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A thread for families who don't watch TV, play Wii, videogames or DS etc.


Alicia64
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I'm starting to get major push back from my kids. They're seven. And I was just curious how it's handled in your family.

 

My kids are running with the argument that "regular" kids (regular means kids who watch TV, play Wii and DS etc.) think they're weird. And they're saying that they don't have a lot in common with other kids who focus on the Mario or whatever.

 

I see their point. Lots of families -- homeschool or public school -- have their kids watching TV, doing videogames etc.

 

I'd love to start a thread about the issues surrounding this lifestyle. But I don't want this thread to go in the direction of whether TV is good or bad etc.

 

I hope there's someone out there to talk with!!

 

Alley

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We don't receive television signals, but we will rent movies now and then. We don't own any video game systems (unless you count the Coleco Vision which is in a box in the garage). We do listen to a variety of music stations - we don't limit for content or music genre at all.

 

They do play Wii at other houses from time to time. We have no problem with that. Dh and I talked about possibly buying a Wii, but he was not enticed by it. Instead, he bought an air hockey table. :D

 

My children have noticed that they don't necessarily know the latest movies or tv shows or video games, more specifically my dd10. It does bother her a little bit, but she doesn't really want to watch the shows they talk about, after hearing about them. She'd rather watch something on History Channel. (And we do stream some of those, which they all LOVE.)

 

I know we (dh & I) have made decisions for our family which we feel are best for us. I also know that some of those decisions can, and do, make things more difficult for our children at times. My kids certainly aren't going to win any games based on pop culture. I've realized that lately due to looking at some of the games in the stores. Yet I haven't been moved to make any changes, either.

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We caved in somewhat. No violent games or tv or movies in my house or if front of my little kids. TV or computer time or games happen after school, swim practice, and chores. I got tired of not enjoying something that could be fun for our family if kept in the proper perspective. I am not sorry we caved in. I think if we had continued to ban everything, our kids would have had reason to sneak and then I think they would have rebelled. I did not cave to appease the masses, but to avoid a conflict that I feel was not worth fighting,(I try to choose my battles wisely) and then I could also limit how long and what was being watched or played.

 

~~Faithe

 

ETA: We "caved" when our oldest was about 18. The girls never cared about tv or video games...but my older boys were 14 and 11...and they DID care once they were out in the world a little more. My little guys watch a very limited anount of TV and only play a video game once every few months. The older boys play on saturday nights if they are not out somewhere...which they are more and more as they get older. My 12 yo is more like her sisters in that she couldn't care less about gaming or tv. She would rather write or draw....

Edited by Mommyfaithe
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We don't have TV, video games, or wi, and I don't even know what DS stands for :001_smile:...Our boys have never even been to the movies...

 

They don't really ask for it...We got a movie to watch on the computer at Christmas, they have seen a couple of those over the years...

 

 

Love this thread...Have to go now, will check back later...

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My daughter is starting to have more of an issue with it. She isn't come from the direction of wanting to be able to do those things. I actually wish she'd show a bit more interest in at least learning to type on the computer. She has no interest in tv, computer, video games, ipods, etc, but she is starting to notice that she is out of the loop. We don't forbid those things. We just are not interested in them. We are nerds. We have a 13 in old fashioned tv that we've hooked a dvd player up to. That is the extent of screens in our house. I offered to buy her an ipod for Christmas and got turned down. LOL.

 

She finds it frustrating that her peers never talk about anything else. When I give her suggestions of things to bring up she responds with, "Mom, they already think I'm a freak. If I bring up books they are going to think I'm even more crazy." Sigh. Her frustrations are not that she wishes she was like them. She simply wishes they were more like her.

 

If she mentions it to me, I google stuff just so she can at least know that what her peers spent 20 minutes talking about was a music band or tv show.

 

If it makes any difference, I grew up the exact same way. I know where she is coming from and yet having come this far, I can see how very thankful I am that my parents raised us in screens-limited world.

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we caved a bit too. we don't get tv but do rent movies and own movies. we noted that the kids we knew who had no tv's at all growing up were major addicts when they moved out. the ones who had moderate tv or movies and were taught to discern are able to discriminate and have self-control that the other families' kids we watched over time grow up simply didn't show after zero tv. I know we didn't have a huge # of families to study. It isn't scientific proof or anything - grin. But we've been trying hard to let our kids use netflix with our help and it has been great to be able to discuss why we aren't choosing certain movies and why we limit so much. We read tons too though!

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We are such a techie household, so we have a little bit of everything. However, I grew up with no television, no videos, no video games, and no computer. I survived. In my free time, I was usually reading library books, playing board games with my parents or playing outside with friends.

