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Why do people feel the need to justify themselves (re: tv) - Page 4

post #61 of 112
Well...people feel the need to justify it because they're usually anti-TV threads. On a Pro-TV thread (probably not found on MDC...) they wouldn't need to justify it.

slightly OT - when I was looking for a day home last week, I mentioned to all providers I interviewed that I didn't want DD watching TV. I'm not going to freak out about 1/2 hour a week or something, but I don't want her exposed to much TV. (DD will be 1 when she goes.) When I was at one home, the provider's DD put on a DVD and I turned DD away. The provider says, "Oh, that's not TV, just a music video for them to dance to." . (No worries, I found a different, very AP day home. Oh, and I'm going back to my job as a television editor.)
post #62 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by marybethorama View Post
I don't agree with the data, most of which is anecdotal anyway. I've even read George Gerbner (Annenberg School) but while I think he is right, I really don't think it matters that much.

There is plenty of criticism of the studies that have been done.
Yup, not debating that or saying which way I fall on believing it or not believing it. I'm just saying that some people DO believe that data and feel just as strongly about the TV issue as some people feel about circ or CIO or whatever.
post #63 of 112
We justify ourselves because the climate seems to ask for it. Also sometimes it's just an explanation, not a justification.
post #64 of 112
when I speak about my children's tv habits it's not to justify anything-it's simply descriptive language in a conversation.
post #65 of 112
In my case, it's because I only know one mom IRL who lets her kids watch much tv...and they watch it 24/7, so that she can totally ignore them and not interact with them. Even though nobody here knows her, I always feel this urge to separate my parenting from hers in my own mind, because she's...really not interested in her kids at all. They get fed (junk) and clothed and that's about the extent of her involvement. I'm always afraid I'll come across that way..
post #66 of 112
I never felt any guilt or the need for qualifiers until I started reading posts like the ones on MDC about these perfect AP parents who never let their children watch TV, wear them until they are nine, have never let them have a bit of refined sugar or flour etc...

I'm kinda serious though. The ladies here are SOOO judgmental. The ones who talk about how tolerant they are are usually even more judgmental.

On a similar topic I was formula feeding my DD in Berkeley one day. It was a beautiful day and we were outside enjoying the sunshine. A woman came up to me and asked me why I even had a child if I wasn't going to love them enough to breastfeed. She had on a tee that said "peace, love and tolerance"

My daughter is adopted, and we couldn't breastfeed (we tried, as I feel I have to justify here)

So perhaps people here feel they have to justify because they know those "perfect" moms will tell them what horrible mothers they are if they are honest. And those "perfect" moms lead to a LOT of fear on these boards.
post #67 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin_d_a View Post
I never felt any guilt or the need for qualifiers until I started reading posts like the ones on MDC about these perfect AP parents who never let their children watch TV, wear them until they are nine, have never let them have a bit of refined sugar or flour etc...

I'm kinda serious though. The ladies here are SOOO judgmental. The ones who talk about how tolerant they are are usually even more judgmental.

On a similar topic I was formula feeding my DD in Berkeley one day. It was a beautiful day and we were outside enjoying the sunshine. A woman came up to me and asked me why I even had a child if I wasn't going to love them enough to breastfeed. She had on a tee that said "peace, love and tolerance"

My daughter is adopted, and we couldn't breastfeed (we tried, as I feel I have to justify here)

So perhaps people here feel they have to justify because they know those "perfect" moms will tell them what horrible mothers they are if they are honest. And those "perfect" moms lead to a LOT of fear on these boards.
Amen to that.

These threads always make me just shake my head. As always, I give my usual answer....I used to be very judgmental and on my high horse. Then I had a special needs kid. Changed my universe, changed my perspective. I find it's much easier to not sniff at everyone from my ivory tower.
post #68 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by devster4fun View Post
I'm a firm believer in "all things in moderation."

I sometimes wonder about vehemently anti-TV folks with post counts in the 10's of thousands.

post #69 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finch View Post
These threads always make me just shake my head. As always, I give my usual answer....I used to be very judgmental and on my high horse. Then I had a special needs kid. Changed my universe, changed my perspective. I find it's much easier to not sniff at everyone from my ivory tower.

I've seen you say that in other posts. One of the reasons I read this thread is because I saw that you were the OP and I tend to like your logic.
post #70 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upside View Post
I've seen you say that in other posts. One of the reasons I read this thread is because I saw that you were the OP and I tend to like your logic.
Aw, thanks....but you mean because I was the last poster, not the OP, right?

