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Old 03-31-2008, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We recently had family (1 adult, 1 child) stay with us for several days. This was our first extended visit with no TV.

I guess the adult was pretty bored because we didn't have TV. I was surprised that it made that much difference. The kids played inside and outside and seemed fine.
We talked and interacted with them a lot. We played cards. We went out. This person wasn't trapped in a room alone for 4 days with one magazine.
We have a lot of books. We have DVD's. We have games and puzzles. We have internet and radio. I don't know what we could have done to make our home more interesting.

How do you handle guests who are not used to being TV free?

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 03-31-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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My mom just gets miserable - she is used to watching CNN 24/7 - so I keep us all busy enough that she passes out at night.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:44 AM
 
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I have actually never noticed this before. Did they tell you they were bored? Or are you just thinking this from the way they were acting?

Go Green I don't vax either, why mess with perfect?
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She told my dh she was bored because there was no TV. She did act bored too.

It didn't occur to me that adult guests would be so miserable without TV. Lesson learned. We still aren't going to have TV but maybe next time I'll try to plan more activities or suggest they stay at a hotel.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 04-01-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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My mom, when she visits, watch a DVD every night instead (to help her fall asleep). I make sure I have some DVDs she will enjoy.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:23 PM
 
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She told my dh she was bored because there was no TV. She did act bored too.
Hmm. Kind of rude, no? And kind of sad? Maybe I'm feeling extra snarky this morning, but... presented with a houseful of things to do, people to visit, books to read, movies to watch and games to play, she was bored because she couldn't watch television?

I'm not sure I would feel the need to accommodate this person further, beyond possibly checking out a few extra DVDs from the library next time she visits. [Or, as you mention, suggesting she stay in a hotel so she can pay $100+ a night to watch TV.] :

Decluttering SAHM of three. Going for 2011 items in 2011.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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My stepfather has consistently refused to eat Thanksgiving dinner at my house, because I didn't have TV. One year I actually set up a TV, so that he would come, and he griped all day that my TV was too small (it IS very small, only 14 inches!) and so that was no better. The last few years DH and I have gone to MIL's house and left dear stepdad to his own devices, because it all got to be too much.

One of DD1's little friends once threw a total tantrum when he wanted to watch TV and I told him I didn't have one. He was horrified. His poor mom was so embarrassed. I once called their house at 9:30 pm and her son was up and watching TV. I'm not judgmental, that's not it; it's just my kids had already been in bed for three hours, and it really highlighted for me the differences between our two styles of parenting. Anyway, she was so embarrassed about the tantrum...

But on the whole, people seem to enjoy the lack of TV. I have had folks comment about it, actually, and friends who often come over just to relax, because our house is so different from what they have at home.

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Old 04-01-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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My father couldn't stand it. Here he was visiting from out of state to see his grandchildren and you'd think he'd be focused on them. My mom is totally fine with it though. They always have the tv on at their house (I can't stand it) and unfortunately they get their "news" from it too. That makes for some good (not) debates on occasion.

One time when my parents were visiting my dad went out and bought a $50 TV. We keep it in the attic for him (no joke!). We've brought it out TWICE for him when he visited - both times to watch a (very, very grainy) football game. But we don't mention it unless he does and I think he's starting to feel (rightly) a bit embarrassed about his TV infatuation. He always has to tell us what great things there are on the Discovery or History Channel. Well we can still rent movies and read books and get the same or better (usually better) info not split into 7 minute bytes with obnoxious ads.

We don't live in a cave -- any truly important event (and even a football game) is always available on the internet.

