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Old 05-07-2008, 10:40 AM
 
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Hi!

we're also not officially tv free. We have a TV and HD antenna, so we get a few channels but almost never watch it. We do watch DVDs on the laptop sometimes and watch LOST online after it airs. However, DS doesn't watch anything and we try to limit our own watching as much as possible.

I have a problem, a sensory thing, with too much noise/flickering light, so I can't deal with TV in the background. I can watch a show, but I need to *watch* it - I can't just have the TV on. When it's on and I'm not focusing on it, I just feel strange, kind of panicky, fight-or-flight, irritable. When I realized this, it made it much easier to cut back!
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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Well, we're not completely screen time free... but our TV lives in the basement which is a no go zone for our daughers (okay, one's 6 wks old but still lol!) So our DD doesn't ever watch tv however we do watch dvds on the laptop. We seem to go through jags where we watch a bunch and then we stop for several weeks.

I watch hockey and together my wife and I watch a couple of tv shows but always through torrents so no commercials and we control when we watch and can turn it off half way through if need be. We also enjoy movies now and again.

I have no problem with visual stuff per se, it's just the overwhelming commercials and the garbage I see that's masquarading as 'educational'. Plus it's hard to pull away from the intense stimulation of sound and visual pictures that the TV provides. Children's programming is full of commercialization as well and that really bugs me. And yet I still feel like Mr Dressup was my friend. sigh.

Anyway, no tv for my children for awhile yet and when they're little all movies are watched with a parent around to help moderate what they're seeing.

Now we just have to work on removing the characters from our kids lives. It seemed so innocent at the beginning and now we have a bunch of cheap stuff with characters splattered all over them. grr!
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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Where have I been? I just noticed this forum now

Anyway, we are TV free and have been for several years now. It's me, DH, DD1 (3) and DD2 (8 weeks).

We had a large entertainment center cabinet and a clunky TV taking up lots of space in our family room and no one used them! So, out they went and were replaced by a MUCH smaller, stereo type cabinet for our DVD player (for CD listening) and our receiver/speakers, etc. We watched about 2 hours of TV a week, and decided it wasn't worth having the TV and paying for satellite for 2 hours a week!

I was never a big fan of TV. DH grew up with a TV in almost every room of the house. Seriously, they had one on their porch too It took some convincing, but when I pointed out how little we actually watched, he agreed to get rid of it.

We're happy with our choice and really don't think much about it. Occasionally, it will come up in conversation: "Hey, did you see that funny commercial...?" When we answer that we don't have a TV, we sometimes get funny looks, but then, I get those same looks for extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, etc anyway, right??
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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Hi!

Y'all inspire me for real. I've gone through periods in my life without tv and have absolutely LOVED it. Right now though, I'm completely addicted to my shows (Lost, Top Chef, etc.) and our DVR. I'm glad I don't watch commercials, but I know tv in general sucks the life out of me, especially late at night when I should sleep.

But...we're moving next month, and DH and I decided NOT to have a tv placed in our new bedroom. I know it's not being tv-free, but it's a step in the right direction. We're gonna focus on funnier bedroom activities. And I'm certain it'll cut down on my overall tv time. I really believe that we're all creatures of habit, and once we get used to living without, it's all good.

Anyway, thanks for this new forum and the inspiration!

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Old 05-15-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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Hi mamas! We've been TV-free (don't own one) for about a year and a half now. I am the type of person that is not good with moderation and when we owned a TV, it was on all the time. I realized how easy it was for me to zone out and ignore the kids or to put on the TV so I could have some peace and quiet. I didn't want to be that way. Plus, I don't think TV is healthy for kids and I figured the easiest way to limit TV was to get rid of the TV entirely. I am not fanatical about it and the kids watch a few minutes of cartoons on the TVs at Costco or at my parents house when we visit once a year. We have a laptop and occasionally (twice a month or so) will let them watch a short movie. Their favorite thing is actually to watch those nature shows, which I like since they are educational and slow-moving. No jerky, quick changing of images.

