Sharing that you are TV-Free Without Seeming that you are Judging. - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 21 Old 03-25-2008, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
LittleYellow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 591
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So anytime I tell someone new that we are TV-Free (and only because it happens to come up), I feel like I'm putting myself on this moral high-horse.

For example; at Barnes and Nobel dd's were playing with Diego and Dora on the train table. They don't know who Diego and Dora ARE, and were just playing with them as whoever dd's wanted them to be. Other mom says to me "Oh - so your dd's like Dora and Diego." and there is that moment......

I suppose I could say 'yes' because they are playing with them right there. But I guess I've always gone with "They don't know who they are." which of course lead down the TV-Free road.

Or even just moms chatting will ask "so what do your dd's like to watch?" and there I am again.

So what do you do when talking to others and being TV-free comes up.
LittleYellow is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 21 Old 03-25-2008, 11:32 PM
 
Arwyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Twitter, RMB, PDX
Posts: 16,566
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just say "We don't do TV". In your Dora example I'd probably say something like "They like playing with dolls." It hasn't really come up yet, though, since Naked Baby is "only" (already! ) one.

But in general, it's "we don't do TV".
Arwyn is offline  
#3 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 01:19 AM
 
mariamaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Limbo, for the moment
Posts: 216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have this problem too. I don't want to seem holier-than-thou, and I really don't judge people who do watch tv (much). Well, maybe I do judge people who let their small children watch it. But I understand making different choices from me and don't want to alienate anyone.

Anyway, I too feel uncomfortable when this moment arises. The other thing that I have trouble with is accepting invitations to people's houses because so often it ends up being a tv-watching experience, especially if adults are trying to chat or whatever: "Let's put a video on for the kids". I have no idea how to handle that situation. Let's face it, I too would love some grownup visiting time, and I don't want to make dd feel excluded, or our hosts feel uncomfortable, or be the catalyst for tantrums or social awkwardness.

I feel sometimes like I have to choose between having social interactions and upholding my values.
mariamaroo is offline  
#4 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 09:49 AM
 
Hannahsmummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dear Green Place
Posts: 1,228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't mean to sound like I am on my high horse with this post LOL! But, I don't feel uncomfortable at all about saying we are TV free. I don't judge other people's choices when it comes to TV for their kids and I hope they don't judge me.

If someone asks about it, which rarely happens, I just say "Hannah doesn't watch TV". It's not a statement against anyone else, it's just a fact of our life.
Why should I censor something like that? If someone feels bad about my neutral statement about what my daughter does, that's their issue/guilt. not mine!

As for social situations, I am lucky that this hasn't arisen. I've posted this before but I really don't get it. I do not understand how the kids would fit TV viewing into their visit. I mean when we visit friends, the kids are too busy doing loads of other things to actually have time to sit down and watch TV.

We do have one friend who's kids watch TV and they know that it's not something that we do so there is no issue with having it off when we are around. We appreciate them and they respect our choices. I can't see having much of a friendship with someone who doesn't respect your choices.
Hannahsmummy is offline  
#5 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 10:13 AM
 
smeisnotapirate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Posts: 5,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have a baby (yet , but DH and I don't watch TV. Whenever anyone asks, and I'm surprised at how often it happens, I just say "oh, we don't have time for TV usually." It takes the pressure off the moral "we don't DO TV" and puts it on the real issue - that there's so much more important stuff to do. I've never gotten a bad reaction from it, and maybe in your situation you can adapt it to "they probably have no idea who Dora and Diego are - I think they just like the idea of playing with dolls!"

Maybe this would work?

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

smeisnotapirate is offline  
#6 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 10:22 AM
 
loraxc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: In the Truffula Trees
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, I find this one hard too. I usually say "We don't really watch much TV" (true of DH and me, but of course DD doesn't watch ANY) if something like "Does she like X show?" comes up. I have been in the occasional situation where a video gets put on at a play date (and recently this has been happening at BIRTHDAY PARTIES, for pete's sake) and it's very awkward. I have just let DD watch, rather than asking it to be turned off. Fortunately she usually isn't very interested.

If it does come up such that I can't avoid revealing that DD is TV-free, man, people get so uncomfortable. It's like a terrible social taboo. Either they think you're nuts or they trip over themselves justifying TV use for their kids.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

loraxc is offline  
#7 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 01:18 PM
 
cancat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 552
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
Yeah, I find this one hard too. I usually say "We don't really watch much TV" (true of DH and me, but of course DD doesn't watch ANY) if something like "Does she like X show?" comes up. I have been in the occasional situation where a video gets put on at a play date (and recently this has been happening at BIRTHDAY PARTIES, for pete's sake) and it's very awkward. I have just let DD watch, rather than asking it to be turned off. Fortunately she usually isn't very interested.