 

Kids don't need electronics to survive. :)

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She finds it frustrating that her peers never talk about anything else. When I give her suggestions of things to bring up she responds with, "Mom, they already think I'm a freak. If I bring up books they are going to think I'm even more crazy." Sigh. Her frustrations are not that she wishes she was like them. She simply wishes they were more like her.

 

 

Yes. This exactly!

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we don't have cable but we do have a lot of DVD movies and a netflix subscription so we can stream. We go greatly limit their viewing time though. no more then 1/2 per day of TV/movie OR video games.

 

We own oodles of books and hit the library every week and have lots of unplugged things to do. With the boys it has been fine they grew up this way since birth and we have had no problems yet but they are all still little. My step daughters on the other hand hate it :tongue_smilie: they are older and their mom's house is the polar opposite where they can do and watch whatever they want whenever. It was like pulling teeth to get them to read and they still have a hard time finding something to do even though there is literally hundreds of activities

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My first thought when I read "DS" was dear son. That didn't quite make sense, though, so I figured it out.:D

 

We don't get cable, but we do watch occasional movies or programs like animal shows on dvd. I do allow a very little bit of computer time, and the dvds are quite limited. Yes, older ds in particular, would like more. He is very electronically minded. Sorry. Not happening around here. He has been asking for an ipod for two years now. Even if he had the money to buy one, I don't think I'd want it here. and it's usage would be so limited, I think it would be more frustrating than anything.

 

I don't find too many of their friends talk about such things. We did have one family who let the ds have unlimited access to everything and it was more of an issue when we saw them regularly. I find most of our hs friends have other interests.

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We don't allow video games, but we do allow SOME pre-approved shows on the weekend, as well as National Geographic, Mythbusters and such, but we have pretty strict time limits. We also subscribe to Netflix. My kids don't have a DS or any other hand held electronic game and my youngest has indeed been asking for one. But I think it's a weird point of pride with him that DH and I don't budge LOL. My biggest pet peeve is children sitting around playing DS instead of interacting, reading or playing. Drives me nuts. OTOH, some might say our allowing of certain television shows is unacceptable. So I try not to judge.

 

For me, I accept that some television and documentaries are beneficial for our family. Video games and hand-held devices are verboten, however. We explain why, and that's that. Their friends don't seem to mind, at least for now, nor do they seem to talk about it that much. It's usually all about what game to play next, what area to explore outside, or their K'Nex.

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We do not do screens. The closest my children have gotten to videogames are Mavis Beacon typing and Zoombini's logic game (this one I restrict heavily--15 min/day during winter months only). We have filled our lives with so many things that we do not have much time to watch television. We get no signal, but we do have a few movies on hand. We do a VERY rare family movie night. We have an ancient TV (not digital or whatever) that is hooked up to a VCR, so that dates us for sure.

 

HOWEVER, I just last night signed up for a trial of Netflix, so we'll see where that goes. I will be the one controlling the choices and content (the children don't even know yet that I have done this). I am hoping for some quality history/science titles on Netflix to go along with our Modern History study. My son also likes engineering oriented science titles (I've gotten a few here and there at the library before).

 

They are starting to have outside classes now and starting to hear things from other people and realize that they are not quite plugged in to pop culture. But they also realize, for example, that the girl who is bugging them about how vital it is to watch SpongeBob is the girl who struggles to pass the class and has major problems with writing assignments they find easy. So we have been dialoguing about that (not in a judgmental way). I am doing more explaining of why we make our choices, and they understand why we have made them.

 

Sometimes other children do think mine are weird. I have coached my children to find SOMETHING that they have in common with the other person and focus on that.

Edited by WTMCassandra
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We have never had TV since we were married 14 years ago. We allow our kids to watch TV or play games if we are in a hotel, hospital or other peoples houses. We have never had a gaming system but we do let the kids play games on the computer. We do have netflix now, Hulu is also available but barely used. It really is not hard to go without a TV anymore. I can even watch some games online if I want. We have ipods, kindles and an android. Our boy really wants a Wii but I never had anything like it as a kid and see no need for it now.

 

I love telling the cable sales man that I do not have a TV when he ask if I want to sign up for the latest cable deal.

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We are another family with no cable or video games. We will maybe watch a movie (another Netflix subscriber here) on the weekends or an educational movie sometimes during the week. Luckily my kids don't know this isn't "normal" so I have no complaints from them.

