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The TV question - Page 4

Poll Results: The TV Question

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 4% (24)
    We are TV-free--no television applicance in the home
  • 15% (78)
    We own a TV but only use it with a VCR to watch videos or taped shows
  • 42% (219)
    We own a TV but we are selective over what our children watch.
  • 3% (18)
    We own a TV and allow our children to regulate their own viewing.
  • 31% (163)
    Our children do not have a TV in their own room(s).
  • 1% (8)
    Our children have a TV in their own room(s).
510 Total Votes  
post #61 of 113
My dd didn't watch television until she was 2 1/2. Dh had to move out here before us, so I got stuck for 42 days taking care of dd and eventually gave into allowing her 30 mins of extremely carefully-selected cartoons. Since we've been here she has watched this tape I made + a little animated video done by the BBC. She has learned some songs from these. The rule is: the minute she seems to lose interest, the tv is turned off (first I ask: Are you done with the television? 9 times out of 10 she will say yes.). She never complains. This is happening sooner and sooner into the video, so I plan on phasing them out completely. I may allow her to start watching again when she's older. Dh and I watch the news (we didn't bring films, so at the moment there's nothing else). I will admit, however, that I have been watching the news a LOT since we got here (due to isolation, heavy snow, etc.).

"My children will feel left out" "It will be like a forbidden fruit"
Hopefully we'll surround ourselves with like-minded parents and children. I believe our children will naturally attract the friendship of children like themselves. And just like our children will not be particularly attracted to sweets and junk food, our children will not feel any particular attraction to sitting in front of the tube.

My question is: How can we spread the word? Very few people know of the AAP's recommendations (which I think should also be a part of the WHO's recommendations - this is a worldwide problem now). Should we write letters to manufacturers? Retailers? I think we need to lower consumer demand. But how? Write letters to magazines? Web sites?
post #62 of 113
Hi - no time to read all of the posts here right now, but this is an issue in our lives right now.

Ds is 17 months, and I didn't want him watching TV at all. I'm SO sorry that I gave in. He is *obsessed* with Jay Jay the Jet Plane. It's only a half hour show, but he got videos for Christmas. And we let him watch them. It only took one time for him to figure out that Jay Jay is in the VCR box.

All we hear now is Ja Ja, Ja Ja. . .

We're going out of town this week, so no TV.

I'm not looking for a solution just yet - just wanted to chime in.
post #63 of 113
Bishkek~I think the best way to spread the word is through our actions and by letting others see how you are living your life...that there are other options out there. That is the best way I know of. I'm grateful for everyone's thoughts here. There's a thread on the "Books, Media, Music" that is called "I unplugged my TV" and it is very cool!" I am unplugging my TV and computer next week for seven days. I am a little scared about the computer part, but I won't miss the TV one bit since I gave that up six months ago!
post #64 of 113
We have a television but we don't turn it on. We turned it off in Augustb officially. I have an 18 mo DD and am a SAHM. However, I have been getting so bored and lonely lately. We try to go to drop-ins but lately find ouselves inside for such a long periods. What do you do to amuse yourself when you don't want to watch TV.
post #65 of 113
I voted we have a TV (only one for the whole family) but regulate dd tv viewing. Her dad doesn't though and I know she has watched things I would prefer she wouldn't. BUT when dd and I were on our own we didn't have a TV. When my soon to be dh moved in last March, he begged me. He is a huge hockey and college football fan and really wanted to watch the games. I said okay, set up ground rules and dd didn't really care about the TV. However, she has become interested in a couple shows on th N network. Like Pete and Pete, Being Eve and A Walk in Your Shoes. She also loves Degrassi But most of the time it is still a little too old for her. I like th N because there are not commercials.

Soon to be DH and I are going to TTC this fall and I think that the TV might have to leave for a couple years after baby is born.
post #66 of 113
double post due to that stupid error thing...again
post #67 of 113
MangoMama- I was a bit surprised to hear that you were bored without the TV. How long have you been with out it? Really the things I am doing I am doing becasue I want to, not because I am bored. First I make sure the essentials are done:

Kitchen clean?
Laundry done?
Vaccumming done?
Bathroom clean?

