What to do when someone visits your house (for a LONG visit) - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-06-2009, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My Mom is coming to stay with us for 3 months this winter (she lives in georgia with my brother and I live in Florida so it's warmer here in the winter ). When I mentioned limiting her television viewing when she's here she got upset. She said "well the kids won't be watching what I want to watch anyway", but I don't want to the TV to be on for hours upon hours for no reason. She also like all those crime/investigation shows that I think are so mindless.

We are not tv-free at this point, but we limit all screen time to 7 hours per week for each of us (thast includes computer/game/tv time). That sounds like more than I thought it was. This is waaay down from what we used ot watch last year this time so we're taking baby steps. When I mentioned it to her she got very defensive and said something like "you're telling me what to do".


I think my Mom watches 7 hours of tv per day (or more).

How would you "discuss" this with her? Yesterday when I was talking to her she started getting pretty upset so I don't want to repeat that, but I do want to have a peaceful home where my children and I can do homework, crafts, play games, and do puzzles without having to hear more than soft music in the backgrounds.

Thanks for ANY and ALL hints you might have!!

Susan- Vegetarian Single Mom to 9 year old twins!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:19 PM
 
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When we lived abroad my mother used to come for visits of 3-6 weeks. We are entirely tv free but my parents love the tube and often have it on at all hours. (Some of us watch dvds sometimes but it is on a laptop screen and not a regular thing) My parents are news junkies and love documentaries and such but it still is not my thing.

When they visit they adjust, a situation made easier by the fact that we don't have a television. After a few dyas they'd get used to it and they always talk about how great it is for the kids, etc.

I think it would be next to impossible to ask a guest to limit their tv use while they are in your home if there is a tv there.

Even if people agree with you in principle that tv-watching is a less than optimal activty, if they are tv addicts you can't expect them to self-limit. Or you can expect them to but they won't do it. The pull is just too strong.

What would happen if you stashed your tv--lent it to a friend, put it in storage, passed it on to someone--so that you could honestly tell your mother you no longer had a television? (If she could have, my mother would have surely brought her own!) I know it seems extreme but you could even wait until she arrived and looked around for it. I think that is what I would do.

Good luck! I find tv addiction (5 hours daily plus I guess) so sad. But my mother once told me that she finds sanctimonious prigs sad too. (I love my mom and she is a saint among women--really. I admit I am a bit of a prig on this issue so take my comments with a grain of salt.

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Old 01-07-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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Where is she staying in your home? Will she have her own room - if so, maybe you could put a tv in there for her and ask her not to watch shows around the children that you don't approve of. This is a tough one, but you don't want it to be a battle the whole time. On the other hand, if you're inviting her to your home than I think it is reasonable to expect her to follow your house rules. If she can't handle it, maybe she shouldn't be staying that long.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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My mom stayed for a month right before my twins were born. We have a TV, but it's little and generally lives in a closet save for special occasions (we'll likely get it out for the inauguration).

I agree that getting rid of a TV in the common area is key. We set up our little TV in the room where my mom was sleeping. That way she could watch in the evenings or during naptime.

It helped that she gets that this is our home and respects that this is a very important parenting issue for us.

I think it's easier if you make it about the kids. That way she won't feel like you are attacking her choices. Maybe show her some of the research about TV watching and cognitive development? Also, keep her busy! My mom came because I was on partial bedrest, so she was busy taking dd on outings and doing our laundry. I think that made it easier.

Good luck!

Trying to get my bearings...
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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we have had a lot of visitors over the past year (though, none for that long) they all have been fine with us not having a TV. step FIL may have made a couple comments and I imagine our guests missed some of their favorite shows, but no one said so.

I dunno what I'd do in your situation. 3 months is a long time and if your mom is used to watching so many hours of tv, it almost seems cruel to take that from her Good luck figuring it out.

For us, we just don't have a tv set up so that makes it easier. No one really goes in our garage to see that we do indeeed own a couple. It wouldn't matter though as we don't have any antenna's or cable so there would be no channels.

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Old 01-07-2009, 03:11 AM
 
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Can you put the tv in her room and with some sort of headphone set-up for her? That way you are not asking her to give up her "fix" but it keeps your home peaceful.

Keeping busy with 2 boys & 1 girl ('04, '06, '08)
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:36 AM
 
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the notes, ladies!! Yesterday as my Mom and I were talking on my drive home from work (as we always do) it was clear there was an "elephant in the room" as we were avoiding the subject. After a lot of mindless chatter I brought it up (guess I'm stubborn). She said she's not sure when she's coming and how long she'll be staying. I KNOW the tv issues were the reason why.

