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I'm debating getting rid of the TV but my main concern is that if at some point we reintroduce the TV that it will have grown to this big huge exciting thing that the kids (only have one at moment but planning more) will become obsessed with - you know, like the forbidden fruit they are finally allowed to have?? Last spring we let Alex have complete freedom with TV (well, a couple of DVDs) and after a couple of weeks of massive TV watching (and me freaking out!) he started to self-regulate - it was sooooooo fantastic! He'd watch 20-30 minutes and be done with it, or on many days none at all. No power struggle, no issues at all. But then I was having a bad bad day and turned on children's TV for him and it's all gone downhill from there. Bad me. We got rid of cable a couple of months ago and have been letting him watch as he pleases like we did before, waiting, praying that he'll self-regulate again but no luck! (Well i guess he is self-regulating but for his self it's way more TV than I'm happy with!) Anyhow, in my ideal world we'd go back to him deciding he doesn't want to watch anymore than 20-30 minutes - I'm not anti-TV, but anti-commercialism and anti-havingtheTVtakeoverourlives. Imposing my own limit - 30 minutes a day, tops - would really just create far too many power struggles. But I'm just worried about it becoming the forbidden fruit and him going crazy with it one day if we reintroduce it. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about what might happen one day if we do x or y, and just do what feels right right now?

OK I think I just made up my mind!
But I'm interested to hear all your opinions and own experiences! Especially if you did reintroduce the TV at a later age with your kids and how that went.

Cheers!
 

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If the commercialism is a problem for you, I'd recommend limiting the watching to no TV with commercials. This is basically what we do with our kids, and I feel better with them not being constantly advertised to.

I don't have an official limit on how much TV our kids can watch, but they aren't allowed to watch it every day, or for days in a row. Generally speaking, we don't use the TV on weekdays unless ds is watching something homeschool related or playing a video game with dh after work.
 

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when my son was young I didnt regulate tv, but I hate tv and so didnt have cable, therefore he watched PBS and therefore had limited advertising. now and for the last few years, we dont watch it at all. it sits there collecting dust until someone wants to use the xbox.

when my baby's born I dont intend to change anything. I am not worried about the whole obsession later on or anything. we're def homeschooling too though so that kinda leaves out other influences as far as "what do you MEAN you dont watch cartoon network?!!"
 

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We don't have cable (on purpose), and so can really only get PBS. We do like DVDs/videos, and so we have a subscription to Netflix, with one of the three DVDs earmarked for ds#1. We also sometimes (but not every trip) choose movies/tv shows from the library.

I find that it's easier to regulate things this way. I've always monitored how much my kids watch, and what they watch to a certain degree, but really my control lies in establishing good habits. They're the ones to turn off the tv when they're finished watching something, and they never watch something just to be watching. I've seldom actually told them not to watch, but rather have redirected them to something else if I've felt things were getting out of hand.

Instead of getting rid of the tv, I would recommend taking a few days (or however long it takes you to get back to where you are comfortable) and do lots of other things instead. On these days, purposely add a few extra fun activities (if they can be done outside or at the library or museum, or wherever, all the better). Instead of saying "no tv" pretend like it doesn't exist. Turn on the radio or CD player and dance and sing; paint more or do whatever activity your child loves that sometimes gets neglected (I'm sure that we all have one or two of these). Take a drive and listen to books on tape, or just sing silly songs.

For us, we love movies too much to ditch the tv, but don't want to spend our lives in front of it or allow our kiddos to soak in a bunch of commercials and substandard programming. It's a tool like anything else, I guess.

GL!
 

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I don't see why TV would become a forbidden fruit if you just don't have one. We don't have a tv, a swimming pool, a trampoline, a bath full of pudding, okay, getting silly here, but there are a lot of things we don't have. They're not forbidden fruit. We just don't have them in our family.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RubyWild View Post
I don't see why TV would become a forbidden fruit if you just don't have one. We don't have a tv, a swimming pool, a trampoline, a bath full of pudding, okay, getting silly here, but there are a lot of things we don't have. They're not forbidden fruit. We just don't have them in our family.
Man, now I want a bathtub full of pudding. I didn't know I wanted it, but I feel ripped off somehow now!

I agree about the forbidden fruit. We didn't own a TV until our son was 9 and then got one for playing DVDs. At that time it has come on when he's awake maybe once a month. He didn't go crazy when he first saw it or beg for it more. It is just a very occasional thing. What is interesting because he didn't have it for so many years is that it would never occur to him as the thing you do when you are sick or bored. It just isn't an option that he thinks of because it hasn't ever been a basic, daily activity here.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Man, now I want a bathtub full of pudding. I didn't know I wanted it, but I feel ripped off somehow now!
OK OK, point taken! I guess it's just that TV is everywhere, and most people have one, whereas how many people have bathtubs of pudding?!


