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An interesting observation re: TV watching - Page 7

post #121 of 173
Originally Posted by LeftField
They are also apparently being denied the McDonald's experience, even though they have no idea of what it is. We're vegetarians and we don't eat fast food, so the fact that those options aren't even presented in our family means "denial" in his eyes.
McDonald's has to be the most insidious marketers on earth, because this is the EXACT SAME THING my FIL thinks. His biggest concern about us being vegetarian is not that my kids won't get enough protein or enough calories or anything like that. It has nothing to do with their health. It's that they won't ever get the joy of a Happy Meal!

This from a man who weighs close to 400 pounds.

post #122 of 173
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
We plan on practicing TCS..and I take my child seriously enough to not plop them in front of a glaring box for as many hours a week as someone works a full time job.
Which is totally cool if that is what works for your family It's also cool if other peoples' children do watch TV that much.

TCS is about just that, taking your child seriously, not just letting them decide everything and anything on their impulses and whims at any given time.
Well yea it's about discussing and giving opinions, guidance, and info. But all that said it means (for me) that the child's voice is as important as the adult's. The child's desire to watch TV would be honored.

The people who claim they let their kids choose WHATEVER they want...okay, has your 4 year old ever seen children going off to school? Are you going to instantly sign them up because they get it in their head that riding the bus might be cool, or they want a cool backpack or something like the other kids...etc (just an arbitrary example)
The decision to not attend school has always been my kids' to make. They can go or not go. My son did in fact want to go to school at 4. So there was much discussion, and visiting programs to show him what it was like. He ended up going to a pre-K program 4 days a week for 3 hrs a day. All his choice, and it was heard and honored.

Probably not, because homeschooling (or unschooling) is important to you ...you CHOSE it for your child because of whatever reason (we are planning on that too)...
Well, we didn't start out unschooling. We started out with the kids attending school and then came into it later. It was not a choice I made for the kids. They made it Now I can see how your example means a family who has started home/unschooling from the start, and even if I had started that way with the kids & they'd wanted to try school they could.
I will not come into your house and turn off your precious TV, as long as you don't come into mine and act as though I am denying my child a fundamental human right because we DON'T watch it, and that I am a complete fraud in my child-rearing philosophies because of it.
I'm sorry you were getting that from the thread. I don't think you are a fraud though, FWIW The way I see it, your house your TV (or lack thereof) ya know?
post #123 of 173
We don't buy hot dogs or McDonald's food, so I suppose someone could make the argument that we "deny" our children these things, but to me there is a difference. We never have hot dogs in the house, but we do have TV and ice cream in the house. If I didn't want my dd to have them, I wouldn't have them in the house. I resist this idea that adults are allowed to do whatever they want and children just have to sit by and watch.

If people see TV on the same level as running in the street, I wonder what they are doing with a TV in the house. Using it only when the kids are sleeping isn't exactly a great way of hiding it. Kids know.
post #124 of 173
BTW - I have great respect for families who made the decision together to be TV-free, as opposed to "adults get TV and kids don't."
post #125 of 173
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
It is the same arguement everyone else has. "if you can do what you want, why can't your child?"

Let's flip that. I CAN'T do everything I want, so why should my child? I don't want to create a false reality EITHER way...

and speaking of false realities...isn't that what TV is for the most part? At least with imagination play, it is THEIR imagination they are using, not some marketer trying to sell a product through a thinly veiled TV show...

I digress...
I don't think that TCS teaches a child that they can do everything they want. I think life's limitations show themselves to everyone, child and adult. My Ds thought he was a superhero at 5 for awhile. He wore a "cape" and "flew" around the house. He said he'd like to be able to climb up the walls & on the ceiling. Obviously he could not.

One morning Dd wants strawberries, but we are out. She is upset because she wants them, and yet she can't have any right now. So we brainstorm together. We make a list of things to get at the store later and the first item is strawberries. (She drew a picture of one just to make sure we knew what we needed :LOL) We talk about calling grandma and asking if she has strawberries. We have applesauce instead. We make cookies. These were all on our list. She wanted strawberries. She couldn't have them.

