raja02077272118

Hello everyone, hope you can help me here.
I know I may incur everyone's wrath but my husband and I put the TV
away when we realised our then 2-year old son was wanting to do
nothing all day but watch it. It was an interesting experiment as we
ourselves had never been without TV and I noticed (a) that TV eats
time, which I no longer have in vast quantities as I did before having
children and (b) I missed surprisingly little of it... in fact I felt
relieved at no longer being tempted to watch trash.
Then my huband, suffering film withdrawal symptoms, bought a DVD
player meant just for the 2 of us.
A few months ago he showed it to my now 4-year old.
So the DVD player is now my son's favourite toy. He wakes up in the
morning, and asks to watch a DVD. He comes home after an outing, and
asks for it again. He won't eat, drink or do anything but watch. This
is worring because he is already a pretty thin boy.
He watches the same thing over and over again, studying it. OK, so
he's learning Hairy Mclairy off by heart and yes, having dipped into
your ideas, Sandra, though I admit I haven't had time to read your
work properly, we've let him watch as unrestricted as we dare because
who are we to say what he is and isn't getting from it?
But it feels a bit like having offered my lovely boy an open Pandora's
box. Yesterday I cracked a bit, which I regret. (I guess I did an
impersonation of my own mother falling apart, although I didn't go as
far as to shove a sponge in his hand with instructions to do something
useful and wash the car, but perhaps that's because I don't have a car.)
I do need some advice from you about what you think is going to happen
to this obsessive viewing. He is only 4. I feel I am losing my son to
the screen. We used to play games together, but he's lost interest.
And don't say, 'he'll lose interest in what he's watching and want to
reconnect with you'because he's smart enough to know there are lots
more DVDs in the library full of new interest. Each new DVD brings
about an 8-hour daily viewing schedule.
I am also worried about the effect on me. I'm getting used to not
bothering looking after him any more.
I'm not convinced he's going to regulate himself. Or at least, not to
anything less than hours a day.
And the other worry I have is that he prefers a life in front a screen
now than he does his life outdoors and interacting with his family.
Sorry if I sound grumpy. I'm probably just a bit scared. Anyone with
experience of this issue?

Joanna Wilkinson

Anyone with
> experience of this issue?
>
We never got rid of TV, it has always been available. My oldest
watched quite a bit. She used to get that glazed look in her eyes.
I restricted it here and there, but she loved it so much, she got
quite a bit of it. My second wasn't into it too much. My third son
Jack was the one I really worried about, but by that time I was full
on unschooling and kept my mouth shut. He literally watched all day
long a lot of days. He watched the same episodes on Nichelodeon
over and over. I couldn't believe how much. My oldest got
obesessed with musicals and she spent a lot of time renting and
watching the classics (Hello Dolly is her favorite).
Just when Jack seemed to be getting his fill and not watching so
much, our cable company added Cartoon Network. That was a huge
challenge for me. I really wanted to restrict it because I knew
with his personality it would atleast be a year before he wasn't so
obsessed. It was probably longer now that I think about it.
Ofcoarse we were doing other things through all that time. Jack
loves to play games and sometimes an offer of Sorry or Hero Scape
won out. Game Cube and Game Boy were available. Books on tape in
the car. Playing with friends. Puzzles and crafts.....Lots
available. But he loved tv.
He is 10 now. He got over Cartoon Network at around 7 or 8. Now he
just watches the shows he really likes, like Avatar. At around 8
Animal Planet and Discovery Channel became the thing he watched
most. We joined a 4-H group and the group is studying coastal
bays. Jack adds lots of information to the discussions. He's quite
impressive with all his knowledge.
4 year old Jack found something in tv watching that met his needs.
So did 8 year old Jack. 10 year old Jack does too but he is more
mature and has a lot of different needs and desires. His way of
meeting them has expanded, which leaves a lot less time for tv.
It wasn't easy and I didn't always feel like I was doing the best
thing for him, but I did let him have the freedom and I can't see
any damage from all those years of hours and hours of watching. I
also don't see any damage to our relationship that would have
suffered quite a bit had I tried to control his intense desire/need
to watch. That's always the most important thing to me.

Joanna

Sandra Dodd

-=-in fact I felt
relieved at no longer being tempted to watch trash.-=-

When people define things as "trash" it's a huge obstacle to either
them or their children making thoughtful choices.

Sandra

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Sandra Dodd

-=-He won't eat, drink or do anything but watch. -=-

Do you bring him food or snacks where he is, or would he be required
to go in the kitchen and sit to get food or drinks?

Sandra

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Sandra Dodd

-=-He watches the same thing over and over again, studying it.-=-

If someone read the same Bible passage over and over again, studying
it, no one would say anything.
If someone read the same poem over and over, or the same Shakespeare
play, no one would say anything.

Christopher Lee, who speaks (and has acted in) several languages,
reads The Lord of the Rings every year, and has for decades.

-=-, having dipped into
your ideas, Sandra, though I admit I haven't had time to read your
work properly-=-

Why don't you take the time? It's a better use of your time than
hovering over a four year old, thinking bad things about his sincere
interests. It would answer this question, too:
-=-I do need some advice from you about what you think is going to
happen
to this obsessive viewing.-=-

-=-we've let him watch as unrestricted as we dare-=-

Instead of living on the edge of danger, read the TV parts on my site
and Joyce's.
http://sandradodd.com/tv
http://joyfullyrejoycing.com/ (left column, 3/4 way down)

Without that you won't be making a very informed choice, when you
retrict. You'll be operating from fear.

