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Anyone NOT limiting TV? - Page 2

post #21 of 71
Ahhh. Life is not fair.

Seriously, I believe in limiting who young children have to emulate in all areas. Books, TV and movies, and real life. Controversial as it is, I do noy feel a bad influence should have unlimited time with a young child, even if grandparent or parent. I can read what my child reads, and decide if the characters are those I think he can benefit from spending time with. If the TV is simply on, I am not likely to know who he is spending time with and learning from. Every parent is free to make his or her own choices. Mine are to limit TV.

Did the OP ever answer the question about the child's attention span?
post #22 of 71

Used to have limits as to the times my daughters could watch TV, they had bed times too, used to have battles,  decent and resistance, now we do not have rules and as the  the girls do not go to school bed times are unimportant. At the moment we are in France, as the girls can not understand French the TV is not watched much.

post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I preferred to have my son looking for me or some other real person rather than becoming dependent on two dimensional characters for company. But that's just me.
Oh don't worry about my poor neglected child who has only the TV for company, lol. It doesn't stop him from looking for me in the least. He talks to me or dh all day long and still sleeps plastered against me all night long. My son redefines the term "high need."

I rejoiced when he was 3 and started watching TV a little bit. It was the first time in three years I didn't have to walk around the house carrying a fussing child for an entire hour every time he woke up from sleep, nighttime and naps, all of which took place in my arms. Finally I could use the toilet peacefully and make coffee!
post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

 I was all "Oh, he'll fall asleep if he gets tired" and "He'll eat when he gets hungry." But he didn't get that memo.

We've been on other threads together about this, so you'll know that my experience with dd1 was exactly the same.  I hadn't realized we were supposed to get any memo.  No wonder!

post #25 of 71
I probably shouldn't even post this spring. Spring is usually hectic, and this year is worse! Unfortunately I miss having the distraction and steal a few minutes here and there replying, but lack the time to practice diplomacy. My apologies.
post #26 of 71

My son comes by it honestly. His father has a hard time getting to bed. When he doesn't have a morning commitment, he'll stay up til morning. His schedule quickly turns into waking up at 3pm and going to sleep at 6am, completely nocturnal. I blamed my MIL for dh's sleep issues and blamed his being a little deaf for his being incredibly easy to startle. Until I had ds. Now I know it's just how they came. Ds would startle while he was sleeping if I turned the page of a book as quietly as I could. He would startle, as an infant, if I spoke softly in a quiet room.

 

Another reason music didn't work for us as background noise (because I actually gave that a serious try) was because ds was always very selective about music. He has always found jazz to be grating, for instance. He has always hated children's songs. I couldn't just turn on the classical music station because the announcer would come on and ds would jump a mile high. News radio worked the best because it was a nice drone of human voices, except I didn't want him listening to a constant stream of news, never knowing what horrible item they might announce next. I'd hope traffic or weather would be on so I could turn on the radio for him while I dashed to the bathroom, so he wouldn't insist on getting out of bed to come with me. I didn't have a modern gadget for designing playlists. He liked some songs on an album but not others so I'd have to fix something every 3 minutes because that's how long a typical song is. I didn't have time to make a tape cassette of acceptable-to-ds songs because he wanted me to interact with him at all times, not do something for him that wasn't interacting with him. There was no "while he slept" time. There was no "child free" time unless I was running errands.

post #27 of 71

Cross posted with you, pek64, because I got up umpteen times to help ds with things:-)

 

It's very difficult to get an accurate understanding of other people's lives in these internet discussions under any circumstances...

post #28 of 71

Also, the idea of ds being dependent on tv characters was really funny:-) My son is such a reality based kid, never into fantasy or make believe. He would think you were completely insane for suggesting that. He doesn't get sucked into tv or focused on it. He is usually using the computer which he vastly prefers because it is interactive. He turns off the tv if kids come over because he can't talk to them while it's on. They won't play with him because they "just sit and stare," as ds puts it.

 

And I always always knew what ds was watching. I changed the channel or put on a dvd if I didn't think what was on was appropriate. He rarely wanted to watch anything I really minded him seeing (Family Guy, I hate that show.) It's just since he turned 10, almost two years ago, that I started working part time outside the home and have been out of hearing range of what he has on. And dh is there during those times.

post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckDuckDuck View Post

Used to have limits as to the times my daughters could watch TV, they had bed times too, used to have battles,  decent and resistance, now we do not have rules and as the  the girls do not go to school bed times are unimportant. 

