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Should we get rid of the TV?

(83 Posts)
knickerelasticjones Sat 02-Feb-08 20:12:29

Let me at the outset say that I'm not at all somebody who is vehemently opposed to TV per se - but due to our DD1 both DH and I are now seriously considering getting rid of the TV for good (or at least for several years).

DD1 (nearly 3) just LOVES tv. She asks to watch it constantly and always cries and moans when it is turned off. If I am stuck at home with her all day (waiting for plumbers etc) it is a constant battle to get her to do other things. The problem is that at the moment she WON'T play with her toys / paint / read / do anything much apart from ask from TV.

Actually that's not true - she will play with her toys happily first thing in the morning (before 9am) and last thing at night (after 5.30) as she knows she NEVER gets TV at these times. When we've been on holiday and there is no TV, there is no problem!

I know that the logical thing would just be to limit her TV to 30 mins a day, but I feel that I will spend my entire time battling with her desperately trying to get her to do other things, and if we have a bad day I might just succumb and turn the TV back on.

What do you think?

Are we being too draconian? Or will we be glad we got rid and never look back?

expatinscotland Sat 02-Feb-08 20:14:08


Sorry, but honestly, only weirdos have no TV.

Imagine when they go to school and everyone's talking about stuff on TV and they haven't a clue.

Just turn it off.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 02-Feb-08 20:15:18

We got rid of our TV when I was pregnant with my daughter and it's BRILLIANT. DD reads for at least an hour at day, will play with her toys or with us for hours on end and just isn't interested when we go to friends' houses when they turn on the telly.

You might want to look out for a book called Remotely Controlled - it's about kids and TV. If you want to get rid of it, it will make your mind up.

Alternatively you can get TV timers which switch the TV off after a set period. These can work wonders if you are too busy to keep watching the clock.

She'd get used to it really quickly though if you ditched it.

The best way is probably to do it after a holiday though - so she's got used to not having one and then when she comes back, it's gone.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 02-Feb-08 20:16:25

Expat - that's bollocks if you don't mind me saying so. I'm not a weirdo. They also quite quickly pretend when they are at school and the plot of neighbours isn't actually as complex that kids can't catch up if they choose to. hmm

expatinscotland Sat 02-Feb-08 20:17:53

Well, I do think folks with no TV are weirdos, chocolate.

I really do.

You don't agree, fair enough, but it's my opinion.

It's only a big deal if you make it so.

Don't want them to watch it, TURN IT OFF AND SAY NO.

It really is that easy.

PussinJimmyChoos Sat 02-Feb-08 20:19:41

I tried that with DS today as he stood too close to it and wouldn't move away.....cue meltdown, he ran over, turned it back on and then started head-banging it!!! <sigh>

knickerelasticjones Sat 02-Feb-08 20:19:59

Expat I can totally see your point - which is why I'd like to take the TV away for a couple of years and then bring it back.

I am still scarred by the fact that my parents wouldn't let me watch Starskey and Hutch when EVERYONE else in primary watched it and I was the only geek who had no idea who sodding huggy bear was.....

The thing is turning it off won't work. She is a very very persistent child. An example.... this easter we hid 3 mini-eggs in the garden for her to find on an easter egg hunt. She was still looking for eggs in the garden in July....

sushistar Sat 02-Feb-08 20:20:47

Hey, we had no tv for 2.5 years and LOVED it. We've just (2 weeks ago) got one again. DS is 8 wks and I spend sooo long on the sofa breastfeeding I was going crazy! But I wouldn't be suprised if we get rid of it again in a year or so. It's really refreshing to be without one. Go counter cultural and break the consumerist shackles! (am I a wierdo yet? wink)

expatinscotland Sat 02-Feb-08 20:21:11

DD2 tried that.

I unplugged the thing and the sockets in back of the TV in a corner and she can't get to it.

So she headbutted it.

She stopped.

And if she hadn't, then I'd have moved the TV elsewhere where she couldn't get it.

I don't care if she strops or tantrums.

She's going to do that about something or another, anyhow.

I'm the boss, not her.

knickerelasticjones Sat 02-Feb-08 20:21:43

PussinJimmyChoos - that is exactly the kind of thing my DD would do.

I have tried in the past (obviously) to cut down on her TV watching but it was just days and days of moaning and tantrums and I honestly thing the easiest thing is just to get rid of it.

expatinscotland Sat 02-Feb-08 20:22:02

You're the adult!

