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Watching TV = no big deal? - Page 4

post #61 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I still inwardly laugh when I remember a thread where someone criticized parents for "sitting toddlers in front of the TV for hours on end." I mean, have you ever tried to "sit" a toddler anywhere for hours on end? I can't speak for everyone else -- but with my own kids, even if you wanted to get them immobilized and catatonic for a couple hours, it just aint gonna happen.
yah well this is why i don't let them watch too much. eventually they will get bored of it. when i'm sick or disparately need a few minutes to myself, i know it will still have it's magic powers of zombiedom.
post #62 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
With my own kids, I'm finding that since they have free access to all of the above, having free access to the TV doesn't prevent them from doing these other things.

It seems quite unusual for TV to be anyone's "whole life." Just as mud isn't my childrens' whole life -- just a big, interesting part of it, so TV and other media play their part.

I used to think I had to limit TV to enable my children to exercise their creativity: Then I learned that my children are naturally creative, active, and interested in relating to all the wonderful people, animals, and things in the world around them. Dh and I are eager to facilitate their involvement in life -- so TV, to them, is just one of many different avenues of exploration.

I still inwardly laugh when I remember a thread where someone criticized parents for "sitting toddlers in front of the TV for hours on end." I mean, have you ever tried to "sit" a toddler anywhere for hours on end? I can't speak for everyone else -- but with my own kids, even if you wanted to get them immobilized and catatonic for a couple hours, it just aint gonna happen.
My DD would sit in front of the tv for hours on end if you let her, even when she was 2. She's a bright kid that enjoys a zillion different activities, but TV has a pull on her like a tractor beam. It's uncanny.
post #63 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by YesandNo View Post
I see no benefit to watching TV. My daughter is 1 month now, so I'm not dealing with this yet, but I don't want her to grow up like I did.....in a house where the TV was always on a "background noise".

Moving out, getting my own place, learning that I don't have to have that noise and distraction on all. the. time. was a huge liberator for me.

More recently, while I was pregnant I was zonked and watched several hours a day of TV. Stuff on TIVO, no channel surfing. Then the writer strike happened, I got sick of crappy reality shows, kept it off. I read a lot, did more visiting, organized my closets. Again, it was like my life opened up. I had so much more time every day. I had to think of things to do instead of zombie-ing out.

So, right now the plan is no TV for the kiddo.

The question is....... how many first-time parents feel that way, only to "succumb" in a couple years (or less)? I don't mean that in a judgmental way. Having a baby has taught me that my pre-birth expectations were sometimes laughably wrong. I can say now what I want for my child as she grows up, but I'm not so arrogant as to believe that I'll know what it's really like until I get there.
I lived in that same house! When I first moved out, I found the silence deafening, and I started doing the same thing. Then when DH and I moved in together, we had a TV (wedding gift) but no cable and very few movies, so I had to get used to it. I was awful at first, I honestly got a bit depressed. It was like a life long friend had died. But once I got used to it (and it really tooks years!) it was something I cherished.

We started out wanting no TV for DD1, and although they both watch very occasional DVDs now, they don't watch TV at our house. When DD1 was little I used to avoid places with TV, ask people we were visiting to turn thiers off, etc - but what I'm realizing now is that I don't want to make TV this big forbidden thing, and give it power in that way. So they watch a few cooking shows at my moms with her, sometimes see a show at a friend's house, etc. It's no big deal. Just not something we go at home.

This has worked really well for us so far, and I can't imagine getting cable at any point. DH and I aren't interested in missing time with each other to zone out (we had cable for about 6 months as a promo with our internet - our relationship took a serious downswing) and there's nothing there we need. We rent or buy movies for the tow of us, or the family occasionally. So yes, I think you can go without TV (or DVDs or any of it), indefinetly, if that's what you feel is right for your family.
post #64 of 103
We were TV free for a year when my kids were 9 and 4. Now we Direct TV and a hugh jass flat screen and I am eternally thankful for the blessed thing.

