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Author Topic: Turn Off The T.V. Week  (Read 1653 times)
artsie26
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« on: April 21, 2009, 06:58:02 AM »

Hi everyone,
        The kids came home from school last week with a note saying that this week 20Th through the 27Th is turn off the T.V. week. They are encouraged to not watch for the week or at least cut back, and keep track of how many hours they do watch.
         Well, at the time I thought this was a great idea, but I haven't done enough planning.......It's only been 1 day, and I'm running out of things to do already....The weather is not cooperating We've had monsoon type rain. I have a ton of books from the library ( i didn't know they let you check out so many) and they are only aloud on the computer once a day for a 1/2 hour. (the older two need it for homework) My husband is really ticked that he would be missing the basketball playoff games, so he's hiding out sneaking to watch them in our bedroom.
         I'm looking for any fun rainy day activities to keep the little buggers busy. They are 7 and 10 yr old boys, and the only thing they do well together is fight (over any and everything). The big two are busy afterschool with sports and homework. And lucky for me they love to read.  Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!!!!
                artsie
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reinbeau
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 07:12:39 AM »

Isn't it awful that we can't seem to entertain ourselves without the idiot box?  Now for me it isn't the TV, it's this computer!  When I was young I loved to read, I paid little attention to the TV, that's about the best suggestion I have, because you want a peaceful passtime for them to get them ready for bed.  Sorry I can't be of more help, but your post really made me think about the state of our attention spans nowadays!
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indypartridge
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 07:51:52 AM »

We've been without TV for 5 years now. When we left the city and moved to our log cabin in the woods, TV wasn't an option: no reception and not gonna pay for satellite. It's been great for our family. We actually sit and talk, do things together, engage in hobbies, and exercise our imagination instead of just sitting and watching. Once you get used to not having TV, it's difficult to remember how you used to spend so much time watching. We do watch an occasional movie from Netflix or a video from the library, usually old movies/musicals from the 40's & 50's.
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 08:11:28 AM »

Gosh, that's terrible!  How in the world are they going to continue the liberal indoctrination of the children when the only people to continue it after school are the PARENTS!!  We all know that parents are hardly capable of taking care of kids WITH  the TV on...what are they going to do with it OFF???  That's crazy!! Wink

We don't have a TV but we do get library videos and netflix.It is nice on a rainy day to relax in front of the boob tube.    They play quite a bit of computer games as well, but we only have one computer .I've got 9 and 10 year old boys, and yes they do a lot of fighting too.  And 4 and 5 year old boys.  My 12 year old girl is pretty good, she's always reading. 

Really playing is a learned thing.  They do need to learn how to occupy themselves, and until they do it is a pain in the kiester.  Sometimes it will be great, they will all go off and play togather, make a fort and be dragons or pirates.  And other times it is a mass of yelling and fighting.

Rainy days don't help things either.  We end up with a lot of reading, talking, suppertime.  Occasionally board games or UNO, but those are sometimes tricky with the little boys around.

You've probably been through it all, but those are my 2 cents....

Rick
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 09:48:58 AM »

Call me old fashioned but when I was a kid, I was a bit of a nerd - The TV had its moments, as it played in every kids life - remember you older folks that in 1966 COLOR TV was mandated and all TV Shows (except for the Munsters) went color - and hearing things like "Batman... in color" and "The Fugitive... in color" was the norm for an entire year or more - it was 1966's verseion of switching to Digital I guess.

But what to do OTHER THAN TV. I'll list my own solutions from my actual life as a kid, see if they still apply, I believe they do:

1) get a portable radio - one with AM/FM/and even shortwave bands - but if not, just an AM RADIO will do. In your hands is a miracle of technology that has lost its meaning over the generations. It may take a printed out sheet explaining the miracles of AM Radio to introduct your kids to it, but here is a short paragraph to explain why it s so special.

