Why are you TV free? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-23-2009, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My family has been TV free for a couple of months now. I'm curious as to what your personal reasons for being TV free are. Do you still watch movies?
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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We are tv free because I believe that children are like sponges and take in everything they see. They don't simply watch tv, I feel, they become it, learn from it, look up to it. I don't want my child imitating anything they see on tv. It is very important to me that DD is her own original person as much as possible not just repeating things she has seen on tv.
for me personally, I don't watch tv because I feel like it is an unrealistic view of life that i don't want to let in to my way of thinking. also, I would rather be out living life then watching it on tv. I hope that makes sense.
edited to add: and the commercials that makes us believe we need all that stuff.

Kimberly, Mama to DD (8/22/05) and DS-UC! (8/10/08)
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by peachopotamus View Post
We are tv free because I believe that children are like sponges and take in everything they see. They don't simply watch tv, I feel, they become it, learn from it, look up to it. I don't want my child imitating anything they see on tv. It is very important to me that DD is her own original person as much as possible not just repeating things she has seen on tv.
for me personally, I don't watch tv because I feel like it is an unrealistic view of life that i don't want to let in to my way of thinking. also, I would rather be out living life then watching it on tv. I hope that makes sense.
edited to add: and the commercials that makes us believe we need all that stuff.
Ooooh... I really like that answer. I haunt the tv free forum since I know it would be the best thing for us.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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We are TV-free because I grew up that way (in the 70s when it made me way more of a freak than now. Now I'm not a freak at all, at least not here in Crunchytown). I grew up in a house full of books and became a dedicated reader. Could this have happened even with TV? Sure. But without, it was bound to.

I went through a period of having a television when I was just out of college and it was fun. But by the time I got back from the Peace Corps I didn't want one. Fortunately, dh didn't have one when we met (although he grew up with it on constantly). We were both sure that we wanted to raise our kids without it.

We watch DVDs on the computer. I love movies. When our oldest kid was 8 we instituted Sunday movie night. There are so many classic movies I'd love to show him, so that's what we do. That's the only time they watch movies.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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Because all that time is better spent hanging out with DD, reading, walking my dogs, writing/playing music, cooking food, baking bread, gardening, staying in touch with friends and fooling around with hubbie.

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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DH and I just don't have a tv - we can't afford one right now, so we don't have one. We do have a laptop we watch movies on, though.

But this past year or so of not having a tv has really had an impact on me, I believe. I think I might have one eventually to watch history/discovery/science channels, but never mindless cartoons that come on (for our future kids).

This all being said, I really don't have time to watch tv anyway. School and being married is more than enough, thank you, I don't get any sleep as it is!

Growing up at my house, life was centered around the tv. That's where we ate dinner, and no one was allowed to talk during the show - just in commercials. : That place was just not good, anyway, though...
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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Because all that time is better spent hanging out with DD, reading, walking my dogs, writing/playing music, cooking food, baking bread, gardening, staying in touch with friends and fooling around with hubbie.
Amen. What wonderful reasons!
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:30 PM
 
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We're TV-free in the sense that we don't watch any TV shows, news broadcasts, etc. We do watch the occasional movie (once a week or so), and it's only DH and I watching (always after DD goes to sleep).

Our reasons? TV just feels like such a waste of time. There are so many other things we'd rather be doing, like playing with DD, participating in our own hobbies and enjoying each other's company.

Mainly, though, we don't want DD watching TV because we don't see any value in it. Children's programming is full of marketing messages - everything these days is designed to lure kids into wanting something. This of course translates into them begging their parents for more (branded) things. We'd prefer that, for the most part, play with imaginative toys and avoid branded items (although we do have a few stuffed animals like Curious George and Donald Duck in the house).

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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Old 06-28-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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NAK our reasons are pretty much what the pp's said. i do have a nice little collection of dvd's, but we rarely watch nowdays. just no time with ds really, and our living room isn't even set up to watch them on tv set right now. i try not to buy character clothes or toys for ds as well. that in itself can be a challenge sometimes.