This is my experience.  No more battles and they are way more interested in their computers than in TV.  On the computers (also unlimited) the older two (9 and 11) are making their own games, using photoshop, illustrator, programs to make websites, games and apps... and mostly watching science videos on youtube, netflix - nat. geographic and discovery.  The 11 y/o enjoys math on Khan Academy.   The youngest (6) can easily be lured away from the tv with the suggestion of other activities.  She knows she can go back if/when she wants so it's not a battle - it's not something they crave or abuse.  If a show is on that I prefer they don't watch I ask that they change it and may explain why I don't think it's appropriate.

 

I wish I could have the same attitude with food.  My kids crave and battle over sweets b/c I DO limit those.  I am too scared to stop on that issue  - not really believing kids can self regulate when I myself would eat sweets morning noon and night if I didn't know better.

post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky View Post

 

I wish I could have the same attitude with food.  My kids crave and battle over sweets b/c I DO limit those.  I am too scared to stop on that issue  - not really believing kids can self regulate when I myself would eat sweets morning noon and night if I didn't know better.

orngtongue.gif  Yup.  I know myself too well.  And my girls are just like I am-- it runs in the family.  Their dad is the worst, and he's sneaky.

post #31 of 71

I don't regulate tv here because we haven't had any issues with it.  My children are 2 and 4.  Yes, there are days they watch quite a bit of tv, and then there are days that they watch little to none.  I think it works itself out.  I feel like, I have days that I just want to veg out, and days I'm super active and engaged in other things too, so I can understand that perspective.  If it became where they only wanted to sit in front of the tv and they didn't do anything else, then yes, we would address the issue.  I guess there are times I do regulate the tv, in fact, which is when they will be sitting in front of the tv but actually just fighting with each other.  TV goes off and they are told to bounce out some of that energy, lol. 

 

As far as junk food I'm pretty relaxed there as well.  We eat pretty well during the week while we are home, so if on the weekends we enjoy some junk food while at someone's home I figure it evens out.  If we are eating too much junk that's an issue the entire family is having, and we limit it coming in the door. 

 

Of course with my children being younger it's a different situation than parents with older children who have more opinions, and have outside ways of getting to media, junk food, etc. 

post #32 of 71

We have been unschooling for 8 years (children are 14, 11 & 2) and we have never limited tv, even before that.  Even our 2 1/2 year old has free access to TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, videos, on TV, an IPOD and on a Kindle Fire HD.  Even she doesn't only watch TV, she does a ton of interesting things all the time.  She also prefers sweeter, more age-appropriate (in my humble opinion) shows like Daniel Lion (PBS), Caillou, Dora, Diego, SuperWhy and Sesame Street, plus Pingu the Penguin on Netflix.  Yet, she doesn't want to watch shows all the time at all, just sometimes, here and there (though she does has occasional Caillou marathons and often retells entire episodes to me days after she saw them).  She has a ton of other interests and love to play, run around, draw, build things with blocks, duplo, etc.  Many mornings, she wakes up and says, "Are we going to a museum today?" and if I answer yes, she excitedly cries, "Yay!!!!!"  (we go to a lot of different museums and museum events, because my kids all love them)  My 14 and 11 year olds both like to watch certain things (shows like Man Vs Wild, Kitchen Nightmares, Myth Busters, travel documentaries, Dr Who, plus some popular Nickelodeon shows) but since mostly they like to watch series and it's easier on Netflix and the like, they just watch them when they have time.  We are an active unschooling family, always on the go to clubs and get-togethers, field trips with our homeschool group and beach, park, pool and sports clubs and events, and TV never interferes with that.  Since we don't limit it, it's not that important, because they know they can always come back to it.  

post #33 of 71

We don't formally limit it, as in have rules about x number of hours per day or after a certain time only. Instead we talk about making sure any one thing in our lives doesn't fill up so much of our time we don't have time for other interests and our responsibilities. And we try to keep our lives interesting enough that there's lots of other stuff going on that screen time is naturally limited. But we have a lot of hours in the day and though we are out a lot, it still leaves a lot of possible hours.

 

My 9yo isn't interested in the TV, but loves the Wii and uses the computer a bit. My 2.5yo watches Netflix shows and his bro on the Wii.

 

With the 9yo, we have definitely had times when screen use has been very high and I've questioned our approach. But then we have times when it's very low and mostly it does seem to balance out. Mostly. I think. Heh. I will remind him of other things he needs to do or said he wants to do when he's been on the Wii for a long time, and I will at some point say 'that's enough'. I also don't like him being on the Wii too much with his little bro around, so I ask him to play mostly during nap times or after bro is in bed (though he still *does* play at other times too, just not the majority).

