Mamas of TV Free Children Rollcall - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-29-2004, 04:12 AM
 
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Wow!!!

I didn't know about this thread!

My 6 year old son and I are TV free. I have never in my 20 years of adulthood owned a TV, and didn't have one until I was 13 years old. My son has never seen it (he's my only child).

I tried to start a group for families in NYC (where I lived until last month), and only 4 other families responded who were TV free! (More responded who watched limited TV/ "just videos", ect, but I wanted "the real thing".) And they lived from the outer reach of Brooklyn/Queens, to Park Slope, to Chelsea area to Upper West side. It took hours just to get together! I placed an ad in the classified of the Mothering magazine, signs at the Park Slope Food Coop, the Waldorf school, health food stores in the East Village,and tons of other places, and finally, at the end on this site. (I was a little computer illeterate).

So this thread is a delight.

(I'm searching now for a place to live with lots of TV free families, a neighborhood where tons of kids run out and play together.)

In response to no TV with an only child: maybe in the beginning one does have to spend time playing, making up stuff, and crafts with a child. But over time a child will get more resourceful. A routine can help. I asked my child when he would prefer I do my work (researching schools and applying right now) and when he would like to play together. He responded that he always wants me to play when he wakes up so I could do my work in the afternoon. Today, as I worked for hours, he played music (in the same room, they like that usually) on his instruments, studied an atlas, looked at lots of books, followed diagrams from a book to make new kinds of paper airplanes, listened to bird songs on a CD, and much more that I'm not aware of. When he was younger, I might have scheduled 10 or 15 minutes of playtime together every 45 minutes or an hour, so he could count on it and feel more secure..

So good luck to all of you families setting out to be TV free. I wrote on another thread that, even though I was out of the loop in small town Alabama as a child, I have never regretted not having a TV during my childhood. I only regret - deeply regret - the years between 13 years old and 16 or 17 years old that we did have one. Somehow, I lost a great deal primal wild depth and poetical awareness during that time.

And to those of you who have long been TV free, a hearty wave and hello. Perhaps from this seed, a mighty tree will grow.
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Old 10-29-2004, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bratmobile
maybe i should find some info on kids and tv-anyone know any good online places to look? (sorry if it was mentioned-i didn't read each post)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
Also, there's another thread that had an awesome post by Tanibani but I don't have the link right now.
Here you go. Just scroll down and it's my long post.

Toddlers: TV Watching -- How much?

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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Old 10-29-2004, 03:47 PM
 
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Yeah! The tribe is talking again!

Jen

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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Old 10-30-2004, 01:45 AM
 
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Have you noticed a tendancy for women to be more likely to want no TV, and more a tendancy for men to insist on having/watching it?

While I can think of only 3 men who didn't want TV (all 3 intelectual and creative), I have met many, many women who wanted no TV, but their spouses would not agree. So the children ended up watching TV. Or there's no TV at her house, but when they spend their custody time at the ex-husband's home, there's lots of TV. And my brother, unlike me and in spite of his early tv-free childhood, really wanted a TV, and watched many videos in his adulthood (though he passed away in his late twenties, so who knows what would have happened later). Ironically, it was my father who wanted no tv and my mother who got one after the divorce. But, from what I see, that's the exception.

I've been wondering if that could be because men are supposed to be more visually inclined, so they would get hooked into it more powerfully. And if that's the case, if that's something that's going to come up for my son and other boys when they grow up and can get their own tv?

Or maybe there's no such pattern, and its just coincidence.

When I was trying to start the TV-free group in NYC, so many mothers told me that this was their original intention, and they had not been able to start or gave up. The 2 main reasons were (1) the husband refused or (2) (more likely if the mother was single) lack of support from anyone about being TV-free and therefore feeling so isolated in that respect that she slowly got into the habit of using the TV as a babysitter, but would not have done so if she had known other mothers who didn't.
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Old 10-30-2004, 10:38 AM
 
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My mom would've had no TV, but my dad likes to veg out in front of it. However, my husband is the one in our family who pushed for no TV. My brother didn't have TV even when he lived alone. My BIL likes TV for sports, but has never pushed getting it so they don't have TV either.
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Old 10-30-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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I think that guys having TVs is a result of the American cultural imperitive that "boys must have their toys" and a television qualifies for the "toy" contest.

