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The TV question - Page 5

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 #81 of 113
I wonder if Cailiou whines because he is 4
post #82 of 113
Does anyone else think those Baby Einstein videos are scary? They have kind of scary puppets jumping out of nowhere sometimes, shouting "Blaaahhh". I think ds would FREAK if he saw that.

We do have a tv but ds only has videos that we prescreen. We like music A LOT in our house so we have some song videos that show kids dancing, exercising, being silly. Ds and I like to dance along with those. And then we have some religious videos that we like as well.

But those Einstein videos SCARE me. One had cows passing gas I think, my mom bought it for us and we previewed it late one night. Dh said "Yeah, I don't think so."

But, then again, television in general scares me these days. Those commercials! YIKES!!

Edited to add: Who are the Wiggles? Everyone talks about them and I'm clueless.
post #83 of 113
I actually heard about the Wiggles here. They are on the Disney Chanel, but they also put out some videos. Mostly they just sing and dance. DD will dance along with them, it is pretty cute.
post #84 of 113

Just got RID of TV!!

We had been letting my son watch certain videos (taped Sesame Street or Baby Einstein Shapes video) but it got totally out of control. He was only allowed to watch one/day, but at two years old, how can he really understand that? If he likes a book, he can read it 500 times. But he likes this program and we only let him watch it once/day (and he doesn't really understand what a 'day' is). So, after he spent no less than 20 minutes in hysterics over it yesterday, I called my husband (whom I'd been begging to at least move the TV to an armoire upstairs), he came home, and moved the thing upstairs. It was such a problem in the living area -- every time that my son saw it, he'd ask for it incessantly -- so he'd fuss if it wasn't on, and fuss when it was over (fuss or cry or throw a tantrum etc.).

This morning, he asked for the shapes video, I said that it was gone. He asked for TV, I said it was gone, too, because it was such a problem. Then he asked to go downstairs and look for it. Saw it wasn't there, and went about his business playing in far more interesting and creative ways than with that TV on! It was the bane of my existence! Now, we might as well get rid of cable since we hardly watch TV, either. Add $30 to our monthly budget for a nice family outing instead.

Next on my list: electronic toys. I've already gathered up the toys whose sole purpose is to make noise via the press of a button since that totally limits creativity. I'm evaluating the rest.

And that's my story!
post #85 of 113

So did we! No regrets!


We had the EXACT same experience. DS was great about the limits on TV early on, but then became more and more enthralled. DH and I were very set on the limits for it, but it was hard for DS to understand this. One day, just after his second birthday, I realized I was having to say "no" 3 or 4 more times a day than I wanted to, that I had become, in essense, the TV police. Not how I pictured motherhood to say the least. We thought the best thing was to simply remove the source of the power struggle and move on. We moved it to our office out back.

When DS asked to watch Elmo the next morning, I just explained that Mama and Daddy put the TV away for a while so that Mama, Daddy and Gibson could spend more time together--the truth!. He was totally fine with it, hasn't missed it and hasn't asked for to watch. I was surprised by this as he had seemed so attached to it. Turns out, he'd rather spend time with me interacting or doing something more hands on...

What a relief it is to have the TV out of the house. DH and I watch a few evenings a week and that's it. DS and I have been better attached, more in sinc and I've seen such a positive change in him. Turns out, he's much more creative than I realized and has a much easier time entertaining himself than I ever gave him credit for... glad you've enjoyed the same experience!


P.S. The electronic toys, designed to drive a household mad come home from the in laws and go straight into the closet! I've done this from moment one! I bring one or two out occasionally if we have prolonged nasty weather or for just a change of pace. Rarely, is he even that interested in pushing a button when he could be rolling around his trucks, playing with his train or tending to his "farm."
post #86 of 113

The TV Game

My brother and cousins and I came up w/this game when we had been sent to play in an upstairs room at grandparents' house and one of us was wishing there was a TV to watch...