Claire, mommy to Robbie (8/23/08) and Brena (4-22-11) and wifey to Joe
 
 
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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My daughter, when she's been at other people's houses who watch tv, comes home with part of her imagination missing. She just wants to repeat what she's seen and heard and I find it tragic. TV=turning off the thinking.

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and 8 critters, including a !
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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So true to everything everyone said. TV impairs kid's imaginations. There is no way DS would be the great reader he is if he had grown up with TV. He never would have even picked up a book. I've also noticed that when we go to relatives houses or somewhere where there is TV that he just kind of zones in and that can't be good for him. He also gets really cranky when its time to turn off the TV, not something I want to deal with at home. I also believe kids experience nature deficit disorder if they are constantly inside on tv or video games. Kids need outside stimulation, not the kind of stimulation that comes from TV.

As for movies, DH and I do subscribe to netflix. We love the classics and all the indie dramas and watch after DS goes to bed. We get a movie for DS about twice a month or so or when he is sick sometimes. Personally, I have always hated TV. I find it irritating and annoying - commercials and programming alike.

Novel writing student Mama to ds (8y) and new DD 1-13-10.

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Old 06-30-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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My daughter, when she's been at other people's houses who watch tv, comes home with part of her imagination missing. She just wants to repeat what she's seen and heard and I find it tragic. TV=turning off the thinking.

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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Because it's full of crap.

We ditched the cable about 2 years ago...because we were pissed about the commercials that would be shown during shows that would appeal to children -- like on National Geographic or Animal Planet. I cannot remember how many times my husband or I would have to dive for the remote because of the scary, gratuitous or just plain innappropriate material that would be contained.

Then we moved the tv out of the living room...only had one tv in the master bedroom and that only had an antenna.

Now we have no tv hooked up at all...it's been more than 2 months since we moved in to the new house and we just left the tv packed up in the basement and no one has missed it.

We're in the midst of a week-long 'no screen' (for the children, of course, since here I sit looking at my laptop screen) experiment.

Why? for many of the same imagination-killer reasons PP have mentioned. The boys just want to watch transformers tv episodes on youtube and the 2 year old figured out how to open the dvd drive, put a disk in, and watch what she wants. Ack! Too much screen-obsession.

I'm hoping that 6 months from now we can look back on being (mostly) screen-free and not miss it at all and wonder why we ever wasted our time on that.

I intend to do a weekly family movie night...once we're all detoxed from the screen...and make it a special thing.

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Old 07-01-2009, 10:27 AM
 
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Watching tv is such a poor quality, stationary, passive experience. I don't want my ds (or myself!) spending time being influenced by an artificial medium that doesn't reflect my thoughts, interests, values. The direct marketing to children is intense and sophisticated. At a young age I feel children should be protected from such influences and as they grow older, they should be taught about it so they can choose for themselves. We do watch a carefully chosen dvd about once a month or so, but that is a special event to be shared by family.
My dh and I were tv-free for about a decade before we had ds. Our interests simply lie elsewhere; gardening, cooking, reading, animals, travel.......
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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There are so many things on TV that I don't want my son exposed to at a young age...hell, at all in some cases. I know that the world is a scary place and blah blah blah, but I don't believe my children need to see sex and drug use on a daily basis.

I know that a lot of people that have TV say "you'll never get anything done" because I have a child...but I won't get anything done if I have TV because I'll sit and watch it all the time.

I love books and tend to put them aside because it's easier to turn on the TV and let it do the thinking for me. I don't want to be in this habit and I sure want better for my family.

The TV isn't a member of my family and shouldn't be included in family time.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:24 PM
 
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Because it's mostly junk stuff to fill up space in your head.

Cable is expensive and we are into living simply, saving money for early retirement and travel.

Because there is wayyyyy too much commercialism nowadays.

It ruins the imagination (with the exception of a few good movies and educational videos).

I do let dd watch movies and videos (educational, science and nature, etc.)

