Mamas of TV Free Children Rollcall - Page 15 - Mothering Forums
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#421 of 1527 Old 06-21-2005, 07:57 PM
 
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Synderjoint--
Wat do you believe to be the benefits of watching tv, playing on the computer and playing video games to be? I ask in a truly serious way, not at all being facetious.

See I have always thought "what's the harm in a little tv/computer/video games" so I have always let my kids do so, with a few rules to what they can watch/surf/play. Then I started looking at how much these things consummed our everyday lives. From what we eat, to what we wear, to what toys we buy. I saw how my kids would rather stare, mouth agape, at some mindless drivel than run around outside in the fresh air.

They were not using their imaginations, they were always bored and they always had to have the latest whatever. Which got me to thinking about a friend and neighbor who is tv and computer free. Her children are very well behaved, well socialized, and never did I hear them complain of boredom.

So 3 weeks ago Iexperimented, no tv and only 40 min of computer time, no video games. It was AMAZING! All 4 of my children got along together much better than before. They wanted to go play outside, they shared toys & adventures, built forts...you get the idea. They blosomed right before my eyes. I might not have ever believed it made a difference had I not tested the waters.

Now if the tv or radio on the sound annoys me, me who used to have one or the other on for background noise, me who insisted the tv had to be on in order to fall asleep. Not only did tv free benefit my children but it was wonderful for dh & I as well, who have actually begun talking to each other rather than emailing/IMing when we are in the same house!

I may not ever give up the tv 100% but it is now something that we flip on to check the news or maybe treat ourselves to a movie. Th radio keeps us moving while doing chores, the computer just a hobby that no longer consumes us. The benefits of tv/computer/video game free far outweigh any benefit of having those in ou lives IMO.
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#422 of 1527 Old 06-21-2005, 10:40 PM
 
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Just wanted to add my name to the roll-call list! We've been TV free for about two years now. The great thing is that my family STILL leaves messages on the answering machine telling me to tune in to this show or that show. There's always something they think I've got to see! I always remind them that there is no TV in our house, to which they always reply "I thought you just didn't have cable." It's funny, my mom and sisters think that's what I mean when I say that we don't have TV.

"no mom, there's no tv at all"
"well, you must still get the local channels, how do you get your news?"
"no, not even the local channels, and I get my news from the radio, newspaper and magazines."
"but why?"

etc. We have this conversation every few months.

I have had some great conversations with my family, however, about why I returned the baby einstein DVD's that were given to me. They were genuinly curious and seemed to really see my point of view .
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#423 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 02:05 AM
 
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Hi everyone!

I've been lurking here since the beginning (I've actually read all 400+ posts...ya'll rock!). We're currently NOT T.V. free as we're living with my folks until our new house closes in Oklahoma. DH & I toted all our stuff out there several months ago and joked about how the one thing we wouldn't mind seeing smooshed in the moving van would be the television. The first night that we stopped, we opened the back of the moving van to find that the television has toppeled from its perch on the top of the pile to land tube-down into the back of the van. It doesn't look like anything's broken, but we're kinda hoping.

'course, our parents are saying "oh, you need a television with 2 kids" and "you can't watch DVDs on a laptop!" Oh well. We'll be several hundred miles from one set of parents and a couple thousand from the other set, so I don't think it'll be too big of an issue.

Cross your fingers that she's broken!!!!

As a side note...why was this thread moved to Parenting Issues? That kind of nixes being a tribe and allows for ... eh erm...trolling, doesn't it?

Momma to the monkeys three
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#424 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 08:42 AM
 
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Does anyone know why we have been moved? I would prefer to be in the tribe area than here where any troll can come along and post.
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#425 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 11:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
Does anyone know why we have been moved? I would prefer to be in the tribe area than here where any troll can come along and post.
Cynthia Mosher said in the FYT guidelines:

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Though Finding Your Tribe was originally opened to help parents find each other based on their location we have welcomed tribe threads for parents of a like-minded path to meet and chit chat with one another. However, such threads should not take a focus of discussion for a topic that is hosted in an existing forum at MDC.

A natural course of chit chat discussion might carry you into discussing your daily lives and sharing events and struggles. But focused discussion of a parenting topic, a breastfeeding issue or problem, an activist or political issue, a religious concern or belief, just tpo name a few, should go to the appropriate forum for discussion with the larger MDC community. If you have any question in this regard feel free to check with the moderators before posting. Should you post or thread not be appropriate for FYT on this basis it may be moved to the appropriate forum.