We like TV. We thought we were living some principled life not having it...but now that its back we are realizing how much it sucked not having it.

The kids are pretty unrestricted in what and how much they watch. I found after a week or so of endless TV they realized it wasn't going anywhere and now choose to go do other, more fun stuff. Which is fine by me..then I get to watch my shows.
post #65 of 103
We do the Wiggles. He loves them. We got a dvd player for the car when we moved 3 hours away from family (for the long trips originally, but now we do turn it on for shorter trips, too). He also gets about 2 songs after we brush his teeth twice a day, and unrestricted dvd-watching when he is sick. I actually love it, bc it's always there just in case, and it has introduced a lot of new songs and dances that we do together ALL the time, without the tv. And it is really too cute when he does all the gestures to "Hot Potato"
post #66 of 103
I've not read anything but the OP, but I don't think tv is a big deal. I've thought about it, and decided that a couple hours is just fine.

I'm not a morning person, I need some space.
There's a pbs like station on in the morning that ds loves to watch. No commercials, all cartoons aimed at young kids. Some learning stuff (abc's etc, which I don't care about) but mostly getting along, etc.
His limit is 2 hours a day, for tv and computer. A lot of days, *he* turns it off well before the 2 hours is up. I dunno, that seems like a healthy relationship with tv to me.

Tv is never a big deal to him. I'd way rather have it be like this than have it be a source of stress for us (meaning, him always wanting to watch more, and me saying no)

eta- I should add that I picked a 2 hour limit because it was the most that he usually watched. Just every so often he'd go much longer, and I didn't like that. He's quite agreeable to the 2 hour limit, and I can't think of a time it's ever caused any grief.
post #67 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
My DD would sit in front of the tv for hours on end if you let her, even when she was 2. She's a bright kid that enjoys a zillion different activities, but TV has a pull on her like a tractor beam. It's uncanny.
I guess it's different with every child. TV/computer definitely had that uncanny pull when I strictly limited it. And when I first pulled out all the stops and said, "You can watch whenever you want" -- well, for a while I just had to bolster my faith by reading Radical Unschooling stuff, cause it seemed like it was never going off again.

But, in time -- like a few months I think, it became just one of many interesting past-times to my children. I do see Nichole's point about it losing its "magic powers of zombiedom." Dh and I can no longer sneak off for some quick romantic time, cause we can't count on any show to reliably hold our girls enthralled for even 5 minutes.

I mean, sometimes they do still get enthralled in shows for way more than 5 minutes, we just can't count on that happening, for both of them, at the exact times when we're wanting to sneak off.

But, anyhow, dh and I do manage to connect sometimes after the girls go to sleep ... and I do manage to get "me-time" -- such as right now ... I'm so blessed to have a full-time WOH dh who loves doing the grocery shopping, and offers to take both girls along!
post #68 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I guess it's different with every child. TV/computer definitely had that uncanny pull when I strictly limited it. And when I first pulled out all the stops and said, "You can watch whenever you want" -- well, for a while I just had to bolster my faith by reading Radical Unschooling stuff, cause it seemed like it was never going off again.

But, in time -- like a few months I think, it became just one of many interesting past-times to my children. I do see Nichole's point about it losing its "magic powers of zombiedom." Dh and I can no longer sneak off for some quick romantic time, cause we can't count on any show to reliably hold our girls enthralled for even 5 minutes.

I mean, sometimes they do still get enthralled in shows for way more than 5 minutes, we just can't count on that happening, for both of them, at the exact times when we're wanting to sneak off.

But, anyhow, dh and I do manage to connect sometimes after the girls go to sleep ... and I do manage to get "me-time" -- such as right now ... I'm so blessed to have a full-time WOH dh who loves doing the grocery shopping, and offers to take both girls along!

yep - the novelty of it wears off when they realise its not longer controlled by anyone else than themselves.

its like - if you tried limiting my chocolate intake and then all of a sudded let me have as much as I want - I would stuff my face with it for awhile until the novelty had worn off - once I realise I have that control myself, then I would want it only every now and then...and probably much less than the amount I was limited!

