I need help going TV-Free - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 12-17-2010, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I stumbled on this section of the forum a few days ago. I guess I'll come right out and say it, though, that I think I need a few encouraging words. Our boys are 4.5, 2.5 and 1.5, they're loud and don't play well together, but I'm hoping that will change. I'd love to do half the things in the "100 things to do instead of watch tv" thread, but some of them don't seem very do-able with younger kids.

 

My kids don't like being read to, though the oldest will take books and read them himself, and the younger 2 will look at pictures. We can't go outside unless DH is around (sleeps during the day) because they don't listen and so I can't handle all 3 at once where they could run off. We don't really have anywhere to do crafts right now - we're working on our school area. I've tried baking with them but someone always gets into something they shouldn't while my hands are full already.

 

Can my 1.5 year old even participate with board games? I'm not sure even my 2.5 year old could, and the oldest would get mad that the younger 2 were ruining it. I used to be able to get away with painting or playdoh for the older 2 while the youngest napped, but he's not taking naps anymore.

 

Maybe it's just their personalities, or my lacking as a mom, but it seems we have a long way to go for a lot on that list to be do-able. I'd really like to start January 1st, since it's a more definite date and I'll have a bit of time to get my ducks in a row, so to speak. I know that once our school room is set up, we'll have space for these things and be busier, therefore won't have time or be less inclined to turn on the TV.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't mean to sound like such a downer, but it's just another thing on my list that seems pretty unattainable any time soon.


Meg
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#2 of 10 Old 12-17-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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i've found that when TV isn't an option, imaginative play totally takes over. whatever their fancy is, be it kitchen play or knights or house or whatever, maybe have a few dress up outfits or props on hand (like, to play kitchen, some old food packages, a pot and some spoons). we're almost always TV free although we've gone through periods of watching a lot, due to living with other relatives or periods of illness on my part, and i don't do a lot as far as entertaining or organizing activities. kids are creative and once they figure out that they don't have the option of just sitting down and vegging out, they will find things to play, either alone or together.

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#3 of 10 Old 12-18-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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I've just read this post. I've got to send my kids off to bed but I'll be back.

 

I know it seems impossible. But it isn't. I promise. I really like to encourage people who already are toying with the idea of going tv free (and only people who are thinking of it because almost no one wants to hear about it otherwise)  to go for it. It's really one of the best parenting decisions I've ever made.

 

You can do it. Really.


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#4 of 10 Old 12-21-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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When tv isn't an option any more play becomes much more creative. It sounds like you've got your hands full. Does DH work the night shift?

 

I'd try and get outside, in whatever way you can.  Can you carry the baby in the sling and hold both boys hands? Do you have a park nearby? Sometimes it takes a little research to find one that will meet everyones needs. I would personally find it awful to be stuck indoors everyday with three little ones.

 

What about storytime? My 16m loves to play with play dough or with the play dough toys. If you join them can you all safely play? What about finger paints with edible stuff like pudding?

 

Your youngest sounds very, very young to drop a nap. Does he watch tv too? It is really overstimulating at that age. In fact, I am surprised the 2.5 isn't napping any more. You might not be able to get a nap for everyone but do they have quiet time? Sitting in bed with books or napping or just being QUIET.

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#5 of 10 Old 12-22-2010, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

When tv isn't an option any more play becomes much more creative. It sounds like you've got your hands full. Does DH work the night shift?

 

I'd try and get outside, in whatever way you can.  Can you carry the baby in the sling and hold both boys hands? Do you have a park nearby? Sometimes it takes a little research to find one that will meet everyones needs. I would personally find it awful to be stuck indoors everyday with three little ones.

 

What about storytime? My 16m loves to play with play dough or with the play dough toys. If you join them can you all safely play? What about finger paints with edible stuff like pudding?

 

Your youngest sounds very, very young to drop a nap. Does he watch tv too? It is really overstimulating at that age. In fact, I am surprised the 2.5 isn't napping any more. You might not be able to get a nap for everyone but do they have quiet time? Sitting in bed with books or napping or just being QUIET.


Yes, DH works the night shift. It's hard for us to work around that sometimes. There's a park right across the street, and I'd love to take advantage of that but it's not fenced and next to fairly busy streets. I'm trying to ease into taking all 3 and having them listen and not run off. I can't exactly run after 2, in two different directions, you know? It's more something that I practice with them on weekends when DH is able to sit outside our house, so that's he's not WITH us, but readily available. It's harder too since it takes forever to get snowsuits on, but I guess that could slow down any running, so that's an upside, lol. I also dread them putting up a fight when it's time to go home, but hopefully if we can get into a routine of going nearly every day, that won't be so bad. It is pretty awful to be inside most days. I don't drive so we can't really go anywhere except the closest store, which is still quite a walk, and that's not really possible with a double stroller on snowy sidewalks.

