Mamas of TV Free Children Rollcall - Page 11 - Mothering Forums

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#301 of 1527 Old 01-14-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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If there is no receipt (like if they catalog-ordered with direct shipment to you) then you can either try to exchange it at a local store and get whatever price they offer you for it, or you can donate it, or you can destroy/throw away the item.

I also screen "food" gifts. Candy/junk/anything wrapped in a recognizable way that would cause DS to beg for it at the store and is something I wouldn't feed him to begin with - all get tossed.

Maybe if your parents continue to screen the playroom and see what kind of toys are kept, they might start getting the idea. Or not... so you keep tossing. It's nice that people send gifts, but a gift is given with not strings attached, right? You do with it what you want. If you don't want it, you don't have to keep it. (But I always say thank you, even for stuff I toss!).
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#302 of 1527 Old 01-15-2005, 05:11 PM
 
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Hi! Just need to do a vent and figured this was probably the lace to do it!
My babysitting kids are such an advertisement for NOT watching TV. We have a very kid friendly house-books, art supplies, pets, ect and nothing they can't do but they can't think of anything to do and are bored- ALWAYS! They would also like to be constantly entertained. It isn't just because they are being babysat, either because we have watched TV free kids and they fit right in! I find it so sad!
Went back and read all the osts and realized I need to limit my computer time to when they are sleeping. They are getting the imression that the computer is VERY imortant to me lately! :
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#303 of 1527 Old 01-16-2005, 05:45 AM
 
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Hey ladies, I read the Plug in Drug many years ago and now I see it has been revised. Is it worth reading the new one. Also, are there any other books that I could read to arm myself with info to approach dh again about the dangers of TV. Unfortunately, we are in Europe and the availability of library material is terrible so I have to purchase my books via internet so I am pretty choosy. Thanks for any info you can pass on.
By the way, I applaud you moms that are so convicted to throw away toys and stand up to in laws, WOW. Cbean
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#304 of 1527 Old 01-18-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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I'm very happy to have found my tribe!

DH and I moved to a far away city together almost 4 years ago, and had only rabbit ears. I only watched the Simpsons, and nature programming on TVO, which is a public station, no commercials, no crap. But, DH would just have the thing on when I'd get home, watching utter garbage, like, "Blind Date", even though he hated it. So strange. So, this past March, I grabbed the rabbit ears, threw them into a deep, dark, closet, and we have been TV free since. Does it ever free up your time!!! The thing is, I don't know what most people are talking about now, because, all they talk about is the crap they watch on televison.

DH is a PhD Student, and I'm a radio journalist. I watched way too much TV as a child, but, I was also raised in the woods, and was playing outside most of the time. BUT, I still regret watching 99% of the things I was able to watch.

We don't have children yet, but when we do, they won't be watching any screen things until they're school aged.

I do enjoy good films and some video games, (I started playing them as a kid, about seven) and I do feel that the nature programming was good to watch, so, we'll have to decide what to do as far as that goes. Nothing for those early years though. I'll rent the DVDs on nature programming from the library when they're old enough, I guess. I personally don't see the harm in nonviolent video games after a certain age and for a limited amount of time. You're interacting and causing things to happen, not just taking it all in. I could be swayed. I haven't played any in months. I've read the Plug in Drug, and Amusing Ourselves to Death, and I've ordered the "Why Kids Don't Think" book from the library.

It astounds me when people insist they have no time to read. Single people without children, yet, I'll hear them talking about characters from television shows, and it sounds like they're talking about their friends. There are TOO MANY great books to read and things to learn to watch Television!

I really love older movies, and a very select few of the more recent ones. Am I still able to be called TV free? I borrow the classics from the library.

For those mothers who's children don't watch Television, what are their favourite toys??? I'm really interested to find out.

I loved lots of different toys, I had my favourite dolls, Lego, dress up clothes, Kitchen Set, Star Wars stuff, My Little Ponies (I combined the Star Wars toys with the My Little ponies, I didn't ever play-out what the movies portrayed), Plasticine (I don't know if I spelled that properly), and yes, I did like Barbie. I made all of my own clothes for her when my Mom gave me a sewing kit, it was really great. I really loved my crayons and paints and just playing with my sisters. Outside was where I spent most of my time though, and our children will be doing the same.

GREAT to meet you all!

