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If your children don't watch much TV or use the computer, what do they do?

(14 Posts)
nkf Sun 06-Sep-09 10:37:04

I'm pulling my hair out about the amount of screen time in my house at the moment. It doesn't help that I have a work project on and so can't be dynamic with them. But it's as if, without adult input, they slump in front of TV or screen. Should I just limit their time and sit out the "I'm bored" wails in the hope they find something? Is there some kind of stuff I should buy to help them entertain themselves? It's got so I can't wait for school to start.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Sun 06-Sep-09 10:39:10

mine read a lot (they are 14 and 16) and always have done (as well as lots of computer games. ds1 also plays piano (endlessly and endlessly)
They arerly watch TV.

feetheart Sun 06-Sep-09 10:46:07

How old are they?

Mine are 6 and 3 and just slump in front of the TV if its on. If its not, and it often isn't, they make up all sorts of games - currently being magic fairies and trying to turn the kittens into frogs I think grin

I just let them get on with it and keep an ear open for screams (human or animal!) or the sound of running water.

I'd say limit the time and see what happens though it might take a while and some full-on whinging (or maybe that's just mine!)

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sun 06-Sep-09 10:57:57

painting, drawing, colouring
playing make believe with her dolls, bears, little people, animals
plays with little people farm, school
dressing up
long splashes in the bath
running around
'reading' books (pretending) and sitting with me or dh for a story

QueenOfFuckingEverything Sun 06-Sep-09 11:00:50

DD is 6 and we have a TV but its in my room and has no ariel so it only plays videos.

She mainly just, well, plays. Back door is always open and she runs in and out whatever the weather. Lots of imaginative games, lots of cutting-sticking-making-colouring.

She has a children's cassette player and loves listening to story tapes while she is playing.

ZZZenAgain Sun 06-Sep-09 11:02:26

depends ontheir age nkf. Dd is 8, she sometimes googles things on the pc or writes a rare email. Practically never tv but what with school and music and sport and getting out and about generally, there isn't much time for it really.

I think you'd have to be really ingenuous to keep a teenager off the pc these days.

My dd spends a lot of time fiddling about with lego. Lego is brilliant.

ZZZenAgain Sun 06-Sep-09 11:04:03

yes story tapes/cds.

dd has far too many of those, dh buys them everytime they go (food) shopping together it seems. She often has those on in the background whilst building things out of lego. She reads an awful lot too (but then she is school age)

weegiemum Sun 06-Sep-09 11:08:25

Mine are 5, 7, 9.

Reading (the 2 oldest, wee one coming on now).
Art Projects Galore
Writing stories
Playing made-up games (schools, houses, superheroes etc)
Playing outside - bikes, scooters, football, running round like crazy things with the other kids in the street.
"helping" with cooking, tidying up etc
Music - dancing
Mixing and matching toys - we had Lego Indiana Jones vs the Playmobil Pirates yesterday!

Mine get 1/2 hr "screen time" - (computer/ds/playstation) a day in term time, an hour at weekends/holidays (but it is a treat not a right and is the first thing to go for bad behaviour)
Plus we don't watch TV until after tea unless it is a particularly horrible day.

nkf Sun 06-Sep-09 15:08:48

I feel really hopeless. blush.

RedLentil Sun 06-Sep-09 15:16:12

It does really help to have time slots for it.
DS and DD2 often watch a programme in the morning before school while I'm wrangling the baby. (That will go should she ever decide to sleep)

Or DS watches one thing when he comes in from school. It doesn't occur to them to ask for it outside those times.

I am hopeless in lots of other ways by the way.

trefusis Sun 06-Sep-09 15:17:41

Message withdrawn

millenniumfalcon Sun 06-Sep-09 15:21:27

mine have always watched more tv than i'm comfortable with, but i've recently intervened to cut it down. i'm more lenient with the 2 yr old during the day because she can't always entertain herself and i can't always be right on hand (e.g. i need to shower, i need to do some housework and sometimes don't have the extra time/energy for her to "help"). but the 6 yr old has surprised me by complaining a lot less than i expected about the new regime. she reads well, so as long as she has a decent supply of (library/charity shop) books she's happy, and they play a lot (imaginary games and sticking/making mostly) together too.

knowing how old yours are would help us suggest some strategies. playmobil always good though ime.

MilaMae Sun 06-Sep-09 15:50:30

nfk don't feel hopeless

Some things to remember. I'm sorry but having only 1 child is far easier to limit TV. With more than 1 child bickering is inevitable, TV limits it-who wouldn't resort to it especially if you've got a work project on.

Option 1 no TV, you shreaking
Option 2 TV, you not shreaking

I know which I'd choose.

Another thing to rem is the size of house,those of us unlucky enough to live in tiny houses(I don't know what size yours is) and have more than 1 child will resort to TV more. The reason being everybody is in each others faces more and space is limited. It's not so easy to have 100s of things on the go all the time in a small space.

Also computer/videos,DVDs are NO better than TV.
Personally I think computers are worse.

My lot do most of the things mentioned but they do watch their fair share of TV and always have done. I do limit PC usage more ie they rarely go on one and we have no game things. We also have no TV before school,they do slump after but you know what I personally think they deserve it as are knackered. I supervise what is watched. Just considering a DS for our oldest who is soon to be 6. My 5 year old twins are extremely good readers and all have very good imaginations so clearly TV hasn't affected them.

I think if your kids are doing a good mix of activities on the whole you shouldn't worry. I'd focus on what they do do(I bet most of what has been listed at some point during a week/month) and what you've got on your plate. Also most kids(mine included) have reached the end of their amusing themselves resources as they've had 6 weeks of it. smile

happywomble Sun 06-Sep-09 16:13:19

Demand my attention most of the time!

DS 7 likes lego and will still play happily with his vast wooden train set. He is a good reader but unfortunately only seems to read to himself at bedtime.
Plays with scaletrix type cars.
If outside will bounce or kick footballs or ride bike. Still likes sandpit.

DD4 does puzzles, plays imaginary games with happyland people, plays with dolls house, hama beads

When together they tend to bicker and whilst DD would amuse herself for hours, DS has a short attention span and will hang around in her space or mine demanding attention!

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