the inevitable "We'll see how long THAT lasts" :

I'd like to hear some of your whys and success stories to being TV Free. Just so I can say, "Look, I know people that have done it and done it successfully" or whatever.

Also, what about when Mommy isn't currently TV Free? The first month or so after the baby is born we'll still be with DH's family (we move shortly after) so there won't be too much for me to "do" in the way of housework or anything...

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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TBH, I really enjoyed having a TV when our first baby was born. I wasn't used to being home all day or not being able to go out at night/weekends, plus you will be up late or early nursing often so for us anyway, having TV was a good thing. That said, our baby was too little to really notice it and we didn't have anything other than a few local channels (and movies, of course).

Fast forward to 6 yrs later, 3 more kids and us living in a small 2nd floor apartment. We had a tv in each of the kids bedrooms as well as one in our living room. Also, our rent included basic cable (there was no way not to get the extra channels) So, when we were home, my kids wanted to watch tv all. the. time. My DD would want to stay in her room and watch the disney channel: hannah montana, suite life, kim possible, all those shows and then some. My boys, had to watch a dvd in their room to fall asleep at night. DH loved watching all his favorite shows and the noise was driving me crazy! Anyway, thinking about it, because of where we lived and the amount of space we had, it would have been challenging to keep everyone busy (and not fighting) if we didn't have tv. It would have been possible, sure, but as it was my kids were bouncing off the walls, pissing off the people below us.

So, anyway, we moved to another state, got a huge 5 bedroom house and decided to go TV-Free. Well, honestly at first we had a tv set up in our family room but no cable or antenna, the idea was the kids could watch movies on it occasionally. Really though, it pretty much never got turned on (again, no reception at all out here) and the kids were busy playing outside (we have half an acre) and exploring the new house, painting, building, making up plays, reading tons, etc...

It's been a year of TV-free living and I really think it has been good for our family. There's my story











That all said, we are strongly considering a home theatre system that includes either a LCD TV or a projector and will most likely get cable as well as use it for movies. So, I'll be kicked out of this forum if that really happens but I'm okay with that and it's nice to know we survived just fine without TV (including w/out DH's precious football games every sunday)

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Old 01-01-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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Love your question. We've never had a tv and love love love not having one--through 4 kids, city living (but not anymore), homeschooling, freezing winters, lots of colds, viruses and lonnnnng days with dad traveling and no help in sight. No regrets and plan on never getting one. One confession: we do sometimes watch dvds on the computer--my kids love a homeschooling video that features a teenager in labcoat doing experiments in his kitchen and they love pbs/bbc dvds such as the Plant Earth and Blue Planet, and when I really, really really let loose they watch a Scooby Do dvd we collected along the way.

A word of advice--don't talk about being no tv too much. People really get upset when you do. I don't know why but it's true.

Good luck! And don't let anyone make you feel that because you are 21 you can't know your own mind. My mother had 4 children by the time she was 25 and was and is one of the most capable, energetic, effective people I have ever met. I'm 42 and wish I had my children when I was in my 20s--not because I'd wish away my single/childless years but because my children are so amazing and wonderful and interesting I wish I stood a better chance of know them as they reach their 50s so I could see more of the arc of their lives. They really are the best show on earth!

Sorry for the tangent. I think you are onh the right track!

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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it's quit unbelievable how defensive people can be about TV... an overused luxury!


i grew up on TV. breakfast. sometimes lunch. in between school and dinner. after dinner until i fell asleep. how much time was wasted! i can never have all those hours of my youth!

as a teen i had a small tv in my room. i would set the timer to go off at some wee hour in the morning and drift off watching conan o'brien or some late night episode of friends - every night. i was smart i knew it was a disgusting habit but it was too much of a temptation.

then my knight in shinning armor came - i married a tv-free man.:

1. i have read more books in the past 2 years then i have read in my entire life.

2. i have actually completed projects that would have otherwise taken twice as along to finish, with the distraction of tv.

3. i spend more time thinking/pondering on things that truly effect my life, this has made me a better decision maker.


we watch a dvd on my laptop every once in a while, and it's a genuine treat! not a draining part of everyday.

when our children are older we will allow a small amount (maybe 1 hour a day) of tv/dvd. I don't want them to be one of those kids who can't tear themselves away from the tv when they're over a friends house. (like a kid who binges on sugar because his mom would let him have any at home.)

i just say 'everything within reason'.