Trinitty.
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#305 of 1527 Old 01-18-2005, 05:52 PM
 
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My kid's favorite toys are the garden Echo got for x-mas-- not really a toy but several times every day they are out there checking to see if anything new is growing, if there are any bugs, watering, digging putting things into new pots, deadheading the flowers sniffing the herbs and bringing them in to make stuff with. Endlessly entertaining.
They also love the big puppet theater/play house/felt board whe made together out of a huge box. Making it was great, messy fun-- It was paper maiched(sp?) painted bright orange and then sponged with bright purple. The door is covered in green felt and it continues to be a work in process. They bring all of their stuffed animals in and have tea parties, they put on puppet shows, they put their babies to bed in there, decorate the interior with their drawings and use it for a quiet spot to look at stories together.
They love their dress-up clothes--princess, ballerina, fire fighter, doctor/nurse, chef, police officer. It's amazing what a child's imagination can do with a scarf, an old hat and a grab bag of clothes. And last but not least they love their play kitchen with its pots and pans
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#306 of 1527 Old 01-24-2005, 07:15 PM
 
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Hey all I am new here to this tribe. We are not TV free yet and I didn't want to read the whole thread because I don't have that much computer time. But I really want to be tv for my kids or at least kids programming tv free. We used to be really good. The kids got to watch seseame street and that was it once a day. But we moved and dh got dish network. The kids discovered the disney channel and nick jr and I got a little lazy. It turns into tantrums when I turn it off. I need to regain control and notice better behavior without the tv.

So my question is this should I slowly phase it out so they don't notice as much, or just go cold turkey and deal with a rough couple of days. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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#307 of 1527 Old 01-24-2005, 10:23 PM
 
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Cold turkey. Put the TV away, out of sight out of mind.

Good luck!
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#308 of 1527 Old 01-24-2005, 11:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuqui
Cold turkey. Put the TV away, out of sight out of mind.

Good luck!
I agree!
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#309 of 1527 Old 01-24-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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Cold Turkey worked best for us. Just unplug it and put it in the closet, it's amazing what a difference it makes.

We don't have closet space, so, I just have it unplugged and turned around.... I'd put a curtain over it, but, the cats would want to climb it, of course.

Trin.
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#310 of 1527 Old 01-24-2005, 11:49 PM
 
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My kids only whined for a few days. Cold turkey is the way to go! We've been TV free since September.
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#311 of 1527 Old 01-25-2005, 02:13 PM
 
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My parents are coming to visit soon, and that's always interesting. They watch a lot of TV, and they're always fidgeting for it while they're here for the first couple of days.
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#312 of 1527 Old 01-25-2005, 05:17 PM
 
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Hi everyone,

I'm so glad I found this thread!
I have been mostly TV-free for a few years now. For most of college,I didn't have one- we had a TV in the lounge of the dorm that barely worked- it was used only to watch "Party of Five" on Wednesday nights!
In grad school, I shared an apt. with a few others, and we didn't have one. Sometimes we watched DVDs on the computer.
Since we got married (3 years ago) we haven't had a TV! Sometimes, I've watched when we go visit my parents, (I watched the Democratic National Convention this past summer while visiting) but mostly not.
I have a son who is 5 weeks old, and I hope that he will grow up reading the news instead of watching it.
My father in law is really obnoxious about us not having a TV. He said to us this past weekend (when there were snowstorms throughout the country), "If you had a TV, you would know about the weather." Well, if I want to "know about the weather" I can just stick my hand outside the window. What do I need to know about the weather in Raleigh, NC for?


-Rachel
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#313 of 1527 Old 01-27-2005, 03:34 AM
 
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This tribe is great. Lots of good information and stories. My favorite hi-light is both sad and funny:

Quote:
Once we had some kids over . . .and the 3 year old cried and cried because she couldn't find the TV! So then we made it a game to find the TV. They searched and searched but they always ended up back in the living room with the 3 year old crying.
Poor kid! Anyway, I've been TV-free 14 years (since age 16). dw was raised TV-free. We wouldn't change that for anything. When visiting friends who have TV's, Jude (1 yr. old) would much rather watch a fish-bowl -- very engaging compared to the TV.

