Tv and Kids....

Updated on March 23, 2008
L.S. asks from Lakewood, WA
9 answers

ok - finally won the argumnt with my hubby to downsize our $200 per month Comcast bill. But, due to finances the only soluion I can find is to dump the service almost completely down to the $15 per month basic basic cable..... I figure if I do that and switch our phone service we should be OK - (everything elses has been cut financially already) - We need to keep he $49 per month internet because of my work.

Anyway - for those of you who limit tv or dont have it at all..... or have made that transition... how did the kids do? That is my big concern. The kids have gottn used to movies and shows on demand, and watching a lot of tv . I used the money argument with my hubby but I really wanted to remove the choice of tv from everyones plate because we all watch too much tv.

I dont know... I guess I am worried about making the change - for myself and managing the kids.

What can I do next?

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answers from Seattle on

Over 2 years ago now, my husband and I decided to CUT the cable and we haven't had it since. Ultimately, we decided we needed the extra money every month. And although it started out that way, we realized there were many OTHER benefits to not having TV as an option.
Before we decided to cancel the cable, I also was worried about not having kid's programs for my son when he got older and what we would do when the baby was asleep and we had the whole evening ahead of us. (Would we actually be bored?!)
After our cable was cancelled, I realized how much time was actually spent watching the TV. It took up our whole day and evening. We had begun to live life based off of what shows were on . . . "No, sorry. We can't come over for a visit tonight . . .CSI's on!" How lame! We were neglecting friends, time as a family, conversations as a couple, and exercise . . . to spend time with the TV!
We also had become immune to all the "dirt" on TV. We didn't realize all the bad language we were hearing and naughty things we were seeing until we weren't around it all day. (Now, you can't even watch shows with your kids because you have to be aware of the commercials!)
It was a great decision for us. My husband and I have actually talked about NEVER having cable again.
We do watch LOTS of movies! All those kid shows are on DVD now. My 2 year old still knows who Dora is and what Blue's Clues and the Backyardigans are and he hasn't had cable in his house since he was 6 months old!
When you have to put movies in for your children, it makes you VERY aware of how much time they're spending in front of the TV.
My husband and I rent movies ALL the time, it's what we do on those weeknights we ACTUALLY get to be home and the kids are in bed for the night! We have a lot of fun. There's something romantic about putting in a movie for the night and snuggling on the couch with popcorn!
I'm not recommending you cancel your cable. I'm just letting you know what worked for us and why. If you DO decided to cancel it, keep in mind it's HARD to stop watching TV cold turkey, but you'll get used to it. We don't "miss" TV anymore. :)
Good luck making a decision that works for YOUR family!! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

hi L.,
We have a 5 1/2, 4 and 1 year old. My oldest child was becoming too dependant on tv (me too). We decided they can only watch tv on saturday mornings. My husband and I don't watch anything until kids are in bed.
We remembered as kids that we looked forward to this treat all week. We also limit computer time to 1/2 hour per day and they can only do learning games. I was worried like you are about the transition. We are only on day 5 and I love it!!! I feel like my oldest child has got his imagination back. He was so entertained by technology that he forgot how to be a kid. We have also talked about doing a movie night with the kids once in a while, where we all sit down and eat popcorn and watch a kids movie. They are so stoked to do this that they can hardly stand it.



answers from Seattle on

We dramatically limited tv for my four year old. He was upset and grumpy about it for the first couple of days, but I told him that it wasn't "tv time" and that we were going to do something else. The first day we baked cupcakes. (And, as you all know, baking with small children is an ALL day event!)

The second day we did lots of art work in the dining room. We're also getting a small garden started - my four year old ADORES strawberries and really wants to grow them.