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:30 AM
 
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There really are a lot of reasons. Among them:

- cable is expensive, and I save about $100 a month not having it! That's a lot of money!
- I am so busy and when I do have free time there are always more worthwhile things to do
- I find the sights and sounds of television vulgar and intrusive. Never really felt that way before I went tv-free. But now that I haven't had television in my house for over 3 years, when i do see or hear a tv show, it's like nails on a chalk board.
- but the biggest reason is for DS. I see the impact tv has on his friends, who already at 3 are obsessed with characters, shows, and movies. They talk about swords and guns, and instead of relying on their imagination, often re-enact plot lines from movies over and over again. They also "insist" on having more "stuff" - character-covered lunchboxes, shoes and clothes. They want themed birthday parties with Dora or spiderman everywhere, or beg to be Kung Foo Panda for halloween. My son doesn't care what's on his clothes, and when i finally took him to Disneyland, he didn't once ask to buy anything and didn't know who the large dog and mouse were running around (although he thought they were cute). He doesn't know TV is an option, so he is happy engaging in dramatic play with his toys and creating elaboring situations that spring from nothing but his own imagination. I'm not saying he's better or smarter or anything like that, just that he is developing the way a child shood - actively, rather than passively, in front of the televsion. I am so grateful that I made the decision to unplug.

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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I am loving reading up in this forum and thought I would add my list here, although it has been pretty much covered.

- I grew up without a TV and never understood the question "but what do you do without TV at home?"

- I am concerned about TV watching as an occupation (use of time) replacing other occupations that are much richer in overall experience. ie baking, gardening, walking the dog, reading, bathing, playing - pretty much anything that requires you to interact with your environment.

-I am not comfortable with my child having human interaction replaced with a TV.

- I am concerned about the mind numbing / dumbing down effects of TV. As well as the squashing of imagination. I am in awe of the imagination and am quite keen to nurture the development of my DS's (and any future children's) imagination.

- I am concerned about the difference in radiated versus relfected light (not much to go on here just yet, but the idea has caught my fancy. Of course computers radiate light too)

- I do not want to be fighting about how much TV and when - it is just easier for it to not be an option.

- I am very uncomfortable with the idea of young children being manipulated by advertising.

- I am concerned about the impact on overall development (motor, sensory, emotional, cognitive) of babies and children when their occupation of play through movement is replaced by sitting in front of the TV. And that the basis of perception relies on a kinesthetic experience of up/down left/right etc before a 3D or even 2D (tv) experience even begins to make sense.

- Outdoor unstructured play in the sun is highly underrated.

-I am sure there are many many more reasons. The more I read about it, the more I am sure that having a TV is not a choice I am comfortable with making for my family. And, yes, it saves us lots of money too.

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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Delightedly Screen Free Children!

Seriously. We moved from no cable to no tv to no screens for the children...and it only took a 2 year transition.

The children have been 100% tv free for the last 4 months (they watched VERY little for the year or so before that) and then last month we moved the PC out of the living room and into DH's home office. We don't have an internet connection in there yet...so it's even less interesting to them.

Occassionally I will turn on something short for them to watch on my laptop when I really, really need a few minutes...but that's not even once a week at this point.

My eldest child is the one who really needs to be screen-free, as screen time wires him up badly. He even said the other day that he feels better, happier and more balanced now that he doesn't sit and look at a computer screen at all.

Yippeee! They are playing outside in the woods more and reading loads when they are inside too! It's awesome.

(Written to inspire other families who might be considering making the tv-free or screen-free plunge...it is so worth the work and it makes for a happier family, IMHO & IME!)

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Old 08-05-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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Wow, I was nodding my head the entire time until she insulted my choice of reading material and my kids playsilks in the last paragraph. Sniff.

Great article other than that, though. I have had the very same thoughts when its come out that we don't have a TV and the other mom gets all weird and distant.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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Wow, I was nodding my head the entire time until she insulted my choice of reading material and my kids playsilks in the last paragraph. Sniff.

Great article other than that, though. I have had the very same thoughts when its come out that we don't have a TV and the other mom gets all weird and distant.
Why, thank you for those kind words. I won't deny that I do have my snarky side, though.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:50 AM
 
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My family is TV free so that my husband and I can protect our children's innocence. Also to let their natural creativity grow and thrive on its own.

 

It can be very trying sometimes when my children get bored and I have to be involved with them so much to keep them out of trouble, but it is definitely worth it when they all settle down with a few toys and lots of books!