Thanks for the encouragement, everybody!
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#314 of 1527 Old 01-27-2005, 05:15 PM
 
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hi everyone. i think i may have posted to this thread earlier, but since i'm not subscribed now i don't remember. dh and i didn't have a tv when we met, but would occasionally watch videos with friends at their houses. when i was pregnant, we really wanted to watch videos of homebirths together, but couldn't really ask the friends we watch videos with to let us come watch homebirths at their houses. we ended up getting a free tv from another friend who got a new one. it's a tiny tv/vcr combo with no antenna. now that we have it, we do get films from the library once in a while and watch them after ds goes to sleep. i feel like we need to get the tv set out of our life because as ds grows and becomes more aware, i don't want to have double-standards for him ("we watch but you can't"). dh feels that it's nice to have the set just so we can watch something when we really want to, but i think that's a hard line to draw. does anyone here have a tv that they keep put away? that seems like it might be a workable solution for us. then we wouldn't have it sitting out in the living room, but we would know that we could always pull it out the next time we need to watch birth videos.

another trouble for us has been extended family. my mom is one of those people who has to have the tv on in whatever room she's in. she'll sometimes even turn it on and mute it, just to have the flashing in the background. doesn't make any sense to me, but that's the way she does it. ds and i spent three weeks with her during christmas. i watched a lot of movies when i was there (while ds was sleeping) and part of the reason i don't want to have a tv is that i do find it addictive. my mom knows how i feel about ds watching tv, and i've told her all the info (aap rec against tv and the like), but she still turns the tv on with ds in the room. it's frustrating for me because i want ds to spend time with his grandmother, but i don't understand why she's not willing to turn off the box when she's not even paying attention to it. ds and i would be playing in the living room and when she would come to play with us there, she would turn the tv on in the background. it's her house and she doesn't like being told what to do, but it's frustrating to me because i spend so much energy trying to keep ds from focusing on the tv. is there any way i can deal with this without hurting my mother or making her feel her lifestyle is bad? she's prone to feeling guilty and getting defensive. she'll say things to me like "i know you think i'm a terrible mother because i let you CIO and watch tv and i sent you to school." how do i respond to that? i often feel like i don't want to push her too much because she's already insecure.
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#315 of 1527 Old 01-29-2005, 12:07 AM
 
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We keep our TV and VCR at the back of a closet - behind lots of junk! We really have to want to watch something to make it worthwhile moving everything! This works well for us. We watch about 1 movie a month (when the kids are asleep). Eventually, we will watch the occasional movie as a family - but the older the kids get (they are 2 and 4), the further into the future I push that possibility. They've seen bits of videos at friends' houses, but so far they think that TV is boring - they watch for a moment and then go looking for something interesting to do. Hooray!
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#316 of 1527 Old 03-13-2005, 07:31 AM
 
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Electronic world swallows up kid's time

Here is what the article says:
Quote:
Electronic world swallows up kids' time, study finds
The USA's children live in an increasingly heavy stew of media, spending about 6½ hours a day mostly watching TV, using computers and enjoying other electronic activities. And they are spending relatively little time reading or doing homework, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey reported Wednesday.

Kids watch about the same amount of TV - nearly four hours a day - as they did based on a Kaiser survey five years ago, but they're adding newer technology to the mix, such as downloading music and instant-messaging. When multi-tasking is factored in, children are exposed to 8½ hours of media a day, up about an hour from five years ago.
A record 68% have TVs in their rooms, and an increasing number own DVD and video-game players, according to the survey of 2,000 children in grades three through 12.
"We have changed our children's bedrooms into little media arcades," survey co-director Donald Roberts of Stanford University says. "When I was a child, 'Go to your room' was punishment. Now it's 'Go to your room and have a ball.' "
Children with TVs in their rooms watch about 90 minutes more a day and do less reading and homework than those without their own TVs. About half say their families have no TV rules; if there are limits, they're usually not enforced.
"It's alarming, because parents ... should be setting clear rules and monitoring media use," says Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council, a self-described conservative public policy group.
The survey results come amid concern about the soaring rate of childhood obesity. The more kids watch TV, the more likely they are to be heavy, other studies have shown.
Glorified violence on TV is another concern, Roberts says. And new research suggests that violent video games might be even more likely than TV to spur aggression.
But even more serious could be changes in still-developing brains from the constant multi-tasking, says psychologist Jane Healy, author of Endangered Minds. "When you divide attention like this, it becomes harder to focus deeply on any one thing. They may develop habits of mind that make it hard to do in-depth thinking."
The survey underestimates multi-tasking because kids typically have four screens open on a computer, adds Sherry Turkle, an MIT expert on how technology affects people.
But media psychologist Stuart Fischoff of California State University-Los Angeles says all this concern is "premature hysteria." He says he has seen no changes in students' critical thinking during 38 years as a professor, "and TV and the Internet have been around long enough that it would show up by now."
"premature hysteria" IMO, the professor has not had the problem show up in his classrooms b/c maybe those affected are not even making it into college. My nephew dropped out of college in his Jr yr (he actually got kicked out he was on a full academic schlorship), he couldn't get off the internet long enough to do his classwork, this is a kid who scored 1570 on his SATs.
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#317 of 1527 Old 03-13-2005, 09:18 AM
 