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Old 05-15-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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This forum is so inspiring!
DH and I are former TV addicts. Growing up we both didn't watch alot of tv until we were in jr high. DH actually grew up without cable (only watching cartoons on Saturday mornings). His parents got satellite when he was in high school and they are both somewhat addicted to the tv. It's almost always on when we go over there.
DD has been watching tv since she was about 6 months old (no flames please!). She is addicted to it and I don't like that. DS also started watching tv very young. The reason why they used to watch so much was because of our home enviroment. We used to travel with my DH for his job (pipefitter/welder). We averaged 4-9 in one area. A few times we stayed in a hotel for weeks at a time. It's very hard to keep a child occupied without tv if you are staying in a hotel. I'm so glad that I don't have to do that anymore.
Right now I'm working on cutting back on the amount the kids watch. I'm cancelling our satellite today. I plan on letting them watch DVDs. I want to limit their exposure to the junky cartoon that have been such a big part of their lives. Now that it is nice out I think it will be alot easier. I'm so glad that DH is on board with this. He remembers all the fun he had playing outside and riding his bike. I also remember playing outside alot. TV really didn't fit into our live when we were kids. I'm hoping that someday our kids will feel the same.

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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Just realized this subforum was here!

Dh and I went TV-free on a trial basis in 2000 when we moved from one place to another. We've been TV-free ever since! We do still enjoy movies and our computers.

I went to see a kids movie with DS recently and one of the previews was a little frightening (for Ice Age 3, I think). I was so happy when DS yelled out, "Stop the radio!"
I love it that he doesn't know all of these characters and that he's just more into playing and doing things.

I grew up a TV addict. By the time I was in college, I was so obsessed with certain shows that I would get really mad if my friends called in the middle of them, and I'd bitch them out. How sad is that?

With today's TV, I am so happy we have a tv-free house. I think it is so detrimental to a child's development. I don't care that DS won't learn Spanish from Dora.

Leslie, mom to John :, 02/25/06
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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I'm Phoebe, mom to the tribe in my signature. We don't watch commercial TV at all, but we do watch DVDs and some PBS.

My older son is autistic and likes to watch the same videos again and again and again (we watched Disney's Twice Upon A Christmas every day, all day, for about 4 months, for instance) so our television is pretty much always on. In fact, I can't remember the last time it was off.

And yet the irony is that we're TV-free in the spirit of the phrase.

So hi.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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I'm the mom of two TV free kids- a 4 year old DD and a one year old DD. We do occasionally watch DVDs, but no TV.
Interestingly, we are so rural that there are only 35 cable channels available, and 0 locals for free. It helps make the choice easy to maintain. :

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:50 AM
 
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So glad this forum was made .

I'm Kristina, we are attempting to be TV free (day by day, ya know...). My 4 yo DD is so negatively affected by screen time, that I just unplugged it all in hopes that her behavior will show improvement. So far, so good! We do have a Wii, so the TV is still in the livingroom, but the cable is disconnected and none of the kids know how to screw it back into the wall . DH and I have also pledged to being TV free.

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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I get to join this forum! :

After periods of TV-freedom and many, many relapses, I moved the teeny TV in our master bedroom into the spare room closet and canceled cable. This combined with a downgrade in our phone service should save us about $60/month!!! We still have a TV in the basement for watching movies (which we rarely do), but the kids and I don't go down there at all during the days.

My DH and I both agree that we haven't missed it at all. He says we will have to re-negotiate when hockey and curling season starts. But, for the time being, there is no TV-viewing going on in our house.

boogiemonster | the hairy scotsman | anna the elf | lucy the sprite | wee faerie faye, born 01/02/11

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Old 07-07-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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We're not truly tv-free. We have cable, but will cancel it soon. We kept it for the yoga show I used to watch, but it changed time slots, and I don't watch it anymore. The only thing I ever actually watch on tv is the weather forecast.