BUT, I know guys who don't watch. My father, for one. He doesn't have one at home and only occasionally watches. (2) My cousin Glen, who lives in a home where there is one, but he hates the thing and spends "tv-time" (ie: when it is on) out in the garage working on his truck or her car. (3) My husband, who grew up in a home with the TV always on and he can't be around one or he feels like he get sucked in and can't stand it. (4) A moderator on the mercedes-tinkering forum I go to. Definately a guy. Lives in Alabama, I think. Expert mechanic and HATES television, especially MTV and BET, the two stations his sons were always watching until he took some drastic action (maybe a little too drastic...military school, busting up the televisions with a sledge hammer, and filing for divorce. His wife was the tv-junkie. He said she wouldn't read a book if someone put a gun to her head.) (5) A driller I've worked with who I've written about in a post here somewhere. Lemme see if I can find it. Ah-ha! found it. In this post I wrote:
Quote:
One of the most unexpected was a driller (to do soil borings) who's about 24 years old and has a bunch of tats, including one of the Superman symbol. He was complaining about girlfriends who want to have a TV in the bedroom. He said "TV is bad enough, I'd rather play cards, but TV in the BEDROOM is not happening! There's other stuff I want to do in the bedroom." He was genuinely confused, too, and seemed to be rather hurt by it. Like she wanted to look at other things/people rather than be "with" him. (And, mind you he wasn't hard on the eyes. Great bod. Considering his job requires him to be able to lift 10 foot long 3" diameter steel drilling rods up at least 2 feet and maneuver them, I can tell you he didn't get that bod in a gym! )
That guy also is an amature drag racer. Spends lots of time working on his car. I recently heard he got married. Sure hope she's into cars and engines, too.

Anyhow, totally anecdotal info.

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Old 10-31-2004, 12:41 AM
 
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well, I was practically tv-free (had a 9-inch portable and only antenna reception in a city where that gets you next to nothing) until my dh moved in and bought a bigger model to watch sports with (mine wasn't cutting it).

That was 12 years ago. Today, he is supporting my idea to cut cable and eliminate all tv watching for ds. We will keep the tv for dvd watching - which happens maybe twice a month if we're lucky (we never get to go to the movies, but we don't like that experience so much anyway, at least in the big, crowded theaters with the loud previews and advertisements and so on. We make better popcorn at home, too : )
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:08 AM
 
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We just returned from a trip to Sedona, AZ, nonstop flight from JFK (NYC), Spiderman was the movie out going and Notebook on the return and of course all the rubbish in between. I realize that most folks want to watch a movie on a long flight but I just don't think Spiderman is appropriate for my 6 & 4 year old to have to watch. I read to them and told them stories but the bloody thing was hard to avoid! I finally broke down and let them listen to my iPod (thier children's tunes). I was thinking of writing to AA, any suggestions? Am I wasting my time?

My DH hates TV BTW, DVD's are okay but they better be artistic he can't stand most mainstream rubbish, nor can I. He could easily live without a TV in the house but does enjoy a good movie on a wide screen. With 2 small ones we don't get out to the movies or theatre. When we lived in NYC, b4 moving out to the burbs, we used to go to off broadway shows every weekend, miss those days
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Old 10-31-2004, 02:37 AM
 
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So is there a difference between men (and women) who watch TV and those who don't? Sohj mentioned alot of guys who don't seem intelectual (maybe they are), though yes active/outdoorsy. Are they more into "relating"? I'm asking because I want to be sure to encourage/provide an environment for the growth of those traits in my son.