Oooooooooooooooh, I don't know what to do. I'm so indecisive! But thanks for all your input!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by beckington View Post
I'm debating getting rid of the TV but my main concern is that if at some point we reintroduce the TV that it will have grown to this big huge exciting thing that the kids (only have one at moment but planning more) will become obsessed with - you know, like the forbidden fruit they are finally allowed to have?? Last spring we let Alex have complete freedom with TV (well, a couple of DVDs) and after a couple of weeks of massive TV watching (and me freaking out!) he started to self-regulate - it was sooooooo fantastic! He'd watch 20-30 minutes and be done with it, or on many days none at all. No power struggle, no issues at all. But then I was having a bad bad day and turned on children's TV for him and it's all gone downhill from there. Bad me. We got rid of cable a couple of months ago and have been letting him watch as he pleases like we did before, waiting, praying that he'll self-regulate again but no luck! (Well i guess he is self-regulating but for his self it's way more TV than I'm happy with!) Anyhow, in my ideal world we'd go back to him deciding he doesn't want to watch anymore than 20-30 minutes - I'm not anti-TV, but anti-commercialism and anti-havingtheTVtakeoverourlives. Imposing my own limit - 30 minutes a day, tops - would really just create far too many power struggles. But I'm just worried about it becoming the forbidden fruit and him going crazy with it one day if we reintroduce it. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about what might happen one day if we do x or y, and just do what feels right right now?

OK I think I just made up my mind!
But I'm interested to hear all your opinions and own experiences! Especially if you did reintroduce the TV at a later age with your kids and how that went.

Cheers!

Listen, I think there's self-regulation with television like there's self-regulation with heroin, KWIM? It is deliberately, designedly addictive and gets more so the more you watch it, so no, I don't believe children can self-regulate. Heck, I don't think many adults can self-regulate either. Like smoking and drinking and heroin, I think TV is best when you quit it cold turkey with no "thirty minutes of..." or "just one drink/ciggie/spike."

For us, we never, NEVER let DD watch any television designed for children. No Dora, no Disney, no Sesame Street, no nothin'. (She got to watch all the filmed versions of Shakespeare plays she wanted, though.
) When they were done, the television was turned off and didn't regularly come on again, so it never became associated with a habit.

For us, it's no big deal and television is NOT a big "forbidden fruit." It's kind've like she doesn't care about it too much even when she goes places (child care at my gym) where it's on. I think if you never really start the habit, it's easier to deal with it not being so tempting later.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RubyWild View Post
I don't see why TV would become a forbidden fruit if you just don't have one. We don't have a tv, a swimming pool, a trampoline, a bath full of pudding, okay, getting silly here, but there are a lot of things we don't have. They're not forbidden fruit. We just don't have them in our family.
I want a bathtub full of pudding, please.

Chocolate.
:
 

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We didn't have a TV in our house growing up until I was in high school.

It was never a real "forbidden fruit" with me, probably for two reasons. The first (which was in my parents' control) was that I was allowed to watch TV at my grandparents' house, and we went there fairly regularly, so I could watch now and then. The second (which had nothing to do with my parents) was that I was a total bookworm so I didn't need TV to entertain me.

When we finally got the TV I wasn't very interested in it. In fact, I was pretty sure that most of the stuff on was crap, except for maybe the Simpsons. I liked being able to rent movies, though.

I never really watched much TV until post-college, and even since then I've never followed more than a couple of shows at a time. I could easily go for a week without even thinking to turn the thing on.
 

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Based on my personal experience, the only kids I know who are really obsessed with TV are the kids who are allowed to have it on CONSTANTLY. They freak out if I ask them to turn it off while we're playing, and they're not even watching it! They act like addicts and they certainly can't self regulate their viewing. The kids I know like this are 4yo, 6yo, 14yo and 20yo :p

I had very limited TV viewing till I was about 10, but my little brother has had more access & he's never really learned to "self-regulate". He'd still stay up all night watching TV if our mother didn't remind him to go to bed (has happened a few times!).

For me personally there's no "forbidden fruit" factor - as an adult I can now watch TV whenever I want in theory. In practice my household owns a TV but it's not plugged to an aerial! So we can't actually get channels. We just use it for DVDs.
All five of us had very limited or no TV viewing till we moved out.

FTR I'm now studying to work in TV as a news and current affairs editor :p
 

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I totally want a tub for of pudding now. Why didn't my parents ever get one of those?

If this is something you really want to do, then just unplug the tv. If you don't want to toss it right away unplug it and move it into a cloet or cover it up. See what happens and take your next step from there.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Listen, I think there's self-regulation with television like there's self-regulation with heroin, KWIM?
I gotta agree.