Then I may
Read a book
read a newspaper
Sleep when the kid sleeps (I love naps as 2 kids like to wake me up in the middle of the night)
make a really cool dinner
talk to cool moms and dads on the Mothering site.
Take a class on something you've always wanted to do
call a friend
write an artical for the local newspaper opinion page

Try running your home as if you did home day care.7-9 play with the kids and have breakfast
9-10 outside time and snack......yes, go outside even if its cold, just bundle up and especially go outside if it snows!
10-12 have music time with the kids, coloring ect.
12- lunch
after lunch nap

afternoons you could take him and visit a friend, the mall swimming or anything that sounds fun!

You've probably condsidered these things and already do many of them but I thought I would brain storm and see if anything helped!
post #68 of 113
Oooh! What to do! inky

I work 30 hrs/wk, so most of my not working time is spent cleaning house, reading my email, and cooking/cleaning up the mess.

When I'm all caught up I to read a book (I work at a library, LOL) or bake. Cookies, cakes, candy, bread. I'm an okay cook, but I love baking.

Plus, there's nothing like making cookies for your family and enjoying their sighs of enjoyment! LOL
post #69 of 113


I was beginning to let my 2 yr old watch Sesame St. He quickly got addicted. Then one day I was at the book store and picked up Jane Healy's book ENDANGERED MINDS: WHY CHILDREN DON'T THINK AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

Basically, educator from every grade level around the country has seen basic attention span and problem solving skills PLUMMET in this country over the past 30 yrs. According to them (she talked to numerous teachers around the country and scientists) they have had to "dumb down" the material... offer material to their students that were meant for younger students.

Why? Healy surmises that TV watch actually SHAPES the brain (still developing in the formative years). Actually, all experience shapes the brain... but TV watching is not very good for the things we humans are meant to do... reason, etc...

My son longer watches TV, but DH & I watch movies at night on TiVO or DVDs.

If you care at all about TV in your family and how they could be affecting learning, please read this book.
post #70 of 113

Excerpts from American Baby article April 2000

I know this isn't a "no TV for kids under 2" thread, but just wanted to share the following:

The AAP has reviewed the issue and is advising against TV for babies under 2.
I read a very interesting article in theApril 2000 issue of "American Baby" and I kept the issue. Here are some excerpts from that article.

·Doctors fear that prolonged exposure to the tube could impair babies' vision, hearing and attention span.

·"The fact that television's a good babysitter is not enough of a justification for using it when a TV habit might make it more difficult for a child to learn later on," asserts educational psychologist Jane Healy, PhD, author of Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think - and what We can Do about it (1999)

·Although there is little research on television's direct impact on a baby's neural growth, we do know that, in a baby under 2, parts of the brain are going through what's called "synaptic exuburance," during which there are twice as many synpases in the cerebral cortex as there were during adulthood. Babies are absoring the world at warp speed, and this is the most critical period for language and visual development. Also, at around 18 months, the front right part of the baby's brain - which controls the way he relates to other people - hits a vital developmental period.

·"Television can't really be used as downtime for babies because it's full of overwhelming sounds and flashing colors," says Susan Johnson, MD a behavioral and developmental pediatrician. "Babies are born with eyes developed to look at the human face, so downtime for them means quiet, calm snuggling with their mother or father." Dr. J suggests, let your baby lie on a blanket and watch light stream into a room, or sit her outside where she can take in the sights and smells of the outdoors.

·Contrary to parents' hopes or beliefs that television can actually teach kids somethings, such as the alphabet or new vocabulary words, most experts say that kids under 2 get so absorbed in the visual stimulation of the TV that they tune out most of the words entirely.

·Lise Eliot, PhD, author of What's Going on in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life(1999), cites a study in which pediatricians regularly placed the hearing children of deaf parents in front of "Sesame Street" to see whether they'd learn to speak. They didn't.

·"Babies learn language by talking to real, live people." Dr. Eliot says. "Research shows that babies will listen to a television but won't process the noises at the same level as if someone where speaking to them." So if you are counting along with the television character, your child may begin to pick up numbers, but he probably won't learn them from the show alone.

·In addition, some experts feel that the poor sound quality coming from a television may actually impair a child's hearing if he's around it long enough.

·"Listening to noises kept on one basic plane--at the same volume level and coming from just one source -isn't a good way to get sound." says Dr. Johnson. "In nature, sound is coming from all around. But with TV, children learn to turn off background noises. Then later on, when they're away from the television, it can be harder for them to tell where sounds are coming from."

·Also, Dr. J says, because television is just a stationary box, young children aren't getting vital eye exercise when they watch it. While staring at the flat, two-dimensional screen, they're pulled away from three-dimensional activities.

