Our baby is due in June, and we have a fairly small house consisting of a living room and dining room that flow into each other, a smallish kitchen, two good-sized bedrooms (one for us and one will be for the baby), one tiny bedroom that serves as combination wardrobe/mini-office, and a bathroom. Our basement and attic are unfinished.
I would very much like to raise our daughter as TV-free until at least age five. My husband is a huge movie lover, and I certainly would like him to feel free to share this interest with her one day, but not before age five. He is fine with this. I like movies pretty well, and I like some TV, too, but I am more willing to go without it for myself than he is; I'd be happy just watching an occasional thing on my laptop.
Our TV is in the living room. We don't have cable, but we have Netflix Watch Instantly, and I know that children as young as three are able to navigate systems like this. Of course, she will be supervised and prevented from doing so, but I would like it better if the TV weren't in the main area where the family will spend our waking time. I'm at a loss, however, for where else to put it. I suggested moving it to our bedroom, but my husband told me that when he has had a TV in the bedroom, it has caused insomnia, a problem he overcame a few years ago in part by moving the TV. We don't have the money to finish our attic or basement to turn either into a TV room. Putting it in storage for five years seems like an option that would be cruel to my husband, since he enjoys watching movies so much.
My best idea so far is to get a TV stand that, unlike our simple one, has sides and doors that can be closed, hiding the TV. Naturally, a three year old doesn't even need to be as clever as the one who can figure out Watch Instantly to manage to get the doors open, but it might put the TV somewhat out of mind.
What do you think about this? Do you have any other ideas, or comments on our situation?
The cupboard with doors idea, works well and looks nice. The only other thing I can suggest is when you do have TV back in the house have it plugged into a power strip so you can switch off the power, so some days the TV just doesn't work I find that kids don't argue with a "malfunction"
I would play it by ear though..we were a limited TV family and sometimes a wholesome kid video will save your mental health
The laptop sounds like a good option to me if it has decent speakers. We use a projector and roll up the screen til the end of the day, but find it does not reduce our screen time. If your kids never see it from the start they won't ask for it, switching the power to the TV off or closing the cabinet 100% of the time they're awake could work well.
I'm thinking about raising my child in a TV free home, or at least limiting how much they can watch. Although giving it more thought, I would rather prefer them watching movies on DVD etc as opposed to television. Going back to how I was raised, watching the odd disney movie on the VCR never hurt.
we do this. i do think the insomnia problem is only if you have cable, etc. which we don't and you said you don't intend to...we have an old tv cabinet/wardrobe thing, which you can find super cheap on craigslist since people are using their flatscreens so much on the walls these days, ours is in the bedroom. we only watch after our 2yo is asleep, though we turn the volume down and use the captions. she has yet to figure out that there is a movie machine behind the cabinet doors, and she's pretty perceptive. it helps that she can't reach the doors either. it's working well for us this way.
Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?
My husband is an actor and movie lover, and I never watched TV before meeting him and didn't want to expose our child to TV before 2, and much at all after that. If we had started out in a 2 BD, I might have put the TV in our bedroom or anywhere else, not the main living space, but with a child under 2 it was actually *very* easy to just never turn the TV on when he was awake. After bedtime, we could watch a movie, which was a nice indoor date when combined with our favorite take out!
Yes, now that he's older he knows how to work the TV and I have to be more firm about limits, but he seems to accept the limits pretty readily. There's still never any random TV on when he's awake. If the TV is on, it's a specific show I got from netflix for him to watch (Thomas the train or Sesame Street or something) and it's short and limited and I get to make dinner or do some chore I can't figure out how to do without him. (Or now that I'm pregnant, take a quick cat nap on a Sunday).
I think if you just keep the basic rule that TV isn't on when he's awake for the first few years, it's not that hard to have your husband watch TV after bedtime. Early bedtimes are wonderful for many reasons. :-)
consider getting rid of the tv entirely, and just using a lap top for the occasional movie watching. The laptop can be kept put away so that TV isn't always front and center in your room. That's what we do. It works fine! And an added benefit is that with it put away, you don't turn it on as much.
We only have dvd's or Netflix instant viewing.
We have our tv, game system, games and dvd's in an armoire in the living room. We got it free from someone who was moving. I think it really helps to have doors that close.
When dh and I want to watch something without dd we often watch it on the laptop or desktop computer in our bedroom or dh's attic retreat.
I remember someone who put their tv on a cart so they could store it in the closet and wheel it out only when they wanted to watch something. Maybe that could be a good solution for you.
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
This. My husband did this with his tv before he moved in with me. It has definite advantages.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)