I need my village

out of focus children in mama and popa’s garden (notice the crimson light flare – fascinating)  We’ve been spending a few evenings there every week and it makes such a difference to my days. We pick our salad from the ground and the vines, enjoy a beautiful woodfire oven or bbq dinner and I return home with bathed, pyjama-clad little ones asleep in the car. 
I have never been more challenged as a parent than what I am now. I knew that solo-parenting would be hard but there are so many things I didn’t consider or expect. I never thought I would feel this vulnerable, I never thought Che would feel Daniel’s absence so deeply.
The past three weeks have been emotionally charged and I’m doing my best to guide the children into a new rhythm, albeit temporary – much easier said than done. This new normal is rocky and I’m witnessing long, passionate displays of sadness and anger – usually directed at me. It’s difficult to find that balance between discipline and comfort, to express my endless, wholehearted love but stick to my firm boundaries.
I’ve been encouraging Che to let go of his anger by running out in the garden instead of screaming at the top of his lungs. He says to me: “But mum, my anger can’t come out of my feet, it needs to come out of my mouth.” I admire his ability to express how and where he is feeling but tonight I realised that I need to make a few changes to ensure his anger isn’t provoked. I feel like I’ve reached a point where I need to find some mama-bear fire instead of getting caught up in my vulnerability.
Later tonight I’ll unplug the television (once Q&A is finished) and carry it into the garage – tough call but there’s no denying that it’s a catalyst for poor behaviour and unrealistic expectations. Over breakfast tomorrow I’ll sit next to Che and talk about our house and family rules – what’s acceptable and what’s not (it’s been too long since we last spoke about them). And later in the day I’ll enlist the help of my village because…I surrender – I need all the parenting support I can get.
How do you encourage your children to express their anger?  Am I completely nutty getting rid of the TV? I have nine weeks (maybe more depending on the filming schedule) to go till Daniel returns. I am breathing – deeply.
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Showing 56 comments
  • Susan

    I think getting rid of all screen time might be a little drastic at this juncture! We don't have 'TV' per se but still let the kids watch movies. We don't have screen time before 4pm and set a limit. I think boundaries are key. I do think spending time with some other 'dad' friends might help. My son 'adopted' a few surrogate father figures (friend's dads!) when my husband was absent working and it seemed to help him (though he was quite a big younger than Che). Hope things start to get easier for you guys soon. xx

    • Jodi

      I agree, it's completely drastic, but I feel like it's the right thing to do. No doubt one show a week on iview may be a treat. As for Peppa Pig at dinnertime – Poet lost interest quite a while ago. She wants to "cook too" now x

    • Nell

      We're on a tv ban right now too. Over these last hard weeks I've found myself relying on it when I'm feeling at my saddest, but I have seen such a change in Josephine's behaviour – shouting and tantrums and total disobedience. So we're on our second week now and the difference is huge! Plus I was worried if I'd need to keep her occupied to fill the space of the tv for those first days at least, but she is playing so beautifully, I'm so glad I've done it. I think you'll notice the difference straight away. You're doing an amazing job Mama, much love xx

  • Meagan Wilson

    Oh, dear Jodi, I hear you loud and clear. North and Indigo both go in and out of challenging times (like all kids) and I too often notice the difference in their behaviour when Brad isn't around – he often works 6 days a week and travels often. North has just come out of a real tough stage and I am so relieved to see my mostly gentle, caring, happy and inquisitive boy. It took many weeks of reminding him what the boundaries are, what are family values are and constantly staying firm YET calm (so. hard.). In the end I am not ever sure it's the changes I make that get him out of a phase or whether he just needed to go through that phase for the weeks he did and then come out of it on his own. But how you approach it, deal with it and move on without going crazy or feeling mama guilt is what is most important. As for Indigo, she has just started biting North (at 3- a bit late!) whenever she is frustrated. I have googled it, looked at parenting websites… I can't find a solution (any in the comments here?!) and I am just trying to take it day by day and trying as hard as I can to read the signals before she actually does the deed so I can intervene. Again, so. hard.

