Advanced search

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!

MotherOfSuburbia Sat 17-Nov-12 08:42:06

We didn't get a telly until I was about 11 and I was the youngest so my siblings would really have had a whole childhood without it. We just entertained ourselves. Lots of imaginative play in my case.

No telly now here either although my 4 are allowed half an hour on the computer each after school on a Friday and then we watch something together on DVD or iplayer at the weekends. Not sure whether it makes it more into 'forbidden fruit' though so they won't be able to regulate themselves later. I just can't bear to see them endlessly lounging around watching stuff when they could be doing something more interesting.

It is harder when they are at home all day though and I guess there isn't anything wrong with popping something on for half an hour in the middle of the day if you need a break. We used to go to the park a lot and mine are all close together so had each other for entertainment which made it a bit easier.

Hesterton Sat 17-Nov-12 08:15:35

Watch with mother was the TV version of Listen with mother - earlier programmes were 'Andy Pandy' and 'The Woodentops' (spotty dog goose-stepping across the screen with his inflexible limbs, anyone?).

The TV started again at about 3.45 with Playschool (which window will we go through today? The round one? The square one? Remember Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty and the regular toys?), followed by 'Jackanory@ which was a book read in installments by often famous actors, then a couple of other programmes (twice a week Blue Peter, and who remembers IT's Friday, IT'S Five O'Clock.....IT'S CRACKERJACK!) and finished with a short programme before the early evening news, usually The Magic Roundabout or something like that (talk about trippy).

Other programmes I remember were 'HOW!' which was a science/technology programme for children and 'Junior Showtime' which was a non-competitive talent show for children.

Other than those times, we spent a lot of time doing the same jigsaws over and over again, reading the same books fifty times each and generally getting grubby outside. I do remember Sunday afternoons being so l-o-n-g as that was when my parents would shut themselves in the sittingroom with the broadsheets and is less colourful language tell us to fuck off and leave them alone unless one of our legs dropped off or something equally serious.

halfnhalf Sat 17-Nov-12 07:51:29

Singing Ringing Tree! It was brilliant, and so weird.

TheCatInTheHairnet Sat 17-Nov-12 00:57:52

We used to watch tv. And one of my favourite memories of my early childhood is sitting in the kitchen every day, while my mum prepped dinner, listening to Listen With Mother. I'm still in my 30's, so not THAT long ago. No, really!!

Atozandbackagain Sat 17-Nov-12 00:52:38

Trippy progs? - You should have seen 'the Singing Ringing Tree'in the 70s.

That was effein weird!

We used to get children's programmes made outside the UK e.g. White Horses about Yugoslavia or Robinson Crusoe.

I can even remember a very young John Craven doing Newsround. we had Aunty Val and John with Shep on Blue Peter.

Much better than the current children's stuff.

DrCoconut Sat 17-Nov-12 00:49:00

I remember some fairly trippy TV programmes in the early to mid 80's. Chocky, children of the dogstar, letterland etc. But it was not back to back and we never missed all day TV because we had never had it.

Atozandbackagain Sat 17-Nov-12 00:38:50

As one o f teh generation of children of that period:

We played outside in all weathers

We ran errands for our parents - going to the local shop with a list of things to buy

We would call round to knock on the doors of froends to see if they wanted to come out to play

We would go to the library - chose some books and take them home to read them - I could get through at least 6 books a week in those days

We went to the park

We would go for long walks in the fields (alone or with friend)

We would play in the stream - make dams

We would call in at the local farm at milking time and feed the calves

My only TV viewing was Blue Peter on (Tuesdays and Thursdays???) .

I really feel sorry for many of today's children who are parked in front of telly.

marriedinwhite Fri 16-Nov-12 22:17:28

Slightly off message but when DS was a baby we decided we wouldn't have a "video" because it would dumb our children down intellectually.

When I was in hospital after having DD our TV blew up - it was ancient; MIL was staying and to keep her happy and coz we had a leaflet through the door DH rented an 18" TV/Video combo and the man came the next day with it.

>>whispers<< DS had never watched a video; it was a constellation of the stars on my favour. Never was managing a three year old and a toddler easier in those first few months and we only had about four videos grin.

>>also whispers<< rented telly is brilliant with little children. If they stick a rusk in the video hole - the man comes and deals with it; same if they chuck the controls down the toilet shock.

lljkk Fri 16-Nov-12 12:54:07

Friend (born '66) says she can clearly remember being left to mind younger siblings when she was bout 4-5yo, while her mom went shopping for an hour.

Oh wait, now we're back on the "AIBU to take my children to the boring shops" thread, lol.

NessunDorma Fri 16-Nov-12 08:10:18

When I was 2 I had a 5 year old sister, we were just plonked in our room and told to play whilst Mum went downstairs and ran the pub. grin From roughly the age of 5 we were chucked out after lunch and told not to come back til dinner time. All the other kids were out though, the older ones looked after us.