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Where have y'all been ?

Anyhow -- how do you other TV Free Mamas answer to the "all things in moderation" stance that so many mamas who let their kids watch TV & videos say in self defense?

It's weird how you can be exclusively BFing your babe and you are applauded. You can exclusively sling your babe and you are applauded. You can go for an ALL natural birth and you are applauded. Cloth diapering... etc.
But if you are TV FREE you are labeled and extremist!!!!!?? (even here at MDC) :

Help?

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#318 of 1527 Old 03-13-2005, 09:44 AM
 
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I agree that all things should be in moderation- then again we did buy a portable TV/dvd for the 18 hour car drive we took in November with the two kids. And I don't throw a fit when I go to the consignment store and they are playing a little TV in the kids section. And I don't throw a fit when stores or friends have characters around, which I find to be not much more than marketing tools. The world is full of the aspects of TV viewing that I shy away from at home. Our home is our haven from a TV/media world.

Balance and moderation is subjective, and a TV free home *IS* our balance and moderation.

I honestly don't have a lot of bad to say about the TV- I just don't have a lot of positive to say either. Not having one has never been a real big issue for us.
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#319 of 1527 Old 03-13-2005, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Balance and moderation is subjective, and a TV free home *IS* our balance and moderation.
Good point!!!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#320 of 1527 Old 03-13-2005, 11:32 AM
 
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I am doing my best to keep my 20month old DD from watching TV. But like some of you my DH comes home after work and the first thing he does is turn the darn thing on, Then get this he will go and take a shower and leave the TV on. During the Day we have no TV. We listen to music my DD loves to dace and play with her toys (which we have to many to count) But I rather toys over TV any day. We love to play outside when it is not raining(yuck) 3 weeks stright. If I could just brake my hubby away from it. I do have to say he has been interacting more with my DD lately which is great. I just don't know how to get him away from it. He has only one intrest right now and that is scuba diving (Rain again) When we come back to the states it will be easier there we can fish, go on boat rides, walk in the woods. ect. Every thing we can't do here.
well just again. LOL
Talk to you all later.
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#321 of 1527 Old 03-13-2005, 04:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuqui in her quotation
But media psychologist Stuart Fischoff of California State University-Los Angeles says all this concern is "premature hysteria." He says he has seen no changes in students' critical thinking during 38 years as a professor, "and TV and the Internet have been around long enough that it would show up by now."
EXCEPT: Fischoff has been a professor for 38 years. 2005-38= 1967. Television was available to the public starting in 1941 (broadcasting started then). Television was widely available in the 1950's. There was a study showing the before-and-after effects of the introduction of television in Canada. Here is a quotation from a discussion of this study ( http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/amer...elevision.html ) :

Quote:
Unlike most discussions of television’s negative impact, this one does not deal with the usual suspects--violence or sex or relentless commercials. Instead, it focuses on television watching regardless of program content...

One of the clearest demonstrations of this "displacement factor," as it has been called, is a unique study titled, "The Impact of Television: A Natural Experiment in Three Communities." It documents the effects of television’s arrival on a small Canadian town, Notel, that had been without television reception (due to geographic factors) for a decade into the television era. University researchers, in advance of television’s arrival, studied the television-free children and families, comparing them with the populations of two demographically similar towns--one that had had only one TV channel available during the previous decade and another that had had many channels.