 

2 years ago I allowed much more TV - we have never been into video games. I tried to limit it, but I bet they watched 1-2 hours a day.(and I know there were days where it was much more :blush:) Turning off the tube has been great. They would mope around asking 'can we watch something' or 'what can we do'. After about 3 days of no TV they snapped out of it. They started to fill the time on their own. Having done it both ways..... I don't care what their peers do. I see the huge benefits to no/very limited screen time.

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We don't have cable, and we don't do video games or wii. We do allow pre-approved DVD and history documentaries we rent from the library that correspond to our history study.

I think my ds are interested more in playing in the snow than video games. Now it's winter in MN, my boys play in the snow in our backyard for almost two hours at a time building snow fort, build roads and stores, and ds even makes a map of what they built.

We have lots of board games like Settlers of Catan that they play almost every day with dad. I am not a board game person, but all the men in my house love them!

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She finds it frustrating that her peers never talk about anything else. Her frustrations are not that she wishes she was like them. She simply wishes they were more like her.

 

 

This is true of my oldest son as well...He tells me that he wants to play with other kids but, "The kids don't want to play...They only want to do video games or watch TV"...He has this problem when he goes to someone's home...Naturally, everyone plays at my house because there is no TV or video games ;)

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Turning off the tube has been great. They would mope around asking 'can we watch something' or 'what can we do'. After about 3 days of no TV they snapped out of it. They started to fill the time on their own. Having done it both ways..... I don't care what their peers do. I see the huge benefits to no/very limited screen time.

 

:iagree:

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Chiming in, no tv for over 25 years! Before we married, my hubby and I talked long and hard and didn't like the way tv was headed. Neither of us had one, and we said, this is why, and we laid out why we didn't have it. Our own personal convictions.

 

Four children later, 14, 12, and twins 11, we still don't have one. We did have a tv (non cable compliant) for a Wii, and another system, for about a year. But we felt something in that not right for US!

We sat with the kids and they said they were not real keen on it much,and would be willing to sell for a new trampoline! We did and they got it.

 

People ask them, what do you do? My oldest says, we play games, and do puzzles and read! We have had most of the kids over to the house and they always look to see where it is? But a few on the way out say, "Dang, I had fun and we didn't even watch TV"

 

It is our choice, and our family is having fun and living without it. We do "watch" videos for school on the computer. Have been known on football games to hit the local pizza parlor for dinner and football.

 

Funny thing is my kids have a business now, collecting old unusable tvs and computer screens. They get $5 each at the recycle. Hilarious, we will have stacks of them on the back yard, and bring them all at the same time 2ce a month.

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We limit cable, do have a Wii {but haven't played it in two years} and that's about all. We don't have a DS or any other game type stuff. My children notice but it doesn't bother them at all. In fact they feel many of them are a waste of time and money. It's quiet sad to my children when their peers think they look so 'cool' with the ipods and cell phones, as if these things define their worth or who they are. It's also irritating for my dc when they have to repeat themselves because their friends are busy texting or listening to music.

 

Our cable (which is very basic with channels thankgoodness) is included with the internet (I've tried to get the cable company to drop it), we can go weeks without watching cable. We use dvd but very limited.

 

We did go a whole year without a television. I loved it!

Edited by Homeschooling6
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We don't have cable, satellite, or broadcast reception. We do have a Wii but only a handful of sports & fitness titles. That mainly gets used during the rainy season when it's too yucky to exercise outdoors for long. I haven't really gotten any complaints yet, but my oldest is only 8.

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I grew up without a tv, and when I married, I donated DH's tv. DD asked me at Costco last year whether the huge computer screen was in fact a tv :001_huh:. I do subscribe to Netflix so that I can watch movies :tongue_smilie:, but also because I think there are worthwhile shows that young kids can watch. I allow DD to occasionally watch Magic School Bus videos because she has learned so much from them. By the way, the oompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sing a song warning kids to stay away from tv and read books, which confirmed to DD, all of 5 and obviously believes in what she reads, that Mommy does know best ;). So for now, no arguments from her yet.

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We don't allow video games, but we do allow SOME pre-approved shows on the weekend, as well as National Geographic, Mythbusters and such, but we have pretty strict time limits. We also subscribe to Netflix. My kids don't have a DS or any other hand held electronic game and my youngest has indeed been asking for one. But I think it's a weird point of pride with him that DH and I don't budge LOL. My biggest pet peeve is children sitting around playing DS instead of interacting, reading or playing. Drives me nuts. OTOH, some might say our allowing of certain television shows is unacceptable. So I try not to judge.

