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At what age is TV OK? - Page 2

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
I think this is more of a problem now than it was 30 plus years ago when my daughter was at a waldorf school. TV programs are incredibly well-organized at integrating media stuff into every aspect of children's lives.

First the program.
Then the related toys.
Then the books.
Then the packaged foods.
The comic book version.
The clothing.
etc., etc., etc.

Children are targeted consumers from before birth.

So it is very hard for any parents who are trying to resist this tidal wave of buy, buy, buy, own, own, own, stuff, stuff, stuff.

Just on that level it is much harder to create a quiet, non-commercial, safe space for children now than it was back then.

Waldorf schools in the 1970s rarely asked parents to do more than be moderate with media. We were unusual as a no TV family.

I think the times are getting desperate.

It is hard to buy materials for my library that aren't integrated into a media conglomerate marketing plan.

All that said, I don't think the waldorf school my grand children attend takes a really stern stand on media.
This is slightly straying from the topic, but your post brought up a question that I have had for a little while I am a very new Waldorf follower who was brought up watching tv..I began raising my children as my mother raised me, and the tv watching began. I have (very recently) realized that I do not want the same for my children as my mother did for me in this area. However, I am really struggling. We have really done well with eliminating the tv..My dd is almost 5 and recognizes the characters etc., the books that she has from before have the tv characters in them. The gifts that she receives from others have the characthers in/on them.. How do you handle this? I am in the process of completely revamping her toys/books, but how do you handle family/friends who do not respect your viewpoints and how you want your children raised? Even at my grandmothers, my dd walks through the door and they change their tv on to a "kids show" and I just know when birthdays come up, the movie buying and plastic-character toys will begin to stream in..
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkenna&lucas View Post
The gifts that she receives from others have the characthers in/on them.. How do you handle this? I am in the process of completely revamping her toys/books, but how do you handle family/friends who do not respect your viewpoints and how you want your children raised? Even at my grandmothers, my dd walks through the door and they change their tv on to a "kids show" and I just know when birthdays come up, the movie buying and plastic-character toys will begin to stream in..
It is getting harder as my son gets older, but generally I let those closest to me know the things we like in our home. If we still received gifts I did not want my children to have, I definitely thank the gifter, but then the items disappear. Only recently has Ds noticed, and only with one particular thing. I finally just had to tell him that toys like that do not live in our home. I told him I did not like the looks on the faces or the box, and I thought they were unkind. The person mostly meant well, but those toys do not live in our home. I did buy him something else similiar in exchange for it, that was similiar but more acceptable to me. Obviously I hope not to have that happen too often! If the gifter mails the gifts or gives them ahead and are notorious for totally ignoring whatever we want, my children never see those gifts. They are donated. I think these things deter from the carefully-selected items that we have placed in our children's lives. Sometimes they do stick around for a few weeks and then leave. I don't want my children to feel 'punished' by our choices, but I also know these things (that I'm thinking of in our life) are just junking up their lives. If Ds does have some kind of toy like that and it breaks (thinking of the sad string of remote-controlled pieces of crap he got this holiday season) I do at some point explain to him that is why Mommy does not buy them, they only break very quickly and then he's sad and then they end up as trash or junk.

As for television, our families just know it's not on when we are there. We did not come to watch TV. If there is a situation where others' desires are at stake we will just do something else and generally the other children will want to join in and then the TV goes off. I'm not going to impose our desires on them, just like I wouldn't want them to do it to us. However, if my children are the only children there, it goes off. Honestly, it's totally beyond my comprehension why people invite other children over to play with their children and then they all just get plugged in. I "get" using TV as a babysitter, really it can be a temptation, but when they've got friends over over to play? Huh? What's the point?