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#426 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 01:43 PM
 
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In answer to one of your replies, I don't think their are actual "benefits" to watching tv, and playing video/computer games. I just think that they are fun things for kids to do. I'm not saying let them do these things 24/7, but in combination with school, family/friends, and other activities I really do think tv/and games can fit into a child's life.

I'm in no way saying we shouldn't have educational games and such in our child's life, but not everything needs to be edcuational. I love all of those leapfrog type games and wish I had those when I was a child. All I'm really getting at is I think maybe some parents just need to lighten up a little bit.
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#427 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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And I don't think any of these mamas ONLY have educational toys etc for the kids to play with. I know I don't.

Don't you think you might be a little judgemental in your post about these mamas lightening up a bit?
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#428 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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Snyderjoint, you are right, TV and electronic-think-for-you-toys do "fit" into kids' lives. But as you said, there is no real BENEfit.

Whether we like it or not, kids (and adults for that matter) are learning all the time, from educatuional and non-educational play. It's just a matter of WHAT they learn. While watching TV, kids learn what they *need* to eat for breakfast (colorful, exciting sugar cereals), what they *must* have to play with (toys that teach them while mom and dad do other, more important things), who to look up to (Bratz and the like). You may think this stuff is harmless, but there is always something going into the little impressionable minds that parents have a responsibility to protect and nurture.

When the Baby Einstein series came out, I thought, "great idea!" But then I watched it... sure, it's absolutely "harmless" in it's content, and may even teach kids something (although, what, I do not know!). But the harm I see in something as wonderful as those videos, is that there is a TV "playing" with babies instead of a mom or dad! There are toys going across the screen in time to electronic (hollow) music imitating classical music. Are our children such a bother that we need a TV or computer to play with them so we don't have to?
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#429 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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I wasn't trying to be judgemental, but I thought that this was a cool discussion that I was really curious about. I'm sorry if I was judgemental.
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#430 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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Just saw this for the first time, so I'm checking in - No TV or computer for my little 23-month old girl. (In general, I think computers should just be a tool rather than a source of "entertainment." )

It's really helped to have the TV in the basement, a place where we don't normally frequent. That way, it's a lot easier to not have the tube buzzing in the background.
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#431 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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Oh dear, have we been caught up in the massive house cleaning of FYT too? :roll
Why? we have been staying on topic, (unless you count talk of radio free as OT). I don't post often, but I come here a lot for inspiration when dd is driving me crazy and I am tempted to stick her in front of the box for 15 min peace (haven't tho, benn TV free for 3 months now). Well I hope this doesn't end up a debate thread now....

nothing more to say I guess :
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#432 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 03:10 PM
 
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What's FYT? Hope I'm not off-topic...
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#433 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 03:12 PM
 
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Snyderjoint, both of your posts said that there is no benefit to TV.

Well put! I think we're all in agreement on that point and therefore the only point of disagreement is over whether or not it's OK to knowlingly subject your child to something that has no benefit.


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#434 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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TV not only has no benefit, I believe it actually has a detrimental effect on children and is bad for them, especially under the age of 3.
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#435 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snyderjoint
I wasn't trying to be judgemental, but I thought that this was a cool discussion that I was really curious about. I'm sorry if I was judgemental.
It's a totally cool discussion I just felt a bit of judgement in the statement but it is hard to read tone online.

I don' think a debate would necessarily be a bad thing. I know I often learn new things from a debate that I might not have seen searching on my own. For that matter most of my now alternative views stem mainly from debates I have read which presented both sides of a topic.

FYT=finding your tribe
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#436 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 04:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonwyn
TV not only has no benefit, I believe it actually has a detrimental effect on children and is bad for them, especially under the age of 3.
I'm interested in hearing the detrimental effects of tv on children under 3. While I am still making the transition to tv free, I need to be armed with as much information as i can to support my decision. I don't like answering a question such as "why don't you have a tv?!" with "because its bad" and then not being able to say WHY its bad, kwim?

: to read thi sthread in its entirety even if it takes me several weeks.
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#437 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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I think it's ok to subject them to something with no benefit. But, really, I think it's just for entertainment sake. Of course we need to be aware of what our kids are watching and playing with, but it's only for entertainment, and it's not like I'm saying our kids need to watch tv and play video games 24/7 just a little portion our of their day, I really don't see the harm in that.
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#438 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 05:52 PM
 
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There are two reasons I don't let my child watch TV

#1 - since she doesn't watch any TV, I never hear her whine, "can I watch TV now?" I heard that all the time for the 3 months I let her watch some videos.