If you know nothing about Shortwave Radio, find a book at the library or maazine at a book store - they all have a page in them explaining RADIO PROPAGATION - the way radio station signal travel the world which is based on the FRQUENCY the transmit on.

a low frq. station like 77kilohertz WABC, NY is a great example: 1) in the day time it is a very steady signal in all direction about 100 miles radios, but in the evening (as the sun goes down and less radio signals are asorbed by the sun) then WABC gets stronger and wider and wider in how far it can be heard. Two things happen and it is fun to listen to both changes in radio wave (effected by the Sun) 2) evening the signals get stronger and widers, they are known as GROUND PLANE SIGNALS and literally the radio signal hugs the Earth and extends outwards - initially the local people hear the stating fine , as night comes locals still pick up the station good but people hundreds of miles further away start hearing any AM Radio Station coming in clearer.

Then the third wave as NIGHT TIME fully falls. Ground waves start like a big umbrella stretching out over the signal area, later that unbrella extends out more, but just when you think everything is cool - local people start getting crappy dignals of the AM stations, what is happening is the umbrella effect is working and signals are extended outward BUT locally a DOUGHNUT LIKE EFFECT occurs where the ground wave extends beyond local areas and only drops their powerful night signals out maybe 100 miles BEFORE you even hear them, but still you can pick that day time station you hear about 199 miles in the day nearly 1500 miles at night, but may not hear it from its home town.

The most fun is RACING each other, having a radio with a digital tuner is best for this.

During the day (just to prove the magic) have the kids outside, listen to an mark down all the stations they can on AM (FM is so high a frequency, few things occur that make it a fun band) but have them write down all station call signs, frequencies and time of day when found. Ask then to try and NOT miss any, this is important come sundown.

Now, at sundown and early evening - in the same place as during the day HUNDREDS of radio stations will start to wash in like waves on the beach - make this a competition if more than one kid. Have a map ready and let them push pins on the map of all the station locations they can get it - it will be hundreds, many with cyndicated programming but from all over the states. Lastly, have them check out the local stations and see how DISTANT STATIONS are over powering the locals at might.

All this should be boyscout like, at might with a flashlight and table, under the stars. And this is only ONE RADIO BAND - every group of radio frquencies have their own reaction to solar activity, electrons trapped in the atmosphere - some frquencies in the shortwave band SKIP multiple times like a rock on a flat pond, you may hear these stations from anywhere and everywhere in the world.

But the inexpensive AM radio is the perfect way to introduce kids to the magic of radio theory and signal propagation.

Tools: Am Radio (not a handheld if you have a bigger one) oh, and remind them to turn it along its center axis too - AM antennas as long wires typically wound onto inside of the back cover - Literally hundreds of feet of wound wire is needed to pick up am signals, where FM is only about 5 feet long virtacle rod.

Pen and Paper

Flashlight (or any light sourse other than floresent tubes which can interfere)

a US MAp - one showing major cities and at least medium sized town across the US.

Then if they are smart at math, you can teach them a cool forumula for creating an antenna length for any radio station in the world (it is done by its Frequency)

468 divided by the Freqency in Megahertz. Sounds touch, but isn't. First a TRUTH about radio antennas "The lower the frquency of the station, the longer the antenna - and the higher the frequency is the shorter the antenna.

Lets take two stations (High Frequency 92.7FM has a range of 30 miles radius, all the time - only one radio event (isotropic tunneling) can effect FM signals - it simple traps the signals in the lower atmosphere and extends them out maybe twice to three times normal distance) a similar effect occurs in the many shortwave bands where signals bounce off (skip) the atmosphere and travel world wide.

But that 468 devide it by 92.7 (remember this formual is in Megahertz (which is usually seen WAY ABOVE AM radio - down in AM it is Kilohertz and the math needs to change. some (mostly decimal post moving)

but 468 divided by 92.7 equals and you get an antenna approx 5ft and a few inches. BECAUSE it is a highway frequency, the antenna is short - now taking that WABC out of New York: 468 divided by .00077 77 kilohertz converted to megahertz)  and you get a MASSIVE ANTENNA (for transmitting) of 607792 FEET rather than 5 feet for FM - of course antennas of that length are not used, they are just too big, so that use fractions of that length and adjust the radio using antenna tuners.

The point, the lower the frquency, the longer the antenna.

Other things, the lower the frequency the more a receive picks up atmospheric conditions, storms lightning, etc.

