A glimpse of the payoff of being TV free! - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-19-2010, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There are at least 10 kids under 10 years old that hang out in our cul-de-sac. We are really blessed to have such a great group of kids that all get along fairly well. My family is the only "AP" type family, and certainly the only one without TV and homeschooling. But there is very little judgment passed between us and our neighbors.

So, we are TV-free, although my daughter does watch carefully selected DVDs now that baby brother is around and momma can't quite handle everything. But the point of the story here is that we are a character-free toy home and my daughter has rarely, if ever, seen a commercial on TV that was targeted to kids. (She has seen adult-oriented commercials at my parent's house).

The other day all the kids were hanging out on the steps of a neighbor, looking at his two zhu-zhu pet hamsters (I'm not even sure if that is spelled right) and a few accessories. I know that these were "the craze" around Christmas time and that this neighbor kid threw a HUGE tantrum about a week ago when his new pet didn't arrive via UPS on the day he thought it was coming.

All the kids were ahhhing and ooohing over these toys, and my daughter was super curious. At one point I heard her say, "I've seen these before, but we don't have one" in a very matter-of-fact voice. The kids soon dispersed, and my daughter was able to look at the toys up close all by herself. She looked up at me and asked if she thought we might be able to get one. I told her that I would have to think about it. A few minutes later I told her that I knew she really wanted a new dress up doll (like the less-expensive version of the American Girl dolls), and that we could probably only get one or the other. Which would she like? She did not hesitate to say that she would want the dress up girl doll, and then she put down the hamster and ran to catch up with the other kids.

It was at that moment that I actually saw the payoff of her not being exposed to thousands of commercials. The zhu zhu pet toy is really nothing special. There are a million toys that are better than that toy. But if you were a kid who saw hundreds of commercials telling you how great that toy was, you would want one. Perhaps you would even throw a tantrum if you could not get one. I think my daughter was attracted to the other kid's excitement over that toy, but really... she just didn't care that much about it.

I am so excited to see a real-life example of how she is able to think more clearly because her brain is not cluttered with commercial messages. Yay!

Just thought I'd share my story!
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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Awesome story Just another reason I am glad I don't let my son watch TV.

Fun loving crunchy mommy to an amazing outgoing adventurous boy named Logan Cloud 2/2/07 and our little ball of energy Jayden Edge 11/28/10 and wife to Jet 7/3/05 expecting our third 09/21/14

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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Love that story!
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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That's great!

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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that's awesome! I have experienced similar thing with my 4 year old many times Sure, he's interested in what his friends have. But the intensity is just not there. We go to Disneyland and he doesn't ask to buy a thing. Doesn't even occur to him. I love it!

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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That is pure awesome, Shell.

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Old 08-13-2010, 05:21 AM
 
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Awesome! I haven't gone TV-free, but I have steered away from channels that have all the commercials geared to kids. (I think that comes from only having PBS as a kids' channel for a long time) They either watch commercial-free or DVD's mostly...though I am noticing a *severe* want of the Toy Story toys since they have heard about the movie and are watching the DVD's constantly of the first 2. (this i might try to divert with some dress up stuff??) how to make your own buzz costume? I don't know. Something more creative than some character hunks of plastic to re-enact scenes from the movie with.

i mean with a cowboy hat dress up prop, yeah, you can do the Woody stuff, but you could also be "Andy going to cowboy camp" or just a cowboy doing cowboy stuff....and there's a whole 'nother level of thought going on when you create your own costume and act out the scene versus having a hunk of plastic ready for you....

It's the difference between when my friends and I drew our own paper dolls and cut their stuff out of catalogs versus playing with our Heart Family barbies--though we did get really creative with those too, I found all sorts of junk around the house to be their 'furniture' and all that. But the dolls...we drew their outfits. Sometimes they'd turn out with a certain look, or a mistake, or something would happen when we cut one out that would become part of the story (a 'handicapped' one missing a body part? ) It just had a whole component that was a part of the creation of the toys that isn't there when the toy is a hunk of plastic ready for you...

