2 hours every few days... is it feasible? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 07-09-2008, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
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We just moved off grid and we didn't move our TV. We are a much better family for it. We are getting more done... I'm reading more. DD1 behaves so much better. We are however getting some heated reactions from grandparents. One comment was "Don't short change those girls." Before we moved and I was having a bit of a rough pregnancy DD1 watched far too much TV. Mostly PBS and some DVDs that I thought were okay. DH and I have a DVD collection and so does DD1. Would it be feasible to have TV time every few days or so for a few hours, or would this cause fights? If it causes fights.... TV is out, except at grandparents house. Then, would she resent us later for not having it? What about when she sees her friends that have it? Am I just wanting it to be too easy, or is this a principle to fight for?

Appalachian mountain woman, radical homemaker, homeschooler, childbirth educator, and doula loving her DH and three powerful little femmes. Deladis 8-4-05, Ivy 4-28-08, and Gweneth 7-21-12 HBA2C! hbac.gif  -  blogging.jpg ribboncesarean.gif

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#2 of 6 Old 07-10-2008, 07:49 AM
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We used to live very close to the grandparents. The kids watched quite a lot of TV when they were there. As a result, the kids watched basically no TV or DVDs at home. The sum total of the amount they got at the grandparents plus none at home worked out to a volume I could live with.

Now we live on the other side of the continent, and the kids do get a couple hours of TV a week at home. It's in the form of DVDs and recorded TV so we pick the time and the shows. It seems to be working out okay so far.

Our kids are still young, but when they get together with friends the last thing they want to do is watch TV. They're way more interested in playing with the other kids and checking out their toys. And the kids who have TV all the time aren't generally keen to watch more TV when they have the chance to play with other children who are visiting.

This TV situation hasn't lead to fights so far. The kids think of TV differently. It isn't something you languish in front of for hours, watching whatever comes on next. It isn't something that blares in the background all day long. You pick what you're going to watch, you watch it, and then you do something else. I find that a hard barrier when the show ends is useful. Before the show starts (or shows, we sometimes queue a couple) there is a plan in place for what they will do when it ends... eat supper, take a bath, walk to the grocery store with us, etc.

We fall off the TV wagon from time to time. I totally parked the kids in front of the one-eyed babysitter the day the movers were unloading the truck. However, since they aren't overloaded on it TV actually holds their attention for an extended period of time. I admit there are times when we totally capitalise on this.

I don't worry about the kids missing out on TV at this age. I don't have a lot of fond TV memories from my preschool years. I do have a soft spot for certain shows that were popular when I was school aged though, and admittedly, I learned a lot from TV through elementary and junior high school. I watched lots of PBS shows, documentaries, etc. I guess that's why I'm okay with a few hours of TV in the run of week.

It's important to me that we not become the TV police though, and I think that may get harder as the kids get older. My goal is that the kids just want to do other things most of the time. Part of that is making sure that they learn to fill their own time, and also have opportunities to do other things. Right now I can almost always think of something they would rather do than watch TV. It usually entails spending time with me or DH however, and I'm not sure that reading a story together or going to the park will work as an alternative when they're twelve.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#3 of 6 Old 07-10-2008, 12:00 PM
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I agree w/ Julie. We have a small amt. of tv for our 2 and 4 year old (at Grammy's house or a family movie from time to time) and it usually isn't a fight. Sometimes the day after a lot of tv (more than 1 movie or one hour - like if we've been at a family member's house where a lot of tv is on) I get a little bit of whinyness for "shows" but it subsides when we find something fun to do.

We had been tv-free for the kids and mostly tv free for ourselves (we like a few shows but mainly watch them online) then more and more kids tv crept in for a bit until we recently (6 mths ago) started phasing it back out. Lots of outdoor time/other fun activities are key in our house!:
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#4 of 6 Old 07-11-2008, 05:41 PM
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I wouldn't worry about her resenting your choice not to have TV (spoken by someone who grew up without one and yearned for the chance to see Happy Days, but has no TV as an adult). Face it, our kids are going to resent all sorts of things about the way they were raised, but so what? We're the ones doing the raising and they'll have a turn with their own kids.

As for whether you can have DVDs every now and then, I think it's reasonable. But I think what makes this work is to stick to a schedule. Certain days or times are the only times those DVDs come out. Otherwise, you will be pestered to death. We have recently introduced "movie night" in our house. The kids know that Sunday night is when they watch a movie. Never any other time. So it isn't an issue. But if you don't have a routine, I can see it becoming a slippery slope and a very tempting way to get some quiet time for yourself. (It would be for me, anyway.)

My oldest is 8, and honestly, his life revolves around so many other things - running around, playing with friends, making bow-and-arrows, that lack of TV is really not an issue. And I can't see it becoming one as he gets older, either. I didn't bond with friends over TV.
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#5 of 6 Old 07-12-2008, 12:14 PM
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I think its reasonable to have a couple hours a week of commercial free. We don't have a box but do have a family "movie" night once a week..sometimes. Yesterday actual, the whole fam went to movies in the park and we all sat outside and watched Nacho Libre on the big screen. So much fun! Every once in a while we will borrow a movie from the library and watch it on the computer. Or if we are feeling really film happy, we may go to the theater.

Next week, we are visiting the Grandparents for the weekend (they live with the TV on 24/7) and know that there will be a point in the weekend that they will be watching it (we try to keep it off even there but its their house ). So, we will not be having a family movie night this week or probably for the next couple weeks.
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#6 of 6 Old 07-15-2008, 02:08 AM
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