breaking the habit - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-17-2009, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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So I have been reading through post after post and finally decided to just post my own question.

I am a SAHM to one 15mo dd.
I starting talking about tv-free to my dp soon after the babe was born, he would giv elip service about doing it, but never seemed really interested in actually jumping onboard ie finding out the reasons why this would be a good idea, actually turning off the T.V. etc.
The bigger problem is I never turned off either. I should have just taken the lead. That seems to be our dynamic, I come up with "radical idea", find out why they are actually good ideas, tell him about whatever it is, take the lead and he eventually agrees that it was a good idea/adopts it as his own.

But in this case I guess I was just as addicted and the only difference was that I saw it as it was and he didn't analyze it at all.
So I have kept the guilt in the back of my mind and pressed on.
We moved and even bought a vhs player at the thrift store.
We buy videos for a quarter at the thrift store too.

Our DD demands to "washhhhhhhh"(watch) several times a day and I pretty much give in atleast once a day.
Her dad puts PBS on first thing in the morning and I truely believe he is doing it because she likes it and its the nice thing to do, he would rather watch the news or something.
I even watch a soap opera some days and the news at 5 when my day is nearing it's solo end and I am feeling very wornout....

I guess my point is I know what I need to be doing as far as just getting rid of the antena and putting the videos in the closet or getting rid of them altogether....

But now I am scared that I won't know what to do all day, esp. when DD gets really antsy about "washhhhhhhh"ing.......

I need real ideas, what do you do with your toddler all day, step by step, remedial style!

God/dess bless you if you got all the way through this.

DD is watching sleeping beauty right now!!!!!!

I need help!
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#2 of 5 Old 04-18-2009, 01:47 AM
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Turn off your tv. Just do it. Seriously, there's no magic solution, you just have to make the decision and take the plunge. I HIGHLY recommend cold turkey. Unplug, put tv in closet and leave it there until you no longer think about it. There are so many other things to do - go to the park, experiment in the kitchen, read books, work in the garden. It's really unhealthy developmentally for a child that young to be watching television, regardless of the content (even PBS). But if you remove tv programming now she will likely adapt quickly because she is so young.

Just my two cents, since you asked. Good luck!

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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#3 of 5 Old 04-18-2009, 05:05 PM
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I agree cold turkey is the way to go. But I would plan a lot of fun things and makeup a new schedule for yourself and db for the first two weeks. Once you break the old habit and develop new ones it'll be so much easier but for the first week or two you are wise to be prepared.

I don't think you have to go too crazy, either. Make a plan for an outing each morning right after breakfast--dishes be damned--to the library, grocery store, town reccenter baby play hour, a friend's house, the pool, the bookstore, the woods,beach, park. Stock up on some fun things your baby hasn't seen in a while--old toys, borrowed things, library books, markers, playdo, etc and bring them out when you are tempted.

Take a long bath with your db, or put db in a bath while you chill withacup of tea nextto her.

The Busy Toddler book or something similar might help. Also, remember this is a transition period. After a few weeks life will take on a new rhythm and you won't have to think and plan so much.

When in doubt, go outside!

Good luck!

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#4 of 5 Old 04-19-2009, 10:44 AM
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I've been a lurker here too, so hello everyone.

I dithered for ages, talking about going TV free, reading about it etc, and realised i was making it into a big deal, hyping it up into a whole new way of life that would mean re-structuring everything we did. A lightbulb moment for me came when reading some older posts on here, which suggested that you don't really have to *do* anything - you just do what you ordinarily do when not watching TV (ie just day-to-day living, whether that be washing up, singing, making food, going shopping, to meet friends, whatever) but just do it all the time.

So one morning I just didn't put the TV on, and when my middle child asked for it (he's 3-and-a-half), I just said "Oh, telly's for when there's nothing else to do, it's boring really) and distracted him with a game, or some dancing or something. It took about a week of him asking for it, but he was easily distracted, and i put books, paper and pens, lacing cards and some Montessori-inspired games (the command game, the label game) on shelves he could reach in the dining room, away from the room with the TV in it, and within a week he was automatically reaching for these.

It's only been four weeks, but he hasn't asked for the TV at all, and miraculously spends far longer entertaining himself with other things than he did before. Maybe he'll revert to asking for TV at some point, ( we've been lucky, as the weather has been good - unusual in England! - and we've been outside a lot more), but I'm surprised how non-terrible it has been!

What I'm trying to say, in a long, rambling way, is that you don't really have to prepare and become super-mum with loads of amazing activities up your sleeve. Just don't turn on the TV, and carry on the ordinary activities you do. I have a 14-month-old and a 15-year-old too, and it hasn't been a problem. The teenager is allowed to watch TV after littlies are in bed, but has cut right down, and the baby doesn't care either way - she's happy to be doing what everyone else is doing! As your lo is so young, I'm betting she'll easily forget all about the TV.

Go for it. The worst that can happen is a few days of complaining. I also found reading Ellen Currey-Wilson's The Big turn Off very helpful, and letting the children join in the chores (rather than distracting them with TV) a help - using ideas from Montessori Play and Learn. The hardest time is when trying to get the baby to sleep - quiet stories, some play dough, setting up a train track in advance etc have all helped. Someone else also suggested a spoken -word story fr this time too, but i haven't tried that yet.

Sorry for the long ramble. Good luck - just do it, a morning or an afternoon at a time.

Rachel x
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#5 of 5 Old 04-20-2009, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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This is all good, I do feel like I can do it.
Now I'm off to post my next question: What is your schedule for the day?
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