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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi...looking for some perspective.<br>
We have made some major life overhauls recently. Project after project, LOL...so what I am grappeling with NOW is the TV. I wanna go TV free. Looking for some BTDT from TV free mamas. How was it? Easy, hard? Are you happy with your decision? Advice on how to go about it...cold turkey or did you wean off? I want to keep the TV but only use it for DVD's. (And DH's games... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) What was your motivation? Commercialism? The crap on TV? Something else? For me, I really just want to simplify our lives. By alot.<br><br>
Opinions/thoughts? TIA!
 

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We went back to being TV free at home when we moved from Hawaii back to Texas. We didn't have a TV for the two or so months we were without our household goods, and we just never got cable for the TV when we did get it (it doesn't have an antenna because we had cable in Hawaii; I have no clue if it gets in local channels or not). It has never been a big priority of ours, watching TV. I fell into the habit of keeping it on for background noise in Hawaii because I couldn't get good reception for any of the radio stations I actually wanted to listen to. My four-year-old started parroting TV commercials, and it irritates the living crap out of me. She still does it for radio commercials, but I do what I can. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
(They do watch TV at their babysitter's, my cousin's. I'm not too fond of the idea, but she has four kids and I cannot dictate how she raises them. I'm content for now with keeping them mostly TV free.)<br><br>
ETA: I forgot to say--My daughters don't really seem to care. But they were never huge TV watchers before (probably a result of me keeping it on FoxNews most of the day). They're all about the toys. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I never had TV. We do occasionally watch movies, but no TV, no radio.....guess I censor a lot of media when it comes to my family.<br><br>
I like be TV-free, as it means we actually get out into the world and interact in a healthy way.<br><br>
Example-ever watch a really action packed movie at the theater and leave feeling like you are pumped up on adrenaline?<br><br>
The few times I stayed with friends who constantly watched TV, I felt like I was always on edge or something and I didn't like that feeling.<br><br>
I like feeling grounded and like I can have an actual human to human connection that has nothing to do with media and everything to do with just being social beings, kwim?<br><br>
I, also, feel like I am free of media enforced stereotypes. Not quite sure how to explain that.<br><br>
Like, I have no problem accepting an invitation to attend church or ceremony from a friend.<br><br>
I have no problem accepting an invitation to attend a cultural event that is outside of my own culture.<br><br>
I feel like I am more open to creating real relationships with other human beings.<br><br>
I have NEVER told someone I could not attend their B-day party or whatever, because my show was on at that time. I think that is the worst, that a TV show would be more important than spending time interacting with each other.
 

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Our TV-free situation is a bit different. We moved to Turkiye and lived with my MIL for 6 months. There's not a whole lot of choice in TV programming at MIL's house--Turkish game show, Turkish soap opera, Turkish news, repeat ad nauseum. DD (13 now) was watching all this absolute junk and even though she didn't understand the language, knew it was junk! Then she got to the point that she could sing along with the theme songs and commercials. Ugh!<br><br>
When we finally moved into our house 6 months later, we discovered that our American TV is incompatible with the cable system here. Oh well. No TV for us! We have the DVD and VCR hooked up in the living room and we'll watch an occasional movie, but that's it. DD has always been an avid reader and this has only fueled her to read more. Now that she has a computer in her room, she spends a lot of time online looking stuff up (loves Wikipedia!) and participating in online story-making forums for pre-teens/teens. DD does watch TV when she goes to her friends' homes and sometimes will watch with the neighbors, but it doesn't rule her life (or ours) anymore.<br><br>
It probably would've been harder for us to give up TV if we were still in the US. Now it's one of our guilty little pleasures that we indulge in on vacation when we're there. I'm a committed Law & Order junkie and that's one of the best parts of vacation for me. It's a treat, just like everything is when you're on vacation.<br><br>
I have to say that I'm thrilled with the whole TV-free thing. DD's attitude has changed immensely in the last year without TV and with her movie viewing restricted. I wish that I'd had the courage to do it years ago. The only drawback for us (and certainly doesn't apply to the vast majority of families) is that my language assimilation is nearly non-existent. TV may help with that, but I think I'll take a language course instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the thoughtful replies! Sagesgirl - I TOTALLY KWYM when you talk about the parroting, LOL, my oldest son (8) is ALWAYS acting commercials out, more so than shows, UGGH! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I tend to think we're all too wrapped up in what's on. I am totally addicted to soaps myself. Sometimes I care more about their world than mine! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Not really a good way to live. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Talked to DH about it last night & we have told the kids we will be going TV free the end of Feb. (We decided just pulling the plug with no warning & time to adjust was unfair.) For now we are keeping the TV & DVD's. I am hoping what will happen is that they get bored with watching the same things & just stop watching, LOL! Me, I'm happy sans TV, period. But DH will not go that far. He likes his video games. *sigh* Well...this is victory enough for me, for now! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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Thanks so much for this topic! I'd love to go TV free and am gathering ammo to talk to DH about it. We have one of those huge TV's that's as tall as I am and I think we keep it on way too much!<br>
Getting inspiration...thanks!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bow.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bow"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes right-handed">:
 