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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I read this post ages ago but since it's been resurrected I wanted to add my zhu zhu story. Prior to reading this post, I hadn't heard of zhu zhu pets. On a recent camping trip, DD5 was bugging me to buy her a zhu zhu pet. Since we had a long drive ahead of us, I bought both girls a zhu zhu pet and one accessory, just hoping that that would entertain them for the drive and it did. We arrive at the campsite and the girls immediately steal my 9X12 RV mat and start having zhu zhu races. Then they collect a ton of rocks and make a zhu zhu obstacle course. By the end of the week, it had become an entire zhu zhu villiage made with sticks, rocks, random bits of garbage and a shoe box. They had those little hamsters running all thought the village. I never did get my RV mat back for its intended purpose. IMO, it was the best $30 that I could have spent. I don't mind buying any toy that stimulates that much creative play. We're back home now and the zhu zhu's were put aside for a few days but I've heard them discussing re-creating the zhu zhu village with Mega Blocks. Maybe I should get out the RV mat so that I can contain it to 9x12. Somethings tells me I'm about to lose my family room floor for a few days.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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I have no idea what zhu zhu is, but I totally get the story! Today I was in the car with my friend and her kids (but not my kid) and the 3 year old was crying to get some specific toy (no clue what it was). It hit me that my kid (same age--though very precocious) has no idea even of the concept of wanting to buy a specific toy. Now, if we are walking through a store he might see some balls and say "Mommy, can we get a ball?" (he handles my "we have plenty of balls" reply extremely well). But he's never just wanted a toy like that, driving around or sitting at our house, and he's never ever wanted any kind of specific toy (like brand or whatever). I know this is because he has not yet been initiated into the consumer culture, and I hope to keep him out for a few more years, then slowly teach him how to live in it (or near it!) responsibly!
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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never heard of zhu zhu, but nice story. De-commercializing is good

no longer  or  or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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Love it! We are TV Free - does any one ever try to win over your kids trying to sing theme songs of say spongebob or another cartoon only to have your son or daughter look back expressionless or confused? I had that happen a couple times here. Pretty silly.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gratefulmomma87 View Post
Love it! We are TV Free - does any one ever try to win over your kids trying to sing theme songs of say spongebob or another cartoon only to have your son or daughter look back expressionless or confused? I had that happen a couple times here. Pretty silly.
Usually for us it's "Do you like Dora?" followed by the offer of some Dora-themed treat. Yeah, she has no clue who Dora is. Nor does she know any of the Disney princesses, let alone have a "favourite". She does know her sesame street characters though - she has quite a few sesame street books & toys handed down from DH's and my childhoods. You can't win them all.

I was so pleased to have the only non-princess attired three year old girl in our group this Hallowe'en. I gave her her choice of the Hallowe'en costumes that we saw, and she chose to be a shark.

Mum to DD 9/07 and DS 01/11

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Old 11-03-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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It was at that moment that I actually saw the payoff of her not being exposed to thousands of commercials. The zhu zhu pet toy is really nothing special. There are a million toys that are better than that toy
What a nice reminder.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gratefulmomma87 View Post
Love it! We are TV Free - does any one ever try to win over your kids trying to sing theme songs of say spongebob or another cartoon only to have your son or daughter look back expressionless or confused? I had that happen a couple times here. Pretty silly.
not quite the same, but close: ds dressed up as a construction worker for halloween and i don't know how many people asked him if he was "bob the builder" (he has no idea who this is). ds just kept saying "no, i'm just a construction worker". ds was also the only one among his friends not dressed as a "character"
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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Ha. The kids are tv-free and the only toy store we every go to is mostly Waldorf so nothing commercial. But the other day we were at Whole Foods and he say some elmo food product. He does recognize Elmo, someone gave us one, and he liked it visually when it was little but he never saw the show. He is 3.5 . I carefully explained that those foods were for older boys and girls and he could have them when he is older if he chooses. I love the idea of my 19 year old finally getting to try those processed nasty Elmo pasta in a can.

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Old 12-26-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gratefulmomma87 View Post

Love it! We are TV Free - does any one ever try to win over your kids trying to sing theme songs of say spongebob or another cartoon only to have your son or daughter look back expressionless or confused? I had that happen a couple times here. Pretty silly.


lol, yes

 

though now that my son is 6 (and very large for age) the conversation will sometimes go further, and he'll tell people that he isn't into commercial characters (its a tiny bit of a lie on his part b/c he is rather intruigued).

 

Just last night another mom at a party we were at told me that when she mentioned to my son that her daughter (the only other kid there) was watching movies in the other room and suggested to my son that he go join her he told her, "No, I don't really like to watch movies. They are too long and it takes away from my playtime". I could tell she was pretty surprised by that!


dissertating mom to three

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