I think after a while they just get used to it (okay, my son is, I hope my daughter will too). For example, this weekend we went to a very mainstream party where pretty much every single thing there was unusual to our family. But we love the people and I don't want to not join in their celebrations. My son just knew that we don't eat the candy that came out of that pinata. He had fun participating and then was okay giving it away. He's never had it, so he doesn't know what it's like and didn't make a fuss about not eating any. I quietly thanked but no thanks for the ice cream store gift certificate the host wanted to give to him. My kids did each get a favor of a cartoon-character riddled book. They looked at them on the way home and have not asked for them since. Some child at the local shelter will surely enjoy them more than my kids who have plenty of books already.

With family I think it's okay to just ask them nicely. They, usually, want to make you and your kids happy, just let them know how to do it.

I figure no matter what I do in life my kids are going to end up in therapy, at least I'll know I did what I thought was best.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaniee View Post
I figure no matter what I do in life my kids are going to end up in therapy, at least I'll know I did what I thought was best.
My philosophy exactly.

I'm noticing more and more how many adult aged siblings I know that have completely opposite views of their common upbringing. One liked being pushed to be the best they could be, the other resented the **** out of it. A family moved to Argentina when the children were still in school; one sibling thinks it "ruined her life", the other thinks it was the most amazing time in the world, one that infected her with an adventurous enthusiasm for experiencing as much in life as possible. Four daughters who were each exposed to the same experiences from their mother: lots of games, puzzles, stories and reading, crafts, music, sport...three were happy and generally viewed by others as terribly clever, interesting, accomplished, knowledgeable, whereas the fourth always felt like a schlub tired of trying to be "just like them".

I'm really, really lucky that my grown children only share with me now from the list of experiences they are grateful for ~~ they generously spare me from hearing what's on the other list
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
I think this is more of a problem now than it was 30 plus years ago when my daughter was at a waldorf school. TV programs are incredibly well-organized at integrating media stuff into every aspect of children's lives.

First the program.
Then the related toys.
Then the books.
Then the packaged foods.
The comic book version.
The clothing.
etc., etc., etc.

Children are targeted consumers from before birth.

So it is very hard for any parents who are trying to resist this tidal wave of buy, buy, buy, own, own, own, stuff, stuff, stuff.

Just on that level it is much harder to create a quiet, non-commercial, safe space for children now than it was back then.

Waldorf schools in the 1970s rarely asked parents to do more than be moderate with media. We were unusual as a no TV family.

I think the times are getting desperate.

It is hard to buy materials for my library that aren't integrated into a media conglomerate marketing plan.

All that said, I don't think the waldorf school my grand children attend takes a really stern stand on media.
I guess what I don't understand about this... if my kids are loving, curious, imaginative, grateful, playful, polite, non-demanding, shouldn't all of that matter 1000 times more than whether or not they have watched Dora?.. And if parents at the school are making the kinds of comments people are making here, then I doubt I will find a welcoming community in a Waldorf school.

I embrace nature, I embrace imaginative play, I draw, I paint, I sew with my kid. I love original fairy tales, we read a lot. We are not glued to a tv... It just seems so... wrong to be judged as a family based upon whether on not my kids know the Disney characters vs. what kind of people they are.

I think I misunderstoof Waldorf in the past. I really thought that tv policies were a personal choice respected by the community (I'm not talking about school policies, but rather the general attitude of parents), and not frowned upon or discussed behind those parents' backs.
post #25 of 39
We are down to one movie night every week or every other week, but I'm probably going to drop that as well. We have enjoyed the old Disney movies, but yesterday my kids played Thomasina (which they saw 4 months ago) and remembered the tiniest details. I don't really want tv media living in their heads to such an extent.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I guess what I don't understand about this... if my kids are loving, curious, imaginative, grateful, playful, polite, non-demanding, shouldn't all of that matter 1000 times more than whether or not they have watched Dora?.. And if parents at the school are making the kinds of comments people are making here, then I doubt I will find a welcoming community in a Waldorf school.