    As for TV. we are doing a bit of the opposite at the moment. : ) I have been allowing the kids to watch 30 minutes of old school Mr. Rogers (PBS – from itunes USA) maybe 1-2 times per week when I am totally tired and they need to zone out for a little bit. But yes, even with that tiny amount of screen time I notice they are grumpier and just more uncomfortable in their own bodies when the how is ending for up to an hour afterwards.

    My best advice is to do as much as you can during the day (I know so hard when you are working too) to prepare for when Che arrives home from school so that you can be as present as you can until bedtime. I always prep dinner as much as I can while they're at school, have PJs out, maybe even a calming activity (painting, drawing, something artsy) all ready for when they arrive home. Then if they're fighting or tired or emotional I feel like I have the time and space to be present with them and not fall behind on the afternoon/evening rhythm.

    Finally, not sure if you've ever visited but I LOVE the parenting passageway. Carrie has so many valuable resources there. Che is going through the 7 year change right now (I think!) so it's a big one. She has lots of information about different age groups, what to expect, how to handle situations etc.

    Food for thought?

    Thinking of you. Really, I am. Being in Sydney without my family or my husband's I find myself very often solo-parenting and it is one more time so. hard.

    I know you are doing an amazing job. Remember they chose you to be their Mum. You are everything they need right now. xx m.

    • Reply

      Much love to you at this tricky time Jodi, I'm sorry I have no wonder fixes for you, but I too love the website meagan recommended. xxx

    • Mama Shara

      My 3 yr old (almost) has started biting his older brother too. Struggling to come up with gentle ideas to intervene. I also find that The Parenting Passageway is brilliant, not only for her amazing insight into child development through the age groups but her always encouraging posts for mums.

  • Soph

    Anger can be a hard one, my little man who is a similar age the Che is expressing a bit of anger at the moment also. I can react very quickly, it's easy to do (particularly when you are feeling vulnerable) When my little man is angry I take a deep breath (my way of not reacting) and I say "I can hear that your feeling angry, but I don't like you speaking to me like that, it hurts my feelings." I welcome him for a cuddle on my lap and while we cuddle I help him to calm himself and talk about what he is cross about. If he continues to yell I walk away, saying "I am not going to listen when you speak to me like that" I'm happy to talk, to cuddle and to support but I'm not happy to be yelled at. Could you also possibly chat to him about how you're feeling sad that Dad is away as well, and maybe you could talk about how to support each other? I'm all for the TV going, I find when it is not an option it isn't an issue. Louise Porter has a book called "Children are People Too" I couldnt recommend it highly enough to all parents. It is great. Good luck finding your strength!

  • Lindsey Cox

    I rarely ever comment, but my mumma heart feels your pain! my son and husband are so close too, and my husbands job takes him away from us for weeks to months at a time.
    in our everyday life i try to embrace ballence, we have electronics but they are earned and used sparingly, they are a part of our world and my children and i need to learn how to deal with them appropriately… this being said, when my husband is gone there is no ballence, and like you i dont want to set my boy up for a fall, electronics make it hard for him to focus and then when i turn them off he melts in frustration. when there dad is gone he is allready off, why make things more difficult in the long run for them!? (when jake is gone I keep it away for those moments that i cant function and everything is going wrong as close to bed time as possible so he doesnt have to try to function after)
    what i have found to be the best thing for us is getting out, when jake is gone my house is a mess, this is okay, we spend days out of the house doing fun things, i am more focused as a parent when we are out, no phone or ipad just my camera, they are discovering and enthralled with new experiences(and not home focusing on the lack of dad ) let them take pictures to show daddy later so they can let him be a part of their adventure, just like when they get to hear about his adventure.

    follow your instinct
    you know your boy

    i know first hand how hard this is, be gentle with yourself mama, (if you need a break take it your very blessed to have family close by)

    x Lindsey Joy

  • The Wholefood Mama

    Your post actually brought tears to my eyes Jodi. When you first posted about Daniel's trip in the weeks before he left my heart sank for all of you, it is soooo hard being apart and being a young family. No you are not crazy taking TV away, one tip though don't set too big a boundary on when/if it will be returning! We have a no TV during the week rule and then movies or ABC on the weekend. I think it is a great idea to go over the house rules/values, something I have been thinking of doing too. As for emotional expression, we say to our boys 'you can be angry/sad/boisterous…whatever it may be but you can't take it out on other people, so take it outside or in your room, jump on the trampoline, shoot some basketball hoops' – something physical. Releasing emotion through sound is very natural but again depends on how/where it is directed, perhaps some carefully directed pillow punching and sound releasing might help. Wish I could fast forward time for you! Then again, not really there's no way around it only through. Take care xx