The findings were revealing. Before television, the Notel children tested significantly higher than the kids in the other towns on various skills like creativity and reading comprehension. When retested a year after television’s introduction, the Notel children’s scores had gone down to the level of the kids in the other towns. The researchers, however, did not attribute the declines to the act of watching television. Rather, they explained that watching television displaced other more valuable experiences. Can one conclude, for example, that there is something about the act of watching television that makes kids less creative? Perhaps pursuing hobbies, going camping, or joining clubs broadens their base of experience in a way that makes them more creative. Similarly, in explaining the decline in reading comprehension, the researchers wrote, "We suspect that a displacement process is involved....The absence of reading practice is, in our view, more important than television per se."

Similarly, in 1997, a large-scale study conducted in the Netherlands concluded that television viewing had a negative impact on reading comprehension, largely as a result of television’s displacement of reading as a leisure-time activity.

[ Tangentially: By the way, elsewhere on the MDC, a poster had once started a thread complaining about Marie Winn's (the author of this discussion) listed methods for parents 'coping' with children. My own take on her list is that it is a list of ways people behaved, NOT necessarily recommendations. ]


So, anyhow, I think that the results in society have ALREADY turned up and the good professor has simply been a product of it himself and cannot separate it from his own reality. He has nothing to compare the present to. Marie Winn, by the way, makes an interesting case for what has happened to various testing scores in her book The Plug-In Drug. She pointed out that the scoring method changed at one point to "adjust" the mean. I don't have my copy in front of me so I cannot quote from it. Maybe someone else here can.
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#322 of 1527 Old 03-13-2005, 04:56 PM
 
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Ohhhhh, thank goodness that are other no-tv parents out there! I have yet to meet any other tv-free families in person. People act like I'm nuts or some type of martyr. Anyway, dd is 15 months old and doesn't watch any tv (aside from a few minutes of the Macy's parade at Thanksgiving and a few minutes of the Grinch cartoon at Christmas.)It was easier when she was tiny, of course!Some days my patience wears thin but I know I'll never look back on these days and think, "Gee, I really wish I'd let my infant daughter watch TV." I'm interested to hear the types of indoor activities that have been successful for those of you who have been tv-fee with your 1-2 year olds.

My daughter's baby book has a space where we can list her "TV Friends!" It just makes me want to retch!
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#323 of 1527 Old 03-13-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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This am I went to Mimi Maternity/Pea in a Pod, they have a play area in the center of the shop for kids/babies, with a flat panel screen showing cartoons! :Puke Good thing I left my dds with dh, b/c I would have had to ask them to turn it off or I would leave without making my purchases.

I think i'll have to find a new place to shop where I can bring my dds along, they are very excited about my pregnancy & want to help dress me, .

I was recently in a really cool knitting shop that opened nearby and again, there was the flat panel in the the sitting area. What is up with this? No wonder kids watch endless hours of tv, it follows them everywhere! Good thing my 6 yr old would rather pick out wool than sit in front of the glow box (she knits & picks her own projects & yarn).

Another place where the dreaded glow bx showed up recently, the nail salon. I used take my dds 2x's a yr as a treat, I can no longer go to the usual place because the box has appeared. I asked the owner to please turn off since I went there to relax, he said "TV is relaxing", I informed him I this would be my last visit. I now go to a spa where they have relaxing New Age Music and aromotherapy, I pay a lot more but it's worth it.

I find it almost scary that people need tv even when away from home, even in cars. The more I find it outside the home, the more I resent it.
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#324 of 1527 Old 03-14-2005, 10:46 AM
 
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You know, they're turning up in the back of NYC taxi cabs.

I think I'm going to get a bunch of stickers from a sk8r shop and become a vandal.
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#325 of 1527 Old 03-14-2005, 11:39 AM
 
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Ds had some tests recently at a Children's Hospital. In one long skinny waiting room there was a tv at both ends (kiddy video was playing, I think). Then in the examining room, the technician asked if he would prefer to watch x or y (neither of us knew x or y, of course). I mentioned that we don't watch tv, and she very nicely asked if I would like it off. For the first time, ds (5) seemed disappointed when I said yes, and I think I know why. I have reintroduced Muzzy (Spanish speaking), so I am breaking my own "tv rule" by allowing us to watch one tape/day, usually less often. : But it is so cool to hear ds counting along in Spanish - last night I asked him to bring me one pillow, and he said I'll bring you uno pillow! So I'm no longer a purist, it seems.
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#326 of 1527 Old 03-28-2005, 07:31 PM
 
