Not watching TV

Some people, normal people, maybe even you reading this now, watch box sets. They binge on them. They watch loads of episodes at a time. On consecutive days. How do they do that?

I’m pretty sure they don’t have a 14 year old, a 12 year old and a 10 year old.

Because I don’t really watch TV.

Not through choice. I’m not a huge fan. I’ve never been an addict, but I’d like to sit down and watch ONE PROGRAMME of my own choice at about 9pm every day. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

I work flipping hard – I drive the kids places, I juggle all of their needs, I cook (sort of), clean and also work to earn the money to pay for everything they ‘need’ to do. But can I sit down and watch my own telly? Apparently not.

At our old house, the kids dominated the lounge and the TV. In the evenings, the boys would have the Wii on. I resolved this wouldn’t happen in the new house. So, at Christmas, just before we moved house, we bought the boys a TV each. Sorted! No more hogging the main TV.

Do they use them?

Not that much.

Because they can’t get The Simpsons on them and they can’t record programmes on them.

My eldest watches DVDs on his, my younger son only plays Xbox on his. Except he doesn’t play Xbox much any more. Mainly he plays Wii U. No prizes for guessing where he plays that. ON THE LOUNGE TELLY.

My daughter watches endless reality shows and boring things like Location, Location, Location. She will watch the same episode four or five times (and it’s bad enough the first time). And then there’s my boys and The Simpsons… Three or four episodes every night – starting at about 6pm and going on as late as 9.30. On a school night. On the TV they’re not supposed to watch in the evening.

I recorded Fargo in the autumn. I loved the previous series. So far, I’ve watched just two episodes of this series. Will I ever get round to watching? The only series I’ve managed to watch all year are Call the Midwife, Raised by Wolves and Happy Valley. I’ve recorded The A Word and haven’t watched it. I would have liked to watch The Night Manager and Line of Duty.

But it will never happen, because the kids are watching Bear Grylls: Mission Survive. Now I have nothing against Mr Grylls and I don’t mind his programmes, but when my time is limited, I’d rather watch a good drama or comedy of my own choosing. In peace. On my own telly.

And even when The Simpsons or Bear Grylls or Location, Location has gone off I still don’t have any peace, because I have to start my daughter’s ridiculous bedtime routine, which involves me having to pause the TV to go and check on her several times during a gripping drama or a hilarious comedy.

I know we should ban them from watching the lounge TV after a certain time and, believe me, we’ve tried, but somehow they just keep bending the rules.


TV, Television, Family

Do other parents of older kids get to watch TV? Is it just me who doesn’t?

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. We’re really quite strict about this one and come 9pm, the living room (and remote control!) is ours! I’m not sure when we started it, my eldest two were probably about 11/12 when bedtimes began to become quite fluid shall we say and I had to put my foot down for my own sanity. This is one rule that I have never bent on! I look forward to sitting down (at last!) at 9pm every night with a cup of tea to watch something half decent on TV 🙂

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    • I love that you do this! We should have done it, but we weren’t strict enough when we should have been a couple of years ago.
      Like your description of ‘fluid’ bedtimes, that sums them up nicely!

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  2. I used to insist that the TV was ours at 9pm but somehow this has slipped to 10pm when the teen goes to bed. I had to BOOK my TV slot last night for my guilty pleasure of Real Housewives of Cheshire at 10pm, probably the one thing I insist on watching every week. My 2 also have TVs in their bedrooms but yep the teen just uses it as a large PS4 screen, and daughter just watches DVDs on hers. You need a woman shed Sarah x

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    • A woman shed sounds so nice! A working TV in my bedroom would be a good start, but I’d probably just fall asleep!
      It’s good to hear that other people struggle with the rules and getting the kids to actually go to bed too. x

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  3. Mine always have to go upstairs at 9 – not to sleep but to their rooms – Betsy used to moan about it when she was 13/14 but she had tv/DVDs etc plus laptop/tablet and I wanted to have a couple of hours of adult TV! Obvs these days Betsy doesn’t have to go to bed at 9 – but she does have to put up with our choice of telly if she is downstairs! Max watches Netflix on his tablet until 10 – then it’s turn it off time – and he does it without being nagged amazingly! I think we all need a bit of breathing space to watch our own thing!

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    • That sounds like a very good rule. That’s my theory on how things should work, but they don’t. I think I need to set clearer rules! We definitely all need that bit of breathing space. Thanks.

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  4. Grab back that remote and take some control! I know it’s easier said than done though. My eldest have spent years dominating my tv. I once bought a tv for my bedroom and would watch my programs up there! Since we moved they’ve become much better at letting me have my tv in the lounge….but there are still programs I can’t watch because of constant moaning, but I tell them to go to their rooms if they don’t like it. I don’t have a tv in the bedroom now, but I think it would be nice to watch stuff in peace…plus the other half could watch his football without boring me to tears!

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    • Thanks very much. I find it kind of reassuring that you’ve been in the same situation because it makes me feel less like an incompetent parent. It really is easier said than done! We have a TV in our room, but unfortunately it doesn’t work! I wouldn’t mind watching the occasional thing in there.
      Football is a whole other issue… It amazes me how my husband can find the time to watch quite so much of it!

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  5. Ah that’s rubbish, it must drive you mad! I never manage to watch tv either, I’m always working in the evenings. It sounds like it’s only going to get worse!

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    • Ha ha, so many things get worse as they get older! I think you’re amazing for working in the evening. My brain starts to slow down at 2pm! x

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  6. Location location location on repeat sounds like torture! I end up recording everything and watching it weeks later, partly because I just fall asleep after 8pm. We don’t have the telly problem just yet but you’re giving me visions of when they’re both teens!

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    • I think teenagers definitely need TVs in their bedrooms! Unfortunately they also need the full Sky/ Virgin package and a recording facility! We always record stuff too. Even things we watch on the night we end up watching later as I’m always faffing around with my daughter’s bedtime.

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  7. I’ve gave up watching tv before the kids left home and enjoyed programmes on youtube which i still do, my mum hates it when they visit her as they will cancel her recordings if their is a conflict to watch rubbish like storage wars

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