It's just so sad the way moms pick eachother apart for stuff like this. Oh well. One day, one fine day, something will happen and the lightbulb will go on for them, just like it did for me.
post #71 of 112
Dd is watching Spongebob as we speak.

TV is something all 3 of us enjoy - even when it's not educational.
post #72 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by hubris View Post
Yup, not debating that or saying which way I fall on believing it or not believing it. I'm just saying that some people DO believe that data and feel just as strongly about the TV issue as some people feel about circ or CIO or whatever.
That's okay with me <shrug> Then they're free not to watch. I just get annoyed when they assume that I'm not aware of the arguments against TV.
post #73 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin_d_a View Post
\
On a similar topic I was formula feeding my DD in Berkeley one day. It was a beautiful day and we were outside enjoying the sunshine. A woman came up to me and asked me why I even had a child if I wasn't going to love them enough to breastfeed. She had on a tee that said "peace, love and tolerance"
That was SO rude of her.
post #74 of 112
The reason people feel they have to put disclaimers in their TV-related comments is the same reason they feel they have to put disclaimers in anytime they make a comment about ANYTHING they do which is not letter-of-the-law AP or NFL.

Because they will be judged and condemned by people on this board without anyone know what their exact situation is or why they've made the choices they do.

Just take a look at some of the posts by us formula feeding moms. If we don't put in there a disclaimer about WHY we had to formula feed, we would have been judged, condemned and generally left wanting as parents.
post #75 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowMom View Post
The reason people feel they have to put disclaimers in their TV-related comments is the same reason they feel they have to put disclaimers in anytime they make a comment about ANYTHING they do which is not letter-of-the-law AP or NFL.

Because they will be judged and condemned by people on this board without anyone know what their exact situation is or why they've made the choices they do.

Just take a look at some of the posts by us formula feeding moms. If we don't put in there a disclaimer about WHY we had to formula feed, we would have been judged, condemned and generally left wanting as parents.
This is true. Somedays after reading a particularly nasty thread, I don't know why I come here because I'm not a letter-of-the-law AP. Perhaps I'm attracted by the drama, even though I try not to participate in it. The soap opera addiction of my youth is rearing its ugly head, but that's probably what's wrong with me to begin with, too much tv when I was little .
post #76 of 112
I think sometimes we add extra details to justify ourselves and avoid getting flamed -- and sometimes we add details because this is our online community and we want people to know us, to get a picture of what we're like.

Just as some of us add some descriptive stuff to our signatures.

I used to be on more of a high-horse, and talk about how creative my children are because they watch so little TV. Now we're a free-TV household, meaning they watch it whenever they want -- and when I share about this, I often find myself adding that they're still creative and still do tons of imaginary play and outdoor play, yadayada.

I know, I shouldn't feel a need to qualify: I guess I just want people to know we still have brains and we're not just sitting vegged out, absorbing "passive entertainment" all day. I actually don't find that watching tv is passive at our house. We talk about stuff, we act it out, sometimes dance or sing along.

And when I hear about people "setting toddlers in front of the tube for hours at a time" -- I wonder, do they drug them first? I've never known even older children to spend "8 hours" sitting there watching and doing nothing else. Since we have lots of other options in our house, the TV may be on all day sometimes, but that doesn't mean that's all the girls or I are doing.

Okay, now that I've gone all in-depth and tried to "justify" myself (but I actually love getting flamed so go ahead, just don't violate the UA 'cause I really like this thread), I'll say there's one "qualifier" that always gives me an inner chuckle: "We only watch educational TV." As an unschooler, I see learning in everything. I don't see "Scooby-Do" as any less educational than "Sesame Street" or "Animal Planet."

As long as my children enjoy it, it's all good. Same with sweets. (Guess you can tell I'm just itchin' to get flamed. Bring it on!)
post #77 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
And when I hear about people "setting toddlers in front of the tube for hours at a time" -- I wonder, do they drug them first? I've never known even older children to spend "8 hours" sitting there watching and doing nothing else. Since we have lots of other options in our house, the TV may be on all day sometimes, but that doesn't mean that's all the girls or I are doing.
I'm just going to respond to this, as I do know a mom who does it. No - the kids don't technically spend 8 hours sitting there (although the tv is on all day, not only for 8 hours).

Her kids alternate all day between zoned-out zombies and not watching the tv at all. They run riot all over the living room, throwing food, and fighting each other and trashing stuff (any given toy in that house has a life expectancy of about three days...and I've seen more than one destroyed in less than 12 hours). However, if the tv gets turned off (rarely happens - she had it on while entertaining family on Christmas Eve), they freak out and protest until it gets switched back on. They don't want to do anything without the tv on, and there's usually at least one of the four actually zoning out on it. The mom listens to music on her computer, and if the tv is too loud, she just turns it up.