On the buses now, they show tv movies. I hold up a coat so its not blaring in my child's face, but there are still alot of reflections in the windows in every direction...So I end up reading to him nonstop from special books while getting extremely carsick...Maybe we could get the government to do something since they now recomend small children see no tv and they ride buses too (and airplanes) and there is no tv free zone in them...
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:48 PM
 
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The ones I know are mostly artsy types, musicians, artist & writers. All parents at my dd's Waldorf school; one whom is not part of the Waldorf community is a Lawyer. My dh is in the computer business in an executive position, he is not artsy at all, more an outdoors type and a very logical thinker who loves to read. He rather be out on a hike, spliting fire wood than watching TV, he doesn't watch sports has no interest, he is more into individual type outdoor activities, hiking, climbing, skiing, etc.

I hear many women complain that the husband 'has' to watch football, or hockey or whatever. Maybe guys who are into spectator sports can't get away from the glow box. None of the tv free men I know are into any sports, except the individual type I mentioned above.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 10-31-2004, 07:04 PM
 
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cuqui:

Please write to the airlines and tell them how you feel. Many people do not let business know that the TV is a prbolem for their family but we can only dream of making a diffrence if we don't even say anything! My family is planning a trip to Europe next summer and I am guessing that there will be a movie on non stop. How can I avoid this issue??? Any ideas?
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Old 11-01-2004, 12:24 AM
 
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I have flown to europe often with my girls and yes they do show a film. It's really bad on those transatlantic flights b/c they leave at night, by the time they serve a meal & get the film on, it's 10 ish and my girls are more than ready to sleep, but that bloody screen is on. I stop flying to Europe with my now 4yr old when she was 2.5 yrs, it was hell! I mean come on it's 10pm! they should just shut off most of the lights & encourage people to take a rest!

Here is what I do w/ mine: Take coloring pencils, crayons, drawing paper, & best of all BEESWAX. The beeswax is best because it really keeps them preoccupied & they need to look at 'it' to shape it into what they are making. You can get beeswax at any Waldorf school store or online shops like www.playstoretoys.com or www.novanaturals.com. I read them stories, tell them stories too. There are so seat that have really poor screen visibility, call ahead and ask for those or swap w/ the folks in those (most would be thrilled to get a seat with a view of the screen).
My iPod did work out well too, b/c it was their music, real kiddie stuff, I would only use that as a last resort.

I will be writing to the airlines, they must know me by now, I have written before about service issues so why not the movie ! Thanks for the kickin the pants, lol.

Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2004, 02:13 AM
 
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Wish I'd found this sooner...

My family is tv-free (and it is so liberating ). Dh and I banished the boob tube to the back of our closet to get a handle on my watching a couple of years before we had children. We finally sold it off in a garage sale about a year and a half ago b/c we never watched it anymore and it took up too much space (we were downsizing from a suburban house to a much smaller city condo).

My dad always had the (satellite) tv on, and LOUD, all through my childhood. My bedroom was close to the living room, so I had the joy of going to sleep every night to the sounds of explosions and gunshots or soft porn. My mom wanted the tv off, but it rarely happened. Thinking back, all of my best memories growing up were in those moments when the tv was off. I want my daughters (and dh and me) to have those moments every day, for that to be the norm. My oldest dd is three and goes to preschool two mornings a week. It's Waldorf, which helps, but even so only one or two other children there aren't exposed to tv (or tivo, or videos, or dvds... sigh...).

I'm so glad this thread is here.
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Old 11-01-2004, 02:33 AM
 
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I sooooo love all the changes in our lives now that we're tv free. And at first, Kea couldn't wait to watch TV at other people's houses, but now I notice she rarely asks, and if it is on, she quickly gets bored - yaaaay!

As for flights, we're in Canada, and usually fly Westjet, a no-frills, cheap airline that has no tv on it!!!! Maybe they'll expand more into Europe soon?!! Or if it's overnight, maybe make up some fun, soft eye masks to keep the light out for everyone?!

Living life as fully as we can, with our three fellow adventure-seekers ~ K (2000), T (2003) and R (2007).  
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Old 11-01-2004, 02:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klondikesky
Thinking back, all of my best memories growing up were in those moments when the tv was off. I want my daughters (and dh and me) to have those moments every day, for that to be the norm.