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DH and I basically went tv-free when we moved in here. We'd been living at my mom's for a couple of years, and the tv was in the den. We had ours hooked up in the bedroom, but we've never been people who watch tv in bed, so it was almost never on. Mom and my stepdad don't watch a lot of tv, but they had a couple of shows they watched in the evenings, so the tv wasn't available for us.<br><br>
DH had been tv-free in his apartment before he moved here. I'd been cutting way down on the tv I watched, because my ex was one of those "tv on for background" people, and I was SO sick of it that I wanted to scream. So...ds1 was still watching Saturday morning cartoons, and I didn't want to cut him off of those, because I have such fond memories of them. When we moved in here, we got cable hooked up. I've used it to watch my yoga program maybe twice. Other than that, we just don't use it. The tv is for DVDs and for ds1's game systems (he doesn't spend that much time on them, though).<br><br>
For us, it was a gradual process. I don't think we were really making any profound discoveries about our lives - jsut didn't want to spend all our time in front of the tv. I've never been one to schedule my life around what's on the idiot box, but it really is awfully easy to start watching something and find that the whole evening as disappeared. We don't do that, anymore.<br><br>
Now, I just need to go internet-free...
 

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It was very easy- we moved and left the tv behind!<br><br>
I hate how tv sucks you in. I used to end up watching for several hours when I just wanted to catch the weather on the news. We have DVD drives on our computers and a netflix subscription. I'm toying with the idea of a projector for movies because I don't want the ugly TV staring at us all day<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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For us, it started when we got married in 1998. We decided to be TV-free the year after we married, so as to build up our new relationship instead of devoting attention to TV. After a while, TV came back in our lives, but we hated how addicted we were to watching - every night - really, no matter how bad the options were.<br><br>
For a while, we put the TV in the closet, so that we would have an extra step before watching something. Trying to make our viewing more deliberate. However, eventually we just left it out and reverted to our old selves.<br><br>
Then, around 2002, I found someone who wanted a TV, and I loaned ours to him. We haven't asked for it back, and really DO NOT WANT IT! We watch a couple TV shows each week online, or get them on DVD from netflix, which we also watch on our computer. Our sons watch no TV, except at Grandma's. That's a whole other issue, though.<br><br>
There is nothing I want them to watch, and I hate their small amount of exposure at Grandma's. I used to think it would be good for them to have a little exposure, but I don't find anything about TV redeeming - at - all. I love our TV-free life. I think it frees us up to have a richer, real life. It also makes us think twice or three times before watching a show.<br><br>
It was a little hard at first, but it got easy fast. I love to read, so that helps. Truthfully, you will be amazed at how little time you have on your hands. You will wonder how you ever fit TV in!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>I Fly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7312424"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">but we hated how addicted we were to watching - every night - really, no matter how bad the options were.</div>
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That <i>really</i> is it, right there! I spend so much tome flipping channels, around & around - and there's NOTHING on, I KNOW there isn't...yet I sit there going through the channels again & again like a zombie. Bah. MUCH better things to do! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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My husband and I have never watched TV in our home, though we used to go to a friend's house on Tuesday nights for dinner and <i>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</i>. Once the last Joss Whedon program was cancelled, we stopped watching TV at all, but would have a movie night once in a blue moon. We never exposed DD to TV until my grandfather got sick and DD spent 2 weeks running around with the pack of great grandkids while we vigiled the dying patriarch. There was some TV that week, but not much.<br><br>
Then, six months ago, (the day I got back from Grandpere's funeral) we had a friend move in with us. She is a TV addict. And while we still don't have cable, she literally has a DVD on anytime she is home, even while she sleeps. My little girl wants to hang out in her room and "watch a MOVIE" all day, and the movies she watches are blatantly inappropriate. I finally told our houseguest that if the TV is on the door to her room needed to be closed. I also bought a couple of Mr. Rogers DVD's to put on the computer for DD when she really wants to "Watch Movie!!!" I let her watch a 30 minute epidsode about once a week. Thankfully, our guest will be moving out by March 4th, and I will hopefully phase the DVD's out then.
 