I embrace nature, I embrace imaginative play, I draw, I paint, I sew with my kid. I love original fairy tales, we read a lot. We are not glued to a tv... It just seems so... wrong to be judged as a family based upon whether on not my kids know the Disney characters vs. what kind of people they are.

I think I misunderstoof Waldorf in the past. I really thought that tv policies were a personal choice respected by the community (I'm not talking about school policies, but rather the general attitude of parents), and not frowned upon or discussed behind those parents' backs.
Well, I am not judging you for what you decide to do in your home with your kids. What I don't want is those things coming into my home because that is a choice that we have made for our family. And as such, one of the big reasons that we have selected a Waldorf school. If your child is a classmate of my child's then those things will be coming into my home and taking away the choice we have made for our family. There is no doubt about it. How would you feel about this? And I'm talking about young children.

The best way I can try to describe it would be if your child attended a religous school and let's say a family of a very different Faith, or perhaps Atheist decided for whatever reason to also select that school. Let's say they are very respectful of your school's religion and would never say anything negative nor suggest to their child to either. however they still strongly practice their Faith at home/wherever. This is just part of their family life. Well as children do they interpret things in many ways and now this other child is going around the classroom that you have so carefully chosen for your child and telling them all sorts of things that would lead them to believe their religion is not true, things that oppose what you have taught them or that you don't want them to know about yet. How would you feel about this? Obviously you are not judging them for selecting a different philosophy in their home, but now your young child is coming home filled with opposing ideas and thoughts that are things you do not feel they are ready to process. And you specifically chose this religious school for your child to support your home life and reinforce it.

I hope that helps make it a little more clear what I was trying to say.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaniee View Post
Well, I am not judging you for what you decide to do in your home with your kids. What I don't want is those things coming into my home because that is a choice that we have made for our family. And as such, one of the big reasons that we have selected a Waldorf school. If your child is a classmate of my child's then those things will be coming into my home and taking away the choice we have made for our family. There is no doubt about it. How would you feel about this? And I'm talking about young children.

The best way I can try to describe it would be if your child attended a religous school and let's say a family of a very different Faith, or perhaps Atheist decided for whatever reason to also select that school. Let's say they are very respectful of your school's religion and would never say anything negative nor suggest to their child to either. however they still strongly practice their Faith at home/wherever. This is just part of their family life. Well as children do they interpret things in many ways and now this other child is going around the classroom that you have so carefully chosen for your child and telling them all sorts of things that would lead them to believe their religion is not true, things that oppose what you have taught them or that you don't want them to know about yet. How would you feel about this? Obviously you are not judging them for selecting a different philosophy in their home, but now your young child is coming home filled with opposing ideas and thoughts that are things you do not feel they are ready to process. And you specifically chose this religious school for your child to support your home life and reinforce it.

I hope that helps make it a little more clear what I was trying to say.
I'm not sure I see it, because there is no way one child can switch our family beliefs. I'm secure enough in our faith to know that family values prevail, and I can't be upset at it if school itself allows children of a different faith. I can certainly try to shelter my kid from the world by carefully selecting the school where majority of families are like us, but how strong are our family values if it takes one kid to sway my child?.. I am not scared of discussing opposing views with my kids, and asking their questions as to why another child views the world differently.

I think if a school policy is tolerance towards tv viewing families, then you can't speak badly of the families that do it, simply because they are accepted by the school that you chose, and that means you chose that environment where "one faith is favored, but all accepted", you accept the risks that come with it: your kid hearing about "the other faith".

If your school policy dictates what has to happen at home (i.e. no tv allowed), then I'll agree with you, those people signed a contract, that they will follow the rules in agreement with school policy, and they are not honoring that agreement.

Aside from that, it sounds very bad to me to be hear everyone complaining how about parents who never promised to anyone to keep their homes tv-free.

P.S. I love many many things about Waldorf, except for this need to control, and I don't mean the school.
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
If your school policy dictates what has to happen at home (i.e. no tv allowed), then I'll agree with you, those people signed a contract, that they will follow the rules in agreement with school policy, and they are not honoring that agreement.