 

For me, I accept that some television and documentaries are beneficial for our family. Video games and hand-held devices are verboten, however. We explain why, and that's that. Their friends don't seem to mind, at least for now, nor do they seem to talk about it that much. It's usually all about what game to play next, what area to explore outside, or their K'Nex.

 

:iagree: We allow limited viewing via netflix and dvds of our choosing:D We do have Wii Fit and a few other very limited exercise type Wii Games. We are considering XBox with connect to help improve ds's coordination/ visual spatial/focus:D If we do get this we will only get games geared towards this. Ds rarely uses the Wii. I would like to see him do Wii Fit everyday for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour since it is great exercise and I don't want him to become a couch potato. We will never allow unlimited playing of other types of games though or games with violence. I have alos allowed limited educational games on the computer such as Oregon Trail.

 

To sum up though, most of his free time is spent reading:D It really does help to limit electronics.

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We have TV mainly because my dh couldn't live without one. We hardly ever turn it on when he's not home. While we were moving (beginning of Nov) we were without Cable for about 3 weeks. *I* absolutely LOVED it. My dh on the other hand... ;)

 

We don't have any type of gaming system. They've been going to friend's houses and playing a bit, but we have no issues with that.

 

ETA: (my dd was reading this as I posted, LOL) My mom is buying each of the 3 oldest a DS. She doesn't buy "mindless" games but educational ones. She's also buying the 3yo a Leapster, or something like that.

Edited by AudreyTN
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We do a lot of screens here, but we are still different than the average household. We have tv (no cable) and the kids can watch unlimitedly because they never choose to. My dd likes shows like Dancing with the Stars, So you Think You Can Dance and currently, The Sing Off. That is all they see. Ds has a ds, but is only allowed to play it in the car. We have a wii, but typically it is only used for Wii Fit or the occasional family game of Mario Kart. Ds is taking his second computer programming class this year (dh is a programmer). So he knows as much about programming as games.:001_smile:

 

As a result, my kids feel very left out of conversations about tv, and most other current culture. They read a lot. Ds likes to talk about video games, but has a limited range because we only allow E rated games even though he is almost 14. None of his friends play the games he does, they all play more violent stuff. While I do think they find it awkward when they are out of a conversation, they mostly find things they do have in common to talk about. Most of dd's friends are gymnasts and they talk of nothing but gymnastics. Most of ds's friends are book lovers and a bit geeky like he is. He plays multiple instruments, so music is always a good topic. His greatest love is his pet ferret and he'll talk pets for extended periods too.

 

I think there is a transition age, maybe around the age of the op's kids. Kids don't necessarily have a wide enough range of interest or the conversation skills to bring up their interests without feeling awkward. As they get older, they find friends who are more like them and get better at turning a conversation. I don't think it is as hard for my kids to be culturally on the outside now as it was between 7-9. I think that is just an age where other kids are discovering screens and pop culture and it seems SO important. Plenty of kids move on and don't stay absorbed.

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We heavily restricted TV, no computer or video games until about 9. Now - they had som access (at friends, etc) so they weren't kept from it all the time.

At about 9 they started playing some computer games,

At 10 we decided we didn't watch enough tv to make satelite or cable worth it - so from then on we've only had what we can get on an antenna...

At about 11/12 (last X-mas) we got them a Wii.

They do not have hand held games.

They do now watch play-it-now episodes of some shows on Netflix (especially Mythbusters and Top Gear)

 

As for dealing with the pushback, I think for us moderation was key. Allowing them access to some at friends' house, not making a big deal over it to other parents and kids, etc - they didn't feel deprived, and yet were still hardly plugged in at all.

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My kids are running with the argument that "regular" kids (regular means kids who watch TV, play Wii and DS etc.) think they're weird. And they're saying that they don't have a lot in common with other kids who focus on the Mario or whatever.

 

I see their point. Lots of families -- homeschool or public school -- have their kids watching TV, doing videogames etc.

 

Alley

 

We don't watch T.V. -though we do watch some t.v. series by DVD. I don't allow our littles to watch. Someone gave us a X-box last year after the fire. It's the first we've ever had. We "save" it for winter. (for instance, we are currently having a blizzard -the winter's do get LONG). We are getting it out this weekend and the first nice day in the spring it goes back in storage. We have 4 games- all very benign.

We do watch DVD's.

We have many discussions about why we do what we do-including brain training. Young brains that spend vast amounts of time being image fed are more difficult to "word fed." We listen to a lot of CD's which is good, solid word training.

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We do have t.v. but it is very restricted. Right now, we watch the Waltons, but that is it. I would prefer we didn't have t.v. but I do enjoy a good movie now and then.

