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anyone NOt limit TV time?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Hello
My ds is 4. Up until now we have limited his tv viewing to various degrees. We have been TV free at some points, at other times he has been allowed to watch 30 minutes-1.5 hours a day.
I am at the point where I am tired of feeling anxious about the tv and obsessivly monitoring the number of minutes watched per day
It is becoming an issue that i dont want to struggle with him about anymore. he enjoys some tv, he likes the "break" and so do I. I know all the theoretical arguments for being tv free, but for MY child I dont see ill effects from the level of tv he watches now.
I dont feel like it interferes with his creativity or physical activity level. We still do a lot in addition to some tv. We dont have cable so he is limited to pbs and videos, so no comercial inffluence.
Anyway my point is I'm toying with the idea of letting go of control of this issue somewhat and letting him have a go at self regulating the tv. It rained all day yesterday and i think he watched about three hours spread throughout the day.
I am interested in hearing from others who dont worry all that much about the tv...
How much do your kids end up watching on an average day?
Why DONT you regulate?
post #2 of 63
I'm interested to hear people's responses to this. This won't be an issue at my house for a while (baby won't be born until next month!), but I'm not sure how it's going to play out. We don't really watch TV much to begin with (maybe a few hours a week, for special events or news), so I'm not sure how much active, conscious restriction it's going to take to limit DD's exposure. I'd rather it not be a control issue, just one of modeling.
post #3 of 63
I tend not to regulate how much b/c he(my 4.5 yr. old) isn't parked in front of the tv all day. He's up playing, running, jumping, pretending to be the characters on tv, dancing, etc.. We do have tv free times, or times when only mommy gets to watch 'mommy' shows(re-runs of old shows, movies I like, etc), but for the most part, the tv is just background noise during the day. Hey, it's just me and him for 10-12 hours a day and it gets boring w/no other noise. I've realized that I become bored w/o it b/c it's the only other adults I hear during the day..
post #4 of 63
I'm with you : . I have yet to see the adverse affects of t.v. on my kids, however on the days when we are outside ALL day with no t.v. they are much less "wound-up & hyper" .
I have been shutting the t.v. off for periods during the day just to limit the constant noise level
I grew up with free-unlimited tv time, maybe that's why I have no problem with it.....yet
post #5 of 63
we don't regulate-never have. the grownups in the house on average watch less than two hours a week, and we're very active as a family, and the girls are active on their own. So TV is not a big focus in any of our lives. BUT there are times when we watch more than others. I try to teach them that it's for enrichment, not to be used as a filler. So it will be like Cirque du Soleil is on tonight, or Meerkat Manor is on tonight-let's make popcorn, etc. etc. I grew up for the most part tv free, and dh didn't have access to a lot growing up, so it comes naturally I suppose. I have an ex who was really addicted to tv-maybe because he was an actor/performer, but he was always trying to cut back and it was hard for him.

SOmething I've decided as I've gone along is that I want the girls to learn to self-regulate-whether it be with tv, sweets, etc.-I want them to learn to have these things around without being obsessed by them. I hope the approach I've chosen works!
post #6 of 63
I don't regulate tv for kids, mostly b/c I don't regulate for myself. I watched a lot of TV as a kid, as did dh. It's on all day, for background noise, if nothing else. Sometimes they sit and watch, usually they're playing, coloring, reading, etc., around the tv. They're also in and out of the house to the backyard.

I've always thought if you make it taboo, they'll want it more. When I was a kid, I didn't have an atari, but a friend of mine did. Every time I went to her house, I wanted to play the atari the ENTIRE time, but she wanted nothing to do with it. Having it available to her all the time, but not to me, made different opinions about how fun/important it was.
post #7 of 63
We don't limit DD's TV time per se, but the TV is generally not on during the day, until DH gets home at 5pm-ish. She does watch a show while eating breakfast in the morning and another is on while she gets ready for school, but she's not really sitting watching it.

