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nak so I will just throw this out real quick and see what people say

Anyone else out there that wants their child (mine is 5 months) to be TV free, actually wants to be TV free themselves, but there is no hope of getting the TV out of the home because DP can't live without it?

Can it work?

Ways to get away from the expectation of "watching TV together" in a peaceful, loving way?

DH says refusing to watch TV is snobby and pretentious. It is honestly what I naturally prefer, besides which I believe TV is a neurotoxin for children. Probably for everybody, really.

Pretentious is his verdict on a lot of my desires and tastes. We come from different backgrounds and he is the type to assume that anyone who rejects the mainstream things he finds enjoyable is just putting on airs. I was TV free for 5 years before marrying him and LOVED it.

But with a baby in the house, the more I think about it, the more non-negotiable it is for me that she not be exposed to it more than in passing. But how can I realistically make that happen as long as it is sitting right there in the den?
 

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TV is a point of contention for me.

DH won't give it up, yea, dare I say, He's typical American Homer Simpson TV viewer. The kids are bad, too. I'm usually in my room reading while they're drugging themselves.

I don't think you can impose a tv free standard in a tv house, it will only make the child resentful.

Unfortunately.
 

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I have two kids - 3 yo and almost 4 months. Our children are TV free, but dh and I occaisionally watch an hour or two a week of our favourite shows or a DVD once in a while. My 3yo has never watched television, and now when we go to a house where the television is on, she has absolutely no interest in it. Of course, that could all change. But if she did ever want to watch something on television, we would treat it as a really special event (watching a DVD or special documentary for example). I will never allow my children to just watch tv just randomly or for more than a couple of hours a week. I was raised in a restrictive TV house, and I learned to do many other things instead (I am an avid reader!).

One thing that has helped us with having our (now) TV free children was to watch television (tape your favourite shows!) at night or when dc is napping.
I also avoided buying DVDs or tapes to 'entertain' my oldest when I wanted to get things done. Instead I either left a messy house or tried to get dc to help me with what I was doing.
 

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Raising your child completely TV-free when one adult still watches may be impossible. But we have 2 TVs in plain site in our house and our kids can go days without asking to turn either one on. I think it's possible to raise children who are not addicted and rarely if ever watch -- even in a house where there are TVs.

With an infant right now, your job is easy. It's very simple to ensure that she never sees cartoons, Sesame street, Blues clues -- ie the kinds of shows that will grab her attention. It's also fairly easy to keep her out of the room the TV is in.

TBH, at this point -- with a 5 mo old -- I would not make it a big issue between dh and I. I would just keep her from the TV and see how things develop.
 

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We are not TV-free, nor are our 2.5 year old and 6 year old children. However, we do have a strict television boundary and my children have always simply "accepted" it and never questioned it. Our TV rule (for the kids) is they can watch TV shows we choose, only before breakfast. Once breakfast time rolls around, the TV goes off and doesn't get put on at all until the next morning. We'd probably have them TV free all together, but this was one concession we made as a household with two employed parents who have busy morning get-ready rooutines. Also, because my children both wake up before 5:30 every morning, DH and I realized we were not too capable of being the kind parents they deserve at that hour, and a little TV time would be the preferable alternative. DH and I watch television in our bedroom only after the children are asleep in the evening. Other than our room upstairs, we do have a 13-inch tv in the finished basement office because DH is in the "entertainment" industry and often needs to work on the computer while watching specific shows. I think that given our tv set-up and our own viewing habits, it wold be entirely possible to have TV-free kids although we watch each night.
 

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i think it's funny that he calls tv-free putting on airs. many of the TV-free families i know are TV-free because they are too poor to buy a TV and too busy working and keeping the house clean and keeping their kids healthy and away from bad influences on the streets to care about having a TV or not.

that said, i think you should work on your DP. could he agree to watching TV in an "adult room" (preferably somewhere where the kids don't go often, like an office or in the garage or something) or only watching after they are asleep or getting rid of the TV and switching to watching TV shows on DVD on a laptop? my DP really likes movies, so we are going to stick with him watching movies on the laptop when our son is asleep and that will be the extent of visual media in our house.

for me, allowing TV into my house is one of those things i will not allow. period. you could go that route, and do a lot of teaching of why TV is bad, especially for children, until he agrees to go along with your POV.
 