·Skipping out on those diversions is a critical loss, since such play can help a child's 3D vision, which is maturing up until the age of 4, says Dr. Johnson.

·"When people have had eye surgery, they're told to watch TV because it fixes their eyeball in one place so it can heal. But if you show television often to a child too young to read, the growth of the eyeball can be distorted. All of the sudden, he'll go to the first grade and be asked to read something left to right, and his eyes will feel fatigued."

·A baby's eyes become locked to the screen because the images change every five or six seconds and require constant attention. Which leads to another problem: "If they're watching rapidly changing images, I don't think (babies) can process them quickly enough. We may be miswiring their attention systems." says Dr. Eliot.

·If a baby becomes accustomed to seeing a continual stream of action, then when she's not watching TV, her eyes might jump around the room to catch the next engaging visual change.

·"Normal infant activities like playing with a toy or looking at a person promot a longer visual attention span away from the TV." Dr. Eliot says.

·"In the brain, there's a survival response that causes us to pay attention to something fast-paced," says Gloria DeGaetano, author of Screen Smarts: A Family Guide to Media Literacy (1996) and the director of GrowSmartBrains.com, an education and resource organization. "Our nervous systems are revved up by the visual onslaught, but we stay sitting still. "This affects the youngest kids the most. They get a lot of pent up energy and anxiety from watching TV; then they act out just to burn it all off," DeGaetano says.
post #71 of 113
Originally posted by MangoMamma
What do you do to amuse yourself when you don't want to watch TV.
When do you find time to watch TV?? We go for walks, visit friends and neighbors, cook, play games, read, more reading, do chores, sew...I can't imagine finding time to watch TV. I do know if we had one, I'd probably watch it and other things I value would fall by the wayside, like hanging with friends or walking. I was bored lots more when I was younger and had roomates with TVs. Just can the darn thing and start living.
post #72 of 113

Sorry to serial post! I tried to edit my first, but it wouldn't let me.

Kylix, to answer your question, no I personally don't feel children would lose out on anything important. The only thing they may lose is a cultural connection to cultural phenomenons (i.e., Strawberry Shortcake, He-Man, Pac Man, Gilligan's Island, Million Dollar Man, Brady Bunch, Pokeman, The A-team....) Now are those shows so important that kids need to bond on simply that level. No, there are other ways kids can interact (music, shared activities & interests...)

I grew up watching a LOT of stupid TV shows. Hours and hours a day. It has not helped me much in my life. Even if it were just PBS.... kids get much more out of real-life experiences/interactions.

If you want to use it for educational shows when your kids are older, fine. But limiting it overall (and controlling content) is a good idea, IMO.
post #73 of 113
We have a TV. We both watch it whenever we want to, and always have. Saying that young children need to interact with real people doesn't mean TV is bad - actually, the way we've always watched TV is pretty interactive. Yes, plopping the toddler in front of the TV all day is bad, but just because TV can be used badly doesn't make the medium itself bad.

I think the anti-TV thing has become a bandwagon, and it's easier to just condemn the medium than to really think critically about the different ways it can be used. Right now, my 10 yr old daughter and her 17 yr old friend - both unschoolers - are watching The Simpsons and cracking up, and during the commercials they're talking about the various techniques used and trying to guess what the ads are for. Rain loves Saturday Night Live and Mad TV, and is pretty savvy about satire and the political situation. She - and I - watch Law and Order and CSI a lot, and have some fascinating conversations.

OTOH, she had a nightmare last night based on a piece of art she saw yesterday at the Crocker Art Museum....

post #74 of 113
Thread Starter 
Finally checking back in. Thanks everyone for posting your responses....

I definetly don't think I will be allowing TV for my dc under the age of four or five or so. I don't see any reason to do that.

After that, it's up in the air. I can see the pros and cons of everyone's posts and want to get that book Endangered Minds. I do think that tv limits children's attention spans but I also think that sitting down and watching a tv program with your child and interacting with them over it (i.e. trying to surmise why so and so character this or that or what dc would do if he/she were in that person's situation) is good for critical thinking but then again, we could do the same thing with books.

I also think that having no TV in the home would be wonderful for getting more things done. Thing is, I need to get there myself before I can ever expect my future children too, lol. I already watch very little tv (my tv hasn't been on once today..I usually watch an hour of tv a day on average).

I love this topic and love how everyone is adding in their opinions. It is really helping me to get my thoughts in order.