  • thedotsfamily

    I'll try to give you my experience even with my bad written english (i am French). We choose to have no TV in our home. Yes when I feel tired, I wish they could watch TV but each time we left them watch TV, we pay a high price in anger after. So they can only watch cartoons or movies during the week-end (on the computer or Ipad). For the anger, this is a huge thing here at home, and so many energy to help my sun to put the anger away. So hard to explain him that he is not bad when he feels anger and completely loose the control of himself. Anger is a safe feeling that means he has his own opinions and don't always want to be pleasant with adults. This is positive. But when he is in a middle of it, I have no tools except calm and diversion (i might develop a secret talent for acting)…
    Well, you have to know that your readers around the world support you with good feelings.
    Marie, from South of France.

  • aluminiumgirl

    I'm not sure I'd be getting rid of the television… I'd be bending the rules a smidge (temporarily) and re-directing where possible – but that's me. I solo-parent a lot of the time as Hubby works long shifts and is rarely home before bedtime and out again early in the morning. More often than not, I realise that the battles we have are more to do with me and my expectations/ stressors and feelings, than with my little ones…

    My eldest (just started Kindy) has a fiery temper. I've been teaching her basic mindfulness. To count and breathe and notice what's going on in her body when she feels angry – and then try to explain to me what is making her so angry. Through a series of question/answers we determine together better outcomes for the situation (guidance parenting, sort of). Before we get to that point, she has reflection time in the time-out space – to break the rising fury. Something like this might be useful (http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/health-and-community/enewsletter/mindfulness-made-easy)

    I hope removing the television is helpful for you – esp if it is so central to the battles. I hope you will keep using your parents and wider support network to get you through this time. Including getting them to take the kidlets and get yourself out on a walk or to a massage or something for some self-care.

    Good luck! Sending positive thoughts your way.

  • Audrey

    So brave to toss the telly! I wish I had the guts, but that bit of wind down is too tempting for me yet. I do notice Teddy's mood alters after too much tv, & can erupt in anger when it comes time to switch it off. The one thing I have just done is a big toy / resource rotation for him, choosing new materials that are challenging. It is now so much easier to suggest an activity he immediately gets enthused about & I'm definitely noticing that days without tv at all are becoming more common. You are an inspiration, my hubby is back next Tuesday & I am counting down the seconds – he's only been gone a fortnight & I should be an old hand at him being away by now! Much love to you & the littlies, lean on your village – they will have been waiting for their time to shine 😉

  • Steph @ this brown wren

    We haven't had a tv for about 2 years now and it has become a way of life (the odd iview show though). I think your plan sounds strong as although your little man is missing his Papa desperately he will feel most secure by knowing his boundaries and being gently reminded of them regularly. Have you looked into Sparkle Stories (sparklestories.com)? They are the most beautiful stories you can download onto your ipod. There are all different themes and age groups and Bijou really settles when I turn one on. They always have a lovely message! Use that beautiful village of yours knowing that they are not only supporting you but enriching your babies' worlds too (and most likely indulging the grandparents with beautiful time with their grand babies too) Much love and calm xx

    • jay

      Oh Steph, we love sparkle stories here too, they are delightful. I love that they had a Thanksgiving made up of only local food and that the children in their stories often have nut butter sandwiches and go on such delightful adventures. xxx

  • Rachel

    Totally go with no tv, it's awesome (once you get through the first week) !! My three girls 6, 4, 2 all play better, fight less and have much calmer behavior. I would never have believed the difference it made until I tried it. That was 2 years ago and while we have introduced it back at times, the relief of no screen time is felt by us all. Good luck

  • Bron Maxabella

    We we make time to talk about what angers us – so important, especially for boys. How it makes us feel and where it goes when it's done. I hope you're ok, Jodi. Hope Che's ok. Of course, you all will be, but change and longing is hard. x