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I am not TV free any more. We have been in the past, and probably will be again at some point.<br><br>
We started weaning our kids off it quite slowly. Before then it was on ALL DAY on a kids channel. Half the time they didn't watch it, but would complain when I turned it off. My partner started watching some stuff during the day, so the kids had no option but to do something else. After a few weeks we got rid of it. The TV is usually a focal point in most peoples living rooms. There is no point in everyone sitting round staring at a blank screen. I re-arranged my living room and set up a craft table where the TV had been. At first it was VERY hard. We were used to TV being a constant background noise. The silence was kind of overwhelming. Also the day felt MUCH longer. So much time was wasted sitting passively in front of the screen. I knew that once X came on it was nearly lunch time, and then when Y came on it was nearly time for the kids bed time etc. It was hard to adjust and find things to do when we were used to having our time filled for us.<br><br>
I did start listening to the radio at 5am in the mornings - since that was when my youngest used to wake up. I didn't like sitting with him in the dark in complete silence. I found lots of interesting things to listen to on the radio, and I actually felt more educated and connected with what was going on in the world than before. Listening to a piece about soldiers in WW2 was really quite moving. Had I watched it on TV I don't think it would have had the same impact.<br><br>
My kids listened to story tapes quite often at first, but once the batteries went flat in the cassette player they didn't seem to miss it as much. They also played a lot more. Which is what children are supposed to do really! At bed time they were more tired and went to sleep straight away and slept better that they did when we'd had a TV.<br><br>
My main motivation was reading several things about TV being bad for kids. I don't think TV is awful. When I was little, kids programmes would come on about 10:30am, and we'd all have a drink and a biscuit and sit down with my mum to watch them. It was probably on for about 20 minutes. But now the kids stuff is on ALL day, from 6am till about 10pm. I wouldn't have a problem with my kids watching 20 minutes of Playschool (that was what was on when I was little!) but with all day programming I'm more tempted to say "well, I'll just let them watch the next thing so I can have a shower. Oh I'll just let them watch this so I can make the lunch in peace... etc" Seeing my baby stare at the screen is what really made my mind up for me.
 

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My husband and I moved to a very rural location in Tennessee and we could not get TV, so we decided what the hey, we dont need it. It is WONDERFUL! We are working on our third year TV free. It is amazing how quiet a home can be. We have an 11 month old son, so it is better for the whole family, not to have it on. Honestly, I feel more motivated to do things around the house, in my garden, in my sewing room, and I feel closer to my husband. We actually talk vs sitting in front of the tube. That sounds kinda bad, but one does not realize how much time is spent watching TV. I say go for it! Just remember that people ALWAYS talk about shows, etc; so dont feel left out, feel liberated. Best of luck.
 

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I'm really inspired by these posts. I too started a thread about going tv free. Our tv is a dinosaur really, lol, at least ten years old and we use rabbit ears, no cable so I guess we are already in the dark ages compared to most. My son is hopelessly addicted to Disney dvds though, partially my fault because I love Disney. So for us, simply limiting to dvd watch won't solve the problem. That is our problem! Other than that, we don't watch the actual tv more than maybe a couple of nights a week.<br><br>
I feel bad though because when he was younger and we had cable I would stick him in front of Noggin all day while I sewed. Ugh. It is hard though. Sometimes it is a matter of either I am able to do this craft to sell, make money, or at least get practice, or I don't to spend time with my child because there is no way I have time to do it if the tv isn't on.<br><br>
Ah well...I just don't sew anymore. I guess I will take it up again years from now when cobwebs are growing on the machine.
 

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Well, our dd is only 9 months old, so I can't speak to how the kids react.<br><br>
Dh and I turned off our TV in early December. We've since gotten rid of it and replaced it with a much smaller version that is not in the middle of our living room and which we have basically for DVDs (if we can ever stay up late enough to watch a movie after the baby goes to bed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) or the VERY occasional show. I've watched 2 hours of TV in the last 3 months.<br><br>
I have to say, our lives have improved DRAMATICALLY. We sleep better. We feel more productive. We spend more time talking, reading, cooking, etc. We do not feel like we are missing anything--honestly, TV is so repetitive and homogenous that I find it just as easy to have a conversation about it as it was when I was watching regularly! I actually feel like evening TV watching was contributing to some lingering PPD (in the sense of making me feel less productive, less engaged with the world, more brain-dead, less human).<br><br>
My only regret is all the time I wasted watching before.
 