Another good way to spend your time would be to watch WITH your son,
uncritically, and see what he's seeing and why he likes it.

I'm going to quote from Joyce's intro page, since I was just there,
about finding more joyful ways to live:



The first step is finding something that's better than what you have.
The second step is wanting to change.
The third step is figuring out how to change.
So, as you read along, you may wonder why I suggest that parents
basically make life more difficult for themselves. The reason is
because I believe it leads to a much better place. And that better
place is a more joyful life for our children and our families.

Joyce Fetteroll








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Sandra Dodd

http://sandradodd.com/t/whatif

What if little kids watch TV all day?

What can happen?

[From a discussion of whether young children would ever grow out of
watching TV all day, a response to a response:]
I just can't imagine a three year old sitting still on the sofa
through five movies. My last three year old was always doing
something else AND watching movies. He always had a toy in his hand
or something spread out on the floor. He listened to the movie with
one ear while he made noises with his airplanes, or he glanced at the
screen while he drew a picture, until his favorite part came on.

My kids did exactly this when we first moved here in the middle of
August and we got cable for the very first time (previously, we'd
gotten 2-3 channels in on our antenna at our old house and there were
rarely shows of interest to them.) They were now exposed to cartoons
24/7 (heaven of heavens to them!) and sometimes would even stay in
front of the TV not only all day, but most of the night as well, only
to wake again in the morning and ask first thing, "Can I watch TV?"
It really irritated me. i worried for their health and my sanity.

(And it continues.... http://sandradodd.com/t/whatif



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Sandra Dodd

http://sandradodd.com/t/holly

HOW Unschooled Kids Watch TV

That page has some of the best art, and it was food made by Jacki's
daughter Hannah

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Sandra Dodd

http://sandradodd.com/t/godzilla

Snobbishness vs. Godzilla
http://sandradodd.com/t/godzilla

Carol / sognokids wrote this:

All this talk about television reminded me of something that happened
several years ago with Colton, who was eight at the time. I am
ashamed to say that I went through a period of extreme TV
snobbishness. I felt that watching television was a waste of our
time, so I got rid of cable. We only watched carefully chosen videos,
designed to enrich and uplift us. (I cringe as I write this now!) I
was totally obnoxious about it.


One day Colton and Bud returned from the library, thrilled with what
they had found. A video copy of "Godzilla!" I snorted derisively and
suggested that our time would be better spent with a book. I was
ignored. They made some popcorn and started the movie. I sat with
them on the couch, or to be more accurate, on my moral high horse,
with an "uplifting" book in hand. I rolled my eyes and sighed with
gusto to point out how they were wasting their time. Colton and Bud
continued to ignore me.

Something finally penetrated my self-imposed role as the chief of the
culture police. A voice whispered in my ear: Look at them, Carol.
Just LOOK at them! I studied my son and my husband for about five
minutes. They were totally engrossed in the movie, yet they never
stopped touching each other. Colton would lean against Bud's shoulder
as he giggled helplessly, or Bud would squeeze Colton's leg during a
particularly intense moment. They were totally connected to each
other through their movie experience, and it was a joy to watch. I
knew that they were making a memory together.

We had cable reinstalled the next day, and we never looked back. We
don't watch a lot of TV, but when we do, we do it together. We have
laughed and cried together as we have watched, and we have wondered
and marveled. Television has been a wonderful learning experience for
me. It taught me to loosen up, and to appreciate those wonderful
moments when I cocoon with my family. And when I watch my husband and
son stomping around the house like Godzilla as they destroy Tokyo, I
know that I am standing on holy ground.

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Suzanne

'm new to this forum...and my daughter who will be 5 yrs old next
month watches her share of PBS and DVDs that we think are appropriate
for her age....but she is also doing other things at the same time
like role playing or drawing...we haven't limited her ever...alot of
the time it is just in the background or she is singing along with her
favorite songs...she also loves to read books the are of the same
subject matter as the favorite shows and movies...so neither my
husband or I feel she is being stunted, so we use TV as another
tool...it is a part of the culture around us...so we use it to our
advantage...This is just my thought on the TV issue...Take it as you
like....Suzanne

plaidpanties666

--- In [email protected], "raja02077272118"
<[email protected]> wrote:
> And the other worry I have is that he prefers a life in front a
screen
> now than he does his life outdoors and interacting with his family.
>

Are you not interacting with him while he watches? I'm often in the
same room with my dd (5) while she watches tv. Sometimes I watch
with her, sometimes I work on my own projects nearby. That lets me
follow along with her interests, answer her questions, recite the
appropriate lines when she wants to play a scene from a movie. We
sometimes play games while watching tv. Or she'll play or jump or
climb or spin while watching.

I don't always enjoy the same shows Mo does, but its worth it to me
to share her interests and discover ways to offer her more ideas and
options based on those interests. We have a whole set of board games
that she enjoys based on "Diego" now, and a stack of computer games
based on "Dora" - probably my two *least* favorite shows. We've
talked about building new things for her to climb and swing on based
on watching those shows. That's a topic that wouldn't even have come
up if I hadn't been right there in the room during an episode,
though, or if I were thinking about them in terms of "trash" rather
than "something my kid enjoys".