 

With the 2.5yo, I don't like him watching a lot of Netflix. I use it for showering in the morning and if I need to distract him while making dinner etc and I can't sucker the 9yo into helping. :) He generally shuts off the TV when a 20 or 30 minute program is over and goes find something else to do, though he will sometimes ask for more and I generally agree unless it's not convenient (e.g. we are going out). If he starts asking for it more often then I will probably just suggest to him we do something together and see how that goes.

 

It's a lot easier now with the 9yo since he's older. I found around the ages 4-6 much trickier dealing with this as having reasonable conversations about screen time and our priorities etc did not go over so well with him then! Plus he was very high needs and the TV (at this age he loved TV) was a welcome break for me so it was too tempting for me at times! :)

 

I think I vaguely remember us limiting the Wii at one point for like an hour a day or something. I can't remember the details. I think it lasted a month and we decided it was more of a hassle than it was worth. :0

post #34 of 71

Oh, just thought of a funny story from the other day...

 

I was out with the kids and a friend of my oldest. My kids were off playing and friend and I were having a snack, and I asked him what was his favourite thing to do at home - I was looking for new ideas for my son since I was having a moment panic that he's been a bit bored at home lately and this friend always seems to be a kid with lots of cool interests. His answer? Computer games. I chuckled, because I admit I was hoping for non-screen activities! Anyhow, we started chatting about his fav games and later when my 9yo came over I asked him the same question just out of curiosity. I assumed he'd say playing the wii or making comics. But his answer really surprised me! He said 'thinking about stuff - like what life was like when Einstein was alive, did people know he was Einstein?'. Who knew there was such deep thinking going on, eh? :)

 

The ironic thing, related to this thread, is that the friend does have limits with screen time - pretty strict limits, I think. Now I won't be too smug, because I know my 9yo could *just* have easily said playing the wii, but it still struck me as kind of funny. :)
 

post #35 of 71

Oh and I thought this blog post on screen time was pretty interesting:

 

http://www.project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/sliver-or-how-stop-fighting-about-screen-time

 

Shutting up now... :)

post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sara125 View Post

My daughter is only 2, so I guess we're not technically unschoolers yet, but we're planning to be. Since deciding to follow this path, we've flip flopped from no tv to all tv. Okay, not ALL, but we don't limit Netflix. If my daughter asks for the laptop or ipod, she gets it. She mostly watches Wonder Pets, Justin Time, etc. ...though she's recently gotten into My Little Pony which seems like a very dark show for kids. I absolutely HATE having the tv on so frequently, but I wanted to see if I'd notice any changes in her and I really haven't. We still play outside many times a day, go for walks, run errands, etc. and she seems the same. Honestly I feel like the more we have it on, the less attention it gets. In fact, the more complicated shows seem to bore her and she's more apt to do something else.

 

All of the research I've read on the ills of tv end up talking about school and how far behind your kid will be if they watch tv at an early age. Well, she's not going to school, so does it matter? Am I completely scarring my kid? If I noticed some destructive or negative behavior I'd limit things, but I'm not seeing that. In fact her favorite thing to do while watching tv is to nurse or cuddle.

 

Does anyone have examples of unlimited tv in their home and how things have progressed?

 

 

I speak as somebody who was a child who was raised with unlimited television in the 80s:  By the time I was about 6 I was distinctly aware of the moral  conditioning I was subjected to.  Things are less materialistic than they used to be, but any kind of long term exposure to kids television can over-promote certain ideas and ideals.  For example,  I let my son have TV days on mondays and he is also 2 and all he watches is mickey's road race rally.  At first it's fine that they are trying to teach that competition among friends is not nice.  Then this cute little kids show after about 15 times morphs an insidious moral lecture against selfishness, that we need to babysit everyone's insecurities as the center of our existence, capitalism is bad, healthy competition among comrades is bad, Etc.  ANY kind of philosophical or moral lesson that is overused in our culture is just not a good idea for a kid to have unlimited exposure to.  

 

PS: barney is evil.

post #37 of 71

"Then this cute little kids show after about 15 times morphs an insidious moral lecture against selfishness, that we need to babysit everyone's insecurities as the center of our existence, capitalism is bad, healthy competition among comrades is bad, Etc.  ANY kind of philosophical or moral lesson that is overused in our culture is just not a good idea for a kid to have unlimited exposure to."