May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you!  :-)

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Old 01-02-2013, 06:17 PM
 
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My family is TV free so that my husband and I can protect our children's innocence. Also to let their natural creativity grow and thrive on its own.

 

It can be very trying sometimes when my children get bored and I have to be involved with them so much to keep them out of trouble, but it is definitely worth it when they all settle down with a few toys and lots of books!

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 For me I was SICK of TV. Nothing on that was worth my time. So we just went TV-free

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:31 PM
 
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:56 PM
 
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I think my transition to TV-free has been interesting..

 

It all started with my first husband, who watched too much TV and played too many video games. He was up until at least 1 or 2am most nights, sometimes later, just playing video games and watching ESPN. Yuck, how did I end up married to that? I liked to watch TV, but this was crazy.

 

I left my husband for reasons other than his TV addiction, though that was part of the mix of problems. (2005)

 

I got really into rowing, which involves waking up at an ungodly hour of the morning. The only way to make this feasible was to go to bed by 9:30 every night, which really limited my TV-watching.

 

I met a new guy (another rower) who watched very little TV. So that was not something we ever did together. He liked to sit around and talk after dinner, or dance in the kitchen, or read books, or make puppets, or clean the house- it was exciting and novel to me. He watched about one televised football game per month. And had no interest in my dumb sitcoms, so if I wanted to watch them I was alone. We moved in together, so I stopped watching any TV at all- why would I, when I had this fun guy to hang out with and talk to? (2006-2007)

 

Later we got married and had kids and... still no TV in our lives! (2008)

 

Now we have two TVs in our home- one is in the half-finished basement, which is not super comfy and we don't go down there very much. We use the basement for laundry and rowing machine mroe than the TV. We watch a video maybe once per month after the kids are asleep, and other than that we never use it- we do have a digital converter (no cable), but we just don't like TV anymore at all. The other TV is in our au pair's bedroom upstairs. Our last au pair watched a lot of TV in the evenings, and it definitely helped her improve her English. Our current au pair has only been with us for a couple of weeks and she watches no TV at all- she reads and takes walks every evening. I didn't realize they made 20-somethings like her :).

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Old 01-29-2013, 06:05 PM
 
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We are TV free so we can enjoy the real things in life. We bought a farm in the middle of no where & ditched the TV. Life has never been better. Everyone who finds out we are TV free is really confused by it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:41 PM
 
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I really enjoy hearing about everyone's lifestyle and experiences.   I have been without a tv for just a month and at first it was pretty big adjustment to get used to the silence and free time, especially if you are not around many people on a regular basis.  I have enjoyed having to go to a shared tv or media area because I can get the best of both worlds by watching a show or two a week but not being a slave to it.  

1)  It is amazing how many hours tv can take up if you let it.  I used to have the tv on day and night and not really watch or enjoy any tv shows.  I would stay up late at night and feel restless.  I felt like my life was being wasted.  Around that time we had a bad electrical storm that broke my new expensive tv and I decided to just let it go all together and focus more on physically living.  

2)  I have wanted to limit family tv time and raise tv-free kids since 2011.  I have grown up attached to a tv.  It is interesting realizing that the way I want to live my life, honoring my values, is very different from how I was raised and from the lives of the people I am around.  It is important to realize the role tv has in your relationships.  I agree with all the reasons for going tv-free or limiting tv.  I want to spend time with my family and talk to them instead of watch other people talk.  I disapprove of a lot of the content on tv and hate the consumerism, brainwashing, and values it propagates.  I enjoy and value tv, news, media, and entertainment but I like dictating my own life.  I want to make a conscious choice to spend only 1 or 2 hours having that kind of fun, picking and choosing how I spend my time.  

3)  I am trying to save money and not having a tv is a great way to save on monthly bills.  Also, I recently was moving and got robbed so I have come to realize that by not having a tv or other expensive items like that I feel like less of a target for thieves.  Plus, its green. 


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Old 04-13-2013, 03:51 PM
 
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When I finally went to read the piece linked to by zinemama on Babble, it couldn't find it. zinemama, do you know if it's at a different address? Thanks anyway for posting it; sorry I didn't read it in time!


May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you!  :-)

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