---Meredith (Mo 5, Ray 13)

Suzanne

I'm with Meredith....I'm always close by or watching with her....and
she comes up with the most amazing questions...When she was 2 1/2 yrs
old she asked me 2 questions that have just stuck with me...

1. Why are bubbles round?
2. Where does the wind come from?

I had to look up the answers online and she comes up with more
questions everyday. More then I can keep up with.

She started her love of animals with Zoboomafoo (PSB)

http://pbskids.org/zoboo/

and knows alot of their names and where they live (a lot of the
animals she knows of I never knew existed when I was her age)....she
loves Dora and Diego and wants to be an explorer....she also wants to
be a veterinarian, astronaut, ballerina, and of course a
princess....that is quite a list...she has an imagination that I have
trouble keeping up with...so I don't think you have anyting to worry
about it is all about how you use it...Good luck...Suzanne

Pamela Sorooshian

>> And the other worry I have is that he prefers a life in front a
> screen
>> now than he does his life outdoors and interacting with his family.
>>

If he is choosing to watch tv instead of going outdoors or doing
other things with his family then, yes indeedy, he DOES prefer it.

So - join him in what HE chooses. All kinds of talk about how much he
watches, but not a word about what he loves to watch? Get INTO it
with him. Don't judge it - revel in it.

When my now-about-to-turn-16-year-old was younger and madly in love
with the Arthur tv show, she'd watch for hours every day. I watched
with her pretty often - we cuddled and sometimes she'd tell me what
was going to happen (Watch, Mommy, DW is going to tell a LIE!!!).
Over a period of a couple of years, I bought her all the little
Arthur books and an Arthur lunch box to keep them in. We bought the
Arthur dolls. And we ran into a phone number for the author, Marc
Brown, where he would leave a recorded message about how he got the
ideas for his books or what books were coming up, etc. We got a
cassette tape of music from the show.

Guess what? I didn't really like the show all that much. I learned to
see it through my daughters' eyes and appreciate it, but it really
didn't appeal to me, for various reasons. But, now, it is a sweet
memory - those warm cuddly mornings together with Arthur and his
friends. I'd give a lot to get to have one of those mornings back,
again.

This is good practice for you -- learn to support your child where he
is NOW. Support his interests with your whole heart and you'll be
rewarded by your child growing into a person who HAS passions and
interests and shares them with you.

-pam

Unschooling shirts, cups, bumper stickers, bags...
Live Love Learn
UNSCHOOL!
<http://www.cafepress.com/livelovelearn>





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Eric and Jules

On Jan 5, 2007, at 4:53 AM, raja02077272118 wrote:

> what you think is going to happen
> to this obsessive viewing. He is only 4. I feel I am losing my son to
> the screen. We used to play games together, but he's lost interest.

it sounds like he's focused and gets totally into his interests, which
used to be playing games with you, and is now the dvd/ tv. based on
this trend, his interest will switch again.

> And don't say, 'he'll lose interest in what he's watching and want to
> reconnect with you'because he's smart enough to know there are lots
> more DVDs in the library full of new interest. Each new DVD brings
> about an 8-hour daily viewing schedule.

it is not obvious to me he will switch his interest from one dvd to
another, he might switch to something else altogether.

> I am also worried about the effect on me. I'm getting used to not
> bothering looking after him any more.

I felt sad when you said looking after him is a bother and you're
getting used to not bothering with him because of your bias against tv.

> I'm not convinced he's going to regulate himself. Or at least, not to
> anything less than hours a day.
> And the other worry I have is that he prefers a life in front a screen
> now than he does his life outdoors and interacting with his family.
> Sorry if I sound grumpy. I'm probably just a bit scared. Anyone with
> experience of this issue?

my boys love electronic screens, as does my husband. I don't love it
as much as they do, but I do spend hours and hours at the computer. I
don't see more screen time as less of anything else. we like to go
outside and play sports, we live much of our lives outdoors. Being
outside is fun, screens are fun, one is not better than the other. We
played ultimate frisbee with 20 other people in the wind and rain last
night, it was really fun, it's not fun for people who don't like
frisbee, wind, rain, or night games, but as players we chose it and
that made all the difference. The soccer guys who share the field with
us called off their game and I overheard swearing as they packed up and
left. We stayed and had a blast.

Jules.
Shea 11, Kaden 8, Riley 5

Sandra Dodd

-=-I'm not convinced he's going to regulate himself. Or at least, not to
> anything less than hours a day.
> And the other worry I have is that he prefers a life in front a
screen-=-

I missed the "regulate" word the first time.

"Regulate" in that context means to make rules and then follow them.
Making intelligent choices isn't the same as "self regulation."
I think it's a much better goal, to be thoughtful and to consider
factors.

http://sandradodd.com/control

-=-I don't see more screen time as less of anything else.-=-

Should books, magazines and reading cereal boxes be referred to as
"paper time"?
Would looking at photos on paper be "paper time" but looking at
photos online "screen time"?
(I was looking today for the National Geographic photo of the snow
money in the hot spring with the snow around him, but didn't find it.)

I think "screen time" is a term used (with "seat time" and "school
hours" and "homework" to divide and control, to limit children). It
might be worth avoiding.

