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!

fatlazymummy Thu 15-Nov-12 19:26:20

We didn't have a TV untilI was 9.We didn't have a lotof toys,ormoney foroutings either.
We did things like read books,play board games and jigsaw puzzles,make tents out of clothes horses and blankets,go out for walks,play in the garden,colouring in and drwawing. We also used to help with the housework, we did baking [I can still make pastry by hand], make beds and lay the table.
I was one of 5, and it was very hard work for my Mum.

They learned several magic phrases:

1. That's nice dear. Now go and play'
2. I'm busy darling. Now go and play'
3. Only boring people get bored. Now go and play'

etc

And for some reason they worked!

marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 19:39:36

Well mine are almost 18 and nearly 14.5 and have survived. Dons hard hat because understands times have changed.

........grizzly baby was fed, loved and put down in cot. played with toddler. toddles stopped being bored and grizzly baby learnt to go to sleep on her own - a skill that pfb never mastered hmm. Was easier in a big house because one door was shut we couldn't hear the wailing. [quivers in fear at the Mnet response] grin

But my mum used to put me in the pram winter, spring, summer, autumn and leave me in the garden for an hour for fresh air.

mymatemax Thu 15-Nov-12 19:53:35

crown court, emmerdale, sale of the century all theme tunes that would have me running out of the room in boredom!
Our holidays were spent out on our bikes, playing runouts, throwing stones at the gypsy kids so they'd chase us (i know, i know, horrible child). When we were a bit older (about 10yrs) we'd get a tube accross london & go ice skating at Queens. No ice rink in East London in the 70's

crypes Thu 15-Nov-12 19:54:42

I can actually remember watching a testcard ( pretty girl with blackboard and clown), and listening to the music for probably twenty mins before my favourite childrens programme came on. So i was obviously happily occupied with just waiting for tv.

thebody Thu 15-Nov-12 19:58:05

Marriedinwhite, yes me too..

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 15-Nov-12 20:05:22

Our TV never went on until the evening news when Dad got home.We were sent off outside to play, we lived in a cul-de-sac and plenty of other kids to play with. The whole street (kids from 4 to about 15) played hide and seek or other games every day and evening (wrapped in coats hats and scarfs), it was bloody lovely we had lots of fun.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Thu 15-Nov-12 20:06:48

MrsDV I can't believe you are 45! Astounding, you look at least 10 years younger than that.

marquesas Thu 15-Nov-12 20:11:23

I am in a minority of one in never having the TV on during the day at all. My children played inside and outside, went to playgroups, went to the park, went out with friends.

It's still possible to manage without childrens TV just as it was when I was a child.

kim147 Thu 15-Nov-12 20:16:03

I spent from 7 to 11 living in Cyprus in the 70s. No TV - we got sent the occasional video from the UK.

What did we do? Played outside, played with our limited toys and with our friends.

Vague memories of Bagpuss when young.

Ragwort Thu 15-Nov-12 20:17:02

Ha ha, I remember Pinky and Perky and the Wooden Tops grin. I am mid 50s and never had a tv at home until I was about 10. Did watch it when we went to grandparents as a special treat.

We looked at books, played games, played with toys, went to the park etc etc - agree there was no 'helicopter' style parenting, we were probably left to our own devices a lot more than children are now. Went to quite a formal nursery school from age 3 (proper little desks etc grin). Did me no harm.

MoelFammau Thu 15-Nov-12 20:20:15

I grew up without a TV and I don't have one now either because frankly I'm not used to having one.

DD is 18mo. She plays great alone though, always has. No idea what I'd do if that wasn't the case!

FreudianLisp Thu 15-Nov-12 20:28:33

We haven't got a TV, so my twins (aged 2) have never seen one. If I'm too busy to give them much attention, they'll happily "read" books or play. I didn't see much TV at all when I was a child, either. Can't say I missed it.

