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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I unplugged the TV.<br><br>
When I read Plug-in Drug, it didn't make much of an impact on me because the tone of the book sounded a bit like hysterics. But last night I started reading Endangered Minds. There is a part where it talks about experiements with rats, where some rats are kept in cages that are not stimulating at all, and some are kept in cages with lots of toys and things to explore. The rats in the rich environments actually grow bigger brains, with more support cells and more branching - more physical pathways in their brains that make connections. When a child learns something, there is an actual physical connection made in their brain. Also there is a part where they explain that parts of our brain are set aside for making pathways at certain times and if those connections are not made during that time window, the opportunity to map that area of the brain is lost. That is why kids who have a hearing loss when they are very young and have the hearing loss corrected later never achieve perfect speech - they missed the window to make certain connections in their brain at a critical age, and the opportunity to map those particular areas never comes again.<br><br>
I have been depending on TV to keep our 3-yo DS out of my hair while I prepare food or take care of his little brother who is 10 months old. I don't think all TV is horrible. But I think it became way too easy for me to depend on it way too much. And Evan was really hooked on certain shows, to the point that they were becoming a big part of his day. Now I feel awful, not about what he was watching, or what he was learning from it (and he has been learning things from it), but about the opportunity he's been missing to make better connections from real play and real experiences.<br><br>
So this morning I unplugged it before he got up, and when he came downstairs, I told him it's not working. I know this is dishonest, and I'll have to come up with something else to tell him tomorrow. But this is buying us one TV-free day that he is accepting without tantrums so far.<br><br>
Linda B.
 

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Congratulations! I'd type more, but I'm supposed to be cleaning <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Congrats on unpluggin the TV. We got rid of our TV 3+ years ago. We keep up with the news by Internet, and watch DVDs on a big computer screen (well, big for us). It's actually cheaper to get netflix or buy dvd series/movies than to pay for cable (and even to go out, if you count babysitter, parking, etc.), and we love movies. So DH and I watch things we like after DS has gone to bed, and occasionally (when DS has been sick), I've sat with him and watched Wallace & Gromit or something along those lines. He's not very into TV at all, even when we see them in other places.<br><br>
It's hard at first, but I have to tell you, the benefits for all of us have been great. DS is totally into his books (aside from his other toys), and I think in part that's because he's not distracted by a TV (and neither is my DH- another bonus).
 

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Congratulations! We got rid of our TV at the end of November 2004. The book I read that made an impact on me was Set Free Childhood by Martin Large. Well, the first time I read it I only felt slightly motivated, but the second time I decided to just go for it. I think its easy when they are younger. My kids were 4, 2 and 10 months at the time. I'd always wanted to be TV free. I remember reading years ago a study that showed that babies in a home with constant noise from the TV found it difficult to understand when they were being spoken to, and some didn't even respond to their own names at 8 months (or was it 10 months?) of age.<br><br>
I found it REALLY hard at first. The silence was terrible! I was used to the constant back ground noise of the TV. And the day felt like 100 hours long! I decided to move the TV upstairs into our bed room. In the living room it had been the focal point, inviting you to watch it. I totally changed the room around, made a small craft table where it had been with book boxes underneath. The TV wasn't able to be put on upstairs at first, as we didn't have the right cables. I started listening to the radio in the evenings. There were some really interesting things on. I feel like I learned a lot. Eventually we sold the TV and got a smaller one which we have in our bed room. I watch it when the kids are in bed. I do feel like it is a waste of my time. I would like to get rid of it, but my dp says no - even though he rarely watches it himself.<br><br>
I have however, in the last few months, been allowing my children to watch a DVD on the laptop downstairs. Bad move..... My TV-free baby has become a complete zombie. I can't even go on the laptop to check emails without him bombarding me with DVDs and demanding to watch something. I have to admit, it is nice to be able to go into the kitchen to cook without a whole procession of children wanting to "help". But the effect it has had on their behaviour isn't worth it. So, tomorrow the laptop will be staying upstairs and there will be NO DVDs on. I will know better next time.<br><br>
Good luck with your quest to be TV free!
 

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I'm in the middle of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Endangered Minds</span> and it is a great read for parents and educators! My kids have VERY limited time but I do want the TV around. I think it's very important that they learn that it's there but it is nothing to abuse. We always knew the kid who wasn't allowed to play video games and then came over to your house and went wild. My children tend to like their bikes, books, the park, etc. but I have definitely tried to make the TV a worst case scenario thing (sick, they're bugging me while cooking, etc).
 

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Congratulations...you won't regret it!! DS is almost 2.5 and TV free, and it has been awesome. We don't do DVDs unless he's asleep.<br><br>
I really liked both the Plug in Drug and Endangered Minds. Another book you might like if you haven't read it already is Consuming Kids, which is not just about TV but about marketing to kids in general (which has a lot to do with TV) Very enlightening as well.<br><br>
Enjoy your TV-freeness <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><br><br>
You won't regret it (except maybe when absolutely everyone in the household comes down with the flu at the same time.)<br><br>
I haven't read Endangered Minds, but will look at my library. I am currently reading Born to Buy and it has me seething with regard to marketing aimed at very young children. It's definately bolstered my resolve.
 

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Congrats. I've been trying to do this for a while. I finally convinced DH to get rid of cable, which has helped alot since we only get PBS now. He is whining that he misses HBO and FuelTV and wants cable back. We're currently remodeling a house where the only TV will be in the basement so I think we'll get cable down there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"> but still not let DS watch except for an occasional video when he is sick. I'd rather just chuck the whole idiot box into the trash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, DH plugged it back in to watch some of the Tour de France when he got home, and Evan watched a few minutes of Robots before bed. But I was happy with him not watching any kid shows all day. We are doing it again today. He has provided his own reason for why it won't turn on - the batteries must have run down, so it needs to be charged, just like the laptop does. He seems happy with that idea so I'm not messing with it.<br><br>
Yesterday we were home for about two hours after he got up in the morning before we went out for the day. During that two hours, when he normally would have asked for one show after another, instead, he played with his trains, played catch with me, spent some time at starfall.com, marked on the side of a bookcase with a ballpoint pen, and stood at the kitchen sink and washed some plastic dishes. IMO, all much richer experiences than watching Caillou !<br><br>
Today we have played more catch, he's done more starfall.com, he has played in the backyard with a spray bottle, and washed more dishes, played with his Fridge Phonics toy, and now he is playing his xylophone with part of the vaccum cleaner ! And we've been talking more now that the TV is not in competition with conversation.<br><br>
Linda B.
 

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Good for you!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
I think that is so awesome!<br>
I've had to resort to unplugging the TV on numerous occasions. DS (4 yrs) knows what I'm doing, but he can't plug it back in because the plug is behind the bookshelf.<br>
It's too easy to lose track of how long it's been on <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup"> for going tv-free! I hate the thing, and we don't allow DS to be exposed to it at all. The extended family thinks we're nuts (or, more appropriately, they thing *I'm * nuts!) as they subscribe to the "tv is good for children" mindset. DH's grandmother bought DS a Baby Einstein DVD a few months ago; I hid it behind the entertainment center, hee hee. I watch almost no tv - I check the weather forecast in the morning- and I've managed to cut down DH's tv time by a lot. He used to be able to sit in front of the darn thing for hours on end, watching the same violent B-movies, ones so bad that even he agreed they were awful. Now he only watches it while I'm on MDC late at night!<br><br>
I don't think we'll ever actually get rid of the tv, but I hope to at least get it out of our living room soon. I'm jotting down the names of the books some pps mentioned - thanks!
 
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