If it does come up such that I can't avoid revealing that DD is TV-free, man, people get so uncomfortable. It's like a terrible social taboo. Either they think you're nuts or they trip over themselves justifying TV use for their kids.
I could have written this exact post...
cancat is offline  
#8 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 01:25 PM
 
smeisnotapirate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Posts: 5,738
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
If it does come up such that I can't avoid revealing that DD is TV-free, man, people get so uncomfortable. It's like a terrible social taboo. Either they think you're nuts or they trip over themselves justifying TV use for their kids.
You know, I get that a lot about anything my DH and I decide that isn't "mainstream." Why is that???

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

smeisnotapirate is offline  
#9 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 05:44 PM
 
2+twins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: At NPT
Posts: 3,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Like most things in my life, I don't seem to have a problem letting people know that we're different. I guess I feel like maybe I'm opening a door for them. Really, most people have probably never given being tv-free a second (or first) thought. I've been in situations like you described many times and I just say something like, "Oh, we don't watch tv so she doesn't know who that is". I don't know if a single person (like a stranger) has asked me why or anything like that upon hearing that though. People *do* get defensive about these things though but (and not to sound caddy) that's really *their* issue, not mine, so I'm not going to hide my lifestyle to ease the guilt they might feel.

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
2+twins is offline  
#10 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 06:56 PM
 
Arwyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Twitter, RMB, PDX
Posts: 16,566
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What's with that?? The tripping over themselves to defend/explain/whatever. I get it with EC a lot too (usually "Oh I thought about that but I'm too lazy." dude, I'm the freaking queen of laze, that has nothing to do with EC).

I'm fortunate to have a large circle of very AP friends, so most kids aren't glued to the set for hours and hours a day, but no matter how much or little their kids watch, people explain/justify it. Especially "Oh, I said no TV for her until 2, but then she got sick/I got sick/I got pregnant/whatever". Um... okay. That's nice? I dunno, it's just kind of one of those conversation enders, because I don't know how to respond other than "oh".
Arwyn is offline  
#11 of 21 Old 03-26-2008, 09:26 PM
 
cravenab00's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 1,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
its sad, but people ask me "so what do you do all day then?" as if there is nothing to do other than the tube
and i also get "jeez how can you stand it?"
and we arent completely TV free, the kids can watch on saturday morning only, and it's only things that have been TIVO'ed, so i can skip commercials.
its was a compromise with DH.

it drives me nuts how people think we are insane. Its just a freakin box!

wife to my awesome DH, homeschooling, unassisted birthing, food growing, life loving mama to 5 crazy monkeys. :
cravenab00 is offline  
#12 of 21 Old 03-27-2008, 04:13 AM
 
HappyFox05's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Junction City, KS
Posts: 1,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just say "we don't watch much tv", and not snarkily or w/an attitude. (We're not totally tv-free - we watch the Food Network and sports and Mythbusters. I guess we're tv-lite.) I like what Hannahsmummy said, that "we don't watch much tv" is just a fact of life, not a judgement on someone else. If ppl choose to take it some other way, that's due to issues they have w/themselves.

Me, my Sweetie , DD 1 (Dec 07),  and DD 2 (Dec 09). Co-sleeping, delayed-vaxing, quia Lutherans!
HappyFox05 is offline  
#13 of 21 Old 03-28-2008, 12:06 AM
 
zinemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: from the fire roads to the interstate
Posts: 6,298
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just say "We don't have a TV" and leave it at that. If someone wants to discuss it, I'm happy to, but I don't elaborate.
zinemama is offline  
#14 of 21 Old 03-28-2008, 12:30 PM
 
NYCVeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On my couch
Posts: 4,949
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also say, "We don't watch TV." Honestly, if people feel like I'm judging them...I think that's more about me, then them. (In the same way that when I say, "I'm a vegetarian," I often get responses about how the person doesn't really eat a LOT of meat.)

I think it's good for the TV-free to "out" themselves, at the very least so that it creates a cultural awareness that there is an alternative (in the same way I was upfront about the fact that I EBF or that dd didn't get bottles).

Dd was at a birthday party, and there was a "pin the nose on Elmo" game. The mom kept insisting, "Put the nose on Elmo! Put the nose on Elmo!" and finally I had to say, "She doesn't know who Elmo is."
NYCVeg is offline  
#15 of 21 Old 03-28-2008, 12:56 PM
 
boatbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Afloat
Posts: 3,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2+twins View Post
Like most things in my life, I don't seem to have a problem letting people know that we're different. I guess I feel like maybe I'm opening a door for them. Really, most people have probably never given being tv-free a second (or first) thought. I've been in situations like you described many times and I just say something like, "Oh, we don't watch tv so she doesn't know who that is". I don't know if a single person (like a stranger) has asked me why or anything like that upon hearing that though. People *do* get defensive about these things though but (and not to sound caddy) that's really *their* issue, not mine, so I'm not going to hide my lifestyle to ease the guilt they might feel.
I totally agree, very well put!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I just say "We don't have a TV" and leave it at that. If someone wants to discuss it, I'm happy to, but I don't elaborate.
I phrase it that way too. Saying you don't OWN one sounds more final and perhaps less judgmental than "we don't DO tv" or "we don't let him watch it" etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post

Dd was at a birthday party, and there was a "pin the nose on Elmo" game. The mom kept insisting, "Put the nose on Elmo! Put the nose on Elmo!" and finally I had to say, "She doesn't know who Elmo is."
I have had very similar experiences.