 

Our children are compeletly aware that we are NEVER going to get a Wii or any kind of video gaming. We have seen the distructiveness of gaming far too often.

 

Our kids are weird. I don't think they know they are weird yet, but I hope someday they appreciate that being different is actually a good thing. I homeschool my children so they can become who they really are, not what society deems them to be. I am so thankful that they are not dictated by what others think of them. That to me is true freedom!

 

P.S. What is wrong with free entertainment these days? My children all have runner sleds and they LOVE to go sledding! Even this morning our son came in at 8 a.m. to announce to the rest of the household that the sledding conditions were perfect! Who needs gaming?

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What is wrong with free entertainment these days? My children all have runner sleds and they LOVE to go sledding! Even this morning our son came in at 8 a.m. to announce to the rest of the household that the sledding conditions were perfect! Who needs gaming?

 

My kids would be over the moon if it snowed here during the winter & they could go sledding. Unfortunately, winter where we live means low 40's and rainy nearly every day. Cold enough to make it unpleasant to be outside for long but too warm for snow. :(

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I have a TV with over-the-air signal only. I have Wii, which is used in limited amounts during, purchased only for reasons similar to Priscilla's -- it's basically an exciting diversion to compensate for some difficult medical problems. It was virtually forgotten about during the summer. My kids watch the occasional video or show, but their favorite PBS show was canceled, so they just don't watch much. I like to watch the news. I haven't been to a movie theater in years, so I watch a few movies at home. However, my life does not revolve around TV, my kids own very few branded products (I finally had to give up on shoes, when I just couldn't find any that fit except Dora boots one winter) and I think that does make a positive difference in our lives.

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We don't have broadcast tv, but watch Netflix Ondemand. We do have computers, and the girls are on the internet, but they don't play online games with other kids. Even when we had tv, my kids didn't fit in well with other kids, not even homeschoolers that have tv. They read alot and play imaginatively with toys. They don't play online games. We were recently shocked at a birthday party when the parent's discussion turned to what the kids watch and how much. It just isn't something I want them to spend that much time doing.

 

My dd bought a Webkins stuffed animal at our local toystore. The Cashier was shocked when she asked her to cut off the tag and please throw it away. Apparently kids play with these online. Who knew?

 

Having these things will not make your kids fit in even if you wanted them to. The kids would need to live and breathe a culture that thinks DS games are important and what level of whatever you are in an online game matters. There is nothing wrong with having them or not having them, but it is a matter of what cultural things you want them to value.

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We have a TV but no signal that we watch movies on. My dd has a DS lite that she bought for $2 w/ her own money. She only has one game for it (which has clue, battleship & another board game). She only really plays with it in the car on long trips and with her siblings. They do make comments sometimes about how they don't have some things in common with other kids, but seem to be okay with it.

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We have ONE tv and just got a Wii. For tv, it's just limited PBS otherwise off while the kids are up (admit dh and I like to snuggle and watch some shows after the kids are asleep :D ). The kids watch tv or occasionally videos when it is for MY benefit and sometimes as a reward from finishing schoolwork/chores.

 

That said, I think the real issue may be with the company your dc's are keeping and why your dcs think what goes with their friends defines "normal". Our kids have 8yo friends who have their own laptop, tv, cell phone, and gaming systems, but understand that families have different "home rules" and never question that. I've heard their friends ask why they haven't seen a movie or don't have X and dds just shrug and say they don't need it. Our kids define normal by what is normal to OUR family. I think that is probably due a lot to the fact our kids have very HIGH supervision when playing with other kids and we are very selective who they play with and how often. THey don't see their friends every day and they don't mind -- it's made them great friends with each other and I'm always very proud of how they behave with other kids (7yo DD is the peace negotiator and the first to step in if one kid is being mean to another, to the point I'm kinda amazed the other kids like her so much! :lol )

 

Your kids are still pretty young to be identifying their friends' lives as "normal" and yours as "abnormal". I don't have the answers, but I would be concerned. Maybe try to network with some families more like yours? Or explain WHY you are choosing as a family not to have those things.

 

Good luck!

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My 3kids(6,8,11) have pretty good understanding that our family is and choose to be "different" from most of their friend's families. Especially for my oldest son, I let him read few books by Jane Healy and others on harmful effect of too much tv,computer other digital media.

 

We currently have a computer used mostly for emails, research, educational materials and a t.v. that is used only for viewing a family movie about 1-2 a month. We don't have any nintendo's or xbox or wii.