 

Its a funny thing, I was just going to come on and post, well, pretty much the opposite. I think my kids are a little (lot) older, but I've really appreciated the way that certain shows normalise stuff for them that otherwise, in theire relatively homogenous world, might not be normalised. My kids are incredibly into Doctor Who right now, for example, and I really like the normalising messages of that show around race and sexuality, I actually think that some of the plotlines, given that this is kids tv, are pretty awesome. Yes it could be better-like, way better-, but my kids are growing up, not through my choice, in a primarily white, married, middle class neighbourhood/homeschooling circle, actually very very different to my experiences growing up, and I appreciate having a show that provides an alternative view of an alternative normality where people of colour and alternate sexualities not only exist but exist as more than issue-holders. 

 

Now I do happen to think that capitalism is basically a bad, bad, idea, competition is unproductive and re "we need to babysit everyone's insecurities as the center of our existence" - well, I don't know, I guess I think its nice to listen to our friends when they are feeling down, really. I don't see life as a race and I tend to make decisions based on getting something good for everyone where possible. That's not a criticism of your views, just to say that I don't share them, and my experience is that my kids really appreciate those times when they find mainstream films and media which reflect their experience growing up in a left-wing, atheist/humanist family that debates things like race, sexuality, and gender roles rather relentlessly. But the TV didn't give them those views. Life experiences and conversations gave them their views. 

 

And I'll be honest, there are moral and philosophical viewpoints that I'm comfortable with my kids having near-unlimited exposure to. I'm happy for them to be told, explictly or implicitly, that everyone is equal and important, that discrimination and prejudice are just not ok, that people matter more than money, etc etc, every single time they watch a tv program-because those are values I believe to be really, really, important. I do want my kids to have my values, I am sure that as they get older they will seek out alternative viewpoints (and they certainly have many adults in their lives who have radically different views to ours, they have access to news sources, etc). And I will discuss and debate this stuff with them.

post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

"Then this cute little kids show after about 15 times morphs an insidious moral lecture against selfishness, that we need to babysit everyone's insecurities as the center of our existence, capitalism is bad, healthy competition among comrades is bad, Etc.  ANY kind of philosophical or moral lesson that is overused in our culture is just not a good idea for a kid to have unlimited exposure to."

 

Its a funny thing, I was just going to come on and post, well, pretty much the opposite. I think my kids are a little (lot) older, but I've really appreciated the way that certain shows normalise stuff for them that otherwise, in theire relatively homogenous world, might not be normalised. My kids are incredibly into Doctor Who right now, for example, and I really like the normalising messages of that show around race and sexuality, I actually think that some of the plotlines, given that this is kids tv, are pretty awesome. Yes it could be better-like, way better-, but my kids are growing up, not through my choice, in a primarily white, married, middle class neighbourhood/homeschooling circle, actually very very different to my experiences growing up, and I appreciate having a show that provides an alternative view of an alternative normality where people of colour and alternate sexualities not only exist but exist as more than issue-holders. 

 

Now I do happen to think that capitalism is basically a bad, bad, idea, competition is unproductive and re "we need to babysit everyone's insecurities as the center of our existence" - well, I don't know, I guess I think its nice to listen to our friends when they are feeling down, really. I don't see life as a race and I tend to make decisions based on getting something good for everyone where possible. That's not a criticism of your views, just to say that I don't share them, and my experience is that my kids really appreciate those times when they find mainstream films and media which reflect their experience growing up in a left-wing, atheist/humanist family that debates things like race, sexuality, and gender roles rather relentlessly. But the TV didn't give them those views. Life experiences and conversations gave them their views. 

 

And I'll be honest, there are moral and philosophical viewpoints that I'm comfortable with my kids having near-unlimited exposure to. I'm happy for them to be told, explictly or implicitly, that everyone is equal and important, that discrimination and prejudice are just not ok, that people matter more than money, etc etc, every single time they watch a tv program-because those are values I believe to be really, really, important. I do want my kids to have my values, I am sure that as they get older they will seek out alternative viewpoints (and they certainly have many adults in their lives who have radically different views to ours, they have access to news sources, etc). And I will discuss and debate this stuff with them.