Aside from that, it sounds very bad to me to be hear everyone complaining how about parents who never promised to anyone to keep their homes tv-free.

P.S. I love many many things about Waldorf, except for this need to control, and I don't mean the school.
But this is it. Whether or not a particular Waldorf school has a contract the parents sign, it IS the position of ALL Waldorf schools that media must be restricted in young children. Sometimes schools don't take as hard of a line with particular families and then there is this confusion. There may be no contract, but the educators involved with the school really do view it as a "soft" promise. So then it does fall to the community to uphold this aspect.

Waldorf schools are developmentally based. It is understood within Waldorf/Steiner circles that media consumption and the actual act of television watching/screen time is detrimental to developing brains.
When we as a family join a Waldorf school we are seeking out a community of like minded families that hold certain beliefs in the schooling and raising of our children. I see it as profoundly different than other schooling environments.

Waldorf is "countercultural" in the truest sense.
It is really not fundamentally about whether or not a child knows the Disney princess or who Dora is...it is the deeper implications of these things.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by melamama View Post
But this is it. Whether or not a particular Waldorf school has a contract the parents sign, it IS the position of ALL Waldorf schools that media must be restricted in young children. Sometimes schools don't take as hard of a line with particular families and then there is this confusion. There may be no contract, but the educators involved with the school really do view it as a "soft" promise. So then it does fall to the community to uphold this aspect.

Waldorf schools are developmentally based. It is understood within Waldorf/Steiner circles that media consumption and the actual act of television watching/screen time is detrimental to developing brains.
When we as a family join a Waldorf school we are seeking out a community of like minded families that hold certain beliefs in the schooling and raising of our children. I see it as profoundly different than other schooling environments.

Waldorf is "countercultural" in the truest sense.
It is really not fundamentally about whether or not a child knows the Disney princess or who Dora is...it is the deeper implications of these things.
very well said mama.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by melamama View Post
But this is it. Whether or not a particular Waldorf school has a contract the parents sign, it IS the position of ALL Waldorf schools that media must be restricted in young children. Sometimes schools don't take as hard of a line with particular families and then there is this confusion. There may be no contract, but the educators involved with the school really do view it as a "soft" promise. So then it does fall to the community to uphold this aspect.

Waldorf schools are developmentally based. It is understood within Waldorf/Steiner circles that media consumption and the actual act of television watching/screen time is detrimental to developing brains.
When we as a family join a Waldorf school we are seeking out a community of like minded families that hold certain beliefs in the schooling and raising of our children. I see it as profoundly different than other schooling environments.

Waldorf is "countercultural" in the truest sense.
It is really not fundamentally about whether or not a child knows the Disney princess or who Dora is...it is the deeper implications of these things.
If school doesn't make its policies clear, you should be talking badly about the school, not about the parents who send their kids there. If school is accepting of the fact that some families choose to allow their kids to watch tv, then it's a bit presumptious to assume that EVERY parent will go your route.

If you can't find a school that states in its contract that the families who send their kids there will not allow any tv time at home, then you just have to accept the fact that you did not find your ideal school in your area. As simple as that. If school itself allows a choice, you can't demand those parents to make the same choice as you did... "Soft conrtact" is open to interpretation, and if I'm allowed a choice, I want to know that, and if not, I'd love to know that too, so maybe I can choose a different school.

Mind you, I'm not getting into a debate of whether tv is good or bad for a developing brain, I simply don't understand how a good school community can develop when people are talking badly about other families based upon one single fact: tv. You can judge people by how they treat others, being kind, patient, mean, cruel, imaginative, etc. etc. etc. but don't judge them based upon whether or not they watch tv as a family, it says nothing about them as people, it just speaks for their choice of spending some of their free time, and that's it.
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I'm not sure I see it, because there is no way one child can switch our family beliefs. I'm secure enough in our faith to know that family values prevail, and I can't be upset at it if school itself allows children of a different faith. I can certainly try to shelter my kid from the world by carefully selecting the school where majority of families are like us, but how strong are our family values if it takes one kid to sway my child?.. I am not scared of discussing opposing views with my kids, and asking their questions as to why another child views the world differently.

