How do you do it?? I'm intrigued, but far from tv-free.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-05-2010, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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So every peds check up, our doc always says "No tv until they are 90.... how many more years is that?" And we have a chuckle. But he's serious - he really means no tv.

For the longest, ds was not interested in tv at all (age 4) but of course we've gotten him into a few different movies and a few different shows and now he loves these things. My 2yo dd just follows suit with big brother liking the things that he does - not so much princess stuff, just the shows and movies I allow.

But my question is more... how do I get away from using tv as a tool so I can things done?? I tend to use tv for when I need some quiet mommy time or time to do dishes or other chores I want to do minus the kid "help." I know I've gotten the advice of "involve your kids with chores" but sometimes, I just want to be done with it. I know.... it makes me feel selfish but I seem to be reaching for tv more and more lately and I'm starting to feel pretty bad about it.

Having said that... we watch a handful of shows (not sure how many of you will recognize the shows...) Signing Time, Super Why, Mickey Mouse Club, Thomas are the only shows we watch. (Mickey was just added recently). And we don't watch movies that often, but when we do it seems to be Cars, Nemo, and for some odd reason Pinocchio is the favorite choice in the car.

I grew up with a tv-loving family and I LOVED my disney movies growing up and we love going to Disneyland. So... it's kind of something hard for me to give up entirely, but I definitely want to look at scaling back and getting ideas on how to maybe encourage more independent play for the times I want to do things alone in the house (oh, like taking a shower alone is a big one too!!!)
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#2 of 9 Old 08-08-2010, 06:45 PM
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We lived 10 years without owning not one Tell-a-fiction. But now I purchase a cheap one in the last 4 months when the weather wasnt so great for outside activities and kids was driving me insane..I am now also a single mother now(and NO NO NO) hubby didnt have anything to do with my tv-free life, I never did own one...I too grew up around the joys of teliesvision watching with family, and even owning a small black and white one in my room. But when I left home at 17 and begin on my own journey it never regestered in head that I would someday need to own a tellafiction.
So when hubby and I was seeing each other he happened to mentioned he didnt own a tellafiction, and I was like neither do I. So that begin our new life together as a tv-free home....well everything was just dandy until the relatives/friends came to know of our mutual decision. My family accuse my husband of putting that nonesense of not owning a telliesvision in my head. But to no avail I was not able to get them to see that we had decided to keep our home tv-free.
I tell ya we were at war with the outside world....I was insulted, humilitated, thrashed at all in the name of see when you challenged something that society has branded a necessacity and you- Divine-forbid dont go out and purchase that brand spanky new tv set for that new home of yours well folks can get down right ugly.
I say all of this to simply say follow your heart and it will never fail you..even if you are going against the whole wide know your heart will never let you down....Im also cellphone-free but thats another post...
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#3 of 9 Old 08-08-2010, 07:43 PM
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I do it by insisting that my daughter entertain herself. We have not owned a tv in her lifetime. Sometimes we let her watch youtube videos but in my opinion it's getting way out of hand because she is asking for them several times a day and just no-freakin-way. (She's seen some vintage Disney cartoons, some outtakes from movies like Aristocats, and the Jungle Books, and she loves music videos by Bowling for Soup, the Barenaked Ladies, and Lady Gaga.) She has seen a few Disney/Pixar/Muppet movies (only once per movie) and that mostly out of desperation during my pregnancy.

Once new kiddo is born we will get through the first few weeks (I'm sure there will be screen time) and then I plan to cut her off entirely. I really dislike her behavior when it comes to demanding screen time. So she will have to fill an extra 15-20 minutes-ish a day with playing. I'm sure she'll manage.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#4 of 9 Old 08-08-2010, 11:02 PM
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We have a tv but we have a rule that it can't be on when DS is awake. He has never watched it so he has no clue what he is missing. I actually don't find it that hard. He plays really well by himself when I want to get things done. Its when I want time to relax that he doesn't want to entertain himself. If need be I involve him in what I am doing but generally he rather play with his toys. It has worked pretty well for us so far so we see no reason to change.

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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#5 of 9 Old 08-09-2010, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
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things have been actually going really well. We have been almost tv-free since i posted that. i told my hubby that i feel like i've been putting the kids in front of the tv too much lately and it seems to be getting out of hand - and before it gets out of control or to a point where i'd have to stage some crazy tv-intervention, i'd better start limiting it now. So for two full days the kids saw none of their shows. They saw part of the SF Giants games in the afternoon, but other than that, the TV wasn't even on. Then on the 3rd day, with hubby being home for breakfast/morning routine, the tv did get turned on for mickey mouse club house but i got them going on getting dressed before they even saw the whole episode. it hasn't even been that bad. It's just required a little more creativity on my part to direct them to other activities playing with toys we already own and/or activities. I'm also trying to get us outside as much as possible despite the horrible overcast fog belt valley i live in. and in many ways, i think i'm actually getting MORE done (gasp - did i say that?!!)

