Mothering Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have any of you done it? My three year old has gotten into the habit of watching too much TV, I'm embarassed to admit. DH and I talked about it the other day, and both agreed - the TV has to go. It wouldn't affect us. The only program we watch is Lost, and I'm sure we could find somewhere to download it (I beleive that the station's website offers downloads, but unfortunatly it doesn't seem to work in Canada...even still, there must be somewhere!)

I almost took the TV out last night, but DH made me hesitate. "What will they do during the day?" he asked. "We need to have something ready for them to play with, instead. Something interactive." My first thought was - he's right. My second thought was - wait a second....the TV is SO NOT interactive. So wouldn't their regular toys be a good enough distraction while they go through the withdrawl process?


Even still, I thought I'd humor him and come here to see if anybody has any tips or tricks on weaning a child from the TV. Any good toys or activities to replace the big grey picture box? :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
We watch maybe once a month (DVD only) so I hope that I'm qualified to answer
. When we stopped, my DDs became much more involved with helping me cook and clean. DD2, who is now 5, has been cutting vegetables with a butter knife since she was about 18 months old. She also likes to sweep with a small broom, wipe with sponges, dust, sort silverware etc... They also play games, play house/fairy princess, do art projects, play outside, dance, make up stories, read etc etc... We don't even think about TV. We never watched a ton of TV...but life is certainly much richer without it.

Good luck! You can do it!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,051 Posts
We haven't gotten rid of ours, although I would like to (dh watches it and likes to use it as a babysitter). But I did want to say that we really limit it... 20mins in the am and 20-30 mins at night. Still, the want is there, so I really think that getting rid of it alltogether is best.

there have been times when we have decided that tv was makind ds too grumpy, so we said no tv for a week, or a few days. The first morning on those instances illicited a good fuss/tantrum, but afterwards it was bliss! Like the above poster said... life was much richer and ds was much more involved in helping me and he would read books, etc. Much nicer and more peaceful.

I say go for it!!!!!!

cheers,
lilgreen
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,789 Posts
I think cold turkey is the easiest.

That way there is no discussion about "how about just 10 minutes" or anything like that.

After a couple weeks (the complaining was gone, etc...) we reintroduced "Family Movie Night." Saturdays we watch a movie togther and have pizza. (And over the summer we were playing some x-box too which we have NOT cut back enough
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,327 Posts
I've recently nixed TV watching after 9am. Ours wasn't on all day by any means, but it was on for increasing amounts of times (DVDs and Video's only after 9am). And then I was turning it on at 5.30pm to watch a soap and it was staying on for the rest of the evening. So now, it stays off until the kids are in bed and often doesn't get turned on till 8.30pm most nights, and only really for DH to watch - I'm usually on the internet as my choice of entertainment anyhow. Fortunately we don't have cable TV, and the children's programs finish around 9am, so it was easy enough to work around. I also will turn it off during that morning slot when the kids go off to play elsewhere and it often remains off unless DS decides to turn it back on to finish watching whatever was on.

I find the kids are playing/talking way differently without it there as a distraction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,191 Posts
We are tv free! My suggestions are:

1.) Accept the reality of withdrawl. It is real! Understand that there very likely will be a period of adjustment. There may be whining or kids lumping around, not sure what to do. But they will soon move on and before you know it, they will find things for themselves. I think it is important to remember that we can help them "get over the hump" but that we are not "entertainers". Part of the whole point is that they discover their own joy
. And they will before you know it!

2.) Schedule. I don't mean a dictatorial drilling of the day, but a plan... At the beginning, it DOES help to have some activities planned. Think about the flow of your day and work with that. Try to think of some places to go and things to do that you can accomplish during times when you would normally turn the tv on. Our first few months, I went on many walks...


3.) Bag of tricks. Crayons. Play-doh. Whatever. It can help in a pinch.

4.) Involve kids in household chores. Folding laundry? Have them "help". The same goes for other things that normally we "just want to get done", so we turn on the TV. But really, these can be great learning and bonding experiences. I mean, kids can learn SO MUCH from helping cook or they can have a great time washing dishes. Sure, it's messier and takes longer, but the menial parts of our day suddenly become ways of teaching, counting, or just laughing and being silly.

5.) Put toys in family areas. Don't leave the toys in the bedroom or playroom. Get a nice basket and keep some in places where you spend your time and they can play wherever you are. Then, you can go about your business and still talk and interact with the kiddos.

6.) COLD TURKEY. Really. It is the best way to go. Its so easy to go from "Well, I have to take this phone call- just this one show..." to "OK, just this once AGAIN..." to "What happened?" If you want to keep the actual set, put it in the basement or the garage. Turn off the cable. Put the DVD player in a box. If you and DH want an occasional "movie night", you'll have to work for it, but it really helps in resisting the "Just for a few minutes..." stuff.

Good for you for axing the TV! My husband and I both agree it was the most powerful and best decision we ever made. You won't regret it. And its great you both are in agreement. That helps a lot. I suggest researching TV and kids as well. It helps to know that there are very real benefits from doing this and that can help you (adults) get through some of the rough(er) patches.

And there is a TV-free tribe here at MDC! http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=198764
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,865 Posts
We did it. Well, we put the TV and DVD player in the closet, and it hasn't been out since, but we do sometimes watch movies on the laptop (it's fun... we all curl up together and DH has it on his lap).

I would make sure there's stuff to do around for the "withdrawal time." Those craft kits are great, although better for girls, you know the ones like "paint a lamp" or "bracelet making kit." Also, and I'm sure this has occured to you, but... books?

I liked the idea of having the kids help with cooking more. Maybe the week you get rid of the TV you could let them pick out what to make for dinner from a cookbook and help prepare it.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top