 

I've tried quiet time in bed with books for the oldest, but he can't seem to stay for more than 5-10 minutes. That doesn't seem very long to me? Our middle son shares a room with our oldest but that room is above where DH sleeps, so I can't have them both in there or they'll start jumping around and wake DH. If I put middle DS in by himself he'd probably think I'm putting him in for a nap and fight it. He does nap sometimes but it's not often at all. They all dropped naps pretty early, I think. Our youngest still naps, but the days that he pulls through without are becoming more frequent. I didn't realize that TV would cause that. I'm aiming for being 90% TV-free by the time #4 is born.

 

I think I'll try them with some playdoh today. I don't remember if I've tried it with the youngest.

 

Sorry for the ramble, but thank you!


Meg
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#6 of 10 Old 12-31-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita View Post

i've found that when TV isn't an option, imaginative play totally takes over. 


 

This.  I don't feel it's my job, to a huge extent, to entertain my daughter (who is 30 months old).  She finds her own things to do.  I accommodate her ideas as she has them (get out the play-doh, paints, chalk, puzzles, etc. if she wants them, help her set up a train track, help her change the outfits on her dolls...), but generally I follow her lead.  In her world, the TV isn't a play-thing.  It doesn't occur to her to ask for it.  If she's bored, she finds activity in her toys and books.

 

We also lead a very active life.  If she really seems to be getting bored with her toys, we'll go out and run some errands, head to a park, do some chores, or invite someone over.  Even something as slight as heading up to the corner store to pick up a newspaper shakes her up a bit.  And there's always something we need to do!


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#7 of 10 Old 01-05-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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I love seeing this forum up, we do not watch any television in our family. We do although, watch movies and stream netflix. I was wondering if any other parents allow their children to play video games? We play the Playstation Move as a family time activity and it really seems to keep us active and provides much laughs. Although, sometimes I wish they would read more but as long as I keep it monitored, I am hoping it will keep their brains and little bodies active. 

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#8 of 10 Old 01-06-2011, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm easing into TV-free. Yesterday the TV was off from 1:30-7 (bedtime) and the kids barely complained, more the oldest than anyone. Today I slept in and DH turned it on but it was off for a bit in the afternoon with no complaints. I bet having the TV off will help with concentration on pottying, too, woohoo!


Meg
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#9 of 10 Old 01-08-2011, 08:35 PM
 
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Great! I love that you are reducing. Seems like a real struggle for you, compounded by some isolation struggles as a SAHM, etc.

 

For encouragement, I just want to say, we are tv-free and would NEVER go back. What's crazy is, I notice that I personally react terribly to the TV. I feel like we as "adults" are so sure that we are not a behaviorally impacted by the TV (like the observations of the impact of watching on children) but I think that's crap. Watching TV turns everyone's brain off. Not to mention, I've notice how much more sensitive to violence and inappropriate material now that I don't see it all the time. I can really tell when we visit friends houses or DS' grandparents, who watch a lot of TV. Not only do the kids get crabby, I get crabby too!

 

I guess what I'm saying is, don't view it like you are doing it for your kids. You are doing it for yourself too (and spouse, if you can get him on the TV free bandwagon). Seriously, anything you really need to see, is on the internet anyway. Only you are in total control of what, when, and how much. thumb.gif


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#10 of 10 Old 01-09-2011, 12:06 AM
 
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I'm battling with you, OP. My kiddos are 4, 28 months, and 14 months. We do get out (almost) every day to a park and on errands (I draw the line at pouring rain simply because it makes *me* miserable, but the boys wouldn't mind, lol). My biggest challenge is after 4pm - it's the downhill slide to DH coming home/supper time. They also seem to get cranky-wild at this time even if they've been playing all afternoon. Since it's been getting dark early, I cave and put on the TV which then stays on until dinner (so about 2 hours :(. I'm tired at the end of the day (expecting #4 in June)and I need EASY ideas for what might work during this time. I try reading books or getting them to draw/colour but they aren't interested for more than 5 min. We're picking up crinkle cutters tomorrow for the boys so I can put them to work chopping vegetables. When the days get longer, I can pitch them out into the back yard so it will be a little easier.

 

I *hate* the TV and am trying to work up the courage to ask DH to move it out to his office (he for sure would without a problem - I'm just reluctant to let go my lifeline :(.


"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton
 
 
 
   

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