They are allowed to play these games or watch t.v. at their friend's house but, we only visit once in a while. Of course they do have "fun" while they are there and playing those games, but they know it isn't for our family to have it in our home. I don't think I can control and limit their time if we had any of those gadgets. So I choose not to have it period.

 

My youngest dd just says "my mom wants me to be as smart as I can be so I don't watch t.v. it dulls your mind." :D she explained to my in-laws last time we were there.

 

One more thing I realized about most of the kids who do have games/t.v. are not used to unstructured time of play. It's like they don't know how to "free play" without a fancy toy or gadget for a long time. Very commom to see 5th or 6th grade+ older boys not knowing what to do with themselves in a environment that is not digital.

I think it is in some sense "good" for kids to be kind of bored enough to let them create their own games and toys+ read more books.:001_smile:

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Other than the classics and educational dvds/streaming, we are what you described in your post. No tv, video games, etc... It works for us. My children are different from others in many ways, and this does not seem to bother them.

this is us too, with the occasional Elmo or Baby Einstein video for little one. DH does watch some TV *but not much* but we don't have cable so it is limited to 3 channels. No soaps, Saturday cartoons etc here. I would much rather have DD watch wild animals on National Geographic on Netflix. I just hope more of Netflix goes streaming, instead of having to wait for them in the mail.

IMO, I think video games are mind numbing. I would much rather have DD's brain stimulated with educational material than blinking lights and repeatative music and a G-d forbid the horrific violence that is out there on video games.

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we have a modified approach...my in-laws gave my kids a wii for my son's birthday. we do not receive tv signal but we have netflix. my kids are allowed to watch what we approve through our netflix cue. they get a one new wii game at christmas. they play it like crazy for about two weeks and then they're over it and only play it now and again, when friends come over.

 

I feel it is kind of like candy. in (strict) moderation it is okay. i allow 30 minutes a day on school days, and on weekends they are free to watch and / or play. what i find interesting is that they often don't choose to watch and /or play but would rather play with friends or build with craft sticks or legos or jump on the trampoline or see what mom or dad are doing. i think their lives are very balanced. you may find that they obsess for a bit...it's okay, let it ride, and then they move on to other things.

 

i know in your original post you asked for the people who don't do tv or video games, but since i've been back and forth on this and have settled on a middle ground i thought i'd offer my two cents.

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Thanks, everyone, lots of food for thought.

 

We're very "hands on" parents and active in our kids lives. So, yeah, it's frustrating that they're gravitating toward these kids/these issues. I mean, seriously, I read constantly to these guys. They've heard the entire Little House series twice -- all eight books. They get tons of "nourishing" brain food and yet they feel left out when their friends start discussing it all and they can't say a thing.

 

But the truth is: I'm talking about friends in every. corner. of our. lives. playing Wii, watching TV, doing DS.

 

Homeschoolers, co-op kids, kids in our neighborhood, definitely cub scouters, cousins for sure.

 

Unless we decide to live out in the middle of nowhere I'm starting to wonder how families keep this stuff out of their kids' lives.

 

Our last friend who doesn't get much TV, but does not have video games is apparently getting Wii for Christmas. :banghead:

 

I'm taking seriously the suggestion that maybe I'm having the kids play w/ the wrong set of kids. One of the friends is a super nice boy who's in the gifted program. Nice as can be. And totally connected to video games, TV, Wii etc.

 

Thanks for letting me vent. If you can read through my lines something you see I'm doing "wrong," please just let me know.

 

Also, I do think boys have a different attraction to Wii and videogames and DS then girls do. Just my 2-cents.

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Alley

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Thanks, everyone, lots of food for thought.

 

We're very "hands on" parents and active in our kids lives. So, yeah, it's frustrating that they're gravitating toward these kids/these issues. I mean, seriously, I read constantly to these guys. They've heard the entire Little House series twice -- all eight books. They get tons of "nourishing" brain food and yet they feel left out when their friends start discussing it all and they can't say a thing.

 

But the truth is: I'm talking about friends in every. corner. of our. lives. playing Wii, watching TV, doing DS.

 

Homeschoolers, co-op kids, kids in our neighborhood, definitely cub scouters, cousins for sure.

 

Unless we decide to live out in the middle of nowhere I'm starting to wonder how families keep this stuff out of their kids' lives.

 

Our last friend who doesn't get much TV, but does not have video games is apparently getting Wii for Christmas. :banghead:

 

I'm taking seriously the suggestion that maybe I'm having the kids play w/ the wrong set of kids. One of the friends is a super nice boy who's in the gifted program. Nice as can be. And totally connected to video games, TV, Wii etc.

 

Thanks for letting me vent. If you can read through my lines something you see I'm doing "wrong," please just let me know.