Regarding TV being a false reality: Probably. But my answer to that (no sarcasm or snarking here at all) is "so"? I don't think it has to ruin a sense of what is real and what isn't in kids anymore than it would in an adult. As someone once wrote (sorry can't recall name): I've seen Paris on TV, and I've vactioned there. I can tell the difference.
Books are someone elses reality. Stories that came from someone else's mind, world, and time. Imagination is a wonderful thing, and some people just see TV as adding to it the same way a great story can. Is the super hero my son pretended to be from some kids show any less a good use of his imagination than if he were pretending to be something from a book?

I think kids can see through advertising if they are given the info that we adults have about it.
post #126 of 173
In our house, it's not "adults get tv and kids don't." It's more like, we can all have a very limited amount of tv, and adults CAN have some tv shows that kids can't. I like Law and Order. I watch it once every few weeks. It's not appropriate for kids, and it's on after they go to bed anyway. There are a plethora of other shows that I don't think are appropriate for anyone, child or adult. None of us watch those shows. There are a very few shows that I consider appropriate for kids. My kids can watch those if I am able to watch with them. If I can't actually sit down and watch with them, none of us watch. I guess that's "adultist" of me to say "I can watch alone but you can't," but I think that my kids are much more edified by my being there to help them interpret what they are seeing than I would be by having them there to do the same for me.

I'm sure that as they get older, I will allow them to watch certain shows alone. But not yet.

post #127 of 173
Actually, I do let the kids watch videos form my son's orphanage in Ethiopia alone.

post #128 of 173
I must be very fortunate, because I do get to do pretty much whatever I want. I eat what I want, when I want. I watch what I want on TV. I can even sleep in as late as I want, if I bring the baby to bed with me. I do housework when I want to do it and stop when I want to stop.

There are a few things I can't do exactly when I want. These are - take a break from the kids during the day (have to wait for them to nap); go skiing (too expensive); go to nice restaurants with dh (no childcare).

So contrary to what everyone else thinks, I don't have to conform to the schedules and expectations set by the rest of the world. My day runs on my family's time and not anyone else's.

So since I am largely free to do whatever I want, I would also like my children to have that freedom. Right now my youngest is asleep and my oldest is splashing water all over the bathroom.
post #129 of 173

What do you think of DVD players in cars?

post #130 of 173
The way I see it is, why should a kid ever have to be bored in a car? Especially when it's usually the adult who decided everyone should take a trip anyway?

And I hate road trip games...when I was a kid I spent long car trips listening to my walkman. If my kids want to listen to music on headphones they have my blessing if it will get me out of License Plate Game and I Spy.

I doubt we will be buying a new car anytime soon but I think the DVD player would be an added bonus if I didn't have to hear it when I drove.
post #131 of 173
"Now, I know parents who use the TV as the deadbeat dad their children never had, and I know other families who have the TV on literally all the time. I think I can trust myself here. I do have some rules - the TV is only on when there is a specific show on that we want to watch. We don't just turn it on to see what is there. And we don't watch cartoons on other networks, because of the toy advertising. I don't buy Linda stuff with TV characters on them, or toys of characters. No "princesses" in our house! And we do plenty of other things throughout the day - crafts, outdoor play, cooking, chores, and reading"

Greaseball, the above is from your blog. This is entirely different than what you have been saying here. Above you explain that you have *limits* in the choice of tv you present to your kids. In a previoius post, you said that if your daughter wanted cereal she saw on tv, she could have it- that is not what you wrote above. Why are you explaining your self differently? on this thread, you make it out to be that- except for the SP incident- your kids have free reign about TV, which obvioulsly, they don't. You are creating limits, you're the mom (and your dh does as well, i assume). To me, your TV policy seems pretty reasonable for a family that allows tv, not some anything-goes policy. Why are you trying to paint it that way?
post #132 of 173
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I'm really not concerned that my child sees a bunch of cereal commercials on PBS. (She doesn't watch other networks.) She never asks for the cereals she sees...