So, early afternoon listen to as many stations as possible, it may only be a dozen or so. Early evening HUNDREDS and even thousands more come washing in and as night gets later, the station local is almost complete weakend to nothing as its signal passes over you as it reaches further out.

Every shortway band has its magical features, that is why the FCC gives HAMS different parts of the spectrum, so we can talk to different people anywhere but only through the magic of an ionised atmosphere and a radio that really can show a kid/s that music and talk and sound itself isn't JUST THERE, it is beingmanipulated by the Sun every second of the day.

That's just one thing and only needs an old AM radio and a pen/paper to teach your kids about the miricles of radio - they only need log in the radio channel number and location of the station - so they need to tune around, pay attention and listen close and try to be the one to get to q hundred first, or the most stations picked up, etc.. It is really a great outside at the picnic table game and it is fun and they will actually learn something.
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eri
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 10:40:02 AM »

What's the purpose of turning off the TV? Did the school indicate what the objective is? Seems this could be a point of discussion. I'm not a believer in total deprivation resulting in withdrawal symptoms except in extreme circumstances like drug addiction. Too much pain, no gain.

What if the family discussed which 1 program every other night (or some other unusually less frequency from the routine) they would be willing to watch together and why, then discuss what they did or didn't get out of it afterward, including commercials? Finding alternatives to watching TV is great, but I suspect the point is to discover and develop different interests that may last beyond the week of deprivation, explore why you watch TV in the first place and its value as compared to alternatives.

Without a purpose, it's like giving up something for Lent and then afterward continuing the same old same old, or even splurging to make up for what was perceived to have been lost. What have you learned, except to commiserate and kvetch about the deprivation?

You may change the channel now. Click.
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 10:59:21 AM »

Y'all need something to do? Come over here and I will put you to work while I watch the boob-tube.


Might get something done then.  grin
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Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 11:50:49 AM »

I haven't watched tv in a few years. I never much cared for it to begin with, I love to read and always have several magazines and books going on at once and I passed that on to the kids.
They like the tv but don't go crazy without it.
Right now my 2 youngest are entertaining themselves in the next room wtih some game.
I have no idea what your kids like to do but off the top of my head.

On nice days out they play outside all day but if its raining.

Arts and Crafts:
Build stuff out of popsicle sticks and glue
Walmart and Michael's crafts carry boxes of the sticks
I also buy those wooden cars, boats and airplanes from walmart and have the kids paint them,
all cheap money.
Paint a bird house.
Make a bird feeder out of a milk carton,not the plastic kind the square cartons.
Put peanut butter and bird seed on them and hang them up and see who's gets attacked first by the squirrels and birds, we use to do that with pinecones too.
They have a ton of other stuff that boys like to do in the craft section.

Games, all types of board games

A campout or camp in if its raining set up a tent in the house, radio, snacks, flashlights,walkie talkies if you have them.

On a rainy day like this I have done scavenger hunts and it keeps them busy for a while, its even better if you do them outside but it keeps them busy either way.

I had them do a treasure hunt last summer, complete with a pirate's map and I buried a small treasure box I got at the party store.

Make cupcakes or cookies and give them all the stuff to decorate them. The boys try to make theirs something that looks like a scientific experiement and they try to outdo eachother but its fun for them and keeps them busy.

Make homemade slime with elmers glue and a litte borax soap, food coloring if you have it makes it better.

For when the weather is good, besides all the stuff kids normally do outside, can you build a small campfire in the yard?
We sit around and roast marshmallows and have our best conversations with the kids around that campfire.

If they are really wearing you out this week, play hide and seek.
They hide and you don't look for them, sit and have a cup of tea in peace and quiet, not that I have ever done that Wink

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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 06:54:17 PM »

We do have a TV, somewhere.
Last time it was on, 9-10 years ago, I never seen such mindless nonsense.

Kid's today can't think for them self, have absolutely no imagination, they
need the TV's, I pods, computer games etc, all of which are preprogrammed.

And Yes parents of these children don't have the imagination to come up with any thing themselves.

Were are your Monopoly Game, pick-up-sticks, ball & jacks, jumping rope, 
etc ?