I think if a school policy is tolerance towards tv viewing families, then you can't speak badly of the families that do it, simply because they are accepted by the school that you chose, and that means you chose that environment where "one faith is favored, but all accepted", you accept the risks that come with it: your kid hearing about "the other faith".

If your school policy dictates what has to happen at home (i.e. no tv allowed), then I'll agree with you, those people signed a contract, that they will follow the rules in agreement with school policy, and they are not honoring that agreement.

Aside from that, it sounds very bad to me to be hear everyone complaining how about parents who never promised to anyone to keep their homes tv-free.

P.S. I love many many things about Waldorf, except for this need to control, and I don't mean the school.

Well, I guess I didn't illustrate properly just what I"m trying to say b/c it was not about another child changing our family values. Good luck to you.
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by melamama View Post
But this is it. Whether or not a particular Waldorf school has a contract the parents sign, it IS the position of ALL Waldorf schools that media must be restricted in young children. Sometimes schools don't take as hard of a line with particular families and then there is this confusion. There may be no contract, but the educators involved with the school really do view it as a "soft" promise. So then it does fall to the community to uphold this aspect.

Waldorf schools are developmentally based. It is understood within Waldorf/Steiner circles that media consumption and the actual act of television watching/screen time is detrimental to developing brains.
When we as a family join a Waldorf school we are seeking out a community of like minded families that hold certain beliefs in the schooling and raising of our children. I see it as profoundly different than other schooling environments.

Waldorf is "countercultural" in the truest sense.
It is really not fundamentally about whether or not a child knows the Disney princess or who Dora is...it is the deeper implications of these things.
Thank you for explaining it in a way that I just could not, but really wanted to!
post #33 of 39
Quote:
I am not a Waldorf parent, but I am curious about Waldorf education... Is it correct to assume that you don't want my kids in your school if I were to allow them watching tv?
If the children's TV watching was kept "in the home" so to speak it wouldn't be an issue on anybody else's radar. But TV comes into the school, through the children who watch but also through the atmosphere we breathe practically. It's everywhere, and TV is very devious. Its power over us and power in the culture is no accident--its programs are very carefully engineered to get us hooked against our will.

Quote:
if parents at the school are making the kinds of comments people are making here, then I doubt I will find a welcoming community in a Waldorf school.
The comments made here seem pretty typical to what you'd hear in our school, and I don't find them that judgmental overall. Most here admit trying to come to some healthy way to balance it because total avoidance isn't workable. But the TV is considered much more of an issue than simply a "personal decision to be respected" in Waldorf education. The TV is considered a negative influence on young children, on their imaginations, on their natural rhythms, on their sleep cycles, on their play, on their learning. There are many parents in the schools that just don't buy into the idea that the TV has these effects. But the subject will come up many, many times before the 4th grade or so. And the "no-TV" advocates don't feel the need to tip-toe around the subject of the TV, though they don't really go after each other for watching it. It's important to emphasize that it isn't just the children who do watch it who "infect" other children with TV-lust--and not all children who do watch bring it to the school either. But children who don't watch can absorb the media-lust from billboards, from the lobby at the doctor's office, from stores..anywhere. The multi-million dollar media campaigns pump these images into everything; it's practically part of the air we breathe nowadays.