We do watch movies. They used to be something we all did a couple of nights a week. During my pregnancy with Aaron, and even more so in the weeks following his stillbirth, that changed. We watch a movie most mornings, occasionally one in the afternoon, and frequently one in the evening. If the kids aren't watching, I turn it off, but it's still too much. I need to find ways to occupy our time when we're sick, in particular. We've had colds this week, and we're spending too much time watching movies.

DH and I are going to work together on the night time movies. We've got a family games night going on Thursdays, and dh has already told me to nudge him out the door after supper to take the kids to playground. I'm still feeling really run down, and not up to chasing two little ones, but I'll join dh.

So...yeah - we're not really tv-free, but we are sort of. We definitely don't watch television shows, but we're too dependent on the VHS and DVDs. I don't want to completely get rid of them, but I do want to cut back.


ETA: My history is that we watched tv as kids, but not a huge amount. We definitely parked in front of the tv on Saturday mornings, but we often coloured or something while waiting for our favourites (Saturday morning was a kind of children's variety show back then). When I was with my ex, the tv was always on, and it drove me nuts. I can remember coming home from work to an empty room with the tv on - I'd turn it off, leave the room, and come back to find it turned back on, and nobody there! I just couldn't stand it. When I met dh, he'd gone tv-free, so we adoped that as a couple.

We have one tv, in the living room. The only time I've ever had a tv in the bedroom was when we lived at my mom's, because we wanted somewhere to watch an occasional movie as a family, without my mom and stepdad. I don't think anybody in my family of origin has ever had a tv in the bedroom.

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Old 07-07-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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WOW - what a great Forum! I am so glad there is a place where I can hear from other tv-free moms! Even where I live where I think people fancy themselves as "progressive", I don't know of any other tv-free families.

I am a single mom and my DS is 2.5. I've been TV free since he was 3 months old. I watched some tv while on maternity leave, but as soon as he started to look at the screen, I got rid of it. I don't have cable or an antenna, so it's cold turkey, which is good as it just eliminates tv as an option. I do still have the actual television set and a dvd/vhs player so that I can watch the home videos I make of DS and the occasional dvd I check out from the library (but only do that once every couple months - just too tired at night, LOL!! DS is extremely verbal and engages in a ton of dramatic play at home. He has a really creative imagination, which I'm sure benefits from no zoning out in front of the boob tube. We also read a lot in the evening before bed. My parents are good about keeping the tv mostly off when he's over there. He really has only seen tv images a couple of times. One time we were over at a friend's house and she had on the tv for her niece and I was worried that DS would get sucked in, but he just looked at the screen for a minute in a confused sort of way and then completely lost interest and proceeded to go play with some pots and pans in the kitchen.

I also don't do any licensed characters, although I've noticed that he already knows who Elmo and Thomas are, etc... I think because he's in daycare and some of the other kids have diapers with characters on them or lunchboxes, etc. It doesn't bother me too much because he jsut thinks the characters are cute, but doesn't know they're assosicated with tv shows.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:08 AM
 
