or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › TV you allow vs. your ideal
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

TV you allow vs. your ideal

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering what your limits are? 

 

I'm comfortable with 30 minutes a day.  I feel okay about one hour day (two shows, one in the morning, one late afternoon).  Over 1 hour in a row without turning the tv off really bugs me, but I do it a few days a week anyway.

 

I restrict a lot of what DS (2.5) watches.  Mostly it is PBS shows - Super Why and Dinosaur Train.  Occasionally Sesame Street, Curious George, or Sid the Science Kid.  The only movie he's seen is Babies. 

 

I get frustrated with myself because I'll have a few good days in a row (just Super Why - his favorite), but then I'll get in a slump of the whole PBS line up from 9am-11am.  Depending on how the day goes, we'll also do tv from 4pm-5pm while I wait for DH to get home from work.  I don't hate tv and watch a lot of it myself...and there are times I want to use it, like when I put DD down for her morning nap (9am).  I know all I need to do is turn it off, turn on the music or get us outside, but I don't.  Today I was in a good cleaning rhythm and didn't want to stop DS' "trance" by turning off the tv.  I say trance, but after about 20 minutes, he gets up and plays while the tv is on.

 

Anyway...what are your comfort levels with TV and how often do you go beyond them?

post #2 of 70

We limit DS to 30 mins a day.  He just watches Curious George which I record on the DVR.

post #3 of 70

Well, my goal is no television... just SuperMommy taking them on hikes and organizing arts and craft projects and baking bread and whatever.

 

Um, yeah.

 

Sometimes we go weeks and weeks with no television... and then a week where it's on 4 hours a day.  Or more.

 

I just had a new baby, and towards the end of pregnancy there we definitely watched more than I'm comfortable with.  But I was just so tired and the weather was so bad (I swear it rained every day for weeks) that it was a necessary evil.  My mother is still here to help out with the older kids, but once she leaves I anticipate that the TV will be used as a babysitter to keep the older kids quiet and busy when I need to put the baby down for her morning nap or whatever.  That was pretty much how it went with DD when DS was born.

 

So while my ideal is no television, it is a very useful parenting tool and I really try not to sweat it when they watch more than I'd really like.  Screen time in and of itself isn't going to be my hill to die on... though certain programs are.  TV almost never goes on before Curious George comes on at 3... if it does, they watch something on Netflix.  

post #4 of 70

Nicole, I'm pretty much in the same boat as you.  Except once or twice a month DD will watch a movie with DH and me (we love Muppet movies).  I know the week leading up to Christmas is going to be movie crazy since DH and I love Christmas movies, but the week after we'll be visiting relatives and she hardly ever watches TV there.

post #5 of 70

We are a football crazy family. So, ds sees football on the weekends. SO more then I would like, but he doesn't actually pay that much attention to it.

post #6 of 70

Our ideal is no TV.

 

DS occasionally watches a football game with DH. And by 'watches' I mean, randomly stares up at the TV once every 30 minutes or so. But he loves it lol.

 

Also DH & I watch more TV than I'd like in the evenings (from about 10pm-midnight) & DS is exposed to that since he doesn't go to bed 'til after 11:30. I hate that he is being exposed to more "adult" content (though nothing worse than hanging out with the inlaws for a couple hours lol) but I am too exhausted by that point to do much else besides read a book to him & play on the bed while we watch a few shows. He's obviously not interested in the shows but he does like the new mac commercial for some strange reason...

 

So I guess he is mostly TV-free but our house is not & that would be my ultimate goal.

post #7 of 70

Nicole, I'm about the exact same as you.  I would prefer DD to get somewhere between 0-30 minutes a day but she normally gets more. :(  Part of the problem is that she's a really exhausting kid and is very verbal right now, constantly asking questions (many times the same questions over and over and over again).  I do my best to answer them and explain them in a way that she can *hopefully* understand but since she doesn't take naps anymore I never get a break (besides the days that I work but that's hardly a break).  Lately she's been less interested, which has helped to decrease her screen time.  We've rearranged some things at our apt and have gotten a lot of things out of storage since we're moving so she has a lot of "new" things to play with.  We're also running errands almost non-stop so we're not at home nearly as much anymore.

post #8 of 70

Nicole, my goal is 0 T.V. but I often find myself letting him watch 3 shows, one in the morning, one after nap, and one before bed if he gets ready nice and quick without complaining.  It's not ideal, but he can't just keep watching the next show since we don't have actual T.V. and he is watching episodes that that are available instantly on Netflix.  There are days when I just can't do it between a teething baby and a cranky toddler and if he is content with another show I'll put it on so I can get some peace.  As the baby gets older and more fun to interact with I intend to make sure that the t.v. viewing will decrease, but right now she needs the break from her older brother almost as much as I need him to sit still for a while.

post #9 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post

Nicole, I'm about the exact same as you.  I would prefer DD to get somewhere between 0-30 minutes a day but she normally gets more. :(  Part of the problem is that she's a really exhausting kid and is very verbal right now, constantly asking questions (many times the same questions over and over and over again).  I do my best to answer them and explain them in a way that she can *hopefully* understand but since she doesn't take naps anymore I never get a break (besides the days that I work but that's hardly a break).  Lately she's been less interested, which has helped to decrease her screen time.  We've rearranged some things at our apt and have gotten a lot of things out of storage since we're moving so she has a lot of "new" things to play with.  We're also running errands almost non-stop so we're not at home nearly as much anymore.