Sandra






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Eric and Jules

lol, ya, I thought about a negative connotation with "screen time" when
I typed it, but I don't know what to call it. I would not think
reading a paper book to be much different than listening to a
recording, or reading it online, but I do say driving time to indicate
the amount of time driving as opposed to distance bc traffic in Los
Angeles is better measured by the clock than by miles.

I mean we like screens, any screen, computer/ tv/ movie/ etchasketch.
What is a better way to call it?

Jules.

On Jan 5, 2007, at 4:09 PM, Sandra Dodd wrote:

> -=-I don't see more screen time as less of anything else.-=-
>
> Should books, magazines and reading cereal boxes be referred to as
> "paper time"?
> Would looking at photos on paper be "paper time" but looking at
> photos online "screen time"?
> (I was looking today for the National Geographic photo of the snow
> money in the hot spring with the snow around him, but didn't find it.)
>
> I think "screen time" is a term used (with "seat time" and "school
> hours" and "homework" to divide and control, to limit children). It
> might be worth avoiding.
>

Sandra Dodd

-=-
I mean we like screens, any screen, computer/ tv/ movie/ etchasketch.
What is a better way to call it?-=-

When you're driving, the glass in front of you can be called a
windscreen. Americans usually call it "wind shield." But is that
screen time?

I think you should call things computer, tv, movie, etch-a-sketch.
But even computer, sometimes I'm watching movies, sometimes I'm
writing. Sometimes I'm reading e-mail or looking at my kids'
MySpace. Sometimes I'm shopping. Sometimes it's research (quite a
bit lately, reading in and about 16th century Bibles in English,
early editions of The Book of Common Prayer). So I can't even call
it "computer time" as though it's all the same thing.

Sometimes Kirby is playing World of Warcraft. It's partly keyboard,
and partly talking to his team on a headset.
Sometimes he's playing Guitar Hero, with the guitar controller.
Sometimes he's playing stand-up-and-move Wii games.

Are those three "screen time"?

Sandra

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Eric and Jules

Ok, got it, thank you :)

Jules.

On Jan 5, 2007, at 4:52 PM, Sandra Dodd wrote:

> I think you should call things computer, tv, movie, etch-a-sketch.

Erica Chase-Salerno

Alright, this did it. If I'm serious about homeschooling, particularly
unschooling......where he directs the learning.....I might as well
start here. I think Declan is going to freak out with happiness about
his life - Bumpers today AND TV......? Woo hoo!!

xo


On Jan 5, 2007, at 6:02 PM, Pamela Sorooshian wrote:

>
> >> And the other worry I have is that he prefers a life in front a
> > screen
> >> now than he does his life outdoors and interacting with his family.
> >>
>
> If he is choosing to watch tv instead of going outdoors or doing
> other things with his family then, yes indeedy, he DOES prefer it.
>
> So - join him in what HE chooses. All kinds of talk about how much he
> watches, but not a word about what he loves to watch? Get INTO it
> with him. Don't judge it - revel in it.
>
> When my now-about-to-turn-16-year-old was younger and madly in love
> with the Arthur tv show, she'd watch for hours every day. I watched
> with her pretty often - we cuddled and sometimes she'd tell me what
> was going to happen (Watch, Mommy, DW is going to tell a LIE!!!).
> Over a period of a couple of years, I bought her all the little
> Arthur books and an Arthur lunch box to keep them in. We bought the
> Arthur dolls. And we ran into a phone number for the author, Marc
> Brown, where he would leave a recorded message about how he got the
> ideas for his books or what books were coming up, etc. We got a
> cassette tape of music from the show.
>
> Guess what? I didn't really like the show all that much. I learned to
> see it through my daughters' eyes and appreciate it, but it really
> didn't appeal to me, for various reasons. But, now, it is a sweet
> memory - those warm cuddly mornings together with Arthur and his
> friends. I'd give a lot to get to have one of those mornings back,
> again.
>
> This is good practice for you -- learn to support your child where he
> is NOW. Support his interests with your whole heart and you'll be
> rewarded by your child growing into a person who HAS passions and
> interests and shares them with you.
>
> -pam
>
> Unschooling shirts, cups, bumper stickers, bags...
> Live Love Learn
> UNSCHOOL!
> <http://www.cafepress.com/livelovelearn>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
>

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Erica Chase-Salerno

I just found and joined this list yesterday, and I found your post so
compelling. This dialogue is EXACTLY what I needed, even though I
never knew I did. I feel so fired up about unschooling, but apparently
I was thinking about unschooling *my* way (which incidentally was
assumed to be TV free)......sigh.....thanks so much for this
perspective. Really helpful to hear from someone with a sixteen year
old looking back!!

~ Erica (Declan, 3.5 yrs.; Quinlan, 10 mos.)