You're more persistent, stronger, wiser, etc.

expatinscotland Sat 02-Feb-08 20:22:47

I like to watch it in the evenings, so not willing ot have my life dictated to by a 4 and 2 year old.

Anyhow, off to watch a film with DH on the TV now the girls are in bed.

Back later.

PussinJimmyChoos Sat 02-Feb-08 20:22:56

Btw - can vouch for the non-weirdness of WMMC - shes a sweetheart!

FrannyandZooey Sat 02-Feb-08 20:23:01

We love not having a tv. Why not try it and see how you feel? You could always lend your set to some friends for a bit.

ScoobyDoo Sat 02-Feb-08 20:23:30

Sorry but i agree who is the adult here? who sets the rules? Don't let your child tell you, you tell her.

You say she plays with her toys before 9am & after 5.30pm because she knows she NEVER gets the tv, just set rules so she knows she will only be having the tv at set times, after a while she will get used to it.

If you really want to get rid of the tv then do it but don't do just because of your child.

As i said you are the adult & you set the rules not your dd.

HTH smile

foxinsocks Sat 02-Feb-08 20:23:56

well, she has to learn what no means at some point.

3 is a bloody tricky age and TV is fun (I could never get rid of it because I watch a fair amount!).

Perhaps you could just go out more then you won't feel so bad about her watching it for a bit when you're in. I do think you need to avoid 'tv on all the time in the background' syndrome which is very easy to get dragged into.

If she is really that bad, I might be tempted to only have it on at a specific time until the lure of it has worn off a bit - so say just before she goes down for a nap or if she doesn't nap, in the afternoon to let her wind down a bit. Then plan to go out straight afterwards so there's less chance of a battle.

I'm sure you'll get there in the end!

quickdrawmcgraw Sat 02-Feb-08 20:24:00

ds was like your dd and asked for TV constantly. I decided to limit it to the weekends and it's made such a difference. Neither he or dd ask for it during the week because they know it's not coming on.
I leave stuff out (paper, markers and books) on the kitchen table and ds has really started to enjoy drawing which he had never done much of before.
I've warned them both that if they ask me 'What can I do? I'm sooo bored' then I'll give them a job to do like clearing the dishwasher or sorting out the socks and they HAVE to do it. grin

Frankendooby Sat 02-Feb-08 20:25:19

Our ds had a phase...spongebob and other crap.He is home edded and tbh we were despairing.After about 4 months he stopped and hardly watches it at all,or if he does it's something interesting and the odd cartoon.mAYBE SHE WILL GET IT OUT OF HER SYSTEM?

whomovedmychocolate Sat 02-Feb-08 20:25:38

Expat - okay you're the boss and I'm the weirdo.

Funny that hmm

"American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV."
-- The Kaiser Family Foundation

knickerelasticjones Sat 02-Feb-08 20:27:17

quickdraw I like the idea of the weekend thing (clearly haven't thought this through very well).

BTW I KNOW I'm the adult etc etc but sometimes it is just a damn sight easier to do something which will avoid the fights. Please don't have a go at me for it....

DH and I have also talked about how we would quite like to get rid of the TV so WE do more productive things as well

FrannyandZooey Sat 02-Feb-08 20:28:05

LOL we don't get terribly hung up about who is the boss in this house I don't think, but I do know I am in charge of Important Decisions

getting rid of the tv was one of my better ones as it happens

foxythesnowman Sat 02-Feb-08 20:29:03

Do it! I'd get rid of mine mainly because it makes ME lazy! If I got rid of the TV and MN I'd probably pay my children loads more attention wink

We have a big TV which pretty much is the main focus of the room. Another option is to get a small one so its just less prominent.

Would you consider having a small portable with a DVD player in another room? TV is quite useful when lo's need some downtime or are ill.

Frankendooby Sat 02-Feb-08 20:29:38

Oh and I don't think people who have no tv are weirdos.If you have one be selective I suppose.Most of it is crap.

ScoobyDoo Sat 02-Feb-08 20:29:58

You will come to hurdles all the time though & you can't possibly remove things everytime she wants something her way IYKWIM?

If you & your DH also don't want the TV then go ahead but i would not remove it just for dd's sake.

mrsruffallo Sat 02-Feb-08 20:31:52

Maybe have a small TV in your bedroom, so that when she goes in there to watch it it is a real treat.
hmm at keeping one so that she doesn't feel left out at school.
I don't think that people without TV are wierdos, it is optional

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