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Has anyone 'banned' the television in their house? What was the outcome?

(32 Posts)
MrsNouveauRichards Mon 24-Feb-14 14:28:37

Like many, my kids can get a bit addicted to the telly. They seem to 'flit' between things if the telly is on, so they want to watch say Octonauts, but then will wander off, get a toy out, come back to the telly, get another toy out etc...

We have so many toys that hardly get played with. I was wondering if not having the telly as an option would encourage them to play a little more? They are 3 and 6 yrs.

Lovepancakes Mon 24-Feb-14 16:57:57

Definitely. Tv changes how our DC play and also makes them more irritable eg when it's turned off or restricted. We no longer have one and they play and laugh for hours and we let them watch some programmes on a iPad eg at a weekend.
I know not having a tv is drastic but I think it's great and dd is reading books avidly now (she's 7) which she loves but I know wouldn't have made the effort to get into on her own to the same extent otherwise

Sunshineonsea Mon 24-Feb-14 17:05:02

Watching with interest

JakeBullet Mon 24-Feb-14 17:14:25

We went for months without a TV when DS aged 8 at the time whacked it with a Wii remote hmm. I was determined not to claim on the house insurance as I didn't want him to think a large item like that could just be we went months without it.

Put simply....things got done grin...and DS stopped dawdling in the mornings.

MrsNouveauRichards Mon 24-Feb-14 19:50:02

Thanks. The thing that gets me is their lack of attention with anything. I know they are little still, but it drives me up the wall!

I spoke to the children today and told them we were going to try an experiment. I said that they could choose one tv programme each after school, but apart from that there was to be no telly. But on the plus side, I would make sure there was pudding every night grin They were very happy with that.

So, starting tomorrow we shall see how it goes!

NoIamAngelaHernandez Mon 24-Feb-14 19:52:14

We have never had a tv and DTs are now 4 1/2

They do sometimes watch a DVD or an episode of something on iplayer.
They spend a lot of time playing, pretending and outside.

chocolatebourbon Mon 24-Feb-14 20:00:34

I grew up without a TV so have found it amazing how much time it can suck from family life. Mine were the same with being distracted (age 2 and 4) - plus DS was horrific if he watched some after school to relax but was then required to do ANYTHING else - so I have no TV at all on school days, and limited at the weekend (like a little bit after lunch for "quiet time", or a film for the family on Sunday afternoon). I felt it was using up the time which I spent reading as a child, and my DH felt it was using up the time which he spent playing football.

MrsNouveauRichards Mon 24-Feb-14 20:11:21

I watched as much telly as I wanted as a child, so have always been a bit 'meh' about it. But of course the difference then was that there wasn't stuff for me to watch 24/7

On Saturday mornings we tend to be quite lazy, and I will often take some breakfast back up to bed with a book. The telly is not usually on, but the kids play so well together just being left to play. I want more of that for them.

I also want for us to actually watch stuff together rather than just having the telly on as a background.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 24-Feb-14 20:17:17

My children aren't allowed to watch TV on school days, except Friday when they can watch it after school. It sounds like a strict regime, but in reality they're usually busy with clubs and homework. It stops them lolling about and makes the mornings run smoother and the evenings more productive.

TheresNoMeWithoutYou Mon 24-Feb-14 20:25:21

We went without last year for about 8 months. It is never on during the day without a planned programme/movie. Our kids are quite addicted so they have very little now and imaginative play, reading and outdoors are the favourites. Interestingly they ask a lot less for their DSs.

peppajay Tue 25-Feb-14 21:45:05

We have just moved house and have no internet- we have limited time via a dongle so the computer is out of bounds for the children. My son loves the computer and spent lots of time on the cbeebies and maths websites but since we have moved he hasn't asked for the computer once and last week in half term he spent so much time writing and drawing it was amazing. He has really struggled with his handwriting and has been having special help at school and I hate to say it but I think he was struggling because at home he was always on the computer and because it was educational stuff I didn't think it mattered. He loves maths and the maths games he plays online have done wonders for his maths but the time he has spent on the computer has made his writing suffer. So we are now going to see how long it is before he asks for the computer been 2 weeks so far and he hasn't asked for it once!!! We have cbeebies on sometimes but my kids aret really fussed and they have never ever watched a DVD, have tried but they get bored too quick!!!

ZuleikaD Wed 26-Feb-14 06:45:01

We have no tv, and like NoIAm the children spend that time playing, making up stories and songs and being outside. Eldest is nearly-5, then 3 and coming-up-for-1. There are no circumstances I can imagine in which I would re-buy a tv licence. They watch the occasional film at the weekend.

MrRected Wed 26-Feb-14 06:56:09

Same as Shatners house.

It is what it is. The kids don't even ask.

Panzee Wed 26-Feb-14 06:59:37

I have the telly on all the time and the kids hardly ever sit and stare. The younger one is a bit little, but the older one will play, pretend and outside lots whether the telly is on or not. (to half quote NoIAm )

They are 4 and 1 though. That might change when they're older.

capercaillie Wed 26-Feb-14 07:02:27

We've moved to having 2 tv free days as it was getting a bit of a problem. I was surprised there was no opposition. It's worked well.