On Jan 5, 2007, at 6:02 PM, Pamela Sorooshian wrote:

>
> >> And the other worry I have is that he prefers a life in front a
> > screen
> >> now than he does his life outdoors and interacting with his family.
> >>
>
> If he is choosing to watch tv instead of going outdoors or doing
> other things with his family then, yes indeedy, he DOES prefer it.
>
> So - join him in what HE chooses. All kinds of talk about how much he
> watches, but not a word about what he loves to watch? Get INTO it
> with him. Don't judge it - revel in it.
>
> When my now-about-to-turn-16-year-old was younger and madly in love
> with the Arthur tv show, she'd watch for hours every day. I watched
> with her pretty often - we cuddled and sometimes she'd tell me what
> was going to happen (Watch, Mommy, DW is going to tell a LIE!!!).
> Over a period of a couple of years, I bought her all the little
> Arthur books and an Arthur lunch box to keep them in. We bought the
> Arthur dolls. And we ran into a phone number for the author, Marc
> Brown, where he would leave a recorded message about how he got the
> ideas for his books or what books were coming up, etc. We got a
> cassette tape of music from the show.
>
> Guess what? I didn't really like the show all that much. I learned to
> see it through my daughters' eyes and appreciate it, but it really
> didn't appeal to me, for various reasons. But, now, it is a sweet
> memory - those warm cuddly mornings together with Arthur and his
> friends. I'd give a lot to get to have one of those mornings back,
> again.
>
> This is good practice for you -- learn to support your child where he
> is NOW. Support his interests with your whole heart and you'll be
> rewarded by your child growing into a person who HAS passions and
> interests and shares them with you.
>
> -pam


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Sandra Dodd

Pam Sorooshian wrote
> If he is choosing to watch tv instead of going outdoors or doing
> other things with his family then, yes indeedy, he DOES prefer it.

I wanted to make a few comments on that general idea, and add some
reminders.


Moms of young children are tired sometimes, and sometimes young
themselves, and sometimes they're jealous of their children's
happiness. Occasionally a mom will have a little fit of petulance.

Sometimes moms say "He prefers [something] to being with *moi*!" and
it can be an indicator of one or more things people have 'fessed up
to in the past or that I've felt myself.

--The mom is remembering childhood "NO" and other shaming from her
own life, and feeling the urge to channel that.
--The mom is avoiding feeling a little guilty because she hasn't
thought of anything really cool to do for a while.
--The mom is feeling that unschooling might be a little harder than
she'd thought, and she really WILL have to be fun.
--The mom had a fantasy of how the child would be, and the child is
RUDELY not reading her mind and complying.
--The mom is emotional about something altogether different and is in
danger of taking it out on an innocent child.

Little kids might not see "going outdoors" as a goal in and of
itself. They don't have the voices of grandmothers in them saying
"Get some fresh air," or whatever, and that's probably good. If
there's something very cool happening outside, they might want to go
out for the cool thing, but not just for the sake of the outside.
Sometimes moms have checklists and will feel like a better mom if the
kid's "had recess" or maybe the mom is thinking "PE" ("physical
education," which was once a big deal in American schools, and now
less so).

Somewhere in there the mom's voices and visions are coming between
her and her child's immediate interests and happiness.

IF a mom tries to lure a child away from the TV just to do it, that
can be good or bad. If a refusal is going to make her feel rejected
and angry, that's probably more about the mom's neediness than the
child's. If the mom wants to play outside and can make it aluring
and fun, that's a great idea, unless the mom plans it to interrupt a
child's favorite show, and will sulk and complain if the answer's
no. If the mom plans a really fantastic thing out of the house,
that's really fantastic! Ice skating, a movie, an amusement park,
swimming! But if the plan is about separating the child from a
favorite show, and not about ice skating, movies, rides or swimming,
then it's not fantastic, it's mean.

Offer to record the favorite show, if you want to do something else.
Sometimes the child won't even watch the recording, but you've given
him flexibility and respect. Flexibility and respect are way better
than "outside" for the sake of checklisting "he went outside today."
And with flexibility and respect, you'll get more "outside" and more
happiness and joy than if you scheduled "outside," and controlled the
TV, because you can't schedule or control happiness or joy.

You can work on your own happiness and joy, though. And moms who are
short in that department shouldn't depend on their children to
provide it. Some moms seem to act like if they're unhappy it's their
children's fault. If you have the least smidgen of that feeling,
work to undo it. It's a codependency that can drag your whole family
into a hole, or worse, into individual and unconnected holes.

Sandra

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Sandra Dodd

-=-Alright, this did it. If I'm serious about homeschooling,
particularly
unschooling......where he directs the learning.....I might as well
start here.-=-


No one needs to direct the learning. There are easy ways to make
life swirly and interesting so that learning is just everywhere any
of you turn, and no one needs to "direct" it.

http://sandradodd.com/nest
http://sandradodd.com/strewing
http://sandradodd.com/truck

Sandra

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finnaland

My daughter is almost four and has never had any television
restriction. She likes to watch a lot of different things, but is
constantly in motion and playing games while it is on. If she's
really into something, and would rather watch it than go out, we
bring the portable DVD player with us so she can finish up in the car
on the way. By the time we get up to the car and buckled in, she's
usually forgotten or is not interested anymore. But she has the
option. We've started so many adventures with something gleaned from
watching tv together. The discovery of falcons and getting to meet
one live came from a Stuart Little movie.

I had big tv restrictions as a kid. If I wanted to watch a show, I
had to have it pre-approved. If it was approved, I had to give a
report on it afterwards. So basically I snuck tv to avoid this. I
probably should have all sorts of issues around tv but amazingly I
don't. Yay! As a kid, I read a lot, but even that was restricted by
imposed bedtimes and school, which seriously got in the way. My
issues seem to be centered around that restriction - If I like what
I'm reading I can't put it down, as though I'm afraid it will
disappear and I won't get a second chance to get to the end. Yes, I
have MAJOR self-regulation issues regarding books.