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It's wonderful that this thread is still continuing. I've been too busy to read Mothering Posts, and checked back in today and was happy to see its going strong (er).
In response to Boatbaby who lamented that breastfeeding and baby-carrying are lauded and encouraged while no-tving is derided as extremist: I think that when Mothering Magazine first started, the (few?) readers who actually started babycarrying and breastfeeding a toddler were propably seen as extremist, ect... to most people. Thanks to those mothers who perservered and respected their intuition and values, this is no longer abnormal, quite the contrary. So hang in there; you are playing your part in creating a new social movement - families who don't watch tv by choice (rather than lack of opportunity)! Perhaps one day there will be so many such families that it will be mainstream..
Anyway, I don't think you're extremist, quite the contrary!
Maybe people would be interested in listing the state they live in and giving permission for other no-tv families in that area to email them and maybe meet, like once a month or a couple times a year (or maybe more often) - start a little club in that area for no-tv families...and more people who aren't on this board would get interested...see it as a possibility for their families...Look at the effect that this thread has had!
(As a no-TV-child during my preteen years in Alabama, I would have loved to have known children who didn't watch tv, talk about commercials and cartoon characters and soap operas, all of which I didn't know anything about... even just one child besides my brother!)
Let's see...maybe a name, an umbrella orginization, like...Creative Families, or tv Free Families Club, or A Wider Vision Club, or... Direct Reality Network (maybe that's confusing)...there must be a really good name.
I would be first to list my state, but I'm waiting for news about my college applications and financial aid awards (knock on wood), and am in a state of flux without a real address for now. But, shortly I (and my six and a half year old son who has never seen tv) shall be moving to Washington or Massachusets or Oregon...
Is anyone interested?
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#327 of 1527 Old 03-28-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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I wanted to say hello here! We are tv free family as of 6 weeks ago. We gave up tv for Lent and both dh and I were so happy with it off have decided to keep it off. My lil' guy is 8 mo. old.

Boatbaby- "everything in moderation" is my pet peeve of cliches. We have heard this one as well already. My response- no everything is not good in moderation, how about crack? drinking when pregnant? what positive is tv going to bring to ds' or my life? It just sickens me when we are at someone's house and it is on. Whenever I can I turn it off- what's the point of visiting? Everyone has to talk around the commericials and turn their head everytime the screen flickers....

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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#328 of 1527 Old 03-29-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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I'm so glad this thread popped up in my new posts this evening. I need support. MIL is visiting and doesn't respect our no-tv. We probably brought it on ourselves, but before she arrived we set up a 13" in the room we don't go to so she could watch the news. She doesn't have any other hobbies, so we thought we were being nice. I left DS with her for a few seconds to go the garage and when I came back he was watching TV. When DH called her on it, she said we were being too controlling and that TV won't hurt him. Well, maybe it won't hurt him, but would it kill her to respect our decisions? Interestingly my niece popped up and said, "well, he's a happy baby and I've never seen a baby sign like he does (meaning that he was better off without tv)." MIL: All babies use sign language, he's not special or smart because he knows a few sign language signs. Thanks for being so supportive, MIL.
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#329 of 1527 Old 03-29-2005, 03:02 AM
 
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Hi! I'm new and my child is TV free.

I am most of the time, but lately I've had the box on at night while I study. Once an addict always an addict I guess....
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#330 of 1527 Old 03-29-2005, 03:19 AM
 
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Wow, it's awesome there is a tribe for TV-free families! I dumped our TV eight years ago, just before our first was born, because I was horrified by the violence and NEVER wanted my children exposed to that, let alone in their own living room!! ***shudder*** It was one of the greatest gifts we have "given" our children---the richness of imagination and the tremendous skills in reading they have gained, the way they get along so well (usually) and can fill empty hours so creatively, the family time not stolen by the damned infernal box. The peace, the quiet, the books, the prolonged state of childhood innocence. Even NPR is too much for me at times. The kids are seven and under---how can I explain to them what these news stories are about? I don't even want to yet!

I loathe TV, loathe its omnipresence, loathe its Orwellian control of the American life and mind, loathe its noise and stupidity and ugliness and violence. Ugh. It is the ultimate bad mind drug.
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