#2 - From my own TV watching and eventual elimination, I have come to the conclusion that the bulk of American discontent comes from that box. How much happier I am to have time to follow my hobbies and explore new ones. How much happier I am not to have the nightly news fear messages drilled into my head. How much happier I am that I don;t hear commercial messages telling I am not good enough, skinny enough, rich enough, or just enough of anything. I still peek in on TV every so often I even though I fully understand the techniques in advertising, I still find my self thinking, "hey, maybe I should buy that," before I remind myself to turn off the box. I am so so so so glad I broke my own TV addiction (minor addiction compared to averages). It is the best thing I ever did. I just wish I could get back all those evenings I lost in my twenties.
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#439 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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Snyderjoint, may I ask you a question? Has anyone here suggested that you meant a LOT of TV (or, as you say, 24/7)? I believe we all got your point about moderation from the start. But most ppl here (seeing as it's a TV free thread) will continue to argue for TV *free*, not TV *moderate*. Is it reasonable to ask that we move on from the "I meant moderation" point?

It seems that most of the mamas here are encouraging their kids to be entertained, but not mindlessly. Fun is good, but since kids are always learning and soaking things up, why subject them to "fun" that comes at a (debatably) high price?

Based on the direction the discussion is going (in circles), I would support the suggestions that you read the whole thread.
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#440 of 1527 Old 06-22-2005, 09:32 PM
 
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Somewhere on this thread is a whole discussion about why TV, videos, computers, movies (screen time) is bad for children and their development. It changes how their brain forms - which snyapses become stronger and are reinforced, and which snyapses die from disuse. I think the "Plug in Drug" has been recommended by many parents on this thread. I also recommend "Born to Buy" for how children are shaped into good consumers.
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#441 of 1527 Old 06-23-2005, 02:21 AM
 
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Where did all you tv-free families come from? My kids have informed me many times -- on good authority -- that we are the only family in America that doesn't have a tv at home!

Actually, I do feel a bit bad for them. They tell me that 40 to 60% of the conversation at school is about tv shows ( my math-phobic son actually gave me that number! See, tv is educational!) In reality, though, they don't seem to miss it at all. The real mystery is that if we used to spend so much time watching tv (we did!), why don't we have gobs of extra time now that there's no tv?

Over the last 10 years, we've been tv free about 1/2 the time. My kids sometimes see tv at friends houses or when we're travelling. But, I just can't have it at home. We all seem to have addictive personalities -- just can't turn it off. My oldest can watch 10 hours a day and still whine when it gets turned off. So we decided we just can't have it around. Funny thing is, when we're at a hotel and think, well, let's watch a little tv, we grownups can't find a thing to watch. There's really nothing on!

I'm of two minds about DVD's and movies at home. We have a little DVD only player (just a cheap tv not hooked into anything.) When it's accessible, it gets overused, so I find myself hiding it in the back corner of the attic, and then just hauling it out again when one of my four is sick and I need a babysitter for the rest. It's an uneasy compromise.

Here's how we got rid of the tv when the kids were little. We unplugged it when they weren't looking. Then we said, Damn, look, it's broken. My friend tried this and her three year old would climb behind, check the cord and plug it in. Mine never did though!

Now that they and we are older, we're more comfortable just saying that we don't have a tv "Because I said So!"
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#442 of 1527 Old 06-23-2005, 03:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainstreetmama
The real mystery is that if we used to spend so much time watching tv (we did!), why don't we have gobs of extra time now that there's no tv?
Yep.
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#443 of 1527 Old 06-23-2005, 08:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mainstreetmama
The real mystery is that if we used to spend so much time watching tv (we did!), why don't we have gobs of extra time now that there's no tv?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumo
Yep.
Ain't that the truth! If we were to add TV back in, where would it go!
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#444 of 1527 Old 06-24-2005, 02:39 PM
 
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I see your point, I think we maybe at some point move it to another forum, such as moderate. I certaintly didn't mean for this conversation to go around in circles with no end to it.
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#445 of 1527 Old 06-24-2005, 03:04 PM
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I grew up without television and so have my children. Even today, I will visit a friend or be in a store and a television will be on, and I never can believe my eyes and ears! No wonder ppl in this country are so emotionless and self-centered!
And the commercials!!!! They are just bizarre!
I am a fan of films and have watched many movies, but only once did I sit down and watch television. It drove me nuts how the stories would end right at the climax. I am sorry but I am not the type of person to wait a whole day until the next show.