  • millefeuilles

    In spring after my fortieth birthday I suffered a miscarriage. One month later my husband left to start a new job; We decided it would be best for me to stay for three months with my two children so that they might finish their school year before moving to a new region. We did not realise when making this decision that I had fallen pregnant again. The following months were, as you can imagine, very hard. My eldest daughter, fourteen at the time, was flourishing between school, flute, orchestra, music theory classes, theatre, and ballet classes and performances. I was a taxi driver with nausea. Constant nausea, and fear that I might have another miscarriage. My poor son, about Che's age, was not angry at his father's absence but sick. Whilst my daughter was absent for a week in Italy I spent day after day at the doctor's, running tests, visiting the hospital for he had the beginnings of pneumonia. It was awful. My poor husband, who was working SO hard felt terrible he couldn't help more. I remember once being stuck in a city, forty miles away, after a music class when my car wouldn't start. The rain was pelting down, the children were waiting for me at school. I felt completely helpless.

    And then it was over. We moved, my son recovered completely and I began to enjoy the pregnancy.

    As far as anger is concerned, they need to be listened to, of course but boundaries must be maintained, as you write. We have no television in our home but I had withdrawn sweet or computer-related treats when I felt the child was becoming (like myself) too dependent on these pleasures. It has always paid off.

    You are at the worst point in this three-month stint; edging towards the middle but not quite there yet. It's a huge growing experience for all of you and your relationship with your two sweethearts will be stronger than ever.

    Warmest wishes from France,


  • Lauren Knight

    Oh, you are doing so well, mama! I know these troubles as my partner was gone for so much of the summer a year ago. It is so emotionally draining, but you sound like you are doing a fantastic job.

    We have not had a TV for 11 years now, and though we sometimes still let our kids watch a movie or show every now and then on the computer, it is easy to put it away and out of sight. And honestly, whenever the three of them are acting up an unusual amount, we put an absolute "no screen time" rule for a couple of days, and their behaviors immediately get better. I know each child is different, but we've found that ours do better without a screen. It may be more work for us, but in the end it's worth seeing them engage and be happier without it.

    I hope things get easier for you. Hang in there!

  • lilyknits

    We have a tv but it is kept unplugged, out of the way. We only bring it out on Sunday mornings when my son (5) can watch a few shows (usually about an hour.) It works really well for us. For a while I was allowing 1 show in the evening as I prepared dinner, but it ended up being too much of a struggle and wasn't helping me get my work done. It took a few weeks to adjust but it is better for all of us.
    I have found a group called RIE (resources for infant educators) online (they have a helpful FB group too) with great ways to talk to children and acknowledge the feelings they are having while setting clear boundaries. Janet Lansbury on FB is the best resource.

  • Andrea @ Hey Mama, Rock Me.

    We just made a long hard move across the US and my two year old has been acting the same way. I've found that TV does make it worse! It's strange, but she seems to be wound up and ready to fight after she has sat in front of the TV for a few hours. We're going through no screen time in our house right now too – trying to see if we can all press the reset button and be nice to each other again.

  • Courteney Rodda

    I'm new to your blog, and haven't commented yet…but I so appreciate your attitude towards parenting. My daughter is only a few months old and we waited a long time to have her, so consequently we've had a lot of time to think about parenting. Obviously we aren't at the point where disciplining is something we have to do (she's only 4.5 months!) but it will come soon enough…I feel like taking away the TV is drastic, but in a good way. Just a TV ban might not be good enough because if the little ones still see it they will think about it, which almost makes it worse when they can't watch it. (I've seen this happen lots with my nephew and niece)

  • Lyn Stewart

    I have to say parents every where get rid of your televisions they are the biggist scurge and reason for so much mad/bad behaviour and numbing down to bad behaviour there is. If you want to know the news buy a paper.

  • gracehill

    You words really resonate with my life right now. The description under the pictures first caught my attention, because any time my husband is away, I make sure to get over to my parents' house to do just what you described… get dinner, have some fun, get cleaned up and ready for bed :). It's been a lifesaver on more than one of his business trips. And we are also in a time of change that is causing my oldest little one to struggle. Thank you for sharing so openly. It is refreshing, helpful, and supportive to parents everywhere. Found your blog through the 52 project… thanks again!