She will watch the occasional movie during the day, but seldom does she actually sit and watch it. she'll often start it, then go off and play elseware in the house and occasionally come back to watch it. Only time she'll sit and watch a whole movie is if it's one she's never seen, only seen once (like we went to the theatre and it just came out on DVD) or if she's sick and not up and around anyway.
post #8 of 63

I try to choose my battles wisely...

and I don't feel that limiting his tv is one I choose to have... he does not obsess over tv, I think he uses it at a decompression after pre school.... and he enjoys it. I prefer dora the explorer or blues clues over say fairly odd parents or spongebob BUT noone tells me what I can and can't watch... he runs and plays and does other things...So I don't worry about it.... I think alot of people get very uptight about tv watching, but I grew up with TV and I feel I am a well adjusted mature woman with a wonderful imagination. and I enjoy the background noise or it gets pretty quiet here during the day.... maybe I should be ashamed or apologize for this... but I don't.
post #9 of 63
I don't care how much tv he watches! We WISH he would want to watch more as ... especially as i was a sahm for almost 3 yrs (he's 3 1/2 now) and he is/was a high needs baby/kid and was "up my butt" all day and all night... I DREAMED of him wanting to watch tv!

In reality... he loves dora and power rangers. If they're on he'll watch them for 1/2 hour at a time... he watches MAYBE an hour of tv a day.
post #10 of 63
We only limit it in that we are careful about what DD watches - nothing with too frenetic a pace or too unhappy.

Other then that, she kind of limits it herself. Some days she doens't watch at all, some days 1 show, some 4 shows, and when she is sick, even more. Though even during the shows, she doensn't just sit blankly in front of the screen (unless sick), so I don't worry about it as much as I might if she did sit blankly.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is really good for getting the kids to be interactive and thinking while watching TV. I highly recommend it!

interesting discussion!
post #11 of 63
I don't regulate TV time. Heck, I don't regulate much of anything. Thankfully, he does make good choices regarding TV and video games. He might watch 30 minutes to an hour of TV a day (during which he is up playing with toys and things in addition to watching whatever is on), and he plays about 30 minutes of (mostly educational) video games a day. If he was more inclined to sit in front of the TV all day long, I might have to intervene a little more.

I also wanted to add that I don't view TV as "bad" or think it rots children's brains. My son has come out with things that he has learned from TV, that it never would have occurred to me to teach him about in real life.
post #12 of 63
I don't regulate tv time at all. I do however ask that she watch things in her room sometimes (yup, a tv in there too! because mama wants to watch something she isn't interested in. We're unschoolers and in general don't limit many things that others do (tv, food, computer etc..)

She likes it to be on a lot of the time but rarely actually SITS to watch it. Usually she's running, climbing and playing too.
post #13 of 63
I was never aloud to watch T.V when I was a kid until I got kicked out at 15, for some reason my mom and step dad would go as far as to feel the T.V when they got home to see if it was warm then they could tell I was watching it : WTF? I never want to put my kids through that. I have never really put a limit on how much he watches. But I do monitor what he watches. He does have his days where I think he watches to much, the I do monitor it. But for the most part he is up and down, inside and outside all day, so he really isn't watching T.V all day YKWIM? Dad just recently put a small T.V and VCR in DS room, I really did not like that idea, but, it is kinda like leverage if you don't keep you room clean you get the T.V taken away. Works like a charm, his room was a war zone most of the time, I would help him clean it, by the end of the day it was a war zone again.
post #14 of 63
We don't limit TV all that much; I do try to not have it on ALL day, but as I've gotten more pregnant and more uncomfortable, it's been on more than I'd ideally like, but there's only so much I can do right now. And DH and I are both children of the 70s - much TV viewing! - and are pretty dang smart and thoughtful (PhD and JD, respectively).