My husband had absolutely no restrictions whatsoever regarding
television or movies in his family. He has a very strong desire to
watch television/movies and read books undistracted, but is super fun
to be around because he can quote from pretty much any movie ever
made. Like someone who has studied the Bible and has some scripture to
back up whatever he says. He has always listened to music a lot, too,
the same albums over and over. He can sing songs he's heard just
once, pitch perfect without any musical training. Someone
mentioned Christopher Lee, yep well DH has been reading The
Silmarillion at least once a year as long as I've known him, probably
longer. It really makes him happy. He spends a lot of time staring
at strange holes in the ground and collects bits of rust. If I only
saw that aspect of him I'd think he might need psychological help.
But he's gathering information for the amazing art he makes. He loves
to play video games, which he claims give him a better sense of
direction. (My thumbs hurt too much when I try to play so I don't,
and I have a terrible sense of direction.) He plays with legos a lot,
even as an adult, and claims that is why he took to Apple's GarageBand
software so quickly.

I agree with the motion to sit down with your son and watch what he's
watching. Talk about it. See what interests him. Make some
connections in the world from what he is watching. It will be really
rewarding.

queenjane555

>I think Declan is going to freak out with happiness about
> his life - Bumpers today AND TV......? Woo hoo!!

This is totally OT...but I LOVE the name Declan, and it is at the top
of my list of boys' names if i ever have another one. But it occurred
to me that i don't really know how to pronounce it!

So, do you say "DECK-lin" (which i've been assuming)or "DECK-lann"
or "d'CLAN" or "DEEK-lan" or something else i haven't even considered?


Katherine (mom to Seamus, as in shay-mus!)

Erica Chase-Salerno

Exactly!

: )

~ Erica


On Jan 6, 2007, at 6:59 PM, queenjane555 wrote:

> So, do you say "DECK-lin" (which i've been assuming)

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Erica Chase-Salerno

I just want to thank you for this original post - this list has
literally been life-altering --- today was our first day with
unrestricted TV and I have checked my e-mail every few hours to see
what you all had written. I feel so supported, we had so much fun, and
I've discovered all kinds of my own personal internal "planned
topics/activities/should's/should not's" in our foray into unschooling.
Who knew I had such an agenda?! I have lots and lots of un-doing for
myself. I seriously did not know this way of life before today, and
I'm grateful to have come this way before my kids were any older! I
think we are on QUITE a journey, and a fun one at that.

Sandra - your site and articles are SO great -- thank you all for just
being here, and Sandra, thanks for the hands-on support about all of
this!!!

~ Erica (Declan, 3.5 yrs.; Quinlan, 10 mos.)


On Jan 5, 2007, at 7:53 AM, raja02077272118 wrote:

> Hello everyone, hope you can help me here.
> I know I may incur everyone's wrath but my husband and I put the TV
> away when we realised our then 2-year old son was wanting to do
> nothing all day but watch it. It was an interesting experiment as we
> ourselves had never been without TV and I noticed (a) that TV eats
> time, which I no longer have in vast quantities as I did before having
> children and (b) I missed surprisingly little of it... in fact I felt
> relieved at no longer being tempted to watch trash.
> Then my huband, suffering film withdrawal symptoms, bought a DVD
> player meant just for the 2 of us.
> A few months ago he showed it to my now 4-year old.
> So the DVD player is now my son's favourite toy. He wakes up in the
> morning, and asks to watch a DVD. He comes home after an outing, and
> asks for it again. He won't eat, drink or do anything but watch. This
> is worring because he is already a pretty thin boy.
> He watches the same thing over and over again, studying it. OK, so
> he's learning Hairy Mclairy off by heart and yes, having dipped into
> your ideas, Sandra, though I admit I haven't had time to read your
> work properly, we've let him watch as unrestricted as we dare because
> who are we to say what he is and isn't getting from it?
> But it feels a bit like having offered my lovely boy an open Pandora's
> box. Yesterday I cracked a bit, which I regret. (I guess I did an
> impersonation of my own mother falling apart, although I didn't go as
> far as to shove a sponge in his hand with instructions to do something
> useful and wash the car, but perhaps that's because I don't have a
> car.)
> I do need some advice from you about what you think is going to happen
> to this obsessive viewing. He is only 4. I feel I am losing my son to
> the screen. We used to play games together, but he's lost interest.
> And don't say, 'he'll lose interest in what he's watching and want to
> reconnect with you'because he's smart enough to know there are lots
> more DVDs in the library full of new interest. Each new DVD brings
> about an 8-hour daily viewing schedule.
> I am also worried about the effect on me. I'm getting used to not
> bothering looking after him any more.
> I'm not convinced he's going to regulate himself. Or at least, not to
> anything less than hours a day.
> And the other worry I have is that he prefers a life in front a screen
> now than he does his life outdoors and interacting with his family.
> Sorry if I sound grumpy. I'm probably just a bit scared. Anyone with
> experience of this issue?
>
>
>