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I wish we could be TV-free. But DH loves his TV and video games. He watches way too much TV and it tends to be all that snarky, obnoxious stuff I can't stand (video game review shows, howard stern type stuff, simpsons, obnoxious 'comedy' stuff, etc, plus tons of violent pseudosports like ultimate fighting). This guy is a smart and intellectual person too, though you'd never know it from his TV viewing. We go round and round on what is appropriate for the kids to watch and how much.

We finally came to a sort of middle ground. We have TiVo and a parental lock-out. Certain channels like Nickelodeon, Toon Disney, and anything that shows more than PG programming are automatically locked completely out. That leaves the discovery channel and PBS and a couple others. Then the kids have programs recorded on the TiVo which they are permitted to watch. These may be nature shows or Magic Schoolbus or Cyberchase or Arthur, etc. I'd prefer they watch no TV at all during the day but DH lets them when he's around.

When I'm home, it's hard to forbid the TV b/c it becomes this big battle where moms the 'bad guy' and dad's the 'good guy' and the kids whine and then DH and I get into arguments w/ kids stuck in the middle. Ugh.

So, instead, when the kids are with just me and dad's not around, I do all that I can to encourage other activities. I set limits, but I also try to find ways to get them to *choose for themselves* to engage in other activities besides TV. It's slowly beginning to improve around our house. But I'd still rather just toss the whole set in the trash. When I met DH I had a TV, but it had never been plugged in. My mother gave it to me for Christmas b/c she couldn't imagine a house w/o a TV set. It was DH who got the set down and plugged it in. I should have let that be a warning to me way back then...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by la mamita
that said, i think you should work on your DP.
for me, allowing TV into my house is one of those things i will not allow. period. you could go that route, and do a lot of teaching of why TV is bad, especially for children, until he agrees to go along with your POV.
Wanna come over to my house and see if you can change my DH's POV? I wish. I've been trying for years and he won't budge. You cannot force a person to change their behavior or their beliefs if they don't want to. No amount of arguing or pressuring or yelling or educating or you name it is going to *make* it happen. I'd love to say "I will not allow XYZ, period" but real life doesn't work that way.
 

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Hmm. My dh is totally supportive of tv-free kids (and we're going to do Waldorf, so that helps). We keep our tv in the basement, where the kids never go (it's not babyproofed), and it's out of the way for us too, so we're not tempted to flip it on for no good reason. It's turned on only after they are in bed for the evening. (Although I've heard dh sneaking a little Newshour or BBC news down there while I'm putting the kids to bed.)

Have you read Plug in Drug, Born to Buy, or any of the many other books out there on the effects of tv and commercialism, etc? If not, they will give you A LOT of info to pass along to your husband. If you can get HIM to read one of those books, all the better.

Is there a way you could start some new routines? Your newborn is still little for bikerides, but maybe stroller walks after dinner, something like that?

Honestly, we are so busy while our kids are awake, I have no idea how either of us would have time to watch tv during the day.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
Wanna come over to my house and see if you can change my DH's POV? I wish. I've been trying for years and he won't budge. You cannot force a person to change their behavior or their beliefs if they don't want to. No amount of arguing or pressuring or yelling or educating or you name it is going to *make* it happen. I'd love to say "I will not allow XYZ, period" but real life doesn't work that way.

no, you can't force someone to change their mind. but you can say "this is how things are. this is how i am raising my children. if you don't like it, tough s--t." i've known many a mama do that with circ. my mom did it with TV. not everyone is willing to take such a hard-line position. i'm stubborn enough that i would (not sure if that's an admirable trait or a flaw of mine).
i'd argue for trying to reach a compromise first. i am really keen on TV shows on DVD for a laptop or Tivo for late night watching, cause i think both are realistic ways to keep the family TV free while allowing an adult some TV time. i've also heard some families have done an experimental TV turnoff and that's worked to change the DP's mind and realize not much is lost by not watching TV. or the TV could just mysteriously break...
no, seriously, i think there could be real ways to compromise on this without being totally harsh--and i think the OP is smart for worrying about it now whike the babe is still young. i know the OP was asking for ways to do this peacefully. OP, does your DP know about all the research saying TV exposure is harmful for babies? even the AAP is against it.

eta: i hope i didnt come off as really judgmental "if you care enough about your kids, you'll forbid TV and why place your DPs opinions as important" etc. i was totally not trying to be like that, and i respect the fact that other families aproach the issue differently. anyways just hope i didn't come off as "i know it all." cause i don't!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel
DH says refusing to watch TV is snobby and pretentious.
Your DH claims its pretentious, my DH claims he needs his t.v. for "cultural reasons." He grew up in Mexico where the whole pueblo would listen (on the radio) or watch soccer every Sunday. When we moved in together, DH claimed that he couldn't imagine life without his soccer on Sundays. Despite being t.v.-free for seven years, I caved in.