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My dd was only three weeks old when we went tv free... so like NYCVeg, I can't talk about how she reacted. I had wanted to go tv for some time (we had a roommate prior to dd's birth who was a fixture on our sofa and watched tv ALL the time... so frustrating to have someone doing that in your space). We really needed a push though since the place we were renting had free cable. Our push came when we house-sat for friends who are tv free. During those three weeks we realized that we did not miss it one bit. It has given us a lot more quality time together... found out how much we had the tv on usually for the background noise, or we would turn on the news and then leave it on for the next three hours. We still have the tv for movies and if we really must see the news we can always watch it on the internet once dd is asleep.<br><br>
It is crazy how when dd gets in from of a tv on how captivated she becomes (she is six months now)... make me happy that we have taken the step to get rid of it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NYCVeg</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have to say, our lives have improved DRAMATICALLY. We sleep better. We feel more productive. We spend more time talking, reading, cooking, etc. We do not feel like we are missing anything</div>
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<span>Very encouraging!</span><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tennesseemommy</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, I feel more motivated to do things around the house, in my garden, in my sewing room, and I feel closer to my husband. We actually talk vs sitting in front of the tube. That sounds kinda bad, but one does not realize how much time is spent watching TV.</div>
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<span>This is GREAT to hear! Very exciting to think about one less distraction on my plate!</span><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Storm Bride</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Now, I just need to go internet-free...</div>
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<span>Exactly! I find that Internet can easily replace a TV addiction--just another screen to stare at and another thing to take my attention away from real life. In the past (on several chat boards) it's been a <i>false</i> sense of <i>real</i> relationships so I have to constantly remind myself of that bad experience. With all that I have to keep up with at home I can't imagine ever having thousands of posts on here. As it is, I find myself shocked at how much time I sat online looking here and there. Some days I think, <i>My poor kids!</i><br><br>
One time my laptop had some problems and I had to send it back to HP for almost a week. I hate to admit it, but that was probably the best week of the year because I couldn't worry about email or chat boards or research (I'm a grant-paid researcher from home when the $$ is available) or all of the other distractions I find when I'm "plugged in". Heehee! Anyway, I just find that most of the negatives mentioned about TV have been the same problems I've experienced with Internet.</span><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ErinBird</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm toying with the idea of a projector for movies because I don't want the ugly TV staring at us all day</div>
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<span>Isn't THAT a great idea! Would you have it installed in your ceiling so that it's literally out of the way? I've seen it that way at a friend's house. I wonder how difficult it is to install. Hmmm...</span><br><br><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>Thank you, ladies! Your experience, ideas, and encouragement is GREAT to hear!!!!</b></span> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug">
 

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For us it was after reading "The Plug in drug". Both DH and I read it and explained to our DD (who was 4) that we didn't like how it was affecting her (it also halped that it was after summer when she had spent all her days outside anyways). That was it, the first week she whined about it and kept asking but by week 2 she didn't even think about it.<br><br>
We do still have the tv (I admit there are a few shows I love watching) and occasionally watch a dvd. Also when DD was sick she was allowed to watch a couple of her movies.<br><br>
We are so happy we made the decission, we noticed the change in DD right away, she is more creative and much better at occupying herself now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
tara
 

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I went tv free while living at a camp in MI a few years back, and when I moved home to help out my parents after a major surgery for my dad, I was appalled at how much tv was on. All the time. It was so loud and annoying, the complete opposite of all the peace and nature I had just come from. That was it for me. From then on I never watched tv, even when roommates and then dh had one. We just sold our tv about a week ago, since we never used it. I guess we kept it because dh and I would watch dvds once in a while, but we discovered using our computer for this and it works so much better, also we are in a small space so the noise level isn't so high if we watch something while ds sleeps at night.<br><br>
Ds has only seen tv a couple times at my parents house. They still have it on all the time and I can rarely get them to turn it off when we're visiting. He doesn't pay much attention thankfully and we just go outside anyway. It feels like such a divide to me, that they can't turn it off and just talk to us, or play with us outside. Plus, when they or other guests would visit us, they would want to turn the tv on instead of having conversations!! That was part of my desire to sell it. It's kind of insulting to have a guest you haven't seen in a year or so, and they want to watch tv??<br><br>
We listen to a lot of music with ds, and do lots of silly dancing/acting out the songs. We're goofy here, but it's fun! It's nice not to have the tv here at all since ds loved turning it on/off, and would be frustrated if we redirected him. We are outside as much as possible too, so that is helpful. As someone else said, next is the computer!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Mine wasn't working for a couple weeks and I was soo much more productive about cooking and cleaning. I felt better too, so at least I know that now and can consiously manage my time better. Anyway I'm rambling, but it is great to read what other's have experienced on this subject! Thanks! Peace, Mary
 

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the most surprising benefit of being TV-free at home with a 3yo? makes airplane flight soooo easy.<br><br>
we've never had tv at home, although my we watch movies occasionally on the computer at bedtime. When we fly a few times a year to visit my parents, we go on jet blue where there are tv's at every seat. We allow Finn to watch dora, etc while on the airplane, which he's very excited about. His TV viewing is very minimal, but just at the time we need to mindless entertainment.
 
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