Blessed Mama to 4 and expecting one more!
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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When I travel to visit with someone, I expect to visit with them. I don't expect to watch TV. I hope that people have the same expectations when they come to see me. Whether my home was tv-free or not, I would be offended if I invited someone to my home and they acted as though I was less interesting than a television program. So, no, I don't think you did anything wrong and I think your guest needs to work on her manners!
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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Maybe tell them that you would like to spend time with them, not just sitting next to them ignoring each other. Give them a pile of books to read to your child, a cd to dance to with your child, etc.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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Wow. So why were they even visiting you? It sounds like there was plenty to do (esp. considering you have dvds and internet they could have used). I will never understand why people will go to visit someone and then want to just veg out in front of a tv all day. :
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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I was worried about this too, since we moved to another state away from our family we've had house guests 4 times in the last three months. No one has really seemed to mind or at least they didn't say anything. Well, the in-laws asked a couple times when were we geting the satellite/direct tv thing turned on because one came with the house.

we just keep busy, go places or play outside and talk a lot. I really hope no one minded but if they did oh well, they can watch tv all the time at home but seeing out of state relatives/friends only happens every so often.

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Old 04-02-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CashewMommy View Post
When I travel to visit with someone, I expect to visit with them. I don't expect to watch TV. I hope that people have the same expectations when they come to see me. Whether my home was tv-free or not, I would be offended if I invited someone to my home and they acted as though I was less interesting than a television program. So, no, I don't think you did anything wrong and I think your guest needs to work on her manners!
Ditto that! That said though, I have to admit that when my elderly (84 and 77) parents come to visit for an extended visit (a month or so) we do turn the cable on for them. But a peer? A friend or sibling? Someone young and vital? Or someone coming for the weekend? Nope.

One of my oldest, dearest friends is a HUGE TV addict. The television is on 24/7 at her house. She and her husband and two young daughters came to visit last May for 4 nights. It never even occurred to me that she might miss television. And you know what? She didn't! I don't think she even noticed that we didn't have TV (we do have a set -- it's so old it only can play VCR's; if we want to watch a DVD we watch on our computer screen, which is a super large widescreen).
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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Some of my family members are offended that they can't watch TV when they come for a DAY VISIT!!!! Occasionally my sister will stay and because we actually have a TV (though I wish we didn't), she can watch after dd's are sleeping. I think she is still offended though.

"Oh sure, just for you I'll completely change my parenting ideals in my own home"
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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it drives my 86 year old grandmother crazy. she is majorly addicted to cable news and watches it 24/7. she isn't able to get around very well and, in many ways, the tv is her lifeline. she actually doesn't wanna visit us for extended periods of time due to the tv issue.

fyi, we do have a tv for dvds, just no satellite or cable.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:39 AM
 
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Reminds me when my in laws came to vist for the first time. We had this little 9 inch t.v ( I am serious). I caught my FIL practically 3 inches away from it so he could watch a show.

If people are bored because there is no t.v. that is truly sad for them. HOnestly, when I go to another person's house and they have the t.v. on I find it rude. Here I am, a real live person, talk to me!

We have a t.v but only put on dvd's and even those I am trying to limit. My children are bright, very VEry imaginative, and sensitive and if the relatives are too busy complaining to notice this....so sad!

My kids do like their movies and such, but I do notice that they are "different" from other kids.
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Old 04-05-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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My in-laws definitely miss their TV when they visit. In fact, since we've moved it downstairs and it doesn't pick up any air channels anymore (we did this about 7 years ago), they have definitely shortened their stays. They used to stay the weekend and now, even though they are fully retired, we're lucky to have them here 24 hours (those really short visits are very hard on the kids).

We don't do anything to make it up for them, although we are usually quite busy when they are here. Once we did a yoga video with them - that was a hoot. Otherwise, it's sort of a "they have to deal with it" type situation just like we have to deal with the TV being on ALL THE TIME when we go and visit them.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:24 AM
 
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When my mom comes to visit (about a week at a time) she gets very irritated that we don't have a TV. That is how she falls asleep at night, watching TV. We do have internet, so that helps, but she gets kind of grouchy without her TV. Nothing I can do about it, though.

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Old 05-15-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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We are TV free. We do dvds sometimes. Gram bought us a portable dvd player for DS when we go on the 5 hour airplane ride to visit her. She benefits from that purchase at our house when she visits, she watches movies in her room at night on it!!