I told my MIL and mom about my "cutting back" plan and they know me well enough now to just nod and agree with my choices. they're not over there that much anyway. i just want to be very limited with the TV but not cut it out completely. At first I thought we'd do 2 shows a day allowing each kids to choose a show once during the day. but now i'm thinking maybe we only need to watch 2 shows per week as a treat or as a reward. we'll see - i'm trying to just cut it out totally for now so they don't fall back into wanting it non stop.

some of the resources article links i read through this forum were very helpful and motivating.
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#6 of 9 Old 08-13-2010, 02:18 AM
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*IF*** DH actually follows through and moves the TV, probably when our bedrooms get finished (mold, eww) our TV is moving from front-and-center living room large TV to a small TV on a moveable cart. DH says this is how he grew up, the TV was not always on, not always available to everyone, they had one that they carried to either individual bedrooms I think or a main living room to watch specific programs (like his dad watched the news every day and everyone knew to be quiet and stay out of his way for that time.)

It will come to the living room possibly at DS2's fall-asleep time so that I can get him down with some quiet from the other two, other than that I'd like to restrict it to mainly after they are in bed. (BUT if their TV/DVD in their room gets fixed and all that, it may not, it just may be that I'll send them to their room and allow them to watch part of a movie for that time.

The TV may only hit the main room at/after bedtime. We shall see.

It's not entirely TV-free obviously, but we are setting a goal of moving it out of the center of our main living area non-stop!

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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#7 of 9 Old 08-24-2010, 03:01 PM
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Your question is a good one. I think for a lot of people they have used tv primarily as a way to get some time to "get things done". And it's totally understandable, especially as we are so busy in our lives with work, etc. and the relief that TV can bring is addicting. I'm a single mom, so I understand more than most how precious 15 or 20 minutes is to "get things done" But i decided a long time ago that I just didn't want TV to be one of my go-to things, it's just not in my parenting tool box. It's not easy, i will admit. We've never had tv in the house and DS is almost 5. I think because of that he has learned to entertain himself in other ways. He builds forts, elaborate cities, sits on the couch and looks through books. There are times when he just really wants mommy and i have to postpone what I was doing to read a few books to him or something. But other days he will happily be engrossed in play for as long as an hour! It helps that he is in preschool during the day (they have no TV) when I work and so he gets a lot of diverse play and a lot of interaction with other kids. If we were in the house a lot during the day i think it might be harder.

If it helps at all, i will say that giving up tv ranks among the best decisions i ever made in my life. Before my son was born, i watched TV (not a ton, but a good amount) every day. I would just flip it on at night almost mindlessly. it was hard the first month when i cancelled cable. But I believe it has changed my life in really positive ways. I am less "connected" to ridiculous pop culture that obsesses about things like Tiger Woods' sex life, reality tv stars, and Michael Jackson's funeral. Instead I seek out real news in newspapers, the internet, or by observing the world around me. I consume far less than i used to because i am not bombarded by advertisements and commercialism. My home feels peaceful and relaxing. I am more connected to my child. My child also is not a "consumer" and he never begs to buy this or that character-laded product. I could go on, but suffice to say that the benefits of not having a television feel immense and worthwhile to me!

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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#8 of 9 Old 09-05-2010, 09:22 PM
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Honestly it is a paradigm thing. The question "how do you live without TV?" is something like "How do you live without a jet-ski". We don't even think about it. (We do have a TV and DH watches a little after DS is asleep, me on rare occasion).

It would never occur to me to turn on the TV when I was doing housework. I do housework and DS plays or helps me or talks to me. When he was a toddler (he's 3.5 now) it was tough, but I knew if I just put in the time of getting him used to playing by himself or helping me or just "hanging around" ("bored", though he doesn't know that concept yet) he'd be fine, and within a few months he was--he just expects me to do housework and sometimes he plays alone and sometimes he hangs around--but he doesn't fuss or whine or anything. Kids adjust to life, plain and simple. If you start turning on the TV to get things done, they are going to "need" it--if that was never an option, they find things to do--especially if you are very matter-of-fact about needing to do your work.
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#9 of 9 Old 09-05-2010, 09:46 PM
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It is hard sometimes. And mostly it's a strain on me, less so on the kids or DH. The kids get over it. DH can always default to me. But I'm the one who has to deal with one less 'tool' at my disposal. But at the same time.... the more time passes, the easier it is. At this point, I hardly even think about not having TV. And the kids never ask. We do let them watch a movie or two a week most weeks, but that's all. And I don't have a problem with that.
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