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Lynda Loveland: No TV in the car!

Posted December 12, 2012

Lynda Loveland

It’s a phrase our parents could never have uttered. But in our age of technology-assisted parenting, (yes I said it and occasionally have been guilty), it’s possible.

I have a DVD player in my car, BUT, it’s reserved for out-of-town trips. Let’s be honest, it comes in handy, especially on those trips that cross several state lines. As a parent, you deal with enough hassles, where’s the harm in eliminating a few.

As you may have read earlier, my husband and I have instituted a crackdown on crappy kid behavior. We amended the crackdown last weekend.

I’ve been reading lately about how TV and video games may contribute to short attention span, hyperactivity and a few other undesirable behaviors. We already have the rule of no TV until after dinner when chores and homework are completed. That usually limits time to 30 to 45 minutes a night. Not too bad, really. But, the kids also watch TV in the morning when they get up. Not anymore! We pulled the plug! The kids can only get their electronic fix during that small window at night.

We kicked off the ban on the way back from the beach. Normally, we pop in a movie and everyone’s quiet. We call it "savoring the silence."

But not this weekend. I told them no movies, no video games, too much is bad for the brain. And not only were they not going to watch a movie, but Randall and I would choose the music!

I expected an epic battle, but no one put up a fight. Randall and I jammed to our favorite songs, even singing out loud! The kids joined in and it was a completely different dynamic than previous trips.

Randall even commented that it was fun! And you know what? It was.

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays. Find her all the time on her Facebook page.

13 Comments

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  • Momsy Dec 13, 5:05 p.m.

    We had tv when we traveled - it was called those great big back windows. That is how we saw America. By looking out side. I still recognize places as we travel. We had games, books and lots of singing and talking. Parents - put the electronics away and TALK to your kids. You have a captive audience in the car. Take the time to hear what they say to each other and about others. You will learn a ton of stuff they wouldn't normally say to you!!

  • jabbo22 Dec 13, 2:21 p.m.

    But I am dismayed at the number of vehicles driving around with movies going in the middle of the day or even at night. There are so many fun "teaching moments" while in the car. And great listening moments too!

  • jabbo22 Dec 13, 2:11 p.m.

    We used the DVD player (or an old TV/VCR combo at first) for multi-state trips. They watched a few movies, but we still listened to the radio, played car bingo and other games, and also checked out books on tape at the library. I liked the movies at times, because then I could take a nap or 2. :) Now that they are almost adults, we can all listen to adult books on tape, and their music has "calmed down" so we can all enjoy, and we all love naps. (except hubby who loves to drive.)

  • Glass Half Full Dec 13, 1:44 p.m.

    We don't have an in-car DVD player, but we do have a portable DVD player that is allowed on multi-state trips. Even with that limit, I have found my daughter has paid so little attention to trips around town (usually reading or listenting to her MP3 player) that she doesn't know how to get from place to place. When I got my license, I knew town inside out, upside down, and backwards. Every time she gets behind the wheel (with her learners permit) the first thing she asks is which way to go. I wonder what I could have done differently.

  • treefrognc Dec 13, 1:24 p.m.

    Some of my favorite memories are playing games and signing songs in the car with my family on trips. In fact, still tear up when I hear certain songs. Yes, it is easier to have the electronic devices, but the memories are not there. As for the people who drive around town with the DVD/TV/what ever on. They distract me! I always end up trying to figure out what they are watching, when I am suppose to be driving. :-)

  • snowl Dec 13, 1:10 p.m.

    Just be happy that no one in your family has car (motion) sickness tendencies.

  • this is my Screen Name Dec 13, 1:07 p.m.

    I grew up in the era before tvs in the cars, even before cassette tapes, 8 track tapes, back when cars were transportation only, and didn't include entertainment packages. I have wonderful memories of the car games as well - finding letters of the alphabet, state license plates, counting cows and horses, having picnics along the way (this was also before fast food restaurants), etc. and also our share of driving Mom and Dad crazy. The kids will remember seeing the movies but not where or when they saw them. However they will remember the times playing games, singing and talking in the car with the family. Times like that are priceless for everyone.

  • LMRA Dec 13, 12:53 p.m.

    When I was young we played all kinds of car games. We counted the number and different kind of state license plates, we tried to make words out of the letters, I wrote up a little info on each state we were going to pass through and as we reached the "Welsome to . . . " sign I would read what I had written. I agree with bjgupton - it's making memories!!

  • Mom2two Dec 13, 12:01 p.m.

    amen, sista.

  • ncst8mpa Dec 13, 11:24 a.m.

    Here's an electronic alternative to the TV. The Kindle. Now that my kids are a little older and the Disney DVDs no longer cut it, they now spend trips reading, dozing, and listening to music with earphones. I hate to admit it, but I still know every word of "Hakuna Matata".

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