Yeah, my son doesn't nap anymore either.  We do quiet time for about one hour in his room, but still - the day gets long.

post #10 of 70


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post

Well, my goal is no television... just SuperMommy taking them on hikes and organizing arts and craft projects and baking bread and whatever.

 

Um, yeah.

 

Sometimes we go weeks and weeks with no television... and then a week where it's on 4 hours a day.  Or more.

 

I just had a new baby, and towards the end of pregnancy there we definitely watched more than I'm comfortable with.  But I was just so tired and the weather was so bad (I swear it rained every day for weeks) that it was a necessary evil.  My mother is still here to help out with the older kids, but once she leaves I anticipate that the TV will be used as a babysitter to keep the older kids quiet and busy when I need to put the baby down for her morning nap or whatever.  That was pretty much how it went with DD when DS was born.

 

So while my ideal is no television, it is a very useful parenting tool and I really try not to sweat it when they watch more than I'd really like.  Screen time in and of itself isn't going to be my hill to die on... though certain programs are.  TV almost never goes on before Curious George comes on at 3... if it does, they watch something on Netflix.  


This is pretty much where we are, new baby and all.

post #11 of 70

Our goal is little to no tv.  We don't have cable and barely have channels.  We also don't let ds watch "tv" he can watch dvd's.  I find that to be really helpful in limited things, because when it is over, it is over (although he knows we can start another and will sometimes ask/fight for one).

 

I just try to make sure when he is home (he goes to preschool 3 days/week) we are doing stuff, but I only have one kid and I live in a house with a total of 7 adults, so I sometimes get a lot more help, time, playtime than typical for folks.

post #12 of 70

Well, DS1 has a broken leg (actually, he just got his cast off today... he's now allowed to walk on it, but not run or jump... :boggle:), and so for the past 7 wks he's been watching a *LOT* more tv than ever before. Because, quite frankly, I'm not an artsy person, can only read out loud for so many hours a day and quite frankly theres not a lot else to do when your 3 and can't walk. 

 

Idealy though, I'd say no more than 1-2 hours of TV in any given day. Lately? Its been like 4-5 hours. :sigh:

post #13 of 70

DD isn't quite 2 yet, so she's really only just started to pay attention to the tv. She falls asleep watching a PBS show at nap time, Sid the Science Kid falls around nap time, sometimes she catches the first few minutes of Dinosaur Train. I don't like having her fall asleep to the tv, but I baby sit other kids in the house, she won't just lay in her crib and go to sleep, and I need to be able to get the 4 month old to sleep without chasing her around. So, I set her up with a blanket and pillow on the couch and turn on Sid. That's really the only tv she watches so far. She did watch the Babies documentary with me, but didn't make it through the whole thing before she was off doing something else (although, it did keep her attention for over an hour, which was pretty amazing considering she's never made it more than a few minutes at a time with anything else on tv).

 

DH and I watch tv in the evening, but nothing that she's interested in, so she doesn't pay attention to it. Sometimes, she'll watch a few minutes of Dancing With the Stars with me, but just long enough to get her groove on with them during a dance sequence. Really, though, aside from nap time, she'll look at the tv if there is something specific that catches her attention (usually a commercial), but doesn't actually watch much.

post #14 of 70

OP I am in the exact same boat as you.  It mostly started when I started working part time (watching a little boy 3 afternoons a week so I am working but have DD with me) because I have to get everything done for the day before 12:30, so I am trying to get the house cleaned, get dinner made and everything else I would normally do over the course of an entire day in the morning.  Tuesday mornings we have playgroup at 10 am so it isn't so bad.  But M and W DD totally loves watching all those PBS shows, although she rarely spaces out on them and sometimes even turns the TV off.  But yeah, I am totally lax with it.  Before we got into this we were mostly TV free, having a family movie night once a week.  