Ever notice on a nice day { forget playing in the rain } drive down the street
see any kids, look in the yards, they ain't there either.

Who was it said " We are building a mind less society " ?

Bee-Bop

Hope I didn't step on any toes !
Think I'll go wade in the creek & skip rocks


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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2009, 07:03:49 PM »

A lot of people are afraid to let their kids out doors these days. Child molesters and such.
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2009, 07:59:33 PM »

I remember when I was little that our mothers kicked us out of the house in the morning and told us to come home when the street lights came on.
We went in for lunch and to go to the bathroom but that was about it.
The thing is we were fine with that, I remember my mother calling my name down the street to come in for lunch and I didn't want to stop playing so I would pretend I didn't hear her.
Back then we had a neighborhood full of kids and lived in a cul de sac and we would have games of cops and robbers with 18 kids playing.

Society is different today, it is more dangerous to let your kids roam about.
My kids do play outside all day but in my fenced in yard.
They have other kids over and they play at other houses but all the children have to be accounted for.
When my oldest boy was younger and could go to his friends houses by himself he had to let me know that he got there safely and called me when he was leaving there, either that or the moms would call and say he was on his way and to watch out for him.
They did the same if their sons were on his way to my house so I could keep an eye out for him to get there.
Its not the same world we had growing up, sadly that one is gone and this is what we are left with.
While kids can still play outside and do all the things we did, they need constant supervision outside of their own backyards or you take a big risk.

When my oldest was younger we painted a baseball diamond on our back lawn and had all the neighborhood kids there all summer, every summer playing baseball.
You knew where all the kids were and that they were safe.

I think if kids are left to their own devices they use their imaginations.
Just this past week alone my kids have been making up games and pretending they are some kind of super hero, catching bugs in jars, playing king of the mountain- also known as climbing on my new pile of loam that was just delivered, racing against the dogs in the backyard and seeing who can catch my wiliest chickens.
My kids never tell me that they are bored.
But, I also don't micro manage their lives which happens so much now that children don't have any free time left for themselves.
Parents mean well but signing the kids up for every sport or dance class does not leave them any time to be kids. If children are always in an organized play settings then they don't have time to develop their imaginations.

This is just a reply to the previous posts and I am in no way directing this at the orginal poster of this thread.
 
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2009, 09:19:03 PM »

I glad it not turn the computer off week

Johnny
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artsie26
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2009, 09:49:09 PM »

Thanks for all the ideas............I have to say we do have tons of board games...and my two younger boys go over to our elderly neighbors house to play games or cards with her once a week...they all look forward to it. But they would rather run around outside when there at home. The rain is what is really making things miserable here. It's not the nice warm day with a bit of rain....It's cold and pouring rain.
 Beemaster- I really like the radio idea...that is different. It even sounds fun to me, and so educational at the same time... I was thinking about having them listen to a baseball game on the radio. It's so different having to picture the game in your head, and follow along. I also thought we would go through a cedar chest full of old photos...maybe actually get them in a little more order. And the kids get a family history lesson at the same time.
  Natalie- your right about this being a different world then what we grew up in. I had the same kind of childhood as you. Our kids will never be able to experience it. I remember my mom giving me a small list, and walking to the store down the street by myself to pick things up for her. Now you wouldn't even think of letting your kids walk around in the store without you, let alone walk to the store, and back home.
  Bee-bop- I understand what your saying about kids not getting out to use there imaginations, but like it or not technology is the future and if our kids are going to compete for a place in this world they need to have a good grasp on it. They are sponges and that stuff comes so easy to them compared to adults. we see the world as it was for us, not as it's going to be for them. I try to let my kids experience a lot of different things, hoping to make them more well rounded as adults.
  eri- The school just wanted the kids to monitor how much they watched and suggested that they cut back....recording if they cut back a little each day or if they could go the whole week without t.v. I was the one who decided to go the week, as we don't usually watch that much to begin with. I think they are trying to prove to them that there is so much more to do than sit in front of the t.v. I'm hoping to prove to them that we can do fun things as a family at home.....without going out somewhere and spending a lot of money, and making things fun for the whole family is hard with the age difference in the kids.
  The weather is supposed to get nice for the weekend, and we just recently got a puppy so I hope to go to the park nearby and socialize her a bit. The kids will love that.
            Thanks again for everyone's ideas and comments....all were greatly appreciated.
                artsie
  p.s. johnny- I'm glad it's not turn off the computer week too. I'd miss not talking with everyone here.
  
