Time to make some changes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-09-2008, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
Hi everyone,

I am about to take some steps to reduce TV viewing in my house. If it were up to me I'd chuck the thing out entirely but DH will have none of that. TV is what he does to unwind - he doesn't read, do hobbies etc. We don't have cable (never have) but we do get a fair number of channels through our rabbit ears. We also got one of those digital converters so now we even get a few bonus channels, like PBS kids. To make a long story short(er) last night I actually started yelling at the kids to turn off the TV and come to dinner - my kids never turn down an opportunity to eat!

I'm not sure how to do it. I don't want it to turn into a battle, I'd rather them decide not to watch TV but honestly I'm not sure how to lure them away from it. Today will be the big test as I try a few things. Anything you can suggest that has worked will be appreciated. Oh, my kids are 8 and 5 (yeah my 8 year old will sit and watch shows meant for toddlers rather than turn of the tube and do something)
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#2 of 8 Old 09-09-2008, 08:38 AM
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I'm working on this too w/ my 2 yo's because I've let tv watching go way too far. So far I've just tried to keep them out of the house as much as possible when the weather's nice. And I've found it's easier for them if I am there to play with them rather than them playing and me doing dishes/laundry/stuff for myself...they don't seem to get bored as quickly. I won't lie, there's been times when I've just said "No TV right now" and tantrums have ensued. But I've made sure I've either prepared an activity or I'm prepared to ignore the tantrum before I say it so I can stick to it. I know it's probably more difficult with older kids and I don't have experience there yet!
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#3 of 8 Old 09-09-2008, 11:59 PM
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Honestly, in my experience, it is just one of those situations where you have to put your foot down. I did that with cable and we got rid of it and now I'm doing it with DVDs.

My kids watch and watch and act like little zombies and don't want to eat or do anything that isn't on the tv.

I say give yourself a day to try it out. No tv for the kids and then go from there. Baby steps mama.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#4 of 8 Old 09-12-2008, 08:22 PM
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I think it's fine to just impose some limits. It would be great for them to just decide not to watch it on their own, but it's a habit now, right? Most people don't just spontaneously change their habits, at least not without something new to put in its place. Maybe think of activities they can do targeted specifically to the times they usually go for the tube?
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#5 of 8 Old 09-18-2008, 11:16 PM
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My husband went away to a military school on the fourth, and the tv hasn't been on since, (except once, for a Babar video that turned out to be too scary). I don't even WANT to know how much tv she watched during the past three years while I was working, but I'm making up for it now! It is so peaceful around here, and my daughter is so creative. It just doesn't make sense to plop her in front of the tube!
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#6 of 8 Old 09-18-2008, 11:23 PM
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I think it would be useful to plan some other activities so there is something to do instead of watch TV. So maybe plan a trip to the park after dinner or a family walk, or doing a read-aloud book to them. Otherwise you could get out legos or some toys to play with, card games, etc.

Good luck! I have been thinking about reducing TV but I also need to reduce my computer time so I'm more available to the kids.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-19-2008, 08:36 AM
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My children are given limits. Three 30 min programs (one each). This means they have to figure out what each one wants to see. Some days they do not even watch TV. I have not turned it on in a few days.

Setting limits and choosing to watch it are a good place to start. I also only allow 10-15 mins on the computer at a time.

Best wishes!

Jen, mama to  (M-13, N- 10, C- 8
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#8 of 8 Old 09-19-2008, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
Quick update!

We haven't cut it out entirely but I have noticed how much more peaceful things are when the dang thing is off. The kids are more interested in doing things, they are easier to get up and out and we all seem to have so much more fun together. our energy levels are better and everything seems more vibrant and interesting. I have been trying to do more fun stuff with the kids to make it a non-issue and we are all feeling the benefits of that.

My dh went out of town for a few days and I don't think the box was on the entire time, yippee. The only reason I'd want a bigger house it to have a room where I can stash the thing away from our main living area.

Thanks for all the suggestions and support.
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