ps. i'm also 21 - us young girls can have half a brain

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Old 01-01-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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people who laugh or roll their eyes have obviously never gone TV-free. Because, when you do, it's GREAT! I was one of those people that turned on the TV every night just because it felt right - i needed the company and the silence spooked me. Now, I love the quiet, especially the time to really interact and play with my DS. I went TV free when he was 6 months old because I didn't want him watching it and figured why pay $100 for cable so that I could watch it occasionally when he went to bed? One of the best decisions of my life, truly. The first month was kind of hard as I went through the normal withdrawl (tv is like a drug). Now when I see or hear TV it is just so jarring, so vulgar, so annoying. There really is nothing on TV worth getting and it is a huge time suck. And TV news is really quite terrible. You can inform yourself much better by reading a newspaper, listening to NPR or finding good online news outlets. If you think you'd like to watch an occasional movie or a cool documentary or what have you, keep the tv and a dvd player but just get rid of the cable. That's what I did. Still, I only put something on to watch maybe once very 4 months, lol

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:19 AM
 
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When we were babymooning, and Naked Baby was sleeping 20 hours a day, we actually watched quite a few movies on the laptop. Especially for first babies, watching movies and shows on the computer or even on a giant TV during the first month or so is really not that big a deal in my opinion. I couldn't watch violent, noisy shows -- postpartum hormones and in the baby bubble, it just wasn't good -- but I think I would have avoided them anyway just because babies do hear and take in those sounds, even when asleep.

As for why we went TV free, it was because 1) cable is fracking expensive, and 2) I am a total TV addict. I was incapable of moderation in TV. We did it before getting pregnant, but when having a child was on the horizon, and I just couldn't see myself raising a child immersed in a television environment. It absolutely does not jive with my parenting philosophy or ideals. Plus, kids are so amazing and important; I would have hated myself to miss out on their growth (and my growth!) and life because I was fixated on fictional TV characters and stories.

And I don't know what you mean by "success", but we've been without TV for three years now, 21 months of which with a child. And while, like I said, we do sometimes watch movies while he's asleep, it simply isn't a part of our daily lives anymore. And we're happy that way.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:25 AM
 
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people who laugh or roll their eyes have obviously never gone TV-free. Because, when you do, it's GREAT!
That is exactly it!! I LOVE being TV-free (although I will confess we do watch an occassional movie) My children are so much happier! and I love being able to read, or get on the computer after everyone goes to bed, instead of turning the tv on!!)

"If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing."
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just couldn't see myself raising a child immersed in a television environment. It absolutely does not jive with my parenting philosophy or ideals.
This is one of the points I TRY to get across to people. I want to homeschool so my kids will be home all day...and I really don't want the media raising them. (The media and I have different belief systems) It baffles me that so many people get miffed when I talk about it...

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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I didn't grow up watching much TV; we had one, and we watched it occasionally, but almost always for specific things, not just "whatever's on." DH was fairly similar. In college, neither of us had a TV, but when we got married and had a TV, we watched a lot more. (Lots of reruns from our teen years, LOL.) Somewhere along the way we just quit watching. . . reruns got boring, we had other interests/hobbies, didn't get many channels, etc. We also knew we didn't want our kids watching TV, especially not on a regular basis, and we really, really didn't want them watching typical kids' programming. So we just. . . didn't. . . Really. It is totally possible to raise kids without them watching TV. If you don't start the habit, there's nothing to stop doing later.

ETA: Fwiw, my kids have been places where the TV is on, and they really don't watch. Maybe for a few minutes, and then other stuff catches their eye. I don't worry if they watch a bit of a sports game with my dad or some ballet on youtube or something like that, but they definitely don't go nuts when they are somewhere with TV.

Mama to four: 10, 7, 3, and 1

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Old 01-02-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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Agreeing with others that there's really no need to mention it to other people or announce it as your new lifestyle decision. Even in crunchy quarters, not having a TV can really be seen as a radical decision.

That said, I grew up without TV and although I didn't always (ok, ever) appreciate it at the time, it is one of the main reasons I became such a dedicated reader and the main reason I am raising my kids without.

Worried about what to do with an infant? That's when I got my best reading done. I plowed through lord-knows how many novels a week in my comfy rocking chair. It was the best.

My kids are now 6 and 9 and they entertain themselves for hours with legos, games, reading, imaginary play, etc. They have never had TV around to depend on for entertainment, so they've learned to entertain themselves.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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I wanted to pipe in about the "will my kids end up riveted to the television the moment they are out of my sight/home" question.

This hasn't been an issue for us at all. Sure, when they've been at my mom's they've ODed once or twice. My oldest two sons had an interesting conversation about how groggy and stupid it made them feel.

My youngest has never been in a situation when television/movies have slowed him down or caught his attention for an instant. When he wouldn't sit and watch with a group of 2 yos at a playgroup we were trying out when we moved to town (I know!!!TV at a play group!!!) one of the mothers asked if he didn't like Bob the Builder. I made the fatal error of saying we didn't have a tube. Ooops. A whole conversation about how moderation is so important ensued, etc. Anyway, at one point one of the mothers said my son needed television so he would develop the attention span to watch it. Huh?

I too read a lot while nursing. In fact, now that I no longer have a nursling I get a lot less reading done than I used to.