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2009, 09:59:34 PM »

Artsie26
If it was turn the computer off week,  I would have withdraw symptoms


Johnny
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2009, 10:04:13 PM »

I think the world is the same as when my kids were little, it's just that information is more out there, and the media spends lots of time scaring the bejeebers out of everyone. 

It depends on where you live.  My sister lives in a neighborhood, off the main road, those kids are growing up pretty much as we did, they're outside playing all day long all over the neighborhood - it's the way it should be.  If you live on a horribly busy road you can't do that as easily, I live on a busy road, my boys had paper routes that extended two miles out, and they did them themselves - and I'd let them do the same thing today.  We can't keep our kids in bubbles, they need to learn how to deal with the outside world, but only after they've learned the dangers.  I know where Natalie lives, she is on an even busier road, so her kids' options are much more limited. 
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2009, 11:51:46 PM »

I must add something to this thought... Mt days of watching actual TV programming on the schedule of the networks are over. The real exception to that is American Idol which Tracey and I really enjoy seeing live and together.

But otherwise, My TV is just a screen for Downloaded and streamed movies and TV shows (on our schedule not theirs) all the PC STUFF we do on the Beemaster 47inch Jumbo-tron Smiley and if you aren't using your HDTV (if you have one) for web-surfing, my gosh - get with the program, get those computers out of the KIDS ROOMS first of all and into the family room where everyone can sit around and use a single giant monitor for everything including Video Gaming, surfing while listening to any style streaming music, I even use it for all my downloaded AUDIOBOOKS - I'll put a nice slideshow on and have it going while the audiobook is playing.

So conventional TV is a thing of the past here. I hosestly don't want to do a week without the TV (unless you think of TV as the old-school channel-surfing monstor that landlocked you into their nightmarish time slots. When it is a machine that works 100% on your schedule, doing all the things YOU want to do that far exceed basic TV watching, it has morphed or evolved into something completely different.

a great example, I'll be listening to 5 or 6 people in Ventrilo Voice Chat here from the forum live, while looking at as many as have cams live in different windows on the screen - all the while have a poker table or other video games going in their own windows, all at the same time and NONE interfere with the others. That is remarkable stuff we have available today and it AIN'T our parents TV, unless of course you are about 14 - lol.

Could I totally Detox from the whole experience I have created, the monster I call the Entertainment Center of our home, I'm sure I can and generally speaking I think it wouldn't be tough IF I kept myself busy doing other things. I mentioned the option of hunting radio stations, which beats collecting state license plates on a long road-trip.




I think the concept is great for kids (minus the whole homework access to the Internet - oh what students we all could have been of the Net had existed back in the day!

Butlook at the society we live in, there is a terminal everywhere - my library system (and proudfully I state the honors New Jersey Library Branches) has received year after year - with over 30 thousand AUDIOBOOKS alone available online through them, I will never run out of material to listen too - and I aim for 100 novels a year and always come close or surpass that number. If it weren't for audiobooks, working a rotating shift work, I'd never get those kinds of books read - but my wife and I both choose to fill all our down time (she while driving to and from work about 35 minutes each way) and I listen to 80 to 100 pages EACH NIGHT while making rounds at work or about 6 hours a day when doing maintenence (I have a very understanding boss in a high noice level enviroment) I use noice cancelling headphones and he appriciates I protect my ears and doe not mind that I fill hours of reptitive work each day with page upon page of professionally read novels.

For those never trying audiobooks, I have to explain because you easily may misconceive what they are. All audiobooks are read by professionals, they use different voices, background sound effects when needed, they literally act out the parts with many voices and eliminate the he said and she said stuff you read in books, because in their acting and stage performance like acting/reading there is NEVER a doubt who is talking in the story. They are exciting (now mind you, I speak of fictional books and generally NOT those read by the Author - Stephen King is a horrible reader, but chooses to read most of his own books.