I often parallel being TV-free with being a vegetarian (which I am not, I am a total carnivore). But Veggies are so much more mainstream these days and I have a lot of Veggie friends. I would not get defensive if they plucked the meat off their kid's plate at my house. Or if someone were coming over I would no be offended if they said "hey we don't eat meat, so please no meaty snacks". Most people are ok with that choice.
So why should be get offended or we feel bad about saying "hey we don't watch tv, so please can we not have it on when we're over?"

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
boatbaby is offline  
#16 of 21 Old 03-28-2008, 09:21 PM
 
Hannahsmummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dear Green Place
Posts: 1,228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
I often parallel being TV-free with being a vegetarian (which I am not, I am a total carnivore). But Veggies are so much more mainstream these days and I have a lot of Veggie friends. I would not get defensive if they plucked the meat off their kid's plate at my house. Or if someone were coming over I would no be offended if they said "hey we don't eat meat, so please no meaty snacks". Most people are ok with that choice.
So why should be get offended or we feel bad about saying "hey we don't watch tv, so please can we not have it on when we're over?"
That is an excellent point!
Hannahsmummy is offline  
#17 of 21 Old 03-30-2008, 02:32 PM
 
alexsam's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My conclusion is that it isn't about ME judging THEM or making a big deal about us being TV free or whatever, but that OTHER PEOPLE know, deep down somewhere, that TV isn't such a good thing and they don't feel great about using it and are searching for their own standing.

"Thou doth protest too much"- if you are comfortable with your choices, then someone making a different one is not a threat. I've found the people who feel the need to try to convert me to TV are usually the ones who are really arguing with themselves about the issue and are taking it out with me as a reprersentative of that oppinion.

When this becomes clear in a conversation, I just say quickly and with an honset smile "we don't have a tv... we just do other things" and then change the subject.
alexsam is offline  
#18 of 21 Old 04-01-2008, 10:36 AM
 
Bufomander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
I think it's good for the TV-free to "out" themselves, at the very least so that it creates a cultural awareness that there is an alternative (in the same way I was upfront about the fact that I EBF or that dd didn't get bottles).
This makes sense to me -- sometimes I think people are stunned that "no-TV" is an option (for adults OR children)
Bufomander is offline  
#19 of 21 Old 04-01-2008, 10:50 AM
 
NYCVeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On my couch
Posts: 4,949
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander View Post
This makes sense to me -- sometimes I think people are stunned that "no-TV" is an option (for adults OR children)
I know. Honestly, I think people really don't understand how you could possibly fill the time. My MIL insists (every time we see her) that she and FIL are "really not TV people". They watch 3 hours every single day. And the sad thing is that, compared to much of America, they really ARE low-TV (even though, at at least 15-20 hours a week, it's a part-time job for them!). My parents have friends who have SEVENTEEN televisions--including one in their back yard--and there is at least one, usually more, on 24 hours a day. The noise makes me want to climb the walls.

But I digress...
NYCVeg is offline  
#20 of 21 Old 04-01-2008, 04:01 PM
 
beanbean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 767
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
My conclusion is that it isn't about ME judging THEM or making a big deal about us being TV free or whatever, but that OTHER PEOPLE know, deep down somewhere, that TV isn't such a good thing and they don't feel great about using it and are searching for their own standing.

"Thou doth protest too much"- if you are comfortable with your choices, then someone making a different one is not a threat. I've found the people who feel the need to try to convert me to TV are usually the ones who are really arguing with themselves about the issue and are taking it out with me as a reprersentative of that oppinion.

When this becomes clear in a conversation, I just say quickly and with an honset smile "we don't have a tv... we just do other things" and then change the subject.
You've *exactly* posted my thoughts.

I often get the same reaction when people find out we're homeschooling. For some people, suddenly the choice we've made for our family becomes a threat and they're falling all over themselves to tell me the gazillion reasons they could never homeschool. It's more like they're trying to convince themselves than me.

Blessed Mama to 4 and expecting one more!
beanbean is offline  
#21 of 21 Old 04-01-2008, 06:22 PM
 
Aubergine68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: in the soul's garden
Posts: 2,882
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I know enough people that are tv-free or who understand the need to cut down media exposure for small children that it seems a pretty mainstream idea where I live...

I have said that my sons (age 1 and 4) behave more aggresively when exposed to tv, and that is why we avoid it.

Tv is watched quite a bit when we visit the homes of elderly relatives, however. The homes are not set up for little boys and the relatives, including 2 grandmas and a great-grandma, are in fragile health and just cannot handle little-boy energy for long. So dh usually tries to get them out to the playground or yard....but in bad weather or in the evening, they get tv zombie time along with their cousins.:

My sister-in-law and I just suck it up, feeling it is better than not visiting these relatives at all.
Aubergine68 is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off