Keep adding your thoughts, if you please

post #75 of 113
We have a TV and have had cable on and off through the past six years.
My daughter did not watch TV until two, and it was mostly some PBS and a disney film here and there.
I limit her TV time and what she is allowed to watch.
My son began watching TV about 18months, mostly singing and now that he is two he likes Barney and Wiggles, some Elmo.
My youngest will be a year in a week. He likes to look at the TV when the older one watches Barney Sing and Dance.
I dont believe TV is evil, but some programming is and the materialism that is displayed in commercials.
We have only 13 channels on our TV and that is plenty. Its not something I want my children paying homage too or becoming addicted.
post #76 of 113
I guess I'm in the minority, we have a tv and now that I'm pregnant he's watching more than I'd like, but I'm so tired I can harding sit up half the day, he watches blues clues and toy story 2 every day, that give me two hours to rest, he's 22 months and doesn't nap, so he will sit and have a snack and I'll lay down on the couch and rest. Hopefully after the first trimester I'll have more energy to get up and do more with him again.
post #77 of 113
This is a red-faced post for me.
I didn't vote, bc none of the responses fit me, so you get along and confessional post instead

When I was growing up, tv was unlimited. And I was an addict. All the time, it seemed. When I got into high school, for some reason, I thought other people would think I was uncool for watching tv, so whenever one of my friends called, I would stop watching what i was watching and not admit I was watching tv. Weird. We wouls watch MTV or movies when we were together, but I never saw Cheers the first time while I was still in high school bc sitcoms just seemed like such a lame thing to do.
Fast forward to meeting dh. We moved in together and had a tv and cable. We watched ALL the TIME. We used to have a Sunday ritual. We would get up at about 9 or 10, make a huge breakfast and watch tv all day until 2 am. Very sick and twisted. We did go out and do other things, but many sundays were spent this way. After 7 months, we moved to Atlanta and left out tv adn vcr behind. We rented a tv for the first few months, then went tv free. My fil bought us a tv after a while, and we were right back in it. When ds was born, I had decided NO TV!! We watched it when he was a little bitty baby. When he was 5 days old, we spent our entire Xmas day watching an American in Paris and the Star Wars trilogy(dh watched, I mostly slept) Then, when ds was a couple months old, I realized he could see across the room, which meant he could see the tv. The tv went into the closet. I would watch sometimes during his nap and he watched Tiger Woods once, but it was gone. When he was about 2(and we had another baby) we got a few videos and he would watch them sometimes. But,we kept the tv in the closet and only brought it out occasionally. We would borrow things from the library sometimes.
Then, when I was pg with #3, I was really sick and they watched and watched and watched their videos. After I was better, we got cable until the baby came. They watched, some days alot some days alittle, After that, cable got cancelled, and they would watch a few vidoes a week. Then, the vcr broke and we sold the tv. We spent the summer camping, no tv in their tent.
Now we are staying with my mom and she has cable and it is so hard bc I use it way too much. My little guy is 20 months and always into something. TV makes him stop in his tracks for a little while. SO, I do it. I find it is so hard to break the cycle once it has started. And I cant get rid of the tv, bc it is not mine. We are moving in June, so that will be the end of it, but h=what damage until then. And of course, my mom thinks it is woderful and says "WOw He really likes TV!" Ugh!! And the only way my mom will watch my kids is if there is something for them to watch. She jsut cannot handle them. And sometimes, I need to run to the library to use the printer, and I relaly cant do that with three kids underfoot.
It was really scary becasue we had all gotten in the habit of buying things because there was a picture of bob or blue on it. I put a stop to all those shows: bob, bear, rolie polie olie, dora, anything that has a lot of stuff to it. They watch Oswald, Little Bill, Stanley, reading rainbow. I am trying very hard to be in the habit of not turning it on at all. Or just for reading rainbow. Most days they watch two hours or less. IF it is nice outside, they spend most of the day outside. I am sad bc I let them start watching liberty's kids, bc it would be a nesat history lesson. NOw, my boys, who never considered guns before, are playing shooting games and makes rockets ANd they are constantly seeing show theme songs or talking straught momnologue. And, we tried some fo the am pbs shows, and they have froot loops and frosted flakes commercials!! YIKES!!
Thanks ladies, you have strengthened my resolve. We are going to scale way back!
post #78 of 113
We have One TV in the family room. No cable, but about 6 channels including PBS that come in really good. TV shows we watch are Sesame Street, Clifford, and Sagwa. If he sees it he wants to watch Cailou but I dont like it becuase the boy is SO whiny Taylor whines more too. We also have one DVD player and Two VCRs. [Taping adult TV for post-8p viewing while watching children TV, my Sister and Cousin live with us.] We have a HUGE selection of Disney and Veggie Tales videos, and we own Muzzy [on DVD] for French and are considering purchase of Spanish too. We also own[ed] all of the Baby Einstien videos.