PBS is mostly one giant commercial for kids.

I am confused. You had previously written that commercials somehow did not influence your child, and now you say they cannot watch TV shows with commercials. Sesame Street is a commercial, is it not?

The point of this is character recognition. To connect the character to you.
post #133 of 173

Because quoting onself is good fun

Originally Posted by meco
There are studies too much TV can be harmful, but I have yet to see one that shows lack of TV is harmful or that TV is beneficial to one. I keep asking, but no one delivers. Still not sure why.


(all my good posts are being ignored)
post #134 of 173
In a previoius post, you said that if your daughter wanted cereal she saw on tv, she could have it- that is not what you wrote above.
What I wrote above concerned toys, not food. I stand by allowing her to have the cereal - if she asked for it. I would treat that the way I treat any request for a specific food.

I really really hope she doesn't ask for the TV toys because I don't want to buy them! I stick to buying the more "natural" toys, though some of them are plastic. I like to shop from catalogs like Hearthsong and not places like Toys R Us.

You had previously written that commercials somehow did not influence your child, and now you say they cannot watch TV shows with commercials. Sesame Street is a commercial, is it not?
I don't think I said that commericals didn't influence here - I said only that she had never requested the products she saw in commercials on PBS. I also never said I allowed completely unlimited access to TV, since I discontinued South Park. There are certain shows that I think are plain trash, and they advertise for trash products, and we just don't watch that stuff. No one in the family does. Fortunately my dd never asks to watch it, even though she knows there is other TV beyond PBS, and if she does then it will be a real dilemma.

My reason for not wanting her to play with certain toys or watch certain shows is mostly about image and how other people might look at us. Shameful but true.
post #135 of 173
One last thing.

Here is where I am confused. UnSchooln might help me see the light here I let me son make most of his decisions--what to wear, what route to take to the store, where to sit on the bus, what to eat, what to play. If he wants to stay up to 3 AM, I let him. I am very child led in everything I do.

But I think he (and other young children) has less developed cognitive and decision making abilities than a preteen or teenager. He would readily jump out in front of oncoming traffic or walk out of the grocery store with some strawberries without paying. He has not learned these things yet. He clearly does not have the ability, as a young child, to make all decisions to meet societal norm (paying for something, following pedestrain traffic signals, not stealing, etc.) at all times. Sometimes is does not matter or affect others--he wants to wear a skirt and no shirt in December, I am all for it (while carrying a coat if he gets cold). But is he wants to play in the middle of the day on Broadway (the very busy street), you better believe I am going to veto that. If my son decides he wants to steal, should I sit back and watch him and if he gets caught, he gets caught? Should I encourage it? Or should I instill in him the principles of karma, the consequences of theft, talk to him about it, offer alternatives to get what he wants, find ways to meet the needs he is exhibiting?

This is how I feel about TV. I exists, and it will for a long time. I can tell my son TV does this to your brain, give him the facts (the proven ones, not my conclusions based on little evidence), show him alternatives (if he wants to learn about trains, lets go to a train. Into animals, hit the zoo) and let him decide if TV is healthy for him. But I feel at his toddler age he might not be able to consider all the information and weigh the sides. Do you all think they can make sound judgements across the board? I feel perhaps at 6 or 7. Most likely by 10 or 11. But if you think a toddler can make sound judgements, but not across the board, how did you conclude TV was one of those things? And other things were not?
post #136 of 173
Meco, the reason no one has gone off to look for a study you requested is probably because most of us don't feel the need to justify our choices with the latest scientific research. I had a bagel and cream cheese, two oreos and milk for breakfast. I don't need to find some study to justify this; the fact that I wanted it was good enough for me. The fact that all my dd wanted for breakfast was an apple is good enough for me too. Nearly every choice I make throughout the day is because it was what I wanted or it was what I found to be effective, not because some doctor endorsed it.

I doubt every choice you make is backed by research.
post #137 of 173
I did miss some interesting posts. I must have missed some notifications.