Lilly20again Wed 26-Feb-14 07:14:42

At weekends it's one film per day. At the end of the day.
Weekdays about 45 mins, at the most.
We don't have a tv in the day rooms, but have a tv room.

I am thinking of cutting it back in a year or so when they are past reception age. They are just so tired after school a sit down is needed. I also think they will want computer time then which will mean a reduction in tv screen time iyswim.

I grew up with tv on constantly and it's not good, tv sucks time away.

MrsNouveauRichards Wed 26-Feb-14 07:15:40

My don't sit and stare at the telly, rather they will want to watch something, but after 5 mins they wander off, but if you turn it off they complain. But they still rarely settle to it.
Yesterday I told them they could watch some Cbeebies once they were completely ready in the morning, so they watched 5mins of Chuggington and that was fine. I then told them that when they finished school they could choose one program each. So, after DS has finished preschool and SALT he watched a fireman Sam dvd, and at one point he started to to lose interest so I turned it off, rather than just leaving it on. DD then chose some Pokemon to watch while dinner was cooking. Afterwards she asked for more, I said "no, just one a day, remember we are trying an experiment!" She was cool and just picked up a book and read that to us.

I think if we banned it entirely I would feel like a hypocrite, but limiting went well for the first day.

TamerB Wed 26-Feb-14 07:17:33

I can't see why you can't have one and just leave it off most of the time. Only put it on if they actually want to watch something and switch it off if they stop and do other things.

hazchem Wed 26-Feb-14 07:25:35

TV went on holiday just after christmas. Ds was waking up and asking for TV and the constant asking for it was driving us batty. It was great. we did about 10 days with no day time TV. It was hard work as its been too hot to go outside ect but we just did things.
As summer is winding to a close here I think we will have much less as it is cool enough to go to the park in the afternoon ect.

Artandco Wed 26-Feb-14 07:32:21

We don't have one. They can watch at cinema/ odd iplayer occasionally, but it's never been a problem.

Both dh and myself never had a tv at home either until teens ( we aren't that old), so it never really occurred to us to get one.

I think we would waste a lot of time with one. I like that our children will just find something to occupy themselves or ask us to bake/ take them out etc, rather than just sit. They know how to use the speaker system so can put music/ story tapes on whilst playing/ painting/ reading/ whatever

bluecheque4595 Wed 26-Feb-14 07:42:09

I read a book about how bad the television is for the children and so for about a year we didn't have the television on while the children were up and about. This is when they were pre school age.

Life was more peaceful, they played more, my brain stopped melting at the hideous cacophony of CBeebies. I was allowed as much telly as I wanted a child. So I had square eyes and watched everything.

My Mum doesn't understand my desire to have the children doing anything other than screentime. She had them for a week one summer, when I came to fetch them my son was sullen as hell, and had the television or the computer on all the time. I switched them off and insisted on no screen time and he had a massive tantrum. So it is still true that too much of it does bad things to their brains. My Mum will be happy sitting playing on her computer from dawn to dusk. Not me.

InMySpareTime Wed 26-Feb-14 07:59:24

I told the DCs that the TV has a special code I need to enter before it'll turn on (actually there's a switch on the back of the YouView box).
They're 12 and almost 10, and reasonably tech savvy, but the misdirection has fooled them for over a year now.
The TV does go on occasionally, but only once everything else is donegrin.

MrsNouveauRichards Wed 26-Feb-14 12:31:13

I want to point out that we don't just spend our time in front of the telly. We have horses so spend a lot of the time outside, which is why I never felt the need to limit the telly while we were at home. Does that make sense?

MumbleJumbles Wed 26-Feb-14 12:56:49

We have just done this recently - like you, ours aren't glued, they just have it on in the background and don't play properly / get grotty if its switched off even though they're not really watching it.

I withdrew tv gradually - initially they were still allowed tv in the morning, but after school had to chose 2 progs they wanted to watch.

This worked well, but eventually, because they weren't arriving home from school and automatically switching tv on, they began to lose interest in even choosing the 2xprogs they wanted, so this dwindled to about 1 prog every few days. They were still watching tv all morning before school (rise 6.30am, leave for school 8.30am).

Then after a few weeks we went to NO tv at all after school, but still allowed in mornings.

Then we moved to only tv in the mornings from 8-8.30am (after dressed, eaten breakfast and teeth brushed etc).

Now, they are allowed 8-8.30am during the week, and tv after they've eaten tea (which is about 15mins really, as we all head upstairs for bath at 6pm). They usually forget in the evenings after tea, so it doesn't generally go on.

I have no rules about weekend tv, but actually, they're just not that bothered about it then as they haven't watched much all week so are out of the habit of turning it on.

It took a while, but we've 'weaned' them off reliance on tv and I think, as a family, everyone is happier.

MrsNouveauRichards Wed 26-Feb-14 13:41:15

That is really helpful, thank you. Your kids sound exactly like mine.

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