I remember watching a lot of Disney films on video on boring Sundays.

This wasnt 30 ears ago either, it was the early 90's!

Oh God, the things we got up to, i shudder to think of it when I look at my 4yo DD.

cory Fri 16-Nov-12 08:08:10

We didn't have a TV when our dc were little. If they grizzled, they grizzled. We didn't have one when I was little either.

In the case of a poorly toddler that you have to keep company anyway, I would have just have read or sung to her/him. Did a lot of singing with dd in particular. Not sure I'd find that harder work than having to watch children's television tbh. At least you can do something about the quality.

lljkk Fri 16-Nov-12 07:58:13

Just thinking, I probably did watch 3-5+ hours of TV/evening when I was 2yo, because I only slept 6 hours/night, and my parents couldn't cope otherwise. I can remember regularly going to bed at 11pm when I was 4-6yo and the boring news came on.

Day time TV, after about 8am, was deathly dull.

lljkk Fri 16-Nov-12 07:49:39

OP asked about 2yos. When my mother was 2yo, during WWII, her 20yo sister was at home to help run the family, and the sisters were close then although not again until adulthood.

I was minded by nannies so presumably, as paid staff, they didn't put the telly on too much. Also we lived on the beach in a sunny benign climate, not like rainy cold Britain.

When we lived in a Bangladeshi neighbourhood 10 years ago, I sometimes noticed 2yos out playing for spells, minded by cousins or older siblings (only, no adults). So there you go, traditional child-rearing practices if only you know where to look. Also, at home there were so many other children about to play with, typically, and telly only available in a non-household language, that I doubt those children watched much TV, either. Probably different now, I bet there's a satellite Bengali channel now with some children's options, even.

jan2013 Fri 16-Nov-12 06:29:45

i can't imagine coping without kids tv. dd is one, she drive me to distraction with her lack of sleep, and at 6am i am very grateful for kids tv while i try to pull myself together - like right now, and get a cup of coffee or 3.

ThompsonTwins Fri 16-Nov-12 06:27:31

I remember an hour of childrens' TV between 5 and 6pm and Watch with Mother for a short time earlier in the day. Playing outside and reading took up much more time. I don't ever remember wishing there could be more programmes for children.

flow4 Fri 16-Nov-12 06:18:19

OK, so children's TV existed 40 years ago, but it was only on from about 4:30-6pm on weekdays, and then as I got older, from 9-11:30 on Saturday mornings!

I read, played outside, built things with Lego or Plasticene, or wound up my little brother.

Parents shut doors and told us not to disturb, shushed and slapped more and started getting drunk at 6pm confused sad grin

FuckingWonderwoman Fri 16-Nov-12 06:11:29

I remember being about 4 (I can't have been any older as we moved house when I was 5) and my Mum and her mate locking me and her mate's son in their garden (so no access to the house) and going into town for the afternoon. We were told if we needed anything to shout over the fence to "Auntie Vi Next Door" who would let us in for a wee or a drink. We were there for bloody hours, and when we got back, John had wet himself and I had had a shit in the garage, because Auntie Vi had gone down the shops!

JessieMcJessie Fri 16-Nov-12 05:39:41

Ah yes, the Sullivans. I used to come home from school for lunch too and the opening credits where the boy pulls the cap down over the other one's eyes them runs off was my signal to finish up my banana sandwich and cup of tea, take my Trio and head back.

sashh Fri 16-Nov-12 04:52:56

Before TV there was radio - complete with 'listen with mother'.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Fri 16-Nov-12 00:08:10

I am never drunk
I am occasionally very gently inebriated.
During these rare episodes my perceptions are subtly enhanced; everyone I encounter appears to be superbly, ethereally beautiful, regardless of age.

Including you*married*.

Until I look in a mirror sad!!!

halfnhalf Thu 15-Nov-12 23:42:41

Another difference is music - it's so easily available now, and so cheap. My parents didn't get a record player until I was in my teens and, appart from listening to Radio Luxembourg, music on the radio was rubbish. I can't remember when Radio 1 started, I think when I was in my teens. One of my childhood memories is listening to Four Way Famiy Favourites, anyone else remember it.
On the subject of children having more freedom, my OH remembers staying with friends of his mother when he was 8 in London and spending whole days going round the London Underground, alone.

shockers Thu 15-Nov-12 23:28:15

Only boring people get bored is one of my favourite sayings. I drummed it in so hard that I don't have to use it at all any more smile.

hmc Thu 15-Nov-12 23:20:30

Portofino - exactly the same. I was bored crapless most of the time and dreaded school holidays, but I did become a voracious reader

marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 23:13:02

I still tell my children "only boring people get bored".

marriedinwhite Thu 15-Nov-12 23:12:07

We used to be out all the time too - riding bikes for miles through fields, meeting up with friends and making camps on top of haystacks - and jumping in the sea off the sea wall and avoiding the rusty iron railings underneath because we knew where they were. Yikes hmm.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now