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I'll jump in here too! We are trying to go TV free and so far it is really going great!
I'm Phoenix, I have two DDs, August who will be 2 in a matter of days and Liberty who is 2.5 weeks old. I sadly let August become a major TV addict during this pregnancy and it wasn't until Libby was born that I finally saw how awful it was and pulled the plug. Her way of acting out over the changes in her life w/ a new sibling was to beg to watch TV. Literally she would want to watch it all day, or if she wanted me to hold her and I was busy with the baby she would run to the TV and cry "elmo! elmo!" After about a week of TV tantrums I finally said we just need to end TV time all together and literally unplugged our TV so she couldn't even turn it on. And just over a week and a half later I am a total convert to the TV free life :
She is SO much more well behaved, we don't have huge bedtime or naptime issues anymore, and she does so much more during the day instead of passively watching TV. She used to love reading and I hadn't even really noticed that she had decreased the amount of reading time in the past few months (when mommy was having 3rd trimester stress and the TV was on all day long) until this past week; with the TV off she has gone back to bringing mommy book after book after book for reading time, I probably read 20 books today!
So I am convinced that DD needs to be raised totally TV free. DH has shown her a few 2-3 minute youtube videos of elephants or fish when they were talking about the zoo and I feel ok with that I think, but I know she can't handle videos or anything like that right now, its just too slippery of a slope.
We're letting our cable run out (I'd call and cancel but its getting shut off in a few days anyways because we were late to pay the bill ), but we'll keep our rabbit ears because DH is a sports addict. Hes really sad to be losing ESPN but its silly to pay money just for him to watch one channel only after 9pm (when DD goes to bed, its totally unplugged when shes awake). So he'll probably watch baseball games even when she is awake but I figure thats an ok compromise, and she doesn't pay attention more than a few seconds when baseball is on anyways. That will be the only time its on when shes awake, thats the new "rule".
As for myself, I've gone totally TV free before for over a year in college and it was really nice, but I think this time I'll have to keep my two fall shows after 9pm (grey's anatomy and desperate housewives), I know I'm addicted that I can't give up following the lives of people who are not real, but it really draws you in! However, I won't be like I was last year where I'd watch the shows before and after "just for something to do" and end up watching 3-4 hours of TV! blah! Just my two shows a week, a little treat I suppose.
We also have Netflix, a gift membership from my dad, but its the 1 movie at a time plan so we usually end up watching 1 movie every 2 weeks or so before we remember to send it back , and they're grown up movies so thats after DD goes to bed as well.

The issue I'm having now is weaning her off of the character thing. We last minute switched her bday party from a character theme (it was between nemo and elmo) to a generic farm animals theme (she LOVES animals), and I'm going to try to limit the amount of new character stuff coming in, but I think a lot of the damage is already done, she has TONS of character (mostly elmo) books, clothes, etc. I don't mind some of it, we plan to go to disneyland in the future and even I have a mickey mouse tshirt, but when it gets to where it is now where she wants something JUST because elmo or mickey is on it....thats not good
So, we have a lot of work ahead of us, if anyone has any tv-detox tips that would be greatly appriciated! And I'm going to hang around here a lot for motivation to keep the TV off even in my weakest "I need a break" moments! I can barely believe the improvement I've seen in just one week so I know that this is worth it.

mama to August May (8/06) Liberty Kiana (7/08) and Calliope Rose (6/15/10)
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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Hi all....I'm Robyn, mama to two kids (ds 4 and dd 2). My dream world is tv free...but there are other people in my house that need convincing..(ie my husband). We're moving in 4 weeks, and I'm thinking about not re-connecting the cable once we arrive....at least not the channel (Noggin) that my ds would be concerned with. That way it's not a temptation for me to give in to his whining, er...requests. I believe fully in the ability of his mind to entertain him...he DOES NOT need tv!! He DOES NOT need tv!! He DOES NOT need tv! My new mantra

(We homeschool, so there will be certain tv related elements we will still utilize...DVDs, useful cable shows...nat geo, etc, etc)

I'm thrilled this forum is here for motivation and inspiration

:R
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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Hi
We're not TV free, but I am hoping that I'll be able to convince DH! When our contract with our satelite company expires next spring, I'm hoping that we can just go cold turkey!
I SAH with DD (14 months), and we don't watch any TV (well, every now and then, I'll watch a show, but that's rare). DH always has the TV on though, so it might e hard to break him!! He grew up in a house with the TV on 24/7 (and unfortunately, they live just down the road, and we visit a lot, and the TV is always on ).
I grew up TV-free, and I have no complaints about it. I want my children to do the same, but DH tells me that's mean to deprive her of that!! I'm hoping that this forum will help me get info and ideas to share with him so that we can eventually be TV free!!

