23 answers

Things to Do Other than Watching TV

Ok, so call me crazy or unrealistic (because I know that's exactly what my husband will do), but I want to TRY to go without TV, as a household, for a full week... yes 7 full days. I have not mentioned this to him because I know the first question he will ask me is, "well, what are we going to do instead." This is so sad to me because as a family and as a society in general we have grown so dependent, if you will, on television. Lately it seems like it's gotten worse! My kids want to watch TV all day, the second my husband gets home from work he plops down on the couch and turns on the TV, even in the evening after the kids are in bed we unwind in front of the TV. I feel like my husband and I are missing out on so much, with each other, with our children, on life! Before I present this "crazy, unheard" of idea, I want to have a really good game plan so that we don't just get bored and resort back to turning on the tube. I would like suggestions on many many things we as a family can do together (I have a 3 year old girl and a 1 year old boy), as well as many more things my husband and I can do together, without TV (movies included). Obviously I've thought of board games, but it's hard to do many of those with a three year old, let alone a one year old. Also, some reasons I could use to try to convince him this would be a good idea would be very helpful as well! It's very cold where we live, so outdoor activities are really limited.. also the fact that it's completely dark out by 4:30pm (before my husband even get's home from work).

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

For games I recommend games by the brand "Think Fun." Which is available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. These are GREAT games for any age, child or adult. And can be played with 1 person or more.

More Answers

Do it. My suggestion for stuff you and your husband can do... have sex. Seriously, every night for a week. It will give your relationship a boost and I don't think he'll be complaining about the tube not being on.

3 moms found this helpful

I would approach him and ask if you could turn it off just one night of the week, Make Friday nights family game night and pop popcorn and play candyland, and entice him to come to bed early after the kids are asleep wink wink.

2 moms found this helpful

We live north of you and our compromise is hardly any tv in the summer and a little more in the winter...just another idea to add to everyone else's!

2 moms found this helpful

First, let me congratulate you on this bold step, and encourage you that it can be done!

My daughter is 2 and a half and has almost never watched TV (they watch 20 minutes a day at her day care) because we almost never turn it on in her presence. We do lots of things. We read a lot of stories, we make up ball games with a soft ball (throwing the ball in a pot, throwing the ball back and forth, having her chase the ball), we play hide and seek, we play both kid and grown up CDs and have "dance parties."

A lot of times my husband will take care of her in the evening while I cook, and then one or the other of us will take care of her while the other cleans up the kitchen. When I'm alone with her during the day and cooking I will have her in the kitchen with me, giving her magnetic letters to play with, or her own kitchen toys, or I'll put some rice and beans in bowls and let her mix those up, or have her smell the spices, or stir things, or help in other age-appropriate ways.

You can do arts and crafts things, painting, drawing (even the little one), play dough, blocks, puzzles, etc., etc. I try to get her outside when when we are home together even though it's cold, just to get her moving and into fresh air (I live in MN so I can commiserate with the cold, dark winter thing!).

Three other things to consider: Your husband probably does need to unwind at the end of the day when he gets home from work. Talk to him about other things that could be helpful in him unwinding--even if it's putting a small TV somewhere else that he can watch for a limited time before throwing himself into family responsibilities.

My husband and I don't even watch TV after our daughter goes to bed anymore. We sit and talk. This was not always the case, but I think it only strengthens our marriage.

Finally, the Amercian Academy of Pediatrics, I think, recommends NO tv for kids under 2 and no more than 2 hours for older children. There's something you can share with your husband when he protests....

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Believe it or not, there are places in the US where the TV reception is so bad it's better to ignore television altogether. And people live to tell about it. I don't happen to live in one of those places, but sometimes I pretend that I do.

However, it's hard to plan it as if it were a vacation. If you have games, books, and a yard, you have some paths to take. Sit down with your husband and plan at least a couple of nights when you all do something together... reading, playing a game, a night walk, even going out to a movie. Have art supplies handy so your children can draw. One night I was taking care of my granddaughters while their parents went out, and when they got home there were twelve paintings awaiting them. (They're a little older than yours.) Put on music if you need a little noise in the house - play CDs or turn on the radio. Think of make-believe games with blocks. Can you go from there?

You'll be amazed at how it can change your home. You can do some of these things in the daytime, too, instead of having the tube on. Since you'll need to be the leader, get your imagination going, and you will get help get your three-year-old's imagination going (and your one-year-old will follow).

1 mom found this helpful

You could try baking cookies. Cutouts are fun the 3 yr old and your hubby could frost them and the 1 yr old put on the sprinkles.
Get some melting chocolate and make candy. It's vey easy and all you need is a double boiler to melt the chocolate, add some pretzels, or rice crispies, or peanuts, or a few drops of pepermint extract. You then drop by teaspoonfull onto wax paper and let it harden.
Decorate the tree and the rest of the house while listening to holiday music.
Make an early dinner, bath the kids, and put on PJs bundle up the kids and get in the car and go look at holiday decorations.
Since the kids are young you can put hem to bed fairly early and have some time to play board games or cards with your hubby.

1 mom found this helpful

I hated the TV when I was married - couldn't talk above it, it stayed on when no one was in the room, it was on during meals - UGH!!

I have not had TV in my home since I moved out four years ago and will never have it again. We do have a DVD player for occasional movies. I find movies are more controllable - no commercials and no hook into the next show and the next, and no remote to channel surf.

My daughter and I do fine without TV. We play, build forts and make things, read, do puzzles, play with our cat and hermit crabs, and spend as much time as possible outside. We live in MN and it is cold and dark here, too. That doesn't mean we can't go sledding or ice skating. We also have two karate classes, swimming lesson, piano lesson, and theater class each week...and homework. When would we fit in TV?

BTW - my daughter watches plenty of TV when she's at her Dad's house, so she's not "culturally" unaware or anything ;-)

1 mom found this helpful

Board games you can play as a family that are age specific for your wee ones. Books are awesome. Take up a craft or few--what about working on making a few of your own Christmas decorations together? Bake cookies, make candy.

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