Originally Posted by dharmamama
To me, what underlies this argument is how we view our roles as parents. To me, my role is not to provide my children with the widest menu of choices available. It's to model what I consider to be healthy behavior and guide my children to make what I consider to be healthy choices so that they have the best possible chance of becoming what I consider to be healthy adults.

Within that idea of "healthy" live many, many different choices. My kids don't have to be exactly like to me to be healthy. But I don't feel the least bit bad about denying my kids, especially as toddlers and preschoolers, access to unhealthy behaviors and things that I think are unhealthy and that can be addictive and habit-forming.


TV is addicting. Good point.
post #138 of 173
Greaseball, certainly not. I make a lot of choices because they are healthy and what is best for me and my son. But most tend to have research backing them up, but not all. If I did something and a strong, well supported belief counteracted that I might educate myself on the matter. If there were nothing to support my theories, I might readdress them and revisit my reasoning.

But this research does not exist? Why not? I am not asking you to explain your choices. They are yours. Not mine. Just to show me that TV is good for kids. To show me my son is better of learning from "meaningful" TV and a "boring" worksheet. (BTW, I prefer dittos and worksheets anyday. Call me a nerd, but I love them ) than he is from learning from me and real world experiences.

People here keep using "deny" and insinuating "withholding" TV is going to make my son a rabid TV watching adult. All the hours spent not watching TV are spent doing things that matter--exploring, experiencing, learning, bonding and growing.
post #139 of 173
All the hours spent not watching TV are spent doing things that matter--exploring, experiencing, learning, bonding and growing.
That is true. And there is time to fit TV watching around all these things. Too many people see it as either/or. Either you watch TV or you do something more worthwhile. Either you eat healthy food or junk food. Why not do both? Why not eat a nice nutritious dinner and then have lots of ice cream? Why not spend your day outside counting beetles and then your evenings in front of the TV?

Sometimes you just know in your heart that something is or isn't OK. For example, I have decided to vaccinate my kids. I know there is research for and against it, and I haven't read any of it. I made the choice I know to be right without reading a thing. And my choice is not any less valid than the choice of someone who has read all the studies.

I have a friend who breastfed her children when they were 8 and 10 years old. I doubt there is research to support this, and there may be research that says it would be harmful. Even though I have never met her children, I know they were not harmed by being breastfed at those ages.

On some issues, I have found it useful to pull out the studies. My dh did a complete 180 on the circ issue after I showed him the Fleiss articles. I also like to quote statistics from pro-homebirth studies.
post #140 of 173
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I resist this idea that adults are allowed to do whatever they want and children just have to sit by and watch.

If people see TV on the same level as running in the street, I wonder what they are doing with a TV in the house. Using it only when the kids are sleeping isn't exactly a great way of hiding it. Kids know.
I don't do whatever I want. I really want to eat chocolate for the rest of my life, but since I have the cognitive knowledge that this is not healthy and since I have impulse control mastered, I don't do it. My kids don't have that same inner voice that comes from life experience, so they aren't always going to stop themselves from instant gratification.

As far as the sleeping thing and hiding TV...

I don't know. I guess this comes down to just differences in parenting style. I don't strive to make my kids my equals because they are young and in need of guidance. We drink alcohol at home and they are not allowed to do that, although, AFAIK, it's not illegal (only illegal to buy). It doesn't bother me if we can't be equals in terms of having wants met; that is not my goal.

The way I look at it, wrt to this very specific issue, is this. My brain is not in the process of basic and rapid development anymore. I have a value system firmly in place across all areas and so I am not as vulnerable to media messages. I have the ability to filter things that I view. I understand the difference between fantasy and reality. I have impulse control established. I don't believe that Jack Bauer is a real person that I can visit and who perhaps might come to my birthday party. I don't seek to make my children my equals in TV viewing, because they are not developmentally equal. There is numerous data to support the risks of TV for kids, but since you've already stated that research doesn't apply to your family, then I can't really discuss or debate it well.

I'm not trying to be snarky, btw. I'm just debating.
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