Keeping Children Occupied Without Television

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Avigail David, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. Avigail David

    Avigail David Well-Known Member
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    I love my friends and relatives who have television. When we visit with them, our relatives would not feel alienated or uncomfortable turning their TV on. But most of the time, we are more engaged in talking and catching up. Cousins talk, too.

    In my home, a TV is an expense we have not prioritize buying since sixteen years ago. Having a full house with children compensates for entertainment and activities involving everyone in my family, including babies (currently grandchildren). So, we never miss a TV in the house.

    Books have occupied our bookshelves. We read them a lot. With the internet, we watch YouTube for research, DIY building tips and sciences (my son's interest) and music and writing websites (daughter)-- after homeschool hours.

    We live in the country, so, the children are pretty much occupied connecting with nature, outdoors. On Fridays, it's movie/video nights with the younger ones; while our two sons, highschoolers are in town, (45 mins away), at our church's youth group after school.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
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  2. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    The thread title is a hard one... in the olden days. I remember when I was a student, weekends would be spent in front of the tv. There were times that I was reviewing for exams in front of the tv. But now I guess it is not that hard to keep the children away from tv simply because the tv is not the number 1 priority now. What's hard is how to keep away the children from the computer or the tablet or the smart phone. It's really a new era and a new problem.
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We did not have a television until I was a teenager, so I learned to keep myself occupied in other ways. I was also an only child; so I had to do things by myself. I liked to read, draw pictures, and in nice weather, I was usually outside a lot of the time.
    When I was raising my children, we sometimes had a televiion, and sometimes not; but even when we did have one, it was not even turned on until after dinner in the evening, if at all.
    We lived in the country; so there were always lot of chores to do, and the kids and I went horseback riding, fishing, and swimming in the summer.
    In the evening, we would often make a small bonfire, roast hot dogs and marshmallows for dinner, and then we all sat around the fire and sang songs until time to wash up for bed.
    There was just a lot of other things to do, and the television was never a big part of life for us.
    I still do not like watching TV, except for a special movie or program now and then, and having the ipads has made it easier.
    I can read, or do what I want , and Bobby can watch movies, and we botth have headphones. Even when he is actually watching TV; I can just put on my headphones and watch a Youtube program about something I want to learn more about, or even just listen to music on Pandora .
     
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  4. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The programs that are on TV today, only serve as an advertising delivery system. If it wasn't for the ads, TV would be gone. It has become "The Vast Ad-land"!;) So many ads are geared for children.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I have always found duct tape to be effective.
     
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  6. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I feel like I am walking into this but ... duct tape?o_O
     
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  7. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
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    How very lucky you are. I envy you.
     
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  8. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    I was lucky. All we had was a radio and record player until I was a teen. I played outdoors, read, drew pictures, played board games and cards. The older I got the more chores I had to do. Mowed grass for several people, shoveled snow, helped with gardening. In my teen years we lived on a block long street. At the end of our block was a baseball field, and beyond that, farms. So, hunting and fishing was just a short walk away.
     
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  9. Jenn Windey

    Jenn Windey Active Member
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    I was one of the original TV generation people, we went from three channels black and white to what we have today. I spent my fair share of time in front of the idiot box, and have since made the decision to cut the cord. One of which I do not in any way shape or form regret. I still watch "shows" I have my favorites and do not miss them if I can help it. but I do agree that television today has become so commercial it is not a great idea to make it a centerpiece to the household.

    When I had my son back in '92 I made a decision that I was going to very much control what it was he viewed for as long as I could. I took to heart the studies that linked violence to children's programming. In the very beginning all he was allowed was certain hand picked shows. We saw a lot of Thomas the Tank, documentaries on all sorts of topics, historical programming and for whatever reason the kid really liked watching the construction vehicles tape we would rent from the library. What I did was enroll my son in sports at a young age because I did not want him to sit every weekend on the couch and watch TV. It was hard on me as a single parent but I have no regrets. I think he and I are both better people for it.