  • Lina

    You aré not crazy!!! I have seen the same effect with TV here. We have a rule that only for weekends and we try to do DVDs so she will skip all the advertisement. But do what you feel is better you are the mama, good luck and breath deeply. I was meaning to write to you I got a huge crisis when I turned 30 and now at 33 I have decided quite happily to stop at one child and go back to work next school year when she enters preschool. That is what gives me balance I have been a mother full time but I need to be a woman as well to use my brain and to go back to my self. Some degree of selfishness is good a happy moma=happy home. I am back to yoga and it feels good to be me

  • Lucy W

    Wow, what beautiful, insightful comments from people! Their advice to you has helped me too! I won't offer advice as the advice given has already been amazing but I'll offer positive thoughts and a huge thank you for sharing the tough times with the good as it offers a more realistic picture for those out there who experience similar things. Much strength, I think you're doing an amazing job by the sounds of it! I loved the comment about "after q and a" I would've done the same thing!!

  • Tamara Erbacher

    Hey Jodi… Anger is tricky… I guess, as simple as it sounds… To me anger is just an emotion that tries to conceal what we are REALLY feeling, something too painful, anger is a symptom… the key is to find out what 'that' pain is… comfort and talking, that is all, as mothers, we have to offer… empathy is key here…that just my view anyway, I'm no expert but the years with boys has taught me a lot. You are right to feel the way you feel… families are meant to be together… not a part, you should feel vulnerable… I think you should me more concerned if everything felt normal! Big love to you gorgeous lady, happy to phone chat if you need too. xx

  • Engracia

    It is a difficult if common conundrum of parenting: disciplining. I have two boys aged 7 & 8 & during the school term there is no TV except for half an hour between dinner & bath time. I have always adhered to this rule even when they were little & felt the pull of TV in order to allow me to get chores done or some peace & quiet. Initially I would switch the TV off at the power point behind the TV before I went to bed & then put it on after they went to bed and my husband & could sit down & watch some TV after our dinner. It worked well.

    As they got older they just got used to the fact that TV was limited & there are no questions about it. So I'm not sure you need to physically remove the TV as you will probably need some entertainment or a voice in the background in the coming months, besides Rake is about to start again!

    As for Che's expressing anger, it is so tough, I don't think him screaming is an inappropriate behaviour for a child his age, it is just socially unacceptable, you need to be careful about not allowing to express how he feels, especially in order to avoid a boy who then grows into a man incapable of expressing his emotions . So let him tell you how he is feeling by inviting him into your arms for a cuddle, I think you will find he stops screaming & starts talking, probably through his tears, about how he is feeling & what has made him feel that way.

    All the best, it is a tough but rewarding job, but especially more so during this unusual time for your family.

  • Brook

    Getting Rid of TV=Best Thing You WIll Ever Do For Your SELF!

  • jobungalow

    I always find that when it gets to that place where you need to make a change, and you make a decision from there, it is often the right thing. We try to have no TV, instead we listen to Sparkle Stories (as mentioned in another comment). Probably too many these days with a newborn to attend to. Sometimes I break the TV rule, and I always notice the pent up energy from sitting still for a while. Anger is such a challenging emotion, and so hard not to become inflamed yourself when dealing with an angry child. I try to get my daughter to do some deep breathing and a grounding visualisation. I often get her to choose a colour that she would like to breathe in and fill her body with (I trust that she chooses the colour she needs). There is a great book called Calm Kids that might be helpful, with meditations for different age groups.
    Big love to you mama!! I find such support in this blog
    Jo xx

  • Katya

    We have really cut down my son's screen time in the past few weeks and have noticed immediate positive changes to his ability to regulate emotion. It really does make sense, and if I'm completely honest I notice the same changes in myself when I regulate internet/iPhone use. It's hard to be mindful when you're so distracted!

    I also thought I'd link to some resources that I've found helpful over the years for both my kids – the Quirky Kid online shop: http://therapeuticresources.com.au/parents/i-feel-angry
    We have many of these books and they are so helpful as a parent navigating 'stormy weather'

  • Jessica

    You are such a strong and inspiring Mama. I admire you so much! You're doing such a fantastic job.