Just a story
One day in the grocery, I was pushing my dd down the aisle, when all of a sudden she grabbed her stomach and started having trouble breathing. Being Trained in CPR and First Aid, I immediately tried to get her to relax and try to tell me what was wrong. She looks up at me and says, 'I need Maalox!' and she points to the shelf and there is the Maalox.
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#446 of 1527 Old 06-24-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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I got the latest issue of Adbusters in the mail yesterday, and it's the first issue that I've read cover to cover. It was excellent!! It's called "the game of life" and it's all about american life. From one side, it starts with a home birth and breast feeding (to which it says "move ahead 3 spaces" or something like that), and goes on to talk about spending time with family, alternative schooling, etc. all the way to retirement and then death. Then you flip over the mag, and it starts with a medicated birth of convenience (something to that effect), and bottle feeding (move back 3 spaces), spending time in front of the TV, institutional schooling, ladder climbing, etc., again all the way to death. It's such a great magazine, I would encourage you all to check it out!! If you want to check out the website, you'll see more about why I posted this here in the first place: http://adbusters.org/home/
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#447 of 1527 Old 06-24-2005, 10:49 PM
 
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i have not read all the posts, but just wanted to say WE ARE TV FREE
and ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so proud

my dd is the most bright star b/c of it.

i don't miss any thing about it.

i grew up without one for years, adn then only had PBS for the rest of my time at home...........

i have never access to cable for my whole life!



my inlaws CAN'T stand it....everytime they came to visit they used to give us a tv...then when we kept on keeping them in the closet and then giving them away when we moved again..they stopped and started bringing a portable DVD player, DVDs, and HEADPHONES!!!!! this is even after dd was born!
can you imagine traveling 10 hrs to see your only grandchild adn then watching some bad Will sMith action movie with headphones! the whole time!!!????????????????????/

once, when they were bringing a gift tv, they plugged it in, but since we lived so fr out in the country only one station kind of came in, it was static and fuzzy NASCAR races! and yet still they sat there watchign it (it was on the floor) the whole thing was so crazy.....

just my great reminder of why i AM NOT A TV momma! (or citizen for that matter!)
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#448 of 1527 Old 06-25-2005, 02:50 AM
 
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oh god
i am such a dork...it is 2 AM and i just read this WHOLE thread start to finish!!!

but i am glad i did

i went from feeling like it was ok for my dd to watch a video a couple times a year at relatives house with teh other cousins (who are all toddlers!!! so sad, my sister's kids are WAY tv kids....) to thinking i will have to be the one who turns it off and does the babysitting for them instead!!!

my dd is not yet 2

my sister's kids watch tv non stop//////

anyway my brain is full b/c of all the info here,

but i wonder what people think about music videos...not MTV videos, but live sessions of people playing music recorded

my dh LOVES to watch these and my dd has seen several.....nothing flashy just the band playing music ( he downloads them onto the computer...)

i am begining to think i should ask him to not play these around her too

in a way it is cool adn inspirational to watch the musical performances...we always get out her drums (dd's ) and otehr instruments and play along, or dance, or if nothing else comment on what they are doing/sing along...
and again, she watches a music video such as this rarely

it is not tv

but it is media image...but it is not fast pased flashy

any input?

ps
my come back about educational TV: my dd does not need to watch other people sing about abc's and learn about community, and discover adventure
on educational programs b/c we offer a daily live/interactive version of that in our home....it is how we LIVE

or this is from a song but:
you watch "friends" while i HAVE friends......

and i used to tell my dh: why watch "sex in the city" when we could HAVE it live instead?

hhheheheheheheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

but he is the internet freak non stop political news junkey via the internet....and i like to come here about once every other day (while dd is sleeping only)

i guess we both consider it research for our jobs (he is in politcis and i am a kick ass momma.....) but i do feel like it takes away from US
YKWIM???

anyway

joined the tribe b/c i am tv free and earned my place b/c i read the whole thread!

going to bed now!
and get back to me about the music videos PLEASE!
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#449 of 1527 Old 06-25-2005, 08:52 AM
 
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Nascar, I admit I am a huge Nascar junkie. I can just keep up on the races online, listen to them on the radio and maybe someday go to a live race again (haven't been since my 1st was born) but I am really starting to feel the move more and more to being totally tv free and getting back to restricting computer time (as I have slipped since coming back from vacation).
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#450 of 1527 Old 06-25-2005, 10:58 AM
 
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In the scheme of things, slow moving videos of bands playing music is not as bad as regular TV programs. Ideally, no TV is best but allowing your child to watch an occasional video of live music as you described shouldn't be a problem.
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