    My son is now going on 23 and he seldom watches television. Although there are certain movies we both really enjoy and have watched continuously he really does not get into the series based shows. I think the closest thing to a series he may watch might be the History Channels Modern Marvels or the Vietnam War Chronicles but other then that the last show he actually watched with me was the Sons of Anarchy and that was sporadic at best.

    I truly think with the internet we will see a change in TV within my lifetime. More and more people are not wanting to be advertised to when they are paid subscribers. I watch my shows online and feel that overall I save more time because I am not watching non stop ads, and I can just spend the time watching what I really want on demand when it is convenient to my schedule. As for my grandchildren they will watch Thomas, like my son did, after they have finished their chores. They can watch the construction vehicles too if they want, or the classics. They will not be watching any body beating up anyone else, or shooting anyone or anything along that theme.
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Well, it may not keep them occupied but it does a pretty good job of keeping them out of the way.
     
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  11. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    Haha, while my method may not be as effective as Ken's, I usually keep children occupied by giving them some coloring books and letting them go crazy with the crayons. You just have to be careful, though, as if they are small enough, they might start to color your walls. And if they are a bit older, they'll color your walls anyways.
     
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  12. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    The only real purpose my tv serves anymore is background noise. With my kids not being in here and my husband being at work, I get creeped out when I'm here alone. Having the background noise from the tv keeps me from getting real uncomfortable.
     
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  13. Avigail David

    Avigail David Well-Known Member
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    I understand that kind of pulling-hair situations with teens-at-home. Internet is on from 11am-3pm, 6pm-9pm. I turn the modem off and they will have to be cool about it and do their chores around the house-- by force. When they complain, additional 30 mins. delay. Haha! (not funny to my sons).
     
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  14. Avigail David

    Avigail David Well-Known Member
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    Strange as it may sound and appear... I did duct-tape our small TV once when hubby got the best of me with the kids! It broke-- not because of the sticky issue. The old TV just died.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Yeah, yeah... There's always someone willing to coddle the little ones. They'll be spoiled rotten, I tell you.
     
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  16. John Donovan

    John Donovan Active Member
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    That's pretty true, too. Still, whenever I visit my nephews, I'd rather be the "cool" uncle who gives them books and toys and whatever than being the guy who shows up from time to time and is bad because he doesn't bring the kids gifts.
     
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  17. Carlota Clemens

    Carlota Clemens Well-Known Member
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    I have missed this thread that brought to mind my childhood days. Since I can remember there was a television turned on all day long. My parents loved to watch it and therefore it wasn't strange I would be with them watching it all the time.

    I grew up with television being our main source of entertainment, displacing absolutely all except video games when they came into our lives in the late 1970s and until the end of the century. Probably games took control over TV through the whole 1990s.

    In my childhood days home there was only a one small, black & white TV set, but when my grandmother passed away and we moved to the house my mom still lives in, television was essential in each and every room of the house with the biggest of them in the living room to share family or guest time, but there was (is) also another in the dinner room, the kitchen, and in every bedroom and what used to be my studio.

    However there was something that killed TV... the every-day-worst program schedules that not even cable was able to contribute to finding something that was worth to watch, not to mention the large collection of Beta/VHS/DVD movies my parents collected through the time, making useless pay-per-view or any other "appealing" TV offer.

    Actually my mom rarely watches television but prefers Netflix and DVD collections from old TV-Series, while my sister is devoted to Netflix.

    I rarely watch YouTube, but have bookmarked some local TV channels with online presence because there are still 2-3 TV shows I like to watch, but I don't longer have a TV set.
     
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  18. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    I try to wait for the entire show to come out on DVD, (or Netflix). When I get into a show, waiting a week between episodes is like torture.
     