*Liz* : mountain mama to DS 12/04
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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I never expect to watch tv when I visit people. And we are not tv free. I don't get it, aren't you there to visit whoever lives there?
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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I think tv can be like an addiction, and there is a significant detox period for people. I've noticed that when my mom visits us. She gripes and moans, but by the end of the visit she is reading and playing games with the kids alot, and happy too
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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My parents watch a lot of television--they are real news junkies--but when they come to see us they always talk about how great it is that we don't have a tv.

They sometimes gripe and tease, but they actually love the level of interaction and conversation here.

We live overseas so when they and others come it is usually for 3 weeks or a month. Guest usually end up reading in the evenings after the kids go to bed or talking all evening, just like dh and I do.

My mother once said coming here is like going to a spa. Our 4dcs were all under 8 at the time! I can't really imagine what she meant--it is very noisy here--maybe that real children, real people, real coversation and real books were satisfying in a way television can never be.

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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I guess I'm feeling a little snarky today too, but I have guests who are addicted to cigarettes but that doesn't mean I let them smoke in my house. Just my .02 24/7 news broadcasts are equally toxic to my child, in my opinion.

My suggestion? Pat yourself on the back for making them take a break from the incessant demands that television puts on a person. Remind yourself that no one ever said "Hey, remember what a great time we had watching that Friends re run together?"

Christina, mama to 2 sweet girls

12.19.05

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Old 06-15-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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I was just thinking that I would never even notice if somebody didn't have a TV when I visited them... but when I have to go a week without Internet I do get a little antsy and start to wonder why my host refuses to join the 21st century. (I'd never actually voice that to my host, though!)

I guess everybody has their vices.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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I think people do start to get a little bored when they visit us without a TV, but they really seem to find other things to do instead. And it gets them out of the house to sightsee, go for walks, whatever. Sometimes, we will watch a DVD if everyone is in the mood for a movie, though.

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Old 06-18-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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We have a television (it is huge and dominates our living room ) but it is never on during the day when the kids are awake.

The other night my mom was over and she wanted to watch a sporting event that was on while we ate dinner. She turned on the tv and turned up the volume. DD and DS ran to the screen and were transfixed!! DH came to the rescue and said no television during supper. My mom said that I loved tv and commercials when I was little. She was visibly annoyed.

My mom has the tv on in her house 24/7. It serves as background noise while she works on her computer and listens to music! It's sensory overload.

After her visit DH and I discussed moving the television where it is in a less obvious location. That way there will not be any temptation to turn it on when visitors are over.
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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Remind yourself that no one ever said "Hey, remember what a great time we had watching that Friends re run together?"
That's not actually true: I have heard nearly that exact phrase come out of people's mouths. And when it is a communal, deliberate event, watching TV together can be fun, and create lasting fond memories. I just find that it DOESN'T, most of the time, and that other things in life are much more likely to.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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We have a television (it is huge and dominates our living room ) but it is never on during the day when the kids are awake.

The other night my mom was over and she wanted to watch a sporting event that was on while we ate dinner. She turned on the tv and turned up the volume. DD and DS ran to the screen and were transfixed!! DH came to the rescue and said no television during supper. My mom said that I loved tv and commercials when I was little. She was visibly annoyed.

My mom has the tv on in her house 24/7. It serves as background noise while she works on her computer and listens to music! It's sensory overload.

After her visit DH and I discussed moving the television where it is in a less obvious location. That way there will not be any temptation to turn it on when visitors are over.
hmm...are you a long lost sister
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:42 AM
 
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hmm...are you a long lost sister
I would love a long lost sister! Is your family the same as ours?
My mom is constantly challenging my parenting choices - it's a battle. On a positive note we went for dinner to her place this evening and she only had some background music on - no television!
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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I can't imagine being a guest at someone's house and watching TV, or the opposite, having guests over and watching TV. When we have company, we eat, talk, play cards, walk to the snowball stand, play board games...

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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