But I also think its important for parents to set good examples as well! - I dont just sit here all day. I am always doing something from reading to making cards to knitting to cleaning the house, etc etc.... If I did just sit around, I am sure my son would just want to sit around as well watching tele. But he doesnt! - Now the weather is nice, he is always the one dragging me outside!!! lol

Also - someone mentoned how watching tele was 'passive' - unlike being on the computer. I would agree and disagree with that ...I guess it depends on what you watch! I would say everything my son does watch is educational. Hes never just sitting there. Hes running around and joining in with the actions and pointing out things and finding things and counting and singing along, etc. Even when I watch tele, its never very passive. Yeah sometimes it is for me, but I am not watching educational things lol....but even Dr.Who gets me thinking and talking about things with my DH...my brain is very active even when watching tele! hehe
post #69 of 103
We don't make a big deal about it. DS watches the morning PBS shows so I can check in w/ my email and shower and stuff. He like Caillou, Curious George and Super Why.

On the other hand, yeah, I do "limit" his TV. It's loosely limited though, if that makes any sense. In other words, it's not so much X hours per day or any formula of how much he can watch. Some days he might watch more than others, and I don't get all stressed about it.

But I also feel that if he's had enough then it's going to get shut off.

I see my nephews and my neice who can watch as much TV as they want, and I swear that they watch TV *ALL* the time.

So not everyone can self-regulate and the novelty sure hasn't worn off for them, and they are 10, 12 and 15.

I've noticed that parents whose kids this works well for (no limits) have a hard time believing that it doesn't work well for others, LOL.
post #70 of 103
Mightmoo and Swim- I agree with you and studies that show TV and young children just are not a good idea.

Plus the time spent watching TV is time taken away from being a family.

With Kailey we saw a dramatic change in personality when we started limiting TV. She is now limited to 30 minutes per day of television. No more, not even on the weekends.

And she is a changed person. She argues less, and wants to do more activities. She even reads more.

TV isn't evil, but IMO, it's a waste of time and energy.
post #71 of 103
I don't think t.v. is evil. We don't turn our t.v. on until after 5pm every day of the week, with the exception of weekends. That is mainly because I H/S one child and I work from home and there's not enough time in a day for t.v. Usually on weekends though we are outdoors or going to church, out with family or friends, playing board games, going bowling, etc and no time for t.v. but I don't think it's a terrible thing.

I do believe in moderation. You have to be able to be a good example for your children in all areas, read a lot in front of them, have a good relationship with your spouse in front of them, don't watch a lot of t.v. in front of them, etc. My kids like t.v. and when they DO watch it they have more appreciation for it because they don't do it very often. They also know when enough is enough because it's not a very big focal point of any day of their week and it isn't for my husband and I either. They learn from us.

You could ask my 6 yr old child who Hanna Montana is and she won't know and I'm okay with that. I don't feel like I'm a bad mom for that because I do let her watch t.v. in moderation. I'm just very careful in what I help her choose to watch.
post #72 of 103
Kailey knew who characters were even without watching TV because she was exposed to children who did watch TV. She could name characters and recognize them at the sotres because she was curious to know who the characters on clothing, etc the kids were wearing or had with them at preschool.
post #73 of 103
Well, after a week of NO TV at all, I'm pleased to see that DD has totally stopped begging for it, which was half the hassle IMO. AND she's reading ten times more. So I don't think I'll be reintroducing it any time soon. It's not like she's missing out on anything important.

I grew up in a TV free house and I'm a voracious reader... I don't think the two are unrelated, and what I've seen this week supports my feeling on that.
post #74 of 103
It totally depends on the family.

For us, we don't like TV much, we never watched much before DS was born, and both of us hate being in places where the TV is on as background (we'll leave restaurants where that's the case). We both prefer a home life without TV. I think I'd really be resentful of the family time TV took away if we watched it regularly. So we don't, and we're pretty happy that way.