We also have a high end Desktop and Laptop with DVD players, DSL, and stereo speakers in the office. And we have a fairly good stereo system in the living room and boom box in the family room.

We watch children videos in the morning between about 6:30a until 8:30a give or take while we have coffee and breakfast etc. My husband watches TV after 8p on Wed and I watch after 8p on Thur. Occationally we rent movies for Sat night. We have "dance hour" in the living room every other day or so, and we listen to childrens music after lunch most days. I bought 3 [so far] childrens computer games [ABCs, Coloring, Etc] and really enjoy "surfing" disney.com. We play together on the computer at least once a week. My husband and I each spend 15-60 minutes a day online usually while Taylor naps or at bedtime.

I am very strict about violence in movies [LOVE the DVD so I can easily "skip" scenes] and I am not so fond of "not nice"characters either. [And I cant WAIT for the DVD to be programable, Just think how cool THAT will be?!] That said, I do think we watch alot of TV and most of it is entertainment and if it happens to be educational great. I also have noticed that WE watch TV together. Only on mornings when I am really really tired and want an extra 30 min to get showered in private does my son watch TV without me. We never really planned this though, just happens?

PS. After reading all 4 pages of this post [WOW!] I thought I should also add that a year ago I checked into the actual research on at least one study of TV Effects on the Brain etc. I can't unfortunatly remember where I saw it online so I hesitate to mention it here, BUT if you read the stats of that study rats were being strapped infront on a TV screen with the same images for days at a time etc. No study I could find was done on an actual child [and I would freak out if there was, wouldnt you?!?!] only animals and hypothesis taken from there.

It seemed to me at the time that as with everything "too much" of Any thing is a BAD thing. "Too much" TV is bad, but very very subjective as well. As someone else on this thread said, no study has every been done [on a human] of the long term effects of No TV either. So if you dont want your kids to watch TV, dont let them, or if you dont like the amount, content, what ever, dont let them watch. But if you do like to watch tv AND do other things, fine.
post #79 of 113
If he sees it he wants to watch Cailou but I dont like it becuase the boy is SO whiny Taylor whines more too
OMG I thought I was the only parent going through an anti-Caillou stage....my son learned how to whinnnnnne after watching a few episodes of that. If the TV is still on and I hear the theme song I run to turn off the tv lol. If I hear "but I don't want to!" in that ear-piercing Caillou voice one more time I'll shreik.

I do regulate my kids TV watching, but admit it got out of hand during my last two pregs, where I would need to rest and had no help but a favoured video. I go days at a time w/o even looking at the TV (Dh and I will rent a movie/dvd to watch together on a weekendnight) but each morning the kids like to watch PBS from about 8-10 which I think is more than plenty. By that time I have come to life though, can shut the TV off with out the kids even complaining and we go onto other stuff.

Unfortunately me and the kids have been stuck inside all winter. I'm so crawling up the walls I'm looking forward to going grocery shopping. After doing so much in a day, in goes another video. If I see Lilo and Stitch again I'll go mad. But I do try to sit with them if they watch a video during the day or at night and have them tell me about what they are seeing etc.

I am also guilty of using a video to get a shower...when you had no chance to shower for two days, you get desperate. :
post #80 of 113
We have only one tv and regulate what the kids watch. I didn't let my youngest watch until she was 2 and she hasn't been very interested anyway. She likes the Wiggles, but only watches for a short time and then wants to do something else. My 6 yr old ds would watch more if we let him. I would never let one of my kids have a tv in their room, I don't know anyone who has done this and had good results with it. They complain about what the kids watch or the kids staying up too late watching tv. I feel like saying "well duh, take the tv out of the room-it is a no brainer!"

My 18 yr old son and one of his friends were home from college awhile ago and they told me that they could tell who the kids were in their dorms that were brought up with too much tv and video games. They were the ones that did not want to get involved in campus activities and were having a harder time adjusting to college life and making friends. I thought that was a really neat observation on their part and it just confirmed my thinking on this subject. My son's friend was the valedictorian at their high school and she said something like "I'm glad my parents made me go outside and play and didn't let me watch too much tv while I was growing up".
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