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The grandparents don't understand. Please help.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Can anyone link me to an article or other information about how tv is soooo inappropriate for young (any!) children. My ds is 3 and all my parents want to do is watch tv with him. I've expressed over and over the reasons we don't have tv and how it is not just a silly notion of mine but I believe it to be damaging to young brains and potentially causes behavior problems. And my ds is a very, very sensitive child so the damage is compounded. This has been going on for 3 years. I'm fed up.

It has gotten contentious. Mom just today argued with me about how I should allow her to take him to a full length "kid's" movie. A movie? Really? Why do I have to explain again and again.

Apparently my authority as my children's mother is not enough for them. Can anyone point me in the direction of some simple article  explaining what I am failing to get across?  Perhaps they need to see a television program about it. (Heehee. Sarcasm.)

Thank you!

post #2 of 10

Check out the resource section at the top of the page.  One of the first articles is about toddlers and TV.  Check out the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (no TV at all before 2 and then less than 30/day after that).  The TV-chapter in Jim Trelease's The Read Aloud Handbook is great and the whole book offers suggestions on what to do instead of watching TV with children.  Good luck.

post #3 of 10
I don't think an article will even do the trick, it will probably just give them more fuel to argue with. greensad.gif I think you'll probably just have to stand your ground and hope they someday 'get over it'... I don't know what else to suggest. Our home is not entirely TV-free but we are TV-limited and DS (2yo) is not allowed to watch any TV at all (though it's occasionally on in the background/other room late at night so he is exposed to it a bit). I feel like I'm constantly having to defend our choice, especially with the grandparents who think Sesame Street is something kids NEED to learn, or that Disney movies or holiday specials should be an exception... I don't really argue it, I just say something like, "We're not doing TV for now & I don't plan to allow it ever, but if that changes I'll let you know." They LOVE TV and think it's so relaxing and enjoyable, so any article saying it's not healthy would make no more difference than an article about why junk food isn't healthy (they are still going to offer/push it because "a little bit now & then won't hurt" or whatever).
post #4 of 10

I am currently going through the EXACT same thing with my own parents. They keep asking me for my reasons why I don't want them to watch TV with my 3-year-old ds. This has put a huge rift in my relationship with them, leaving plenty of awkwardness whenever I visit them--though, it's not just TV, it's also a husband they can't stand, a bad history from when said husband and I lived with them for a while (BIG MISTAKE), and also the "food" they choose to eat and want my son to eat.

 

My rules are my son only eats the food I bring with me when I visit their house and that he doesn't watch TV at all. I understand I've involved myself in a full power struggle with them, but discussing anything with them in the past is futile at best. My mom is on Lipitor (to handle her cholesterol), has a cabinet filled with weight-watchers crap. I grew up in front of the TV, non-stop. It was on during dinner time. It was in all of our rooms. I ate chocolate chip cookies, Cocoa Puffs and whatever else for breakfast. Both of my parents are overweight, rarely exercise and love all that low-fat, 100-calorie pack marketed junk.

 

Whenever I'm there, they've made efforts to not turn on the TV, definitely not for my son, but all that does is create awkwardness because we run out of things to talk about. I fully realize right now I am in a power struggle with them, because they can't understand how I want to raise my son since it's so different from how I was raised. My husband was the impetus for many of the changes we've made in his and our own life, but I feel so much better about how we are living: 

  • No TV in the house, though he and I do watch movies on Netflix or an occasional DVD
  • No processed foods
  • Only 100 percent whole wheat flour for breads or any snacks
  • Whole foods
  • No nitrates, food dyes or weird things we can't pronounce or understand

 

I'd love for them to adopt some of these ways for their own lives, but that feels like an impossible task. When my mom wonders why I don't eat her food and thinks I do it because her food is not good enough, how on Earth do I say YES! Your food is not good enough for me, and it's not good enough for you either. They now want to know my reasoning (why no TV for my son and why only my food). Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethEEE View Post

I'd love for them to adopt some of these ways for their own lives, but that feels like an impossible task. When my mom wonders why I don't eat her food and thinks I do it because her food is not good enough, how on Earth do I say YES! Your food is not good enough for me, and it's not good enough for you either. They now want to know my reasoning (why no TV for my son and why only my food). Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

I think most people know on some level that junk food isn't healthy, that TV isn't the best way to spend hours & hours, etc. If they understand that, even a little, you could try saying something like, "I really want him to develop a taste for whole, healthy foods during his childhood. When he gets older, he will be able to choose for himself, but at least he will have a foundation of years of healthy food." Or for the TV issue, "I want him to learn to be creative & entertain himself in other ways, and I want to keep him free from commercial influences while he is so young & impressionable." (So again, it's about building a foundation that will hopefully benefit him throughout his life.) However, if they don't believe on some level that these things are less than ideal, it may be time to send some research their way...
post #6 of 10

Thank you so much. I will definitely try those approaches.

post #7 of 10

If your parents use the internet, I highly recommend you ask them to watch "Consuming Kids:  The Commercialization of Childhood"  It is and EXCELLENT documentary which can be viewed on YouTube as well as here:  http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/consuming-kids/.   I would tell them that it's very important to you and you ask them to please watch it so they can understand where you're coming from.  I think it would be impossible for anyone to watch that film and ever look at television or marketing to children the same again.  It's extremely well made also, and very engrossing.

 

If they don't use the internet, you can purchase a copy of the DVD from the non-profit that produced it.

post #8 of 10

Thanks! I'll definitely check it out.

post #9 of 10
Have them spend less time with him until they can think of tv free activities to share. Really... you are the mom here.
post #10 of 10

Thank you. It's really encouraging to receive all this support.

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