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  19. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I am happy that I did not grow up with television playing a large portion of my life. I lived in a rural area where only one station came in clearly, and people didn't start getting televisions until the 1960s, so I never got in the habit of watching cartoons. One of my uncles was the first to have a television in our area but the reception was so poor that it was hard to tell the cowboys from indians in a Western. As older kid, there were a few shows that I enjoyed watching but very few that were important to me. Friday night television was something we looked forward to because we were allowed to stay up all night and watch television on Fridays. Plus, for some reason, reception was better on Fridays. I am thinking that the FCC went home on weekends so stations would boost their power beyond what they were licensed for. One channel was on all night on Fridays, while everything normally went off the air at eleven. Mostly, there were horror movies on, and I'd end up falling asleep before too long anyhow, but it was in front of the television so it was fun.

    But I am glad that television, computers, smart phones, and other electronic devices were not a part of my childhood. We spent our time building forts in the woods, playing war with BB guns, where we actually shot at each other, the only rule being no aiming for the face. We swam in the creeks, the rivers and the lakes. We floated home-made rafts down the river. We went places with the Boy Scouts. Little League didn't involve so many rules and regulations. We made go karts out of discarded washing machine motors. We rode bicycle, sometimes taking multiple day trips. We learned to drive the tractor, the truck, and the car at a very early age, and we didn't have police around to write tickets unless we drove on the highway. We learned to shoot guns at a very early age and were allowed to carry them around without adult supervision at age twelve. We camped in the woods without our parents even knowing where we were. We even built a shelter from natural materials once that we camped in for two days during a Michigan January. We made forts and tunnels in the hay mow, or in the snow during the winter. Yes, and sometimes we even had to help with the haying, clean the barn, milk the cows, or feed the horses. But, other than our own rooms, we seldom had to help clean the house because that was women's work and mom was the only woman in our family.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
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  20. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    No kidding! I get to watch all the little ones in the family sit around and slowly gain weight, ignore everything around them, and never learn anything that they actually might need to know. I'm pretty sure I'm the youngest person in my family that can read a map. Or find a book in the library.
     
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  21. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    I lived without a television from 1995 to 1997 and I can't say that I missed it at all. I was living in East Africa and had a short-wave radio. I used to listen to BBC World Service and was quite happy with that.

    I'll only turn on a television when I want to watch something. A lot of people seem to turn on the TV as an automatic reaction - I've been in houses where there would be an empty room with the telly on.
     
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  22. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    around here we only have a tv on if we're in the room. But I always have it on when I'm alone. I need the background noise
     
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  23. Linda Mansfield

    Linda Mansfield New Member
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    I have legal custody of my 8 year old granddaughter but she has never been a child who would sit for hours in front of a TV. She loves to be out playing so it's never been a problem for us.

    I remember when my nephew was around 13. My sister worried because all he wanted to do was watch TV or play on the computer. They had endless arguments but she needn't have worried as he has turned out to be a well balanced, hardworking young man. He still loves his computer games but they don't take over his life.

    As for me, I like having a television and use it for background noise when I'm working on my computer. Would I miss it if it were gone? Maybe, but I know I would get used to it.
     
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  24. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I like to have the kids outside doing something like riding their bikes or learning to garden. We have brand new bikes in our garage that do not get used. The thought of walking more than from the front door to the car is more than they want to hear. I think the kids should walk more and have times to turn their gadgets off.
     
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  25. Hannah Davis

    Hannah Davis Active Member
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    It's funny we are talking about this, my sister and I just last night were talking about how TV has changed since we were kids. At that time we started with a black and white set. There were only three main channels, one independent and one religious. Now look at how many channels there are today. The thing is I think if any of us were to tell today's generation of kids this they might look at us strange. As for kids being entertained without TV this is something that those of us who grew up in our generation understand how to achieve. In my home only one TV at that time as well. So one of the thing I would do is go outside and play. For me the imagination was just as important and sometime I wonder if today's kids use their imaginations enough or go out to play enough.
     
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