So I wouldn't say there is a way for us to do TV where it would be "no big deal." But I do think that there are plenty of ways for other families to have TV and have it be no big deal. It's not possible for us, but I know plenty of families with happy, creative, well-adjusted kids who watch TV, so, I don't think it's the end of the world.

I'm definitely not a fan of parking toddlers and babies in front of the TV, but I think that reflects my inherent dislike of TV to begin with.
post #75 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
I do believe in moderation. You have to be able to be a good example for your children in all areas, read a lot in front of them, have a good relationship with your spouse in front of them, don't watch a lot of t.v. in front of them, etc.
What about watching a lot of TV with them? I do. I think often it's just going to come down to the personalities involved, like Alima (I believe) mentioned above. I don't think my watching 3 hours of TV in one day is setting a bad example.
post #76 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
With my own kids, I'm finding that since they have free access to all of the above, having free access to the TV doesn't prevent them from doing these other things.

It seems quite unusual for TV to be anyone's "whole life." Just as mud isn't my childrens' whole life -- just a big, interesting part of it, so TV and other media play their part.

I used to think I had to limit TV to enable my children to exercise their creativity: Then I learned that my children are naturally creative, active, and interested in relating to all the wonderful people, animals, and things in the world around them. Dh and I are eager to facilitate their involvement in life -- so TV, to them, is just one of many different avenues of exploration.

I still inwardly laugh when I remember a thread where someone criticized parents for "sitting toddlers in front of the TV for hours on end." I mean, have you ever tried to "sit" a toddler anywhere for hours on end? I can't speak for everyone else -- but with my own kids, even if you wanted to get them immobilized and catatonic for a couple hours, it just aint gonna happen.
Yes, yes, YES!! I agree, exactly.
post #77 of 103
I have no issues with the kids watching TV. DD and DS both have learned tons from watching childrens shows. It also helps expand their imagination and helps them understand real from fiction.

A big : to what mammal_mama said
post #78 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
What about watching a lot of TV with them? I do. I think often it's just going to come down to the personalities involved, like Alima (I believe) mentioned above. I don't think my watching 3 hours of TV in one day is setting a bad example.
Yes, I like this idea! We interact a lot when we watch TV together.

I also agree with ann_of_loxley, that if we sit in front of the computer a lot, our kids are likely to sit in front of the TV more than they would if we were up and about, doing things that are more interesting for our children to observe and join in with.

Again, about the idea of "parking" children in front of the TV -- are some children really like cars such that you can "park" them, turn off the ignition, and have them stay where you've left them for hours on end? I guess I just have a hard time imagining that scenario, as my own children are so much the opposite.
post #79 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I've noticed that parents whose kids this works well for (no limits) have a hard time believing that it doesn't work well for others, LOL.
I've also noticed that parents who say their kids can't self-regulate, tend to not allow their children much chance to get the hang of self-regulation, before re-establishing the limits. With my own children, as I've already mentioned, it took at least a few months of freedom, before TV became less of a big deal, and became just one of many interesting options. And most parents don't allow more than about a week, before declaring that the experiment didn't work out.

And my one friend who allowed many years without limiting TV, but now says it didn't work, spent many, many hours each day plugged into a computer herself. So I see this more as a caution to me, that I need to get up and get busy developing a variety of interests, than as a caution that I need to limit TV. And now I'm off to pursue some of those other interests with my girls. See you later!
post #80 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I've also noticed that parents who say their kids can't self-regulate, tend to not allow their children much chance to get the hang of self-regulation, before re-establishing the limits. With my own children, as I've already mentioned, it took at least a few months of freedom, before TV became less of a big deal, and became just one of many interesting options. And most parents don't allow more than about a week, before declaring that the experiment didn't work out.



Are you personalizing what I said? Why? All I'm saying is that not every kid is the same. Would you disagree with that?
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