    Jess | Malt Memories.

  • ::The Beetle Shack::

    You are doing beautifully, you truly are.


  • Tara Lucia Zaicz

    Oh sweet lady, so beautifully written. I've been trying to digest words to sum up how I feel with Caleb away for six weeks but I just can't. There are too many emotions. Somedays it's so hard to even imagine having to wake up in the morning and do it all over again. Ba'il's heart breaks when Caleb is away and he also likes to challenge me, especially when I'm trying to get Milinh to sleep.

    I had to pack up my desktop the other day because of the moods it would put Ba'il in. I had to put up with 3 days of begging for the computer to come back… it never has and he has stopped asking. Hard for me to work off my laptop all day long but a small sacrifice for a more peaceful home and less tantrums. Your so lucky to have your parents around the corner and the sun shining. Mine are over 400km away and by this afternoon I'll be rained into Cape York. Make the most of their help and your beautiful beach down there. Take one day at a time and keep up those deep breathes. It's only a phase and it's going to make each of you so much stronger by the end (so I keep telling myself). All my love x

  • Jane S

    Hi Jodi, sending you strength and some mama-bear fire! I am loving your new look blog…I have been reading but not always commenting.

    We got rid of our TV about 4 years ago and have never missed it. Our children (4 & 7) don't miss it or question it. I allow them to watch little videos and DVDs on a computer for a limited time and that is enough. When we go 'away' watching TV is a treat/novelty that we all enjoy.

    Solo parenting is tough…reach out to your village x

  • Karen Wilson

    Hello Jodi,have certainly felt a little emotional reading through all these wonderful paragraphs of wise advice and comfort from your fellow bloggers.It always helps a situation if you can share it with at least one person need alone many.I only wished they had this when were bringing you and Josh up, with no grandparents near by.

    Stay strong darling, and at the end of this 12 week journey, you will be a stronger person with yet another experience under your belt.Dad and I are always here for you .Love you, Mum xxx

    Have a pleasant evening with the lovely Imi !

    • Tamara Erbacher

      How wonderful a mother you are. Jodi you are very lucky. Very lucky. xx

    • mummykarma

      What a lovely, supportive mum you have; no wonder you are the way you Jodi. Stay strong x

  • Amanda

    Jodi, I can't imagine how difficult solo parenting for such a long stint must be. With not much in the way of other family help, I struggle with just one week of my husband being away 🙂 It sounds as though you have a very supportive, helpful family so my advice would be to take all the help they can give. As for the TV, we are not big TV watcher in our house although we do have one. Like Engracia above, ours is limited to a short block. Having this limit means our TV is used as entertainment rather than simply as a distraction. My girls don't use computers or any other electronics so this is there only screen time we allow. I think in these coming weeks, you need to be kind to yourself, and while of course you still want to follow your heart and stick to your parenting beliefs, remember that you just need to do whatever is best for you to get through this period. Much love to you all xx

  • Nicole

    Hooray for a village 😀
    There's some interesting articles on anger and kiddies on http://www.sittingonbaby.com (the title makes me laugh!) It's commonsense stuff and her words are real and reassurring.
    Goodluck mamabear

    • Nicole

      I mean…www.sittingonthebaby.com

  • freckles

    I wish i could have a tv free home but my husband is so dependent on it and would never be on board with removing it. He has it on at all times when he is home. He has agreed to cancel foxtel but that's as far as he'll go. I do worry about the affect it will have on our daughter, especially since some of the shows have a lot of violence and swearing, like Sons of Anarchy. I really feel for you and your little family at this challenging time, my husband used to go away for weeks at a time and that was very difficult for me, he gave up that work before we had a baby, we could really do with the money that job brought in but we're not sure if we could manage it while our daughter is so young (16 months)

  • Kristy

    I like all the opinions and ideas on how to deal with the expression of anger by little boys. It is a 'question' I am always trying to find the possible answer or approach too. I try telling my son it is okay to be angry/frustrated/impatient, but it is not okay to speak rudely or yell at Mummy and it is definitely not okay to hurt someone else/siblings. I ask him to sit on his bed (where he cannot hurt himself or someone else) until he feels calm. I leave him for a couple of minutes and then go in and give him a hug and try and talk about why he is feeling the way he is and what he can do to feel calm again. I am definitely not perfect at it, and can tend to get angry back (especially if he hurts a sibling), but find the time on his bed allows me to calm down too!