If I suggest anything, it will always be a author LEE CHILD's series read by DICK HILL starring the main character JACK REICHER. If you listen to any of his books, you will love the character, the reader and the flowing and exciting style of Lee Child.

So... Yeah, I could do a week without ALL THE GADGETRY of my HDTV and all the accessories I have connected, and use my simple ZIPPO sized MP3 which stores about 15 audiobooks at a time and whether using the expensive noise reduction headphones or the bicycle style headsets used to fit around a helmet bought at the dollar store - give me audiobooks and I could give it all else away for that week.

I think though that KIDS are a totally different story. Parents let them have their own PC in their bedroom and then have no part in the kids online time - that is wrong. I think for younger kids that parents should make their tech savvy kids aware that the parents know of history files, also browsers today are very parent friendly, some even email a parent if kids try going to places blocked by the browser rating system. I'd rather raise a kid with responcibility, letting them know that if they screw up - they'll be caught, rather than trying to snag the kid doing something you wouldn't want them to do - or even worse, letting them surf unattended at all.

a debate came up here a while ago, few of you heard anything about it - but it was related to a few posts where the material wasn't exactly child friendly, although I place warnings on it - I was told that it more than likely raise children's interesting in seeing the post. I try to look at the forum in 2 distinct ways, similar to how a doctor prescribes medication: all meds have drawbacks, contraditions and side effects, all do. The doctor reads the possible harm and weighs it toward the good the medication can do and IF the end result is that the medication does more good than harm, they subscribe it.

In the forum, as family friendly as we always try to be, there are times when a post or video is allowed with some off-color language (videos - especially from sites like Youtube, we can't bleep words from, best we can do is warn that some language may be unsuitable for your children to see alone) it is then the parents job to determine if the child can watch the video or not - foremost, parents must be parents, it is not the job of any forum, the best we can do is warn you if something may be offensive. In the case of this video, there were a few dirty words said, nothing that will scar a child for life, likely stuff they say or hear on a school bus every day!

But in the case of this video, like a doctor writing a script, I weighed the good and bad and believed then and now that the content was acceptable concidaring the educational and entertainment value of the clip.

We work hard to ALWAYS do the right thing, I like to think our forum is ALWAYS safe for your kids to read and post - but that is always in the assumption that you are active in your kids lives and not allowing them to lock themselves into their rooms for days on end, where... I promise Beemaster Forums does less harm that any site they may be looking at!

Sorry about that whole last part, just venting a bit. But whether the Internet or Television, it is NOT a baby sitter and some people who like to complain seem to think a child's upbringing is left to a TV station or Website, it is that kind of thinking that frightens me, I'm not a babysitter, nor any of the mods or the members - we do though ALL try to live by a higher standard, it is a gift to the next generation and dispite maybe NOT being perfect in some people's eyes, it is something I take pride in with each and every one of you.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 12:07:27 AM by beemaster » Logged

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SgtMaj
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2009, 06:45:07 AM »

If they like to fight... buy some boxing gloves, clear a big space in the biggest room, and teach them to box.

Then there's always board games as well.

It's too bad the weather isn't nicer or I'd say take them fishing!
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2009, 12:45:37 AM »

I don't turn off the TV I ignore it most of the time.  Prefer a good book.  I even find myself reading during Jay Leno and Jon Stewart.
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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2009, 02:00:31 AM »

We've been without TV for 5 years now. When we left the city and moved to our log cabin in the woods, TV wasn't an option: no reception and not gonna pay for satellite. It's been great for our family. We actually sit and talk, do things together, engage in hobbies, and exercise our imagination instead of just sitting and watching. Once you get used to not having TV, it's difficult to remember how you used to spend so much time watching. We do watch an occasional movie from Netflix or a video from the library, usually old movies/musicals from the 40's & 50's.

I am with you on this.  We did not have any TV for the past 15 years and never missed it much.  Also just love to rent movies from Netflix about once a week we watch. Well I just installed cable TV this past winter and treated us to a new HD TV, the works, blue ray etc.  Well guess what???  I still do not watch any TV. I just do not like anything I see. It makes me nervous when I do turn it on.

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