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raja02077272118

--- In [email protected], Sandra Dodd <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> -=-He won't eat, drink or do anything but watch. -=-
>
> Do you bring him food or snacks where he is, or would he be required
> to go in the kitchen and sit to get food or drinks?
>
> Sandra
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Thanks everyone for your views. I realise I have been quite unpopular
but I can take it!
Answers to a few questions:
- Why don't I study this issue in depth - because I have a baby and
time is very short esp on the computer. I figured a post to this group
wd be a quick way to get info and thanks to everyone who provided that
and useful links.
- do I consider looking after him a 'bother' - not sure that's what I
implied when I wrote that I've been tempted not to bother looking
after him. With a baby demanding all my attention it can be very
convenient to let the older child sit in front of TV.
- yes I bring him snacks and he doesn't eat them nor does he drink
water. He doesn't hear me when I speak to him. He is totally focused
on the DVD.
- he doesn't play and do other things while watching. It looks as if
some children do but my son doesn't multi-task in front of the DVD.
Someone said not believing a child could watch 3 films in a row - my
son will watch the same film again and again, as I said, studying it,
learning it by heart.
- Don't I sit and watch with him - yes, but not all afternoon.
- why haven't I mentioned any of the shows he loves - yes, I did,
Hairy McLairy, perhaps not familiar to you in the US?

- I see the points being made about mother's resentment of a child's
pleasure/attention-seeking/ etc. These are all useful reminders, thank
you Sandra.

- Any thoughts on the physical effects of watching lots of TV? I'm
talking - posture, eyesight, exposure to electrical field, lack of
exercise/fresh air. When he's exhausted from hours of watching he lies
down and looks at the screen sideways and close up. He also won't go
to bed.

I should probably add that he has been low-level ill for a while.
Whether he is ill because of this DVD regime or whether being ill has
made him more interested in watching the DVD is something I'm
currently pondering.

As for not asking him to switch off but doing something he finds such
fun he'll switch off on his own... fine, but what about going to bed?
If you say, just you go to bed and he'll go in his own time... fine
again, but what about brushing his teeth and putting his pyjamas on,
for which he needs us? At some point we just have to intervene. Or
don't we?
>

Sandra Dodd

-=-- do I consider looking after him a 'bother' - not sure that's what I
implied when I wrote that I've been tempted not to bother looking
after him. With a baby demanding all my attention it can be very
convenient to let the older child sit in front of TV.-=-

Everyone here who has two or more children took care of an older
child while there was a baby.

If you think of his TV watching as being all about you though (your
convenience, in the paragraph above), you're still not looking at him.

If he's enjoying what he's doing, don't feel guilty about it. If he
likes what he's watching, be glad of that.

-=-f you say, just you go to bed and he'll go in his own time... fine
again, but what about brushing his teeth and putting his pyjamas on,
for which he needs us?-=-

Do that before you go to bed, and let him keep watching after his
teeth are brushed and his pajamas are on, I'd say.

-=-At some point we just have to intervene. Or don't we? -=-

"Intervene" puts what he's doing in a bad light, and you're his
savior from the bad thing.
If you were to think of it as "At some point we can help him," I'd
think "Sure, at EVERY point you can help him."

It seems you've cast the situation in an antagonistic way instead of
in a cooperative way.

I have these further suggestions:
http://sandradodd.com/partners
http://sandradodd.com/howto
http://sandradodd.com/sleeping

Sandra




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Robyn L Coburn

<<<< As for not asking him to switch off but doing something he finds such
fun he'll switch off on his own... fine, but what about going to bed?
If you say, just you go to bed and he'll go in his own time... fine
again, but what about brushing his teeth and putting his pyjamas on,
for which he needs us? At some point we just have to intervene. Or
don't we? >>>

The answer at our house is not intervening about tv. However Jayn is so
hugely busy all the time while watching, and so clearly "cross-pollinating"
what she sees and hears from tv into her other games. There were times when
she would watch the same thing over and over and over without respite when
younger, but she never had to fear that the tv would be off if she left the
room for a moment.

In fact, as I now recall, she insisted that her program stay on if she
stepped out, so that she could come back to it at will, until with maturity
she started to understand the dvd/tivo technology and concept of "pause"
better. That let her relax a lot more. It seemed like her true internal
cognizance of what "pausing a program" meant to her freedom to do other
stuff came later than the superficial intellectual knowledge of it. Does
that make sense?

Maybe the better question is "how can mom accomplish the things that are
important to her while still supporting son's desire to watch with
concentration"? If you really can't let go of the idea that pajamas are
essential for sleep (Jayn wears hers like clothes a lot of the time) maybe
helping him slip them on during the closing credits, or during a less
crucial montage earlier would help you relax.

If he isn't eating the food you are bringing, maybe it is the wrong food. Is
it really easy to eat finger food, or does it require his attention to work
spoons and not drip? Is it what he really likes? My dd's preferences change
a lot. Is it stuff that can safely sit for a while and still be appetizing?
What about something other than water to drink, with some more nutrition in
it.

We have found that trying to control Jayn's tooth brushing results in less
tooth brushing. Maybe if you announce that you are going to do yours, and
invite him to do his again during the credits, between shows or at some time
that is easy to leave.

Jayn likes the dolls, toys, books and activities that refer to her favorite
shows. In the absence of dolls of characters from movies Jayn plans on
modifying Barbies or other dolls to be those characters. Recently, for
example, I sewed dresses for one of her fashion dolls in the style of "Room
With a View" (early 1900's). Maybe he would feel really supported if he was
given an action figure, doll, picture book, whatever that referred to his
favorite program.

When Jayn is focused and I need her to hear me, I put my hand on her
shoulder. I also ask her what she heard me say, especially if it is
important.

Maybe he is escaping from his real life to fantasy at the moment, perhaps
because of the new baby intruder. Even if this is the case being acceptant
of that need, painful as it may be to mom, can only be better than fighting
it which won't make it go away any quicker.