This is depressing... because DH is SO NOT this way!

He is intellectual. He loves classical music & blues. He loves to read books. He's a bit of a nerd (likes to watch basketball & football, not play it). But... he loves all things electronic... he just built his own computer. He LOVES TiVO (so do I, but I'm willing to chuck it all to hell at this point, for the sake of the kids.) He's on the computer a lot lately, because he can't enjoy the stereo b/c our son would interrupt him. THen he vegges by watching TV in the evening... and doesn't care if DS or the is watching.

He thinks it's bonding to take DS to the movies.

Me - I am pretty good about not relying on the TV as a babysitter, unless it's absolutely necessary (was during the last few weeks of my pg). But I go out of my way to do stuff with my DS, to the point of exhaustion (zoo all afternoon or whatever)... not DH. Pisses me off.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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Old 11-02-2004, 04:45 PM
 
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Thanks cuqui!! I will try to ask for seats that are further away from the screen. Thanks for the advise on what to bring for them. I agree, beeswax is great, my children love it. (we go to Waldorf school!)

I am glad to hear other people are enjoying being TV free. It has been so long now for us it just isn't an issue anymore. The children don't ask for it or mention it.
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:58 AM
 
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Hurray! Look at all these TVfree homes. Needless to se we don't watch TV, ds is almost 4 and when he has passed by one he is totally not interested in it.

Actually, I grew up in a TV free house until I was 16. That is when our family life really started to degrade. It took about 5 years, but eventually everyone started to eat dinner around the TV watching news. Before, we had candle-light dinners! It is truly addictive.

That said, I do actually OWN a TV. It is in the attic. My dh and I have ideas of watching Movies with the kids when they are older. Together, as a family. I am painfully aware of how insidiously TV can creep into your life as I experienced as a teen, so we are wxtra sensitive to monitoring its (future) use.
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Old 11-04-2004, 04:31 AM
 
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i got a phone call tonight from the dove foundation. apparently they have something to do with anti-violence on tv, promoting better family values on programming, etc...

so he is asking me if i have any chidlren in the home (as ds is whining for my attention!) uh, yeah. he asked if i have a hard time finding programs on tv that are suitable for the whole family.

i told him we are too busy making mud pies and finding treasures in the yard to even bother with the tv! i think he was speechless because he said oh, ok then, have a nice evening. click!
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:56 PM
 
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Haha! One time I got a call from a cable company offering me a really good deal.........I said, we don''t have a TV. The guy said, ya, but with this offer you can save, blah blah blah....I repeated that we don't have a TV. He was silent for a moment and then he said, "you don't HAVE a TV?" NO. "So you don't want cable?" Right.

My grandmother still sends us videos for the children too.

I am so glad we missed all the election advertisements this year!
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Old 11-05-2004, 02:37 AM
 
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Things are similar here, we don't let our toddler watch tv anymore... before it was pbs ocassionally... there were some things on PBS i didnt' like. We use wildlife videos from the library, he chooses one about an animal or other topic he interested in. I watch one show a week, sometimes get pulled into another show... I'm always folding laundry or something while i'm watching... sometimes mindless entertainment has a restorative quality.... as contradictory as that sounds... and much as i don't like most tv.
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:03 AM
 
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alwayslearning2, watching a video from the library = watching tv.

just thought I'd point that out, but I also commend you in your intent to keep your toddler tv-free!
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Old 11-05-2004, 02:05 PM
 
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Old 11-05-2004, 02:11 PM
 
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It's on my shopping list for xmas this year! Just hope they can be shipped in time! (They're flooded with orders...)
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Old 11-05-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiMom
Haha! One time I got a call from a cable company offering me a really good deal.........I said, we don''t have a TV. The guy said, ya, but with this offer you can save, blah blah blah....I repeated that we don't have a TV. He was silent for a moment and then he said, "you don't HAVE a TV?" NO. "So you don't want cable?" Right.