One person is the TV. Everybody else sits down holding an invisible remote control. TV stands there looking blank until somebody presses her remote and says, "On!" Then TV acts out a show--it can be a show you've really seen or something you make up. When a viewer tires of the show, she presses her remote and says, "Click!" and TV goes immediately into a different show. Viewers may discuss amongst themselves what they would rather be watching and switch to that particular channel, or simply channel-surf. When a viewer gets bored with this TV, she can turn it off and become the new TV, while the previous TV becomes a viewer.

This is great fun and really makes you think on your feet! One of the most entertaining tricks is to switch channels in the middle of a sentence, so that the sentence is completed with a fragment from a totally different context. For example, in our very first game, we switched out of a commercial into what turned out to be a religion program: "Brush your teeth with---JEEESUS!" My cousin as the televangelist flung himself abruptly onto his knees and really bellowed, bringing all the adults upstairs to see what was going on!

This game might be helpful in some of these situations where kids are whining about having used up their TV allotment for the day.
post #87 of 113
My son has just started watching tv so I make sure what I watch is what I want his brain to see. Animal plant and food network. Other wise its off. I did not run out and buy any baby videos. It was so creepy to see my niece and nephew like zombies while watching TV. They would perfer to watch TV then play outside. My son loves to be outside and I want to keep encouraging that.
post #88 of 113
We do not have cable so the only T.V. my kids watch really is PBS. my ds watches Sesame Street and then the t.v. is turned off. when my dd comes home from school she watches Arthur and ZOOM!. that is her unwind time before homework and our evening starts. As a family she likes to watch American Idol and Star Search with us. She was watching Fear Factor but dh had noticed how they just seem to have women on who look good in swimsuits and the show grosses my ds out so we no longer watch that as a family. I got rid of cable because of all the commercials that they show on Nick. My dd was getting the "I want's" I found the commercials so fustrating. I see nothing wrong with t.v. like almost everything else in life you need moderation. What I do find fustrating with the t.v. is when we go to someones house for a playdate and the mom has the t.v. on, I just find that fustrating I brought my child over for interaction with a 3 dimensional person not a t.v. show. One mom has TIVO and has all the kids programs scheduled all day and just leaves the t.v. on the whole time at playgroup. I just don't see the point int hat.
Also wanted to add an idea I came up with to help my dd regulate her t.v. time during the summer. We made T.V. tickets, like movie tickets. There are 2 tickets and they are 30 minutes each.I put her tickets on the counter and when she wants to watch a show she gives me a ticket. When they are gone she knows her t.v. time is overfor the day. It worked great and saved me from saying "you have already watched your shows" all day. Just an idea.
post #89 of 113
Thanks for your response, Em. I wish that I had thought of a more accurate description for what we did, rather than using the 'gone' approach. I didn't like it because it didn't seem totally honest to me, and that is a HUGE priority for me. I never tell him that something is 'sleeping' just because he cannot play with it or find it, etc., for instance. So I really really appreciate your response. I'll use that the next time that my son brings up the video.

My husband feels so badly for our son, because he occasionally mentions the video. I felt a little sad for him for the first time last night, when I asked him what he wanted to do next and he said he wanted to watch it, then described to me how fun it was, etc. I said, "Do you want to draw some shapes with Mommy?" Yes! "What do you want to use? Crayons? Markers? Pencils? Pastels? Paints?" Crayons! (like in the video). We proceeded to draw, and it was absolutley beautiful. I actually didn't draw any shapes -- he explored with colors and mediums, and it's just beautiful.

He does talk about the video occasionally, but he so readily accepts that it's not there and is able to move on to something more creative and productive. We've done so many fun things as alternatives.

I gave-in on the electronic toys that we received initially, thinking I'd just use them in the car. But then we got these firetrucks from people, and they aren't really suitable for play in the car so they crept into the house. Oh, and I bought a Tonka for him that I'll just be taking the batteries out of again (we had them out but then he wanted to turn it on once so we put it back in ... they'll be coming back out!). My husband doesn't understand that, particularly, either, but he works a lot of hours so simultaneously he's around his son less and I'm around him a LOT. So I have more opportunity to see the impact they have on our son's creativity. Plus, I think to an extent, if I'm in charge 90% of the time, then I get to make some of those executive decisions. Right now, my husband and I have agreed that the electronic toys stay in the garage or car.

