Alternative to Commercial TV Viewing

When my kids were little, I didn't want them to watch much television. But, their friends got to watch TV, and they wanted to watch, too.

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So, I videotaped them reading their picture books out loud. They'd hold the book up to the camera and read the text. (With pre-readers, a parent could read the text instead.) I also videotaped us doing science projects together.

When they wanted to watch TV, I'd put in the tape of them reading. They thought it was great fun to see themselves on TV, and I thought it was better than filling their heads with cartoons and commercials!

Homemade tapes are also cheaper than purchased movies or cable access, so we had a winner all the way around. :)

Source: This was just us, no outside source to cite.

By Sterghe from Pennsylvania

April 7, 20080 found this helpful

Wise Mom.

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April 7, 20080 found this helpful

What a wonderful idea. I work with small children, and find that all too soon they become good consumers of everything they see in tv ads. They deserve a better childhood than that, and your idea is a wonderful way to protect them from greedy advertisers.

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April 7, 20080 found this helpful

Best idea I've seen here yet. Your kids are so lucky!

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April 10, 20080 found this helpful

More than "wise mom"....something incredibly brilliant I wish I'd thought of after all these years of 5 kids, now mostly adult, trying to reduce tv time! A way to be saying "YES" to desires, rather than "NO". Will pass idea on to parents of my grandchildren, who worry about the same thing. Actually, might still be "harm reduction' strategy for my remaining teenager, given that anything fun goes!. Thanks for the thought.

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April 15, 20080 found this helpful

Re: "Actually, might still be "harm reduction' strategy for my remaining teenager, given that anything fun goes!"

Just a thought ... with teens, I'd either (simple) videotape them dancing with friends to their favorite parent-friendly music to make their own music videos, or (more challenging) let them make video documentaries or drama--which could also be posted to YouTube. There's even a podcast that features teen-made documentaries, "Icon." Favorite books could be acted out with friends to create personal "TV shows," as could existing plays. A tech-savvy teen has the ability to get _really_ involved in commercial-free recreation!

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April 15, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you all for voting this up ... I had no idea I'd win the tip contest!

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May 5, 20110 found this helpful

Very, very cool idea. I do think some cartoons and shows can be very educational, but they do not need to be watching it endlessly. This is an awesome alternative!

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