 

In all honesty, I haven't made a decision about how I feel about it.  DD and I still do a lot of other active, non-TV related things- sometimes I feel like the only reason I feel bad is because of what other people might think rather then how I actually feel about it- if that makes sense.

post #15 of 70
I don't have tots anymore but still have the same ideals. I wish it was only about an hour a day but at the moment it is more. They're 8 and almost 6. I have two newborn twins so TV is kind of a lifesaver right now.
Some days we go with very limited amounts of TV because other more interesting things are going on. I homeschool so they're home all day.
When they were tots, the TV was on maybe 2 hours a day but not more.
post #16 of 70

My ideal is no screen time at all except in the rare times we REALLY need the break/distraction (so not daily, weekly or monthly)

 

Yeeeeah... I have the tv on most of the day.  I had an extremely rough first year as a new mommy and I'm still adjusting.  I'm also working on my own non kid issues at the same time so the tv keeps me from going completely off the deep end.  I'm currently a better mom with too much tv which kills me, but it is probably more important I do the best I can with what I have than fail at trying to reach my ideals all at once.

post #17 of 70

The ideal for me is that the television is not the central focus of home life.  We were allowed to watch a limited amount of programs when I was growing up and I have no problem with television in itself.  My problem with it is when it becomes a default for everything at home.  DD may watch more on some days (usually on the weekends) and none on other days.  She's in a full-time preschool so the only shows that she watches with any consistency are Olivia and maybe Sid the Science Kid.  One time I told her that T.V. was bad for her brain, and she seems to have taken that to heart and is pretty self-regulating.  Her brain is on all day and I don't mind her sitting back for a while and being purely entertained. 

 

I personally like having a television...I like to watch about 15 minutes of the weather and news in the mornings and I like to watch the occassional late night movie if I have insomnia.  I also love the Food Network and fluff shows like Project Runway.  We have cable because we get zero reception without it.  Since we live in a small apartment and DH loves music and I like my piano, we can't really have competing noise (such as with a television).  That being said, I'm not a big fan of zero policy.  I think it has its time and place and shouldn't be central to family life...just an optional part of it.

post #18 of 70

Under the age of two I aimed for 20 minutes a day, under one we watched 20 minutes once a week (minus having baby einstein on as a sign language aid for me). Now that he's over two and the summer is over he gets 40-60 minutes a day - so two shows. Usually Barney and Yo Gabba Gabba. Once I started doing daycare in my home two days a week, he misses out on tv sometimes since the other kids are younger, so we have our Friday ritual of watching 2 episodes of Blue's Clues, while I have a second cup of coffee and read. We do watch a family movie together about once a week, usually Saturday is pizza and movie night. Also, if he's had a weird nap schedule and is up past his bed time (which is 9pm) I usually am too tired to entertain, so I will watch something I have pvr'd from TLC like The Duggers or Little People. 

 

Of course, I believe that there are always special circumstances, like if he's sick, or his cousin is visiting, or I'm sick and can't entertain, or it's a very rainy day and we'll watch some pvr'd Ellens. We likely watch more tv than is good for his brain BUT I'd rather put the importance on WHAT he's watching than how much (with in reason). Barney and Blue's Clues sparks questions and intrests that we can research at the library and Yo Gabba Gabba has some good social message. 

 

I also make sure that I don't buy into the marketing angle of kids shows - and mainly (minus a few YGG toys) only buy books associated with the shows. 

 

On the comfort question - it's a fight sometimes but I really don't often (say less than once a month) break my comfort levels. I don't want tv to become a crutch, and have always tried to explain to him things like 'if you want to watch a movie tonight with Dad we need to save up our tv time until later' and he seems to understand that on his 2.5 y.o. level. I'm lucky that he's very very interested in books and puzzles so I feel he gets balance! :)

post #19 of 70

our ideal is to only watch 'special occasion' tv - like on a rare sick day, or a christmas movie at the holidays, etc... 

 

in reality - ds is probably exposed to 30 min - 1 hour of tv a day (of adult tv) and probably watches kids programs 3-5x a week, maybe an hour a day. We have netflix watch instantly on our tv so it's usually bob the builder or thomas the tank engine

post #20 of 70

DD is 2yo and we watch

~15-20 min in the morning (Curious George or Sesame street) : almost everyday - I NEED this time to wake up!!!

~1 hr DVD (DIsney classics like Bambi or Dumbo dubbed in our language) : maybe every other day

~20-30 min photos (we watch family photos in my digital camera hooked up to TV screen) : 1-2x per week

~10-15 min at bed time (Youtube on my laptop so technically not TV, nursery rhymes or Thomas the train soundtrack type of things) : almost everyday

 

I am pretty happy with the amount of screen time & content as is.  I don't know when I will be OK for her to watch regular TV as I'm wary of all the commercials & sassy dialogs even on children's programs.  So far she likes to watch same thing over and over (like Bambi!  OMG!) so DVDs work better than TV.  And she is picking up our language a lot from the simple dialogs from these classics so I'm happy with them. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life with a Toddler
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › TV you allow vs. your ideal