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To wonder how our parents generation coped without childrens tv

(147 Posts)
anicegreentea Thu 15-Nov-12 16:47:42

I know its not the ideal parenting strategy. But i have toddler and baby and often find myself wondering how my mum coped when baby is grizzling and toddler is bored!

The park?

Nancy66 Thu 15-Nov-12 16:49:19

Easy. They just completely ignored us.... grin

at least mine did

TiredBooyhoo Thu 15-Nov-12 16:50:32

some worked, some interacted with their dc and involved them in the daily house stuff, some put dcs out after breakfast and locked the doors till dinner time. there were alot more children per family 50 years ago (on average) and lots more children out playing so entertainment was each other. als older siblings would look after younger ones.

TiredBooyhoo Thu 15-Nov-12 16:51:51

or even 30 years ago. dont know why i said 50 confused

BonVoyageCharlieBrown Thu 15-Nov-12 16:52:48

We would get bundled out of the door and told not to come back until dinner.

It was quite a safe area but it does make hmm

My parents deny it now though

VirginiaDare Thu 15-Nov-12 16:53:05

I'm quite old and we did have childrens tv.

sue52 Thu 15-Nov-12 16:53:10

I didn't live with a TV till I was about 11 or 12. I come from a very large family and we would be out of the house from dawn to dusk, only coming in in daylight hours to eat. The big kids took care of the little ones and I can't recall ever being bored. I don't think this could happen these day though which I find rather sad.

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 16:53:35

I don't quite know what century your parents lived in but we did have children's television back in the Dark Ages when I was a child. Admittedly, it wasn't wall to wall but there were still programmes that I watched every day. There were also childrens' programmes on the radio. But I also remember playing in the garden, going on walks/to the park most days and generally being pretty well occupied. Babies were routinely put out in the garden for "airings" too - something my ex-MIL was quite obsessed about.

In the days before television and radio had been invented, more prosperous households employed a nanny or mother's help. In working class families, women had an appallingly heavy workload and the idea of children being bored or that anyone might have time to stem that boredom would have been ludicrous. Not least because society was far less child-centred.

We had children's TV. Apparently I was obsessed with morph as a toddler. And I have fond memories of running home from school to watch whatever was on.

Both my sister and I loathed the chuckle brothers though. And blue Peter. Actually my mum says she loathed blue Peter as a child too, so they definitely had kids tv when she was growing up.

Are you 87, OP?

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 15-Nov-12 16:55:46

Surely they just plonked their small child in front of a window to watch the birds feed confused what I do with DS and what my mum and grandparents did with me

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 15-Nov-12 16:58:07

I also have a fab collection of old childrens programs since I'm not a fan of the current crap aimed at kids, Waybaloo and In The Night Garden are the work of the devil

Bubblemoon Thu 15-Nov-12 16:59:05

Childrens' TV has been around for about 60 years now. By the time I was born in 1964 it was possible to waste an entire childhood watching endless kids TV whilst shovelling down Angel Delight. Prior to that there was kids radio.

Generations of mothers have been able to operate mangles/smoke fags/read Women's Own/surf MN whilst thier children rotted their brains.

pinkteddy Thu 15-Nov-12 16:59:26

Apparently there was one hour of kids TV in the morning and a couple after school when I was small in the 70s. We played outside a lot. And I know my Dad played outside all the time - and he lived in central London. They used to bunk into London zoo most days! There is a great clip in Swallows and Amazons where the kids get into a boat and sail away on a lake and the parents are joyfully waving them off. They are aged between about 7 and 10! You only need to read some Enid Blyton to see how independent kids were in days gone by.

HanSolo Thu 15-Nov-12 17:00:27

1) there has been childrens tv for 50 years!
2) my children didn't watch any under 2yo- loads of other ways to entertain them.

Bubblemoon Thu 15-Nov-12 17:00:31

Um, that should have read their, not thier. Should have concentrated on typing lessons rather than watching Ask Aspel.

Bubblemoon Thu 15-Nov-12 17:03:13

Pandemoniaa LOL at babies going out for "airings". I remember my brother having whooping cough and spending whole days out for airings under a cat net.

My mum was obsessed with the need for babies to sleep outside when DS1 was small. Luckily, by the time I had DS2, we lived hundreds of miles away so she couldn't complain that I hadn't left my baby in a pram outside my front door.

squeakytoy Thu 15-Nov-12 17:10:30

There was childrens' tv when I was a kid many moons ago, but it wasnt the animated tripe that is on these days with characters that grunt at each other.. it was in general a lot more educational.

We also played a lot more and amused ourselves with toys/jigsaws/chalk/crayons..

As we got to about 5/6yo we were out the door to play as soon as school was over, only coming in to watch Blue Peter or similar at teatime.

We didnt miss what we had never seen.. so tv was never a major issue.

usualsuspect3 Thu 15-Nov-12 17:15:23

My grown up children watched TV back in the olden days.

Even I watched childrens TV back in the olden days. Watch with Mother,Tails of the riverbank.Andy Pandy etc.

OnwardBound Thu 15-Nov-12 17:17:21

Yes pinkteddy I have also wondered at this.

When you read classic books or listen to childhood stories of our grandparents' generation it seems that children in those days were encouraged to be much more self sufficient and independent.

Which I guess comes with a great amount of positives [self esteem, healthy active lifestyle, not stuck in front of tv rotting brain] but also potentially some negatives [children having to be a lot more responsible for themselves and younger siblings in some instances more than they were actually ready for, accidents occurring without an adult around to intervene or assist].

I think your example of parents happily waving children off as they sail away in a boat is less possible in today's culture. Perhaps we are more educated about potential problems and dangers [as research into health and safety issues has moved on], also 24 news channels in today's world mean we hear of almost every tragic case of a toddler drowning or child being hit by a car. It probably makes today's parents more aware of potential dangers [which is perhaps a good thing] but also makes us potentially overestimate the likelihood of these occurring.

Luckily these awful tragedies are statistically relatively rare but because we learn the poor child's name and hear their story in our homes it makes for a more intimate identification. We imagine the same happening to our beloved child and thus decide we will never let them walk on a pier without us holding their hand and definitely not sail away in a boat independently!

So tv becomes the safer option but maybe comes at the price of some childhood freedom and independence...

gordyslovesheep Germany Thu 15-Nov-12 17:18:06

I am 42 - we had Bagpuss, The Clangers, Watch With Mother, Mary Mungo and Midge, Magic Roundabout, Magpie, Blue Peter and Grange Hill grin

It was only on at certain times of day - 1 program at lunch time and maybe 1-2 hours before 6pm

My kids watch about the same amount and play out as much as I did - I don;t think things have changed that much

There was no tv until 5pm when I was a child. We played out all day.
I still consider day time tv watching to be hugely decadent.

mymatemax Thu 15-Nov-12 17:20:36

colouring books, fuzzy felts, playing with endless tuperware pots & lids. Left to play and amuse ourselves

MadCap Thu 15-Nov-12 17:20:36

Hell, I had Nickleodeon when I was a kid. and she-ra, he-man, transformers, Smurfs, my little ponies, care bears, etc etc. Children's tv, when I was kid, rocked.

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