TV free

I have toyed back and forth on the tv issue since Blake was born. I did research in grad school on the effects of television watching on young children, with my focus on the effect of violent tv shows (including cartoons and news shows) on young children's perception of reality verse fantasy. That being said, I also know that there are a LOT of television shows written for children that have some strong backing in providing the educational fundamentals of reading, writing, math, science and social studies skills.

I have gone to both extreems in the last two years (no tv at all and tv most of the day). Now I will say that 75% of the time the tv is on in the house both boys are playing and not even paying attention to it being on. I do monitor what shows are on while they are watching and talk about what they are watching and learning. I am right there with them playing while the show is on and interacting with them and the tv.

When our tv died last week, both boys went without any tv. This weekend Blake got a Thomas DVD in his basket and he asked to watch it. This was the first time in almost a week that he even asked for the tv to be put on. He watched the DVD while we were getting lunch ready, and then the tv was turned off. He has yet to ask for it to be turned on again.

We are enjoying listening to the radio as well as children's music cd's. The boys are playing alone and together with their toys and being engaged in what they are doing. I have actually got more work done around the house without the tv on than with the tv as an option.

Now, am I saying that I will continue to leave the tv off all the time... NO! I live in the reality of there are times when the boys will not feel well and just need that time to chill out and do a whole lot of nothing. I also know there will be days that I will need to put it on because I don't feel well and need to keep them contained to one space. But, unless he specifically asks for it to be put on, I'm not offereing it. I also will limit the time it is on even more than before.

I know this is a for now issue... it is something that we will have to revisit as the boys get older. But, for now I will enjoy knowing that at least maybe our electric bill will be less next month (o:


  1. That is great that they aren't missing it. They enjoy each other which is great!

  2. Yes, I completely understand this topic. The tv is usually off - lately my battle has been with the internet lol. He is growing too fast! He learned to take the mouse and click on the you tube Thomas videos we have bookmarked for him. Thankfully most clips are only 2 -3 minutes. He used to sit on our lap and watch. Now I try to limit it to evening down time.

  3. E rarely asks for TV but she does know what the computer is for and she loves youtube. She throws tantrums to go on the computer shihc is why i think I am goig to limit my time to when she is asleep. I actually hate background noise which is why I can't have the tv on-I just find it to be annoying.

  4. We are like you, most of the time the TV serves as background noise. I am very careful of what is allowed on and what isn't, some of my friends do not agree with me on some choices, oh well, it works for us.

  5. I need to limit our kids' tv time too!! We struggle with that a lot!! Bravo to you!

  6. Glad it's working for you!

    We don't have TV reception, but I did have all our kiddie DVDs piled up on the floor where Esme could see them, so she was constantly asking to watch one.

    When I simply moved them to the closet out of sight, all of a sudden her requests stopped. And she's entertained herself pretty well without them. Now I basically limit her to 2 DVDs a day - one while I'm showering in the morning, and one in the evening while I'm trying to get other stuff done. It's working out pretty well - she doesn't seem to miss it.

  7. we just cut 3/4 of our cable so that should help with ours! although i will miss noggin and the foodnetwork, but we do have dvds if i get desperate!

  8. I need to work on this. Wyatt comes home from school everyday and expects to watch a movie and in the morning, we'd never get anything done if it weren't for Playhouse Disney.

  9. It sounds like you have a good plan. I know that Ashlyn watches too much tv- Riley doesn't watch it even when it is on. He might stand still and watch for a minute here and there- but not much more than that. But Ashlyn is addicted. I know I need to work on it with her, but since Riley is such a handful, it is sometimes nice to have her happy instead of dealing with 2 tantrums. Yeah, I know....not the best mothering skills here....I'm a work in progress!


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