  • EB

    We have had no tv on since December – yes I survived school holidays with 4 kids under 7 and 33 weeks pregnant! with no tv! We did use dvd's but I found the kids loved and appreciated being able to watch something.
    None of them have ever said I miss my favourite show blah blah..
    Dvd is used when they are sick, friday after dinner treat when everyone is tired from school etc and Sat morning so I can enjoy quiet time and plan our day..
    It's something U can live without, I love having no TV free's up all our time and makes us a better family.

  • jay

    Like Nikki, I too had tears in my eyes thinking of you, I love that you have reached out to your parents, your village. I love how you have recognised the big emotions your little ones are feeling, in particular Che's beautiful words. We haven't had a tv for a couple of years now and it is delightful, Poe and Ilo do occasionally watch abc but only on weekends and only occasionally and they rarely if ever mention it.
    I have loved reading all these wise comments, so full of love and support for you, I hope it helps, knowing there is so much love directed your way.

  • A little bit country

    Hi Jodi, When we moved to the country coming up 2 years ago my partner and I discussed switching off the TV….for good. We have a TV in the lounge but it is for movies only. I was convinced it wouldn't last and it took me 3 months to cancel our SKY Subscription. We don't miss it, and most definitely not the advertising (you will really notice it over the Christmas period). The kids adapted quickly and easily. We love our movie nights and in the weekends make it into a fun evening with popcorn and sweets. We don't know if the TV aerial even works. And now our town has gone digital we couldn't plug in and watch TV if we wanted too with out buying the proper equipment. You will love it, so much more time in the evening to do things. Elaina xo

  • Kathy

    Solo parenting is very difficult that's for sure, being one of them myself. I am a bit of a TV addict myself and if I banned the kids from watching TV then I would have to ban myself which I'm not prepared to do. They do however only have 1 hour a week each on the ipad or xbox however I do know my kids particularly my son does watch more TV than he should so I will be trying to limit it a little in the coming weeks. Going to your parents place for dinner, baths and a wander around the veggie patch is also good company for you too and gets you through those lonely evening routines. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  • Mrs B

    Hi Jodi,

    I never comment either, but had too as well. I have a 7 year old as well who is going through a similar change. My husband travels a lot for work too (but is here at the moment and it hasnt helped the anger). I've been told that 7 is the first puberty. They are trying to push away from the family but at the same time they cling and want to be tight within it. I'm trying to give him independence and choices about things I feel are appropriate while keeping our boundaries strong about things which are not.

    My son talks about his anger and frustration, and the few yelling episodes we've had have been horrid but also really emotional…but he explains that he feels sooo angry and it is better than hitting. I just give empathy, that I understand he is angry but keep setting the boundaries of acceptable behaviour in our house. We also talk a lot about emotions, ways to express them and how other people feel when you yell.

    We've been getting outside a lot more and doing a lot more climbing, running, and jumping. This helps A LOT after school We have a quiet snack and then its outside to climb and swing. He has less anger and frustrated. On weekends we try to get out to the beach or lake and swim/ canoe. My massage therapist said their brain is going through massive growth through kinesthetic areas (the left side of the brain) so they need more physicality.

  • Britty Wesely

    Getting rid of the TV feels so drastic at first, but after my husband and I did it, it made such a huge difference for our whole family. We adopted my son when he was 2-years-old. He, naturally, has a great deal of trouble with emotional control and anger issues. We sold our television before we brought him home and, for the most part, have been so so glad we did. It forces us to get outdoors more, which is much more therapeutic when his emotions run hot and sensory needs are high. We do put a short show on the computer for him occasionally when we're especially desperate for a few moments of quiet. But by not having a television, it's not relied upon as much.
    We've been TV-free for a year and a half, and I can't recommend it more.

    Best of luck to you and your family in the upcoming weeks. I hope you're able to find a rhythm that makes your days more easeful.