I will say that my son received as a gift the Mozart Magic Cube music box, and that thing is really cool. It plays good music, and he is learning about different instruments using it.

These boards are so helpful. Thanks again!

Incidentally, I appreciate the other suggestions on time limits. I especially liked the 30-minute tickets idea because of the visual that provides (I'm a visual learner) -- it makes the whole thing a lot more tangible, a lot more within a child's grasp, I think. Maybe when my son is older that will work. He is a very spirited, very insistent, very persistent child. It's no surprise since both my husband and I are that way! But I figure that as he gets older we'll have more communication skills that we can use to dialogue about why TV isn't healthy to watch incessantly, etc. Plus he'll have more of a concept of time, even more of an understanding that after you use these up, that's it. Right now, he thinks there's always more!
post #90 of 113

What a great experience you had turning your son's request into a hands-on, together activity. Beautiful indeed...

As for telling DS the truth, DH and I did wonder about possibly telling a slight fib because frankly, we worried about his being upset. In the end, I'm glad we chose the truth, which I think had a hand in avoiding the later questions like "when will the TV be fixed, wake up, reappear? I've learned over and over with DS that a simple honest answer is the best way to go... no matter what the reaction. With TV, we got lucky, he was totally fine with it.

I do know what you mean about feeling bad. DS did enjoy Elmo and his Bear in the Big Blue House videos. I have no doubt that at some point, he will enjoy them again... but later, perhaps at 4 or 5... right now, I get a real strong feeling that "doing" rather than "watching" is more important than we know. He still sings the Sesame Street theme and loves his Elmo doll but also seems fine that the TV element is missing...

Oh, those electronic toys! We have some that don't bother me at all and I don't mind having them out (ok, one: his farm) but there are some where the batteries must come out! Others that I just had to put away like I mentioned above.

All the best,

post #91 of 113
I am too embarrassed to even say how much t.v. Avey watches. The kid is an addict. He throws a fit if he doesn't have the t.v. on. I think he likes the sound, because he ignores it sometimes even if it is on. I am one to listen to the t.v. rather than watch it sometimes. I am coming up with some preschool lesson plans to do with Avey, and some fieldtrips and activities so he won't be hanging out with the electronic babysitter all day. It is so cold out, that it has just become convenient for t.v., especially since the new baby has been born. He won't watch as much when it warms up.
post #92 of 113

This is a further digression, in some ways, I guess, from the thread ..

But, I did want to say that I agree that honesty is THE way to go. I was a liar when I was a kid (on and off, I guess), and when I decided not to do it anymore, it has been black-and-white ever since. It's either a lie to me or it's not. So saying "gone" to me was kind of gray. It was gone from the living room but not gone forever.

Besides, I'm a lawyer! So accuracy is important. Like I wouldn't say there's "nothing" in a room when there is something there. I'd say there's nothing of interest in the room!

So the TV thing was the first time I've ever said something that I didn't feel was totally accurate. Pretty much true, yes, but not totally accurate and not as honest or forthcoming as I wanted to be. It was partly because I was afraid of his response, probably, but also because I was really exhausted and hadn't planned what to say, so I fumbled around and came up with 'gone.' Pathetic! But I have been more accurate since then, and since I'm accurate/honest/forthcoming on everything else (probably to a fault), I assuage myself to a degree on the guilt.

Anyway, thanks again for your suggestion. Life without TV is SO much better!
post #93 of 113
"Recent studies have shown that school-age children who watch less television are less aggressive and have less body fat regardless of programming," says Robert S. Kahn, M.D the study's senior author."