Melanie
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:39 AM
 
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Hi! So glad to have the support of this forum. We have been TV free for three years and are very happy. MY MIL tried to buy us a digital box so she could watch TV when she's dog-sitting - we turned her down. Now she thinks we'll HAVE to get TV for DD (6.5 months). That's the last reason I'd get TV! I'm afraid DH may start to crack. Thank you, thank you, for all the support.
(I'm about to post a question about in-laws)

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:32 AM
 
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I am currently a TV addict (and MDC addict!). This forum is really inspiring, and I really enjoy reading all of your stories. I would really like to cut down the amount the kids are watching tv/video games/computer time. I really hate being outside when it's hot, so these last couple of weeks we've spent a little too much time relaxing inside with media. I just bought a year membership to the local children's museum, so I think we'll be taking advantage of their air conditioning!! I think it will help if I plan something every day to keep us busy before I go to work (at 3pm) every day. Otherwise it's really easy to let the afternoon go by just sitting around. I will be keeping my eyes open for all of your awesome ideas.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:20 AM
 
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Hi

My parents got rid of the TV in 1992 and I've been TV free ever since. I have to say I love it and I have done so many more things and read so many more books than if I had had a TV. DH grew up with TV and we see TV at other peoples houses etc. but I find that while TV trys to stuck you in the contents are, for the majority of shows, junk! During a stay at the in laws we briefly watched some TV and I found my self getting into a depressive mindset. It made me think- no wonder so many people feel depressed, they've been sucked into TV. But thats my opinion.
sadly, despite my protests, this past year DH brought home a DVD player. sure it was free but i feel its just the start of a down hill trend. we could watch movies all day instead of TV. He also got a game set (i don't remember what they're called) but after getting a week behind on important work he got rid of it!
i do think there value in educational shows/videos but it seems hard to to watch only those when the tools to watching not so educational shows/videos are right there.
the one thing my dh would really like to watch are Celtic games. following basketball is his main hobby so i do feel bad about that especially since they won the championship this year. what do any of you who are sports fanatics do? (and no watching high school games wouldn't be the same)
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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Hi and welcome! No advice on sports from me, but start a new thread with that topic. Good luck and go Celtics

wife to DH mama to DD14 Jan '08 and DS 6 Sept '10
and 2 rescued greyhounds
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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: So glad to have found other tv free families! I had started to think there weren't any out there! We do own a tv set, and a small collection of DVDs. Right now I have an antenna hooked up for PBS, but I only turn it on about once a month to watch the news, or the BBC sitcoms. It's really important to raise my child in an environment free of commercial television.

Claire, mommy to Robbie (8/23/08) and Brena (4-22-11) and wifey to Joe
 
 
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Old 08-23-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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So happy that the forum is here!

I'm a WOH mama and full time college student (this semester doing online classes to be with the itty bitty). My DH WOH opposite my shift so we don't have to pay for childcare, he also attends school full time as a grad student. We have an amazing six-year-old son and a beautiful 11 wk old son.

Our DS has been tv-free for the past 3 years, we keep the tv off while he is awake. Before that he only watched PBS. DH and I are addicted but we limit our consumption to nighttime after the kiddos are in bed. (DS2 is thankfully a wonderful sleeper and goes down by 9pm every night...I realize how lucky I am.

We are complete freaks of nature to our families, but they are getting used to us (along with the cding, natural foods, gentle discipline - we are just fruit bats.)

Breeder Mama: = wife to an amazing man + mama to J-Bear (07/02) and E-Train (06/08), nanny to Little Bird (07/10).

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Old 08-25-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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I'm Karen, I have two sons, ages almost 4 and 2 and I'm expecting our third boy. We watch television but I want to minimize our TV use and spend more time playing, adventuring and reading. TV (and computer time) has become more of a habit in our house than I would like.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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Hi! When I got pregnant DP and I talked about the importance of no TV when kiddo was young. DP's mom thought we were being really weird and bought every Disney movie known to mankind and tried to convince us we were being unreasonable. We outlined our reasons for her and basically told her that it was okay if she didn't agree with us, but it was our decision to make. After that conversation she didn't argue about it anymore.
Fast forward until now - DS will be 3 in November - and DS has only seen TV a handful of times - once at grandma's house for about 20 minutes, once at home for about 10 minutes and at a friend's house for about 10 minutes. He gets totally drawn in while the TV is on - slack jaw and everything. When it goes off he is a wild child (even more so than normal) for awhile. Not something I want to foster, to say the least (and that isn't even taking into consideration all of the other reasons we don't want him to watch)!
As for me and DP, we don't have a TV at all but we have Netflix and watch an average of three movies a month. At times I'd like to do away with that all together but when I just want to veg out I really enjoy it :