I suggested we move the TV to the bedroom she stays in. She stays in my DDs room- the kiddos sleep together in my sons bunbeds while she's here although they always sleep in the same room- it varies whos room they sleep in.

She did NOT the TV in her room at all. I'm at a loss. I want my Mom here (although she can be negative and depressed a lot) because it's nice to have adult conversation and companion.... Hmmm- maybe I need to date!! Anyho- that is where we're at- she's unwilling to bend and although I don't mind her watching the news or Wheel of Fortune, Im not cool with her having all those crime shows on all evening long... Thanks for listening!! :

Susan- Vegetarian Single Mom to 9 year old twins!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Love-Alaska View Post
She did NOT the TV in her room at all. I'm at a loss. I want my Mom here (although she can be negative and depressed a lot) because it's nice to have adult conversation and companion.... Hmmm- maybe I need to date!! Anyho- that is where we're at- she's unwilling to bend and although I don't mind her watching the news or Wheel of Fortune, Im not cool with her having all those crime shows on all evening long... Thanks for listening!! :
It's your house. Offering to move the TV into her room is completely reasonable. If she's unwilling to accept that as an option, I would say it's less about the TV and more about her feeling offended and disempowered by your judgments about her television addiction.

I guess it really depends on how much you want to bend. Personally, if she rejected such a good compromise I'd try to find out why, but I wouldn't go farther than that. Too bad. You shouldn't have to endure hours of television (or expose your children to it) simply because she doesn't want to give in.

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Old 01-12-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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If she's living with you for 3 months then she gets to follow the house rule of limited TV. She could not stay with you if TV is so important.
If she doesn't want to compromise and watch TV with less limits in the bedroom or some other private space than she can just not watch. It's your home, not hers.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:56 AM
 
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I would just say that you are very excited about her coming to visit, but that limiting TV exposure in your house is something that is very important to you and frankly not up for discussion. I'm all for making accomodations for guests who are staying in my home, but not when it compromises my care of my child. Would you let someone smoke in your house? Just tell her it has nothing to do with wanting to "tell her what to do" but about the kind of environment you want in YOUR home. I got rid of my television reception so we are TV free and in some ways it's much easier than your situation. I simply tell people "FYI, there's no TV here". period. end of discussion

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:00 AM
 
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In the words of Oscar Leroy fron Corner Gas "My roof, my rules."

I don't expect to be allowed to watch constant TV or, really do most of my normal activities when staying at someone elses house.

I would simply explain to her that yes there are rules around the TV in your house and could she please respect them? If not, then for the sake of your kids, you will have to store the TV away.

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:11 AM
 
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Isn't she going to have so many other things to do while she visits than watching endless hours of tv anyway? I can't imagine visiting someones home and thinking I'm going to watch tv the whole time. And we aren't tv free at our house. We just don't watch it a lot and only turn the tv on when we are watching it and then turn it off. I hate it on in the background all the time.
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mom decided to stay at my sisters house, but I'm not sure how that is going to work out. My neice and nephew (15 and 12) are always fighting and it's far from peaceful there. Well- she may not care about peace and quiet as long as she can watch Law and Order (and CSI and Cold Case and blah, blah, blah).

She is the type that would sit there and watch TV while we're playing cards/games. For example when we were up in Georgia for Christmas. The day before we were leaving my kids were playing their guitars and she asked them to stop so she could hear the TV (Today show).... I said "tomorrow you'll wish we were here so you could hear the guitars", but honestly , I don't think she *would* want to hear it.

My kids were so cute they said we should hide the TV in the cabinet.... I love my kids!! Even though we are NOT tv-free we haven't watched a program in over 3 weeks- we use the tv for wii and they use their minutes for webkins and www.funschool.com...

Thanks for being here, ladies!! :

Susan- Vegetarian Single Mom to 9 year old twins!!
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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I'm glad that it worked out. I'm a big Law and Order, and I can assure you that just about every episode has significant parts that are not appropriate for 7yo's, especially sheltered ones like yours (and mine. ) I wonder how your mother would deal with having her grandchild ask her, for example, what rape was or why a father would do such a thing to a child?
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It really HAS worked out so far. My Mom arrived on Saturday and slept for a couple days at my sisters then came over to my place. The other day all four of us played a game after dinner. We had a blast!! She keeps the TV off until the kiddos are in bed. Even though she's made some comments about me missing out on the news she's way more supportive than I thought she was going to be!

Susan- Vegetarian Single Mom to 9 year old twins!!
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