  • ne-ne land

    I am sending big hugs your way! As for the TV, I got rid of mine 10 years ago, and am happy with the decision. My husband and I have our shows we watch together on the computer, but we decided (especially being a Waldorf family) that we would limit media for our little one, except for the occasional movie. I notice that when her grandparents show her videos on the ipad, or she sees a TV when we're out at a restaurant that she glazed over and zones out completely. She's only 18 months though, so we'll see what happens as she gets older!

  • flyingjen

    I want to get rid of our tv. I don't envy single parents. I'm not quite sure how they do it. I know they don't know any different. More power to them!

  • Angie

    We also got rid of our TV 4 years ago when our eldest son was 3. Any down time I got using the TV o get things done was not worth the behaviour we got after watching TV. It was by far the best decision for our family. We do Friday night movies and the very occasional 1 hour stint on iview (documentaries, half of the kids love them, if not they do something else). I am so used to not having it I forget what it is like to have one in the house. We recently visited relatives who kept putting the TV on to entertain the kids……it was dreadful and the older kids even said they had not enjoyed watching so much.

    There are so many good comments already regarding anger and young boys. I would say that what works for us is food and lots of water straight after school (as in handed over as we leave the school gates) and then the option for some quiet time when we get home. AUDIO BOOKS have been great….they will often listen while reading another book. This is when I get dinner ready (if not before) then we go for a walk/ride/run before eating. I restrain from asking ANYTHING about school. During dinner the kids may talk about school but if not I leave it.

    There is not doubt in my mind though that boys around 7 and beyond need the male role models in their lives to seriously step up to more of the parenting. This is so impractical most of the time as the role of the mama is has been so large until that point and family life no works around that model. I find if my son has his dad/granddad/a male family friend around in the afternoon regularly it makes a HUGE difference to his general emotional state. They just do totally different stuff with them and the boys just lap it up. As I said it is so hard for us (& most others I imagine) to arrange this set up but it is something we try to arrange as it makes such a difference to the anger/emotional control stuff.

  • Knicker Elastic Fantastic

    I grew up without a tv and in retrospect it was the best thing that ever happened to me! It meant we were constantly busy doing crafty things, playing games or reading. Very healthy! Good luck with it, over time they will quickly forgt it ever excited!

  • Iliska Dreams

    When Tamika was a baby/child we did not own a TV. It was not until I moved in with my sister's house when she was six that there was a TV in our life. I was a sole parent with Tamika for 15 years. I was hard, so very hard. So when Justin went away for two months last year I had to remember all of the tricks I had learnt. The most important is to be honest, to yourself and to your child

  • hello poppet

    I too, am contemplating removing the tv from our home. We recently moved and as such, needed to cancel our cable subscription and I realised how heavily we were relying on the tv. So when we moved we didn't renew and it was bliss. Now the tv has found its way back into our living room and we're only using it to watch tv on demand. But that's still too much, for me and my son. It's quite literally poisonous. I can't function efficiently in the evenings with it and I cannot stop my tiny son [22 months] from desiring it, and the ipad, all day every day. And when you live in a country that doesn't offer a great outdoors life it's a difficult thing to avoid when you're cooped up all winter long. Long story short, i'm planning on selling the ipad and the tv and replacing them both with a large screen laptop that lives in a cupboard and is brought out only when we're all sitting to watch something together. I suspect even that will be too much.

    I find the tv is strong and powerful and makes me a neglectful parent. I cannot resist the charms of it so how can I expect my son to?

  • Andrea

    Hmm. Dillemma. In principle I completely agree. We managed up until 18months with the boy watching no TV. Suddenly there is far too much TV in this house. In the morning (whilst we are in breakfast mode), before nap (snippets of movies on laptop), before dinner and before bed (more snippets of movies before laptop). Argh. It adds up to way to much. I'd be happy to keep it as part of the bed routine and dump the rest…..but it's one major thing me and my husband disagree on. He doesn't see the problem. But he also doesn't do the research on how bad too much tv can be for kids. Arggh. Dilemma. What to do.
    Good on you for vanishing the TV. It's one of those things that suddenly seems easy once its done.

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