Fast-forward to now and I'm in the same position you're in--I want my DS to be 100% t.v. free, but we still have a t.v. The rules/boundaries we've established so far are:

1) We will never have a t.v. in a main living space (we've always lived in apartments so basements and sheds aren't options for us). Right now, we have a small DS-free room where the t.v. and computer live.

2) If DS is up, DH has to watch t.v. with the volume turned off. I find the sound of the t.v. very irritating and invasive. Also, without volume, t.v. seems pretty uninteresting to DS.

3) We will not expose DS to marketed-to-kids programming. In our view, that stuff is *made* to get them hooked on t.v.

So far, DS really shows no interest in t.v. But I know for a fact it's only a matter of time before he'll be wanting to sit down with his papa for "Sunday Soccer."
 

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I have a TV free kid in a home with a TV. My ds is 5.5 My dp watches TV after ds goes to bed. 4 times a year ds watches 30 minutes or so of tennis with dp on a weekend morning (Grand Slam tournaments)- mute is on for all commercials. The TV is in our bedroom but until my son turned 5 it was in his bedroom- but he slept in ours.

Kids are not born knowing that Barney or Dora or Sponge Bob comes out of the TV. My son is oblivious to children's programming so there is no forbidden fruit. He knows his Dad watches TV but it holds no interest based on his TV experiences so far. His friends all watch either no TV or limited TV- never during play dates. I know eventually his ignorance will disappear but I think that years of facing boredom without TV will help him choose wisely eventually. TV is not part of the evolution of people. THere is no window during which they must be exposed to teach them how to be discerning viewers. The average child watches something like 3 hours a day in what I believe are unlimited TV households. Excessive TV viewing in our society is more than just forbidden fruit.

Having said all that I don't pass any judgement people who choose TV for their kids- that is up to them.
 

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I didn't read all the replies but our kids are essetially TV free. When DD turned 3 we started a movie night twice a week. anyway, DH watches sports pretty much only so DD glances over here and there but really we never put on kid shows that would attract her. Although once I was watching GMA before she woke and forgot to turn off the t'V when she got up and right after it came some cartoon. I let her watch the half hour and then turned it off. I didn't want to be all ...oh shut that off!!!
 

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I don't think it's possible to have tv free kids in a non-tv free house. Well, it may work when they're 2 or 3, but it won't work when they get older.

Everyone I know has stories of sneaking tv time. When I was about 5, my older sister and I timed how long it took for the tv to cool off, so that we knew how long it had to be off before our parents came home. DH's parents didn't want him to watch, so they pulled the fuse for that outlet--at age 8, DH figured out how to put the fuse back in. Then they put a lockbox on the plug, and DH figured out how to pick the lock.

Those are just examples, but ask folks of our generation and everyone has stories of getting around tv-free rules. I think the inconsistency is tough on kids (if it's not ok for me, why is it ok for you?), and they find a way around it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by la mamita
no, you can't force someone to change their mind. but you can say "this is how things are. this is how i am raising my children. if you don't like it, tough s--t." i've known many a mama do that with circ. my mom did it with TV. not everyone is willing to take such a hard-line position.

eta: i hope i didnt come off as really judgmental "if you care enough about your kids, you'll forbid TV and why place your DPs opinions as important" etc. i was totally not trying to be like that, and i respect the fact that other families aproach the issue differently. anyways just hope i didn't come off as "i know it all." cause i don't!

Well, I appreciate your opinion, but it just isn't that easy. There was a time in my life when I thought that a person could do that in a marriage. And then I married my DH and discovered it doesn't work that way. Maybe in some marriages it does, if one partner is willing to back down in the face of such ultimatums.

But unless one partner is going to back down, it doesn't work that way b/c two people can play that game. I can tell my dh "this is how things are and this is how I'm raising my children" and he can turn right back around and say "and this is how things are and this is how I'm raising my children". They are HIS kids too. And if you knew my DH you would know that he'd be perfectly willing to fight about it all day and night and would never give in or change his mind.