MrsDeVere Thu 15-Nov-12 20:34:38

bewitched get away! You must have been drunk grin

NUFC69 Thu 15-Nov-12 20:44:01

I'm 64 and we didn't get a tv until the Coronation (1953) - so I guess not a lot of people of my age watched television (and, of course, said tv was about 12 inches square in any case!. Oh, and it was black and white, too). My children are in their 30s and they didn't watch a great deal of tv either - just the very few children's programmes which were on.

Looking back most of my childhood was spent outside (there was a canal at the top of our street and we all went fishing quite often in the summer - yes, I did fall in and no, I couldn't really swim, but there were loads of us and nothing bad ever happened). My DH lived in a village in Derbyshire and he and his friends went up on the moors to play - when it was time to come home for dinner one of the mums used to put a sheet out of the bedroom window as a signal!

Don't forget that most of our families had no money - we had a few toys, very little in the way of clothing; but something more precious than any of that - freedom! I know which childhood I would prefer.

DeWe Thu 15-Nov-12 20:44:40

Well we don't have a TV now. We do now have broadband and can watch the iplayer, but we didn't have that until dd2 was about 3yo. We coped. Didn't know anything different, so it never was an issue.

merrymouse Thu 15-Nov-12 20:49:16

I think for many of them it would have been a hard slog - never mind no TV, imagine no washing machine and terry nappies! However, on the other hand, with so many women at home (with or without children), fewer cars and limited phones (in the early 70's anyway), I think neighbours helped each other out far more.

Also, to be honest, when children's TV was on we watched it. I can remember watching TV at playgroup when I would have been about 3. I probably watched no less TV than many 3 year olds do now - it just wasn't on demand.

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 20:57:32

I hold my hand up to coming from a comfortably off home where, although we had 2 televisions by 1960 (mainly because one of them was so ancient it didn't recognise ITV) I still spent most of my time out and about enjoying freedoms that are almost unrecognisable today. My mother worked in the City and I now realise that I had a very privileged childhood. But hours and hours were spent roaming around happily with friends (from about the age of 6!) and without any sort of adult supervision. You knew you were expected home for tea but that was about the only restriction.

What I remember most about the television was the way that it was turned off, routinely after you'd watched a particular programme and never turned on if you had guests - bar the occasional communal watching of some dismal event like Churchill's funeral. It was never a background to things.

forevergreek Thu 15-Nov-12 21:09:55

I watched loads of tv as a child. We now don't own one, I have no idea why we watched so much tbh. Children nowadays have more opportunities than ever so no tv is a good thing IMO

jjazz Thu 15-Nov-12 21:17:04

My mum now 67 used to 'go down the garden' and find the smallest stone she could.... she then picked it up and hunted for one even smaller. She continued this until called in for tea/lunch/bed. She had about 3 books (flower fairies) and a very few toys. - Better than Charlie and lola?

anicegreentea Thu 15-Nov-12 21:21:24

It's really lovely to get everyones views and thoughts on this. Can't help but think the 'our mothers let us roam free' thoughts aren't quite relevant to keeping a toddler entertained. I was more thinking about 2 year olds! And obviously our parents did have some kids tv. But we are lucky ( or unlucky) enough to have it available at any time. I've been downstairs with poorly 2 year old watching tv at 2am on the sofa cos he couldn't sleep!
Thanks everyone for replies though. Quite sweet to have everyone thinking back to their own childhoods.

Annunziata Thu 15-Nov-12 21:22:29

My brothers were allowed to go and play all day, us girls did our chores and then we could play. Different world.

blanksquit Thu 15-Nov-12 21:22:45

We had spates of tv. Then the rest of the time we went out to play (from around age 4 but as a gang with older ones).

germyrabbit Thu 15-Nov-12 21:23:06

they all got pregnant themselves at 16

Annunziata Thu 15-Nov-12 21:23:49

I'm sure the two year olds were sent out too- the older girls watched them here!

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