My grandmother still sends us videos for the children too.

I am so glad we missed all the election advertisements this year!
totally had that happen before too. :LOL

We've even had calls from the Neilson people wanting to know if they could put a box in our house. :

It's so funny when it dawns of the caller that you don't HAVE ANY TVs. :LOL
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:49 PM
 
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I'm glad you got a good laugh out of that and that its happened to you too! :LOL

Once we had some kids over that we didn't know very well (the mom left them at our house) 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.

I remember when I first told my in laws that we had went TV free (5 years ago) and the conversation was just ridiculous.
MIL: Where did you put the TV?
Me: we decided to get rid of it.
MIL: Get rid of it? Where is the TV?
ME: We don't have one
MIL: What do you mean you don't have one?
ME: We don't have one.
MIL: How are you gonna watch the news? Is it broken? When does it come back?
ME: We really don't have one, we don't want one anymore ect..
MIL: How are ya gonna watch movies?

:

Its funny now but at the time it wasn't and we've had this same conversation more than once. Once time she told me she'd be glad when I grew out of this stage. : STAGE? I'm 32 years old with 4 children!
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:17 PM
 
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Oh my goodness! I love the tv b gone idea. Especially for use at Costco where they have those huge bigscreen tv's facing the enormously long slow checkout lines. Then show movies like westerns that have gunfights, or movies with car crashes, or the Hulk... all images I don't want in my little guy's heads!
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:53 PM
 
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I have a 4yr. old ds who is TV free and his little sister 14 mo old is too! Yeah for these kiddos! I wanted to share our Halloween with you other TV free folks. We went to a halloween party some friends threw for their kids and the parents. Had a great time, but my son was the only kid there who actually invented his costume. (He was a fruit fly!) The only 4 boys all came as Spider Man - purchased from a halloween costume store and the girls were Little Mermaid, Minni Mouse, etc... type costumes. I could tell people were confused by his choice, but it was his decision, he created it, and it stemed from his love of bugs which has been the result of lots of outdoor play (not tv watching) and reading whatever books we can from our library about bugs. I had a really proud feeling that night watching my little fruit fly buz around all those spiders!
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:15 PM
 
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I completely understand what you're saying about the costumes. Our daughter while only 17 months loves playing dress up so I made her a fancy dress and got some old jewlery for halloween, she looked very fancy. My husband took her out around the neighborhood while I handed out candy to cinderella & snow white the whole time. When he got back I asked if people liked her costume he said, "they thought she was cute but didn't know what she was". I found it a bit annoying, especially after the hours of doling candy out to tv & movie characters. Its kinda of sad to me, I think it takes a lot of the fun out of the day.
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja mama
Oh my goodness! I love the tv b gone idea. Especially for use at Costco where they have those huge bigscreen tv's facing the enormously long slow checkout lines. Then show movies like westerns that have gunfights, or movies with car crashes, or the Hulk... all images I don't want in my little guy's heads!
ooooooooooooh! I didn't think I needed one before but you're RIGHT! Every time I go in there there's some stupid, violent crap on!
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:42 PM
 
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I guess many of us tv-free kids families would have non tv related costumes. My 6 yr old wanted to a Native American (we just returned from Arizona and visited the Navajo reservation there, tho she had decided b4 we left), she has super long hair & wanted to make use of her braids, lol, my 4 yr old was a tiger, she is big into animals & is usually pretendeing to be one. I made the 6 yr old's costume, head dress & purchased mocs in AZ. For the 4 yr old I got her a tiger print unitard & had a friend paint her face as a tiger (she did a great job, very talented).

We went t or t'g w/ neighbors and EVERY child had a store bought costume of some tv character! Last yr it was the same. I really resent that the other parents (mostly moms) feel they have to make a million excuses why they had to buy, no time to make, yada yada. Like I made our costumes so I can be top mom or something, : .

I want the tv bgone! It would a laugh to use at Costco! Oh and the fun at my parents house , i could see my parents freaking out cause they'd think their tv was broken.
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