 

I have no qualms about your beliefs, I just think they are mostly inappropriate in a kids show.  Targeted learning is different but these shows don't  really divulge their philosphies and agendas up front and it becomes the start of propaganda.   I think I just prefer for my kids to learn their values from observing myself and our family, and leave tv for entertainment only.  I also think that kids tend to think they are SUPPOSED to learn moral lessons from tv, and as they age, this phenomenon and the type of programming they are exposed to will only deteriorate. Let them learn things like problem solving both interdependently  and independently and free critical thinking before that stuff takes over. 

post #39 of 71

"I have no qualms about your beliefs, I just think they are mostly inappropriate in a kids show."

 

Interested now, which of my beliefs do you consider inappropriate in a kids show? Would you consider promoting tolerance and normalising people often misunderstood by society, and/or providing a mirror for children from minority groups/working out their own identities, to be inappropriate? Or do you feel that promoting co-operation and people-before-profit ideologies are not appropriate? I'm not trying to be snarky, its a genuine question. Most of my kids' information about these things incidentally comes from discussion about ethics and why one set of cousins has two dads and another set kiss the little house thing near the door before they enter and yet another sing those songs in that strange language, or why we try not to drive if we don't have to etc etc, and now, with my son who is very interested in sociology/ economics, from stuff he's read. TV, for older kids, provides a way to see these ideas worked out and played with. 

 

Am I correct in saying that you would prefer your children to develop their own beliefs independently before being exposed to the belief system of others? If so, I'd respectfully disagree-IME that's not how beliefs form. My kids are older than yours, I think-my oldest is nearly 10, my middle child is nearly 8 and my youngest is 5 1/2. My experience is that kids are a lot smarter about this stuff than we realise. They absolutely don't swallow tv hook line and sinker. I have serious issues with the sexism in Dr Who, for example, which is probably my older kids favourite program. Its fine, we talk it through and IMO its still about the most deeply tolerant kids show out there. Beliefs don't just form in a vacuum, they develop from exposure to the beliefs of others, from discussion and debate, and from experience. I certainly don't keep my opinions on things to myself, and I do see part of my responsibility in raising decent citizens as to give them information and experiences which can, IME, be hard to find in the mainstream. And TV is an easy way to do this. Yes every TV program has an "agenda"-that's basically saying that the director has a perspective. Just like people, all media has bias. I think its more effective to teach kids to learn to spot that bias really, in exactly the same way I might try to unpick a thing Iwasn't comfortable with that they repeat from someone else. At the same time, for me, the decision to buy/allow a program into my house does, I think, communicate something to my kids about what I think of it. Something would have to be quite bad before I refused to let my kids watch it, though (scariness aside). I was fine with my kids watching the Narnia films, for example, even though I'd say that the Christian agenda leaps out of the page/screen in those. We discussed them. Once kids hit around age 6/7/8 or so, they become much more critical in their thinking and develop a new distance.

 

There are programs that I think go too far with a particular agenda, yes. For example. in the UK we have a show called The Apprentice-do you have it in the US? Its basically, to my sensibilities, absolutly horrible. Cutthroat, underhand competition/everyone for themselves, humiliation, and this idea that what matters is to get yourself ahead at all costs. I think if my preteen kids wanted to watch that, I'd be sitting with them and discussing it.


Edited by Fillyjonk - 6/18/13 at 2:19am
post #40 of 71
Quote:

I speak as somebody who was a child who was raised with unlimited television in the 80s:  By the time I was about 6 I was distinctly aware of the moral  conditioning I was subjected to.  Things are less materialistic than they used to be, but any kind of long term exposure to kids television can over-promote certain ideas and ideals.  For example,  I let my son have TV days on mondays and he is also 2 and all he watches is mickey's road race rally.  At first it's fine that they are trying to teach that competition among friends is not nice.  Then this cute little kids show after about 15 times morphs an insidious moral lecture against selfishness, that we need to babysit everyone's insecurities as the center of our existence, capitalism is bad, healthy competition among comrades is bad, Etc.  ANY kind of philosophical or moral lesson that is overused in our culture is just not a good idea for a kid to have unlimited exposure to.  

 

PS: barney is evil.

 

I agree that media tends to have a lot of bad messages, but does limiting TV really help to curb any indoctrination? These views are reflected in media because a good chunk of society believes them and/or wants kids to believe them, so you'd pretty much have to lock them in a closet their whole lives to keep them from being exposed.

 

Whereas all the other exposure they'll get is in the forms of unspoken assumptions they'll gradually absorb, children's media (including books--remember The Rainbow Fish?!) tends to have anvilicious moral lectures. I think that actually helps, because it's much harder to think about, evaluate, or challenge an idea that you don't even realize you have.

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