We do monitor content - any daytime TV is kids' programming, mostly of the non-cartoon/too commercialized variety. And I sit with DD while she watches and we talk about what we see, how the characters are acting, etc. DD will also occasionally ask for FoodTV ("Mama, let's watch Rachael Ray!"), which cracks me up. But I consider that sort of programming to have some useful content, too, so it's OK by me. Any adult programming DH or I want to see gets recorded on the Tivo, to be viewed when DD is out or asleep.
post #15 of 63
we don't regulate TV. sometimes he watches lots of TV and sometimes not much at all. depends.

we just spent 3.5 days with no TV because the power was out and i do see that he uses it to decompress from being stimulated, as long as nothing else is going on. TV at his grandma's with grandma hovering and grandpa winding him up and the the cats and toys and all that stuff going on just makes him nuts. he is very much like dad and dad uses TV to wind down and destress.

i was surprised that it took almost 2 hours after the power came back on for him to ask about the TV.

i do make him turn the TV off after daddy comes home though, it's just too much going on otherwise. (and i hate what's on after 4PM other than reading rainbow... which kinds confuses me anyway... a TV show about reading? it's like the shows that are supposed to make kids get up and move, uh, okay...)
post #16 of 63
I don't regulate, either. Ds is also a high needs/spirited type and I am happy if he will watch tv a while. I find it to be self limiting since we don't have cable. It is on a lot because ds has an extreme sound sensitivity and is afraid of being startled by a sudden noise. I tell him when his favorite shows are on since he can't tell time. He will watch if he is bored or tired. He would usually rather do something fun with other people. He gets annoyed when others come over and want to watch tv instead of play.
post #17 of 63
I don't regulate TV in that I don't have a set limit - it's situational for us and depends very much on the day, weather, my energy, etc. DD is only 18 months and may glance at whatever her brother is watching, and will usually wander away to do something more interesting. If DS is up at 6am, he'll watch a good chunk of TV that morning (sorry, I just can't do puppet shows at 7am ) But on those days I'll try to balance the rest of the day with less TV. We're an "everything in moderation" type family and I look for balance - quiet play with active play, outside time, me playing with them v. kids playing together on their own, etc. TV is part of the spectrum. If it's a rainy day and I've got a cold, I don't beat myself if Noggin is on a lot. I will, however, be mindful of that and cut back on the following day. It's not a big issue in our house. Both kids are very active, get plenty of outdoor and physical play as well as quieter, more focused activities (puzzles, being read to, playing with the blocks, etc.) We go lots of places and do interesting things...TV is just part of the world for us.
post #18 of 63
I do some regulating. During the school week they are allowed to watch one 30 minute show before we go up for the bedtime routine. This is because homework needs to be completed and they have after school activities. It is a nice decompression. On the week-ends I am alot more lax about it. How much is watched really depends on what we have going on that week-end. If they are being too zombieish I will turn it off. I monitor what they watch more then regulate how much they watch.
post #19 of 63
We do limit on a case by case situation, like when it feels like it's been on long enough and there's really nothing good on and there are better things to do, like play outside.

We also limit the shows we watch, only PBS and movies (though there are some non-PBS shows that we get on DVD like KimPossible), which makes it easier to not worry about the TV, because it's rarely showing something we don't want to expose them to.

Because of all this, I don't really have any issues with the TV. The kids have shows they love, and they are mostly good shows that cover subject matter that I like them seeing, like Nature, Nova, CyberChase, and Fetch! And they also love gardening, cooking and home improvement shows, and how many kids do you know that are into that sort of stuff?

Some days turn into TV/movie days, and some days it's barely turned on at all.
post #20 of 63
i *should* say, we do control *what* he watches.

i don't allow my son to watch TV that has commericals... like nick jr. or cartoon network or broadcast TV. i am really picky about that.

we don't allow comericals or violent images. even lilo and stitch is sometimes too violent for me. and my son *adores* lilo and stitch. it's a tough call, but as long as he isn't watching power rangers or watching ads for mickey d's or lucky charms i guess we're doing okay.

i guess since he's four and doesn't know what a gun is, (other than the one on lilo and stitch) we're going okay.
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