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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I read all my child development books when ds was a newborn and infant. He would fall asleep nursing and I would just continue reading. I would get them at the library. My annual books read list has decreased dramatically in the last five years with no naps and full time homeschooling.

And if you want a "back in the day" story....when I went to college in the late 70s very few freshman college students had TVs in their rooms and, of course, no one had a PC.

Susan (ds7)
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:31 AM
 
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Worried about what to do with an infant? That's when I got my best reading done. I plowed through lord-knows how many novels a week in my comfy rocking chair. It was the best.
Ohhh yea! I'd read up to a novel a day, and DP and I did a lot of reading to each other with a baby in our lap, too.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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So we went TV Free 5 months ago and have never looked back. My toddler used to watch, gulp, 3 hours aday approx, crossing over to possibly 4. I am so embarrassed. So one day we went to stay with Mama and Baba (granny and granddad) in Wales and I didn't know how to turn on their massive TV so I didn't. We were there 7 days and my toddler didn't miss it and her play was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and she was calm and less jumpy, and we had great days at the beach and walking and looking at chickens LOL it was so much fun. So when we got home, that was it, we went TV free (She just watches 1 hour on a saturday now and thats it, full stop. She knows not to negotiate with me b/c she will never watch more than that so she has never even bothered.)Seriously, the quality in her play and mood have been incredible, she just knows so much stuff b/c we have spent so much time chatting rather than her zoned out to the TV. Believe you me, before this i used to LOVE TV and could never imagine it not in my toddler life. i thought it was a normal part of childhood, which it can be, but what i realised is it doesn't have to be. One thing I have learnt is, it makes people VERY uncomfortable to know we are TV free so I never mention it now. Its easier not too. I think it makes other mums feel inadequate somehow. I don't want people feeling that way so i simply don't say anything.

Just wanted to mention, the first month of being TV free was seriously wierd and took some getting used too. LOL

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:51 AM
 
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I went TV-free during my university years while living at home with mom & dad and a huge suburban house with no less than 2 TVs for five people. My brothers would hog the two sets and I didn't have the energy to bargain or wrestle with them to watch Star Trek or the news.

That was maybe 15 yrs ago and I haven't looked back. Of course, it also helps that DH is also not that much into TV. Movies on the computer (DVD) or at a theatre yes, but not TV. We have been offered old TV sets from family and friends on numerous occasions and have systematically declined. When visiting a home with TV, we both have lost the ability to sit through TV commercials except when the TV is on MUTE.

As for nursing, I either read voraciously or chat incessantly on the phone with family and friends. It's great! Too bad my 11 month old doesn't nurse for as long or as frequently anymore...

Good luck! You will enjoy the freedom of being TV-free:

Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:40 AM
 
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I grew up completely TV free - no TV in the house. We would go to our grandparents' house for special TV occasions: inaugurations, Olympic events, big news days. I have TVs in my house now (with cable), but watch live TV maybe a couple of times a month. I use my TV mostly to watch DVDs on my days off. I would have to say that if/when I have kiddos, the TVs would have to go (or at least the cable/reception component).
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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Agreeing with others that there's really no need to mention it to other people or announce it as your new lifestyle decision. Even in crunchy quarters, not having a TV can really be seen as a radical decision.


Don't know why, but people get coo-coo about TV. And then again, some people act like it isn't a big deal.

The best thing I can say about being TV-free is that it really doesn't seem to be a big deal. When the kiddos were smaller, people used to ask me what I did with them all day. I never knew how to respond. I guess what people did in the other 3 million years of human history before TV.

We do, like some other posters, watch movies--usually one every weekend. But sometimes we are just too busy even for that.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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This is one of the points I TRY to get across to people. I want to homeschool so my kids will be home all day...and I really don't want the media raising them. (The media and I have different belief systems) It baffles me that so many people get miffed when I talk about it...
AFWife, I want to congratulate you on your decision to be TV-free. In my opinion it is one of the best and most important decisions you can make for your family. Being TV free impacts so many areas of your life. My relationship with my husband is better because we spend more time communicating (and doing other things...). I have time to read and pursue other hobbies and interests. I have time to cook healthy meals for my family. We are not exposed to all the commercialism- so aren't duped into thinking we 'need' things. My daughter is not exposed to all the garbage on TV. I believe it is my responsibility to shape the belief systems of my children, and TV in my home would require me to do so much damage control. It's just not worth it to me.

I was surprised at first how surprised/ offended people were by us being TV-free. I learned like the other posters not to bring it up.

We have been TV free for years, and DH and I are both so happy with our decision. In the last two years we brought our dusty TV out of the basement to watch Michael Phelps swim a few times, and to watch the state of the union address two years ago. We have watched one movie on our computer (Business of Being Born). We used to think turing on the TV for discovery channel was a treat when we were in a hotel. We haven't even done that the last few times we have been in a hotel.

I could go on and on, but am NAK.

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