It's possibly the loudest, least restful, and least creative environment I've ever been in.
post #78 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
: And the grand irony is... I am a TV producer/ writer (used to be director before DS) and work mostly for home improvement show and The Weather Channel
I am a media planner. I actually have something to do with the evil empire that is marketing. In fact, my client is a film studio (and it ain't Disney). Of all, they could ( and rightfully so ) be considered the worst of the worst. Some of the stories I am not allowed to tell would shock most.

We watch TV in our house. First off, it is sort of my job to know the state of television. And second, we like it.

When DD was little, we limited TV and I did have some guilt about how much sesame street we allowed. But I got over it. I am more confident in my parenting now that I haven't killed DD with my mistakes. I no longer feel guilty about TV.

And all us computer users are the same as the TV users. So just because you are TV free does not mean you are marketing free. We market on the internet too. IN fact, more and more these days. It's all media.

What you can do is be aware of what your kids are watching. Allow some things and not others. And get a TiVo.
post #79 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawn1221 View Post
What you can do is be aware of what your kids are watching.
Yes! And they so much, really, really want us to be aware and involved. One thing my daughters and I like, now that I've lifted all limits on TV, computer, and other media, is that I spend more time watching programs, and playing computer games, with them (well, my 2yo doesn't play computer games yet).

It used to be that the few hours of "screentime" I allowed per week (yes, I really did insultingly lump it all together as "screentime"), was "my" time to do something I wanted, such as lie in bed and read one of my books (while Daddy hosted the long-awaited computer game or "movie night"). I still do that sometimes, but am also enjoying some time just hanging out and enjoying their shows with them.

We also get to enjoy more PBS stuff now. When I used to think I had to keep all "screentime" within a 6-hour-a-week limit (I wanted to feel I was "better" than those just following the AAP recommendation of not more than 2 hours a day, which allowed for a whopping *gasp* 14 hours a week ),

my 7yo preferred to save all her "screentime" for movies and the occasional computer game, plus we saved "screen-times" for evenings or weekends when Daddy was home, so he could get a little TV-time, too. This left PBS out in the cold. :

We missed out on so much fun. I'm glad my girls know who Elmo is now. And my 7yo even knows about Shakespeare because of "Wishbone."

Storm Bride, I can't speak for your friend's situation, buy my guess is that her children's problems are more related to her lack of interest in them, than they are to the TV being on a lot.

I say this because sometimes I get kind of wrapped up in my computer-stuff, but at some point my daughters always remind me of their need for me. I really never forget them, as I'm often holding one of them, or nursing my 2yo, while I "blog" and discuss.

I like it that our computers and TV are all in the same room; we have lots of toys in here, too. It makes us all feel so companionable as we pursue our various interests together.
post #80 of 112
DD is watching a Barney video as we speak

I have come from both perspectives. When I was pregnant I was extremely anti-TV ... I was one of those mamas who judged people who's children watched TV. I do have to say though without judgment, I am an advocate of not introducing TV until around age two. We did that with dd and I felt really good about it. Up until that time I didn't feel comfortable introducing TV.

However....


Now dd (27 months) watches TV and I am completely at peace about it in every way. We parent consensually and are radical unschoolers and there is no way in the world I could say out of one side of my mouth "I trust my child to choose how she learns" or "I trust in the amazing self regulation of children" -- then sanction TV "for her own good".

Imposing the will of someone in power over someone who is weaker with the excuse of "doing it for their own good to save them" is the reason we are fighting an endless war in Iraq but that is another kettle of fish all together...

Anyway, dd is an awesome kid in every way. Extremely gifted, extremely AWESOME and it is neither because of, or in spite of TV. It is just the way it is.

She enjoys TV. That is our justification. That should be the ONLY justification in my opinion. I would feel so insulted if someone refused me something I enjoyed, especially if it wasn't affecting my health in any way (and no, it isn't...I don't buy into "studies"... I know my child ). I would be so insulted if someone called something I enjoyed "silly" or a "waste of time" or "damaging" and then proceeded to refuse me that enjoyment.

The core of our whole family system is mutual respect and the trust that each one of us is invested in meeting the needs/wants of the others. If we don't have that, we have nothing.

ETA: I wanted to echo a pp who mentioned the fact that it is sort of funny that many of the posters who are so anti-TV (not in this thread, but in general) have profiles like: join date: March 2007 Posts: 6,000
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