 

Also, I do think boys have a different attraction to Wii and videogames and DS then girls do. Just my 2-cents.

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Alley

 

I realize we may be lucky that our kids are happy introverts like their parents. :D They're *social*, especially the younger two, but if your boys are really outgoing and extroverted, I would imagine that would make things a lot tougher on the "what's normal" battle.

 

How much time do they spend with other (tv-lovin' lol) kids? Especially compared to the amount of time they spend with just core family (tv-less)? If they are spending a lot of time with friends, those friends are going to have a lot more influence. But again, if your boys are true extroverts there's only so much you can limit that without causing other problems. :tongue_smilie:

 

Maybe widening their circle to understand that most people in this world do NOT have tv's and Wii's or the free time to use such things let alone the resources to waste on them. Maybe study a few cultures to show them, or do volunteer work. A couple years ago I saw a series on remaining tribes around the world who still live a traditional life. Sounds crazy to suggest a video to solve a tv problem, but maybe seeing real kids who've only got a stick and a rock to play with and hope nothing eats them while they play (and play is all about prep for adulthood) might shake things up?? :D Or keep to books and study the change in how childhood is perceived over the ages (for example, our concept of "teenager" is an invention of the ~1950s).

 

Best wishes with this!

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We don't get cable, but we do watch occasional movies or programs like animal shows on dvd. I do allow a very little bit of computer time, and the dvds are quite limited. Yes, older ds in particular, would like more. He is very electronically minded. Sorry. Not happening around here. He has been asking for an ipod for two years now. Even if he had the money to buy one, I don't think I'd want it here. and it's usage would be so limited, I think it would be more frustrating than anything..

 

Exactly the same thing here. And I know it would just be him bugging me all the time wanting to use it...him being frustrated that he couldn't. Constantly.

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For what it’s worth, we have recently made a new rule: No screens on weekdays. This has been very beneficial. The kids don’t feel overly deprived and they are usually too busy on the weekend to get too much screen time. What they do watch is usually sports or a movie with their Dad.

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I think it is REALLY hard to keep your kids from being exposed to electronics. We don't have any of them other than basic TV, no cable. We don't watch much TV, just a bit of PBS here and there. Educational DVDs, old shows like "Davy Crockett", "Underdog" and "Speed Racer", and movies about once/week (rated G, mostly old stuff). Oh, and we have a computer that I let him play a few games on a couple of times/week if he's been cooperative (Pac-Man, Civilization).

 

My 11-year-old son is very frustrated by this - both the lack of electronics and the restrictions I've got on shows and movies. Many of his friends watch PG-13 movies, and these are parents that I like. Tonight he was asking why he can't watch The Simpsons - everyone else does. I do feel like he's probably at an age where I'd let him watch an episode or two, but I just don't even want to start down the path where we're watching TV shows. Kids made fun of him in 3rd grade because he didn't know who Hanna Montana was. So those kinds of things do bother him.

 

What I have started letting him do is use my phone to play a car racing game for a short period (and usually in the car) on days when he's buckled down and gotten to work on schoolwork and not messed around. This makes him very happy, and I think he feels "cool" with a cell phone (even though no one is seeing him!). And I am not caving and buying a DS or whatever (which he bugged me about for YEARS, but now he's on more of an iTouch/iPad kick). So we're both happy with this arrangement.

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We are limited here, no gaming systems, although dh has wanted a Wii- we are too cheap and I don't think they are all that. We sometimes get a few channels on broadcast w/ an antennae. We just signed up w/ Netflix we generally drop it in the summer. We watch tv more in the winter as it has been nasty a lot lately- cool,rainy and Very windy. We watch some movies like Pixar especially, watching a lot of documentaries as of late. We do go to the movies as a family- maybe a few times a year. We just watched Narnia. Ds does play some games on the computer- I have a bookmark tab though and he only plays ones I have put there.

 

In our circle of friends this is normal. I go back and forth on how much to restrict it and as we just started Netflix we have been watching more than I want. We need to find a happy medium. I would like it to be limited to 1hr screen a day and maybe a family movie once a week or something, for this time of year anyway.

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I understand and wish that we could be an e-free household to some extent. but DH and I are on the computer all the time, partly because we don't have t.v. we read the news, i'm on TWTM forums, :D, blogging, emailing, and DH likes to watch movies from his computer. When the kids see this as their example, and I'm not really sure that I want to change my own habits, I think that we have to consider how to teach them how to use electronics appropriately. I think the no screen time during weekdays is perfect. like a pp, my kids are usually too busy on weekends to have much screen time.