Also, consider this: it's in the earlier years that TV is likely to do more harm to the child's development. Now is the time when you really want to limit it. If your kids get to be 15 and you get a TV and they binge on it, at least you know that they spent their growing years engaged in more productive and developmentally appropriate ways.

I also think that we set a powerful example in what we ourselves choose to do. I don't have a TV. That is going to tell my daughter something about what I think is important. The first thing she might do when she's old enough is move out and get a TV and watch it for 20 hours a day, just for the thrill of rebelling against me, but that won't last. In the long run, the example we set is a powerful one, so long as our general relationship with our children is a positive one. I have to stand for something, as a parent.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
For us, we never, NEVER let DD watch any television designed for children. No Dora, no Disney, no Sesame Street, no nothin'. (She got to watch all the filmed versions of Shakespeare plays she wanted, though.
)
This is a really interesting idea. I've tried to get my daughter to watch some programs on ocean animals, etc., but she always prefers a cartoon.
:

We do not have cable service - we have a TV, but we never turn it on.

We DO have a DVD player and let the girls watch some movies/shows. We have Netflix. They can only watch movies on "movie days" - which are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays - and only for an hour or so each day.

My younger one will watch a little Caillou, but that's it. She can't sit still for long.

The older one has seen The Aristocats, Caillou, Angelina Ballerina, Totoro, Winnie the Pooh, some Baby Einstein stuff, Kipper, Madeline, and a few others.

Recently, she asked for a "My Little Pony" movie from Netflix. It was so mind-numbing!!! I won't be getting that again.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joannarachel
Caillou makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.

And now I'd really like a bathtub full of pudding, please.
can I have choc. too


I'm glad my dd is over the Caillou stage.

Anyways, I think I sometimes overindulge in tv. But even more so w/the 'puter. My dd will somedays want to watch and then other days forget it is there. I don't have any limits, but we do have so many things to do, especially w/school back in, we don't have alot of time to watch. I also try to find different things for her to do on the weekends. She is almost finished her Saturday art class as the local museum and that was very interesting as well as something she really enjoyed.
 

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I was raised TV-Free and am doing the same with my children. I've seen it at friends houses or in the stores and still don't understand why anyone would waste their time watching it. Living life is a lot more exciting/entertaining.
 

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When I was a kid our family rented a television for the Democratic National Convention and for the Olympics. There were a few other times here and there where we had one, and when I was in hs they eventually got one to keep.

I agree withe the pp who said kids self-regulate TV like people self-regulate heroin. Whether or not you have one, it will seem appealing, so I wouldn't not have one now because you don't want them to lust after TV later. Most likely they will either way.


I do think I grew up being less of a TV watcher than many people. I always think it is strange when I go to someone's house and they have the TV on while I'm visiting (you know how some people just have it always on in the background). I think, am I that boring???


We do have a TV. Until DS was 2 we never let him watch it. Then I had another baby and I admit since then I have used it as a crutch when I need him to be occupied while I get something done/attend to his little sister. Like a lot of pp, we don't have cable and he watches DVDs and what's on PBS.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Listen, I think there's self-regulation with television like there's self-regulation with heroin, KWIM? It is deliberately, designedly addictive and gets more so the more you watch it, so no, I don't believe children can self-regulate.
No, actually I don't know what you mean. I would liken TV perhaps more to alcohol than heroin. Like drinking, some people can easily regulate television viewing and others can not.

My children self-regulate television and have for a long long long time. Right this minute the girls are making birthday cards for their grandmother. There is a T.V. right in the room, that they could turn on if they so chose, but it does not occur to them to do so.

When they were younger they certainly watched more than they do now. but after an hour or so, even on a cold Sunday morning, they would simply move on to other things.

Right now, they simply don't watch T.V. during the week at all, unless they are home sick. There is just too much else that they want to do when they have free time, they make up dance routines, read their fun magazines (American Girl, Archie Comics, Discovery Girls), paint each others nails.

On Saturday nights when left alone (my oldest is 13) they certainly do watch some favorites like Drake and Josh or Hannah Montana and the oldest ones watchs Simpsons or Gray's Anatomy episodes after her sisters have gone to bed (we have TIVO). But they are in no sense addicted and I know that many, many of their friends are the same way.
 

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To be honest, we've never felt tv to be all that big a deal. I know a lot of people on MDC are very against it, but we've always been big tv people. It's basically on all the time when we're awake. I get bored very easily. I allow DS to watch Doodlebops or Elmo or something when I'm cooking or need a break. I'm very careful with what he watches. He can only watch stuff with lots of music, so that he gets up and dances instead of just sitting there, no violence, and no name-calling (which I see in a surprising amount of children's programming).
 
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