So the choice is to get a divorce (in which case HE would also more than likely end up with joint custody of the kids and they would STILL watch TV with him) or to work out some sort of compromise. Or we could just fight and bicker in front of the kids all the time....
 

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I didn't even own a tv for at least 30 years, since I moved out of my mother's house. ElderSon was raised without one, although he watched at friend's houses etc. The Dumplings were 7 & 8 when Mom moved in with me, lock, stock, and TV. She is in her 80's, and has the right to spend her days however she wants. We have the full compliment of cable service. I am not sure how or why I got TVs for the kids, but they each have one in their room now, and they both watch quite a bit. When Mom dies, the cable service will go. It is not something I would be willing to pay for. But I am equally unwilling to be the TV-cop.
 

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One thing that you can do is just have the policy that the TV is off when dh isn't home. With your baby only being five months, that may work for you for the next four or five years.
 

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I think it is possible, at least when the kiddos are young. Dd watched tv/dvds, and then turned tv-free (and was until this pregnancy--I was sick in bed for a couple months, and watched some tv with her). We still had the tvs, but we (the parents) kept them off until she was in bed for the night.
Morning sickness is waning, so I hope to have dd tv-free again very soon (with the occasional Little House on the Prairie dvd as a treat--hey, it's historical
)

It's possible, and dd didn't mind a bit. She would always prefer to do something *with* me than watch tv, so that is how I weaned her (and will again). And once she is out of the habit, she simply never thinks about the tv...she has better things to do!
 

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I don't think it's possible. DH is a huge movie buff and loves nature shows and the history channel. He rarely watches anything outside of that. I read on MDC about the harmful effects of t.v. and wanted to cut it out completely. He completely refused and told me (once again) that I should really be working on being internet free because all the stuff I read on here makes me nervous and upset most of the time. He had a point. So . . . our compromise was that he would only watch t.v. and I would only be on the net when the baby is asleep. We bought a cabinet for the t.v. which keeps it completely covered which eliminates the almost reflex-like action of sitting on the couch and turning it on. You have to really think if you want to watch t.v. or if maybe you're doing it out of boredom or for background noise or something. We keep the comp on standby or off until the baby is sleeping too. By sleep, I mean naps and bedtime. It was a decent compromise--ds never sees t.v.--not even in passing and dh gets to keep his t.v. I think tivo would be a great thing but we can't afford it. When there's something we want to watch and ds is still awake, I tape it. What I'm trying to say in all of this is that it's not completely hopeless. Maybe when you present some well researched info, it will make dh more willing to work out a compromise. I certainly wouldn't tell him "it's my way or the highway" because I think if you're with him, he must be a reasonable person who loves you and your baby and is interested in the well-being of both. You all can work something out that please both parties.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rootzdawta
I don't think it's possible. DH is a huge movie buff and loves nature shows and the history channel. He rarely watches anything outside of that. I read on MDC about the harmful effects of t.v. and wanted to cut it out completely. He completely refused and told me (once again) that I should really be working on being internet free because all the stuff I read on here makes me nervous and upset most of the time. He had a point. So . . . our compromise was that he would only watch t.v. and I would only be on the net when the baby is asleep. We bought a cabinet for the t.v. which keeps it completely covered which eliminates the almost reflex-like action of sitting on the couch and turning it on. You have to really think if you want to watch t.v. or if maybe you're doing it out of boredom or for background noise or something. We keep the comp on standby or off until the baby is sleeping too. By sleep, I mean naps and bedtime. It was a decent compromise--ds never sees t.v.--not even in passing and dh gets to keep his t.v. I think tivo would be a great thing but we can't afford it. When there's something we want to watch and ds is still awake, I tape it. What I'm trying to say in all of this is that it's not completely hopeless. Maybe when you present some well researched info, it will make dh more willing to work out a compromise. I certainly wouldn't tell him "it's my way or the highway" because I think if you're with him, he must be a reasonable person who loves you and your baby and is interested in the well-being of both. You all can work something out that please both parties.
Can you clarify your post a little? You say you don't think it's possible to have TV free kids in a non-TV free home and then go on to explain how your DH manages to watch some TV without your DS watching any or even seeing him watch TV. It seems like you are doing just that: raising a TV-free kid in a home with TV. (and way to go with that, I might add!)
 
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