We're all alot more active. Tv is now a special event or a luxury - instead of an all day, every day kind of thing.



answers from Seattle on

we don't have cable, and don't get very good reception for the normal channels either, but we manage to pick up pbs with our rabbit ears pretty ok. my daughter loves the pbs GO! shows and i love that there are no commercials! my mother in law commented on the fact that my daughter doesn't ever ask for toys in the store, she just plays with them while we're there, or looks at them. she said it must be b/c she doesn't know she's supposed to want them (since she doesn't watch commercials!). i love that she noticed this!

we get kid stuff at the library, and we watch a lot of tv shows through netflix after she's in bed. i love watching shows on dvd....we can watch a bunch in one sitting!! :) i also can't stand commercials any more. if we're at someone else's house or in a hotel, i mute the commercials's just people yelling at me to buy their stuff. annoying! it's also cut out mindless time wasting tv watching. we now waste our time on the computer or on video games (my husband)...... ;0

good luck, i'm sure it'll be just fine. :)



answers from Portland on

When my daughter was in 5th grade, I left the TV behind along with my first marriage. That first school year, she begged me to get a new TV (which I couldn't afford and didn't want anyway) so that she could talk with her friends about all the neat shows they got to watch. I calmly and persistently directed her attention to other things she could do, or we could do together, that were fun, rewarding, good exercise, educational, etc.

Then she had a summer away from most of her school friends. A month or so after school started up again, she complained to me that her friends didn't do anything fun or interesting, they just watched TV.


Almost 30 years later, my life is so full that I have no idea how I would fit in TV viewing. My husband and I do enjoy watching videos at home, as do my daughter and her husband and son (who watch so little TV they have given up their cable service).

Videos are cheap to rent, you can watch only as many as work for your family life and budget, you can target them to your children's interests and apply "parental guidance" and educational values, you can keep your kids somewhat free of the pressures of sophisticated modern advertising, and you can more easily help them keep their lives well-balanced with other activities. (Netflix has terrific features on their site that help you choose the movies you'll like best.)

Abandon your television! You might like it much more than you think you will. And your kids might, too. If you just can't hack it, you can always change your mind later.



answers from Seattle on

This is what I did. When our comcast bill was getting to high I called in to cancel my account, they apparently didn't want to lose me as a customer so they offered whatever promo they had going at the time. You might just try calling them and asking if you can have one of their promo's. My step-bro in law works for them and says that people call and ask all the time and they usually give it to them.



answers from Anchorage on

My kids did great with no TV. We still have the TV and can rent movies if we want. Our public liabrary even has movies we can rent for free! They use the computer too so they do have electronic entertainment. Also Discovery chanel has a good player that you can get a few shows on and they play very well, not all choppy like other stuff. We limit computer time and only get movies once a week or so. Even the 15 yo dosen't complain. I did hear a trick that might suit you, A mom would get 2 liabrary movies for her kids. One they could watch every day if they wanted to. Late friday night she would put the other one ontop of the TV and when the kids woke up they could watch it. Bought some extra sleeping time saturday morning!



answers from Medford on

my daughter is only allowed to watch tv on the weekends. she can play video games during the week (which i feel are better - they are using their brain).
your kids are so use to it that they are going to complain about boredom. they will need to find other things to do. ride bikes, scooters, play outside, read books, color etc. you could always put them to work too =) i tell my daughter that if she is really bored that i can giver her something to do hehe.



answers from Jacksonville on

TV is so so so bad for kids, especially when they are so young. It literally stunts their creativity, and breeds short attention spans. Before TV came along, school teachers could literally read to the students for an hour stretch without problems. That is not possible today. ADHD has a direct correlation with how much TV they are exposed to (for every hour a day they watch they are 10% more likely to have ADHD - watch 6 hours a day and they are 60% more likely to have it). If you want them to be really creative and self entertaining, get rid of all the toys that aren't very basic (keep blocks and tinker toys and lincoln logs; get rid of the ones that they are bored with in 5 minutes because the space ship can only be a space ship, where as the block can be anything). I get most of this from John Rosemond and any of his parenting books.

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