The teachers and school lay down rules about what comes to the school that they expect parents to respect. No Disney, Nickelodeon, etc on the clothing, lunch boxes, etc., leave the toys at home, and in kindergarten, the children were told not to Play TV on the playground.
post #34 of 39
I JUST posted about this on my blog and would LOVE some readers and comments! The most recent post is about natural toys, and the one below it is about TV. These are VERY important topics to me as a mom of a 2 1/2 year old, and I really struggle with what my dd will be exposed to just by playing with other kids. I KNOW that sounds snobby, but there is SO much junk out there, and especially so many horrible messages about what it means to be a girl in this society. I cringe to think of her being exposed to it all, but obviously I can't shelter her from everything, just try to create a safe and positive home environment for her. Anyway, sorry for the shameless blog plug, but you can check it out here! Thanks, and thanks too for a good conversation.
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarenSwan View Post
I JUST posted about this on my blog and would LOVE some readers and comments! The most recent post is about natural toys, and the one below it is about TV. These are VERY important topics to me as a mom of a 2 1/2 year old, and I really struggle with what my dd will be exposed to just by playing with other kids. I KNOW that sounds snobby, but there is SO much junk out there, and especially so many horrible messages about what it means to be a girl in this society. I cringe to think of her being exposed to it all, but obviously I can't shelter her from everything, just try to create a safe and positive home environment for her. Anyway, sorry for the shameless blog plug, but you can check it out here! Thanks, and thanks too for a good conversation.
Your blog looks great Mama! I only skimmed over it, because the kids are running around but I look forward to reading it more later tonight
post #36 of 39
Whoa! You mamas are inspiring. :

We don't have a TV but DS watches DVDs (Signing Time, Elmo Peter and the Wolf, & Baby Einstein Numbers Nursery. Just videos that were given to us). I meant to be way more intentional, but DH works so much and I don't have any family or close friends around. He does know all the signs and we use them, so that's pretty fun.

Anyway, he's not EVEN 2. He's 21 months . . .

We watch the same ones over and over, if that helps?

I'm going to follow the links to learn more about this. We really should spend way more time outside. :double sigh:



We don't watch any TV, just Netflix occassionally, and honestly, he watches them with us. His dad usually picks documentaries . . .

I think the only way I could really avoid it is if we didn't have a screen in the home.
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarenSwan View Post
I JUST posted about this on my blog and would LOVE some readers and comments! The most recent post is about natural toys, and the one below it is about TV. These are VERY important topics to me as a mom of a 2 1/2 year old, and I really struggle with what my dd will be exposed to just by playing with other kids. I KNOW that sounds snobby, but there is SO much junk out there, and especially so many horrible messages about what it means to be a girl in this society. I cringe to think of her being exposed to it all, but obviously I can't shelter her from everything, just try to create a safe and positive home environment for her. Anyway, sorry for the shameless blog plug, but you can check it out here! Thanks, and thanks too for a good conversation.
ETA: I LOVE your blog CarenSwan! :
post #38 of 39
LindaCL and Melaniee very well said. Thank you.

I make an effort daily to encourage imaginative play instead of turning on the TV to occupy them. They have never watched it so they don't know what they are missing. They know it is for adults only.

My DS is in preschool where there are a few other children who are allowed to watch shows (Power Rangers, Spider Man). I believe you can tell which child watches TV and which shows by the way the he/she plays. Last week I caught my DS copy finger shooting from the other boys in school, which makes me cringe. Fortunately, I have been told he will only occasionally play with them but most of the time he spends play time with those who do not watch TV, which I am glad to hear.

I have a very hard time with this. Issues (hitting, biting, name calling) that have come up at my sons school I believe can be traced back to aggression learned by children who watch certain shows on TV. I wish our school had contracts that parents would be asked to sign to keep their young children from watching TV. Presently, we just have a recommendation that children do not watch TV before school. I feel this is not adequate.

To answer the original question 'At what age is TV ok', I would respond with the question At what age do you want to let marketing teams, violence and other junk influence your child?

Thank you for such thoughtful discussion.
post #39 of 39
Thanks mamas! You are all so inspiring and its encouraging to know that I'm not the only crazy mama out there!
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