This is true in most cases. Children who sit in front of a TV all day tend to munch on junk also. My dd watches limited amount of TV. She has a TV in her room where she can watch "her" movies. We have no cable in that room and no antenna, so the only things she can watch are her movies. I only let her watch them at night when she is going to sleep. Durning the day I think that it is vitally important that she is outdoors playing. She is an incredibly active child and loves to run and ransack! LOL. I encourage that. If she gets it out now, at 8yrs old, maybe she won't feel the need to be that way when she is 16 years old! She doesn't just go out on warm, sunny days either. We play outside during the winter and on hot, rainy (as long as it's not lightening) days too. I can remember being a child and having so much fun playing in the rain, my mom would lay towels on the porch and let us run and I do the same for my dd.

As for me....Lord, I am a primetime addict! Only after dd goes to bed!

Thrilled to be married to Boue
Proud mommy to Justice, 8 and Kaeleb 5 weeks:binky
post #94 of 113
My little guy is too little to play outside alone, and I can't bring my baby out in freezing weather, or he would play outside more often. Then in the Summer, we have to be careful because he is very pale and blonde and burns easily. Yesterday, I put on some '80's music, and we danced like idiots and had some fun! I was surprised that he was so happy to listen to music rather than watch t.v. The baby must have thought we were nuts!!
post #95 of 113
Fraya - Oh those unprepared moments! I've had a few myself. Like when DS quietly walked up behind me while I was digging my spoon into the ice cream carton, having just quietly removed it from the freezer while he was in his room playing (he hadn't to that point had any sort of real, sugary treat)... "Uh, uh... it's just yogurt honey. In a real big container?" Talk about insulting his intelligence! He walked over to the kitchen drawer, pulled out a bowl and held it out to me. At that point I realized I had been caught!

Bladestar - Indeed, the music and dancing are a staple at our house. In the evening before bath, we even do the nudey dance (him, not me ) and it's great fun and exersize. Especially as you mentioned in the cold months of winter.

post #96 of 113
:LOL My son does the nudey dance also!! Before and after his shower! He saw his daddy do it, and thought he should advertise his too It is really funny when they both do the nudey dance just before and after a shower! Like father, like son Sorry, tmi...
post #97 of 113
No cable here. We keep out ancient television in the junk room. If we go out and leave Sequoia with a sitter (doesnt happen since Dylan was born) we drag it out, hook it up in the living room and rent her a DVD, if were going to be gone and shes asleep, we will take the sitter to the place and let her pick one out so she's not completly bored. I also came from a TV free household, and am glad.
post #98 of 113
Here is our situation. DH grew up with very little TV. Guess what? All four sibs are TV addicts. I grew up with as much TV as i wanted and I'd much rather read.

DH decided to go it my way. He came down last saturday to find both DD's (age 5 and 7) playing "beach"( in swimsuits, with towels on our living room floor.) He said "I can't believe they know they can watch cartoons but don't even turn on the TV.

OUr girls do watch TV sometimes, but very little. Last winter DD 1 came down with pneumonia and the Dr wanted her to rest as much as possible the first 24 hours. When I "caught" her hoola hooping in the playroom I suggested she watch a tv show. No thanks she said. I couldn't believe it when I heard myself say "Please, I beg of you, lie down, and watch TV!"
post #99 of 113
Alexa-I know what you mean. My 2 yr old dd had pneumonia a couple months ago and even though she was nursing constantly, I still desperately needed to get fluids in her. I never even buy soda and there I was saying "please, please drink your soda".
post #100 of 113
Originally posted by frogertgrl

The AAP Policy RE9911 is the best thing I've read so far detailing the social, emotional and cognitive damages from television.

The policy states: "Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years. Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group, research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant caregivers (eg, child care providers) for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Therefore, exposing such young children to television programs should be discouraged."

Our son watches Sesame Street (dances to the music while playing and glances sometimes at the people and the puppets), however I have met few children who recieve more individualized attention. We fill that critical need for direct interaction... he is with one of us 24/7, sleeps with us, nurses, plays, talks, etc with us even when Sesame is on.

My question for Frogertgrl is: Is there something more to this policy not stated here. I read it all and saw nothing of frontal lobe damage. As well, my mother is a pediatric Speech language pathologist and has heard nothing of frontal lobe damage. I am not trying to be flip... I am just wondering if there is some other study you have to back up this notion of brain damage.

thanks- nikki
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