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Maybe widening their circle to understand that most people in this world do NOT have tv's and Wii's or the free time to use such things let alone the resources to waste on them. Maybe study a few cultures to show them, or do volunteer work. A couple years ago I saw a series on remaining tribes around the world who still live a traditional life. Sounds crazy to suggest a video to solve a tv problem, but maybe seeing real kids who've only got a stick and a rock to play with and hope nothing eats them while they play (and play is all about prep for adulthood) might shake things up?? :D Or keep to books and study the change in how childhood is perceived over the ages (for example, our concept of "teenager" is an invention of the ~1950s).

 

I LOVE this idea -- thank you!!

 

 

My 11-year-old son is very frustrated by this - both the lack of electronics and the restrictions I've got on shows and movies. Many of his friends watch PG-13 movies, and these are parents that I like. Tonight he was asking why he can't watch The Simpsons - everyone else does. I do feel like he's probably at an age where I'd let him watch an episode or two, but I just don't even want to start down the path where we're watching TV shows. Kids made fun of him in 3rd grade because he didn't know who Hanna Montana was. So those kinds of things do bother him.

 

This is exactly my situation. The "everyone else" argument. And, to a huge extent: they're right. A lot of everyone else's are out there doing the electronics.

 

I love the learning about tribes thing -- they'll love that. Any hints on where to find these dvd's?

 

Alley

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Honestly, we have it all (Wii, Netflix, internet, cable tv) but the kids rarely watch TV or play Wii. In fact I have let them watch what they want when they were sick and after a short period of time they wonder off :). DD9 got in trouble one day and we were trying to find a punishment. My DH said no TV or Wii... I told him that was not much of a punishment since she spends maybe an hour a week in these activities. DD was talking about the shows her friends watch and she just doesn't get it...she is not into pop culture.

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With all due respect, I don't think there are many children who live a life where they might be eaten by wild animals if they're not careful while they play.

 

And you'd be surprised how many people, even in rural areas around the world, can access a shared TV.

 

I think it's easy to romanticize village life, but it's not necessarily accurate. Also I'm not sure it's relevant to say that people in rural Vietnam don't do such-and-such; your child is not living there. It's better to deal with cultural norms a bit closer to home in trying to understand your child's feelings. Which is what this is about, not percentages of world television and Wii usage.

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Not that I am advocating playing/watching screens all day (Wii, Xbox, DS, etc.), but on a psychological basis, I believe that children want to feel like they fit in "somewhere". And peer relationships are very positive/rewarding for the tween/teenager. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, technology is this generations future. And things in moderation, to me, really isn't so bad. I guess as the parent, I wouldn't ban playing or getting one gaming device, but I would definitely limit the game time. As for tv, we don't watch a lot of "junk" tv, but my sons' favorite programs are, "How it's Made", "Myth Busters" and "Survivor Man" all on the Discovery Channel. We also just watched "The Battle of Gettysburg" on the History Channel, which my middle ds loved.

 

Just my 2-cents.:leaving:

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Unless we decide to live out in the middle of nowhere I'm starting to wonder how families keep this stuff out of their kids' lives.

Also, I do think boys have a different attraction to Wii and videogames and DS then girls do. Just my 2-cents.

 

 

I do live out 'in the middle of nowhere.' I know that most of the kids we interact with have screen-time in their lives. However, my kids haven't run into this issue too much yet. I'm sure they will as they get older and the other kids won't do as much "pretend play" and active play with them. That's probably why it doesn't come up often - my kids are always pretending something & running around to play it. They just figure when someone mentions something they haven't heard of (pokemon?) that it is a character from a book or movie they haven't seen. They ask about it & are fine with pretending including that figure in their pretending.

 

We don't receive a TV signal. My cell phone (which is a Tracfone) doesn't take pictures, get on the web, and I didn't know how to send a text message until about a year ago. We have no video games & fondly refer to ourselves as neo-Luddites with regard to 'new' technology (except for my computer which is my Achilles Heel). My older kids get very limited computer screen time - maybe 15 minutes two or three times a week and only for memory work on things they are currently struggling with in school (geography, math).

 

I think the comment about boys having a different attraction to (highly visual) videogames is right. Guys (in general) are very drawn to visual (stimulating) content. I'm still fortunate that my boys are young. I know I'll deal with this at a later time. I have no advice for you, just support.

 

I don't think you are doing anything "wrong." I think that this, like parenting (at least for me) in general, is hard. DH & I continue to do the "hard things" we think are best. I'm sure there will be compromises down the road. Good luck. :grouphug:

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