Mommy to a wonderfully passionate little one
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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Hi all! I am Sunshine (just joined today!) and we have been TV Free for the last 9 years. We decided to get rid of it when our oldest was a baby. One of the best decisions we ever made! Neither my partner nor I miss it, and it gives us more time to do natural things like playing in the woods and hunting for frogs!
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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We've been TV-free for about 3 years, but we do watch movies from netflix. It's very natural for us, as we both like having that part of our lives contained to an hour or so once or twice a week. I think we'll just keep things the same once kids come along.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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Hi! I'm Charlotte, and my first child, DD Maggie, was just born two months ago.

I was raised in a TV-limited household (when I was a kid, I was only allowed to watch 1h of TV a week, which I had to schedule and plan for ahead of time) and hope to do the same with DD, but I feel today's world is contains a lot more intrusive media than the one I grew up in. It's not just a matter of the TV, but also video games, computers, pdas, cell phones, and who knows what. I don't have a problem with any of these things individually, but I don't want to raise DD in an overstimulated environment where distracting devices are used without a second thought.

We have a television in the house, but we don't get any channels. We use it exclusively for movies and video games. But DH is really addicted to video games, and DD is already (at two months!) enthralled by the screen when daddy is playing. So for us a big challenge will be reducing our own computer/screen use and setting a good example for the kids.

Nice to meet you all!!!

Charlotte, mommy to Maggie (July 15th 2008) and Una (July 19th 2011)!
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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I am mama to 3 wonderful kiddos, wife to the most wonderful man on earth, and adopted mama to a furry dog and purry cat!!

We love being tv free and have been so for almost 5 years!! I don't know how I ever had time to watch tv.. I think of my life as full and inviting. We are always on a quest and doing something.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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Hi,
I'm a mama to my sweet little girl and wife to my wonderful man. We have another LO joining us in Nov. We've been TV free for about two years, not as long as some of you but, boy, what a difference. I'm really proud of DH for going along with this since he was addicted to TV (he was brought up in front of it, basically). We do have a TV set for movies only.
TV-free is soooo liberating!!:

Wife to Daryl 5/98, Mama to Eve 2/07, Lilie 11/08 and Victoria 10/10 --- Our First Water Homebirth. New blessing, Mathias, arrived 8/12 --- Our Second WaterHomebirth. Waiting to welcome baby #5 in May 2014.

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Old 09-28-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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Mama to two and a half kids. We watch tv, and it's mainly a babysitter, I admit. I need my morning sleep or peace-time, so that's when it's on. I also suffer from insomnia, and I watch tv in the middle of the night.

Our relatives and friends think we are odd, though, because we don't approve of most of the mainstream kids' stuff on tv/movies. I do NOT like Disney, Hanna Montana, Barbie, and most of the popular stuff. We don't take them to the movies, and they don't get to watch just whatever they want on tv. (they have gone to a few movies with grandparents, so far ok) When they are at nana's house, the tv is ALWAYS on, and it's almost always on stuff we don't like, unfortunately. Sometimes, we just have to accept things that aren't ideal.

We use Tivo, and they only watch what WE say is ok. They are not allowed to watch commercials. My oldest now knows how to use the remote, and she can forward through them on her own. Before that, the rule was when the show was over, they had to turn the tv off. I think that they have done pretty good with it - if tv becomes an issue, then it's banned for a few weeks, and everything goes back to normal. They also don't sit still for tv, but they PLAY while the tv is on - they aren't glued to the tv like some kids we know. If they did that, I'd be more concerned.

I find the other media to be more disturbing than controlled tv. We do not allow the video games, handheld computers, portable dvd players, etc.

--janis

Mama to 3 girls 12,8,3
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