Robyn L. Coburn




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7:47 PM

Schuyler

What if you made a nest for him near the television? What if you waited
until whatever video he was watching had ended, or gotten to a lull and
asked him to come and brush his teeth and get his pyjamas on and then got
out a sleeping bag or a duvet or whatever and set up a little bed for him in
front of the television so that if he fell asleep in front of the television
he'd be comfortable.

It isn't going to last forever. I don't know how long it has been going on,
(the full 4 months since your partner showed your son the DVD player?), but
it isn't going to last forever. Nothing does <g>. But his enjoyment of
television and DVDs will probably also never go away (unless we are using a
geologic time frame). And if you can come to your son, if you can make the
effort to see this as a part of him and because it is a part of him
something that can only be good or loved or valuable, a point will come when
the 8 hour marathons will subside to 6 hour marathons or 4 hour marathons or
2 hour marathons. He will find other things to do while the Hairy Maclary
plays in the background, he will find the bathroom when he needs it. But
while he is focused on this thing, help him, pay attention to those things
that he is not.

There was a post on unschoolingbasics the other day that talked about how
controlling/limiting access to world of warcraft was a parent reacting from
the belief that the world is a scary place and that parents need to run
interception to keep the world safe. You write a lot from a fearful place.
You talk about how your son is already a thin child and can't possibly
survive the television watching, as if he would choose to starve when you
placed yummy things near to hand. You talk about intervention as if this
were something from which he needs rescuing. This is Hairy Maclary, a video
about a dog and his dog friends and his enemy Scarface Claw, not heroin, not
a machine gun, not a pedophile. You talk about being fearful that his
enjoyment of this video will lead to you neglecting him. That is a really
telling thing that worry. To be afraid that because he has found something
that doesn't require your full attention that you will become a neglectful
parent. You can change. You can reach out to this son of yours and find a
way to mother him while he is fascinated. You can offer up food and drink
and bathroom breaks and bedding and cuddles and company. You can buy a gym
ball for him to sit on and play with while he watches so that he isn't all
still. If you see his neck is hurting you can get a little lotion and give
him a neck rub. You can find some toys he's always liked or coloring books
and put them where he is so that he can choose to muli-task if he so
desires. This is his passion at this moment. And it is your gift to him to
help him to follow his passion however intensely he desires in this moment.
And if you do that, he will trust that you will be there for him for all of
his passions and not be afraid that any thing he enjoys will be taken away
from him again.

Schuyler
www.waynforth.blogspot.com

> As for not asking him to switch off but doing something he finds such
> fun he'll switch off on his own... fine, but what about going to bed?
> If you say, just you go to bed and he'll go in his own time... fine
> again, but what about brushing his teeth and putting his pyjamas on,
> for which he needs us? At some point we just have to intervene. Or
> don't we?

[email protected]

Quoting Sandra Dodd <[email protected]>:
> Moms of young children are tired sometimes, and sometimes young
> themselves, and sometimes they're jealous of their children's
> happiness. Occasionally a mom will have a little fit of petulance.

Oh, Oh, Oh!! I remember being a kid, ordered around by my parents and the
longing to be the grownup, so I could sit in my LazyBoy and order around my
minions... sometimes Hayden's requests come into my head as my dad, ordering me
around and I get pissy about "my turn to be waited upon" -- THEN, because I've
invited the voices of more experienced unschoolers/respectful mamas into my
head, I realize Hayden won't grow up with that resentment and THAT is the best
thing I can give to him & to his future chidren!

> Offer to record the favorite show, if you want to do something else.

A Tivo/DVR has been a big sanity saver 'round here :) TV shows can be watched
together while we snuggle up together (like last night) & they're completely
available to him when I've got something else to do (like right now, I'm on his
computer and he's watching Malcom in the Middle)

> Sometimes the child won't even watch the recording, but you've given
> him flexibility and respect. Flexibility and respect are way better
> than "outside" for the sake of checklisting "he went outside today."
> And with flexibility and respect, you'll get more "outside" and more
> happiness and joy than if you scheduled "outside," and controlled the
> TV, because you can't schedule or control happiness or joy.

Unlike winters past, we've got NO snow so riding his new bike from Santa is a
big treat :) SpongeBob is recorded, so he doesn't feel like he's missing
anything by taking advantage of our miraculous brown outdoors :) Mom being
supportive of both of those activities leaves a lot of room for Joy and less
room for Angst and Resentment.

My own recent confession: Hayden asked me to watch a Pooh movie and I said I'd
rather pull out my teeth with pliers -- Luckily, he had more enthusiastic
company and I was with unschoolers who were quick to call me on my bad attitude.
Hayden later brought it up to me (which could/should have been a complaint, but
was more of a commentary) on the long drive home -- the end result was a
reminder to us both that HE & US (our relationship) is FAR more important than
my pissy 'tude about new Pooh... Also a great reminder to me what a blessing it
is to have a kid who actually *does* want to hang out with me and share his Joy
with *me* -- I need to step back and see myself as the mom he loves to be with;
the mom who happily embraces what makes him smile and think and express himSelf.
There are FAR too many mommies who don't like their kids and kids who don't
like their mommies -- We're not on that path, as long as I remember how easily
it is to go there AND how easily we can avoid it!

~diana :)