Toddlers and TV time - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-19-2013, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Up until very recently, my now 21-month old has had little interest in the television. We don't have cable or satellite, but we do have a t.v. for watching videos (which we rarely husband and I are both big readers). All of a sudden, though, my son has become taken with the "wee-wee", and Finding Nemo in particular. He asks for it as soon as he wakes up, and repeatedly throughout the day. Initially, I didn't want to let him watch any t.v., but I couldn't really think of a compelling reason to say no, so I been putting it on when he asks. But he could watch it over and over, to the exclusion of the books and blocks that he so loved up until a week or two ago! I'm curious to hear what you all think. Do you let your toddlers watch videos? Do you limit the time each day or just let it go until your son or daughter is old enough to reason with?

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#2 of 9 Old 06-19-2013, 12:48 PM
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Have you done any research on todders and TV time? The compelling reason for not allowing it or allowing it very limited ways is that ALL the research is negative. Everything from less imaginative play, less creative play, more addictive behavior, more obesity, lower IQ, and behavior highly influenced by manipulative marketing and sales strategy.


So know, my toddlers were t.v. free and the much older kids have very limited media.

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#3 of 9 Old 06-19-2013, 12:50 PM
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We only watch a a few 20 minute shows a day or sometimes part of a movie. Basically as long as it takes me to get DS2 nursed and sleeping for his nap. Or if I'm overwhelmed and need a break wink1.gif DS1 loves TV so I have to set boundaries.

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#4 of 9 Old 06-19-2013, 05:58 PM
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I feel like I have to chime in on this one. We do not own a TV, *but* we use our iMac to watch movies (after our daughter is asleep) and pretty much allow our daughter free reign of the iPad. She has shows that she enjoys and likes a few educational apps. My husband is disabled and I am easily overwhelmed with caring for everybody.

Does she watch the iPad all day every day?? No. She watches half a show and runs off to drag all her books to the living room or organize her toy cars. She will watch some things to completion or over-and-over, but it's to the point that we can't rely on this form of entertainment to sustain her for any length of time while I take care of things at home.

We don't have the kind of household setup where a tv is on constantly. Thank goodness!!

I have found that a pandora station tuned to Disney songs or kids songs suits my child just as well as a show.

I'm aware of the negative affects of too much tv. It's why we don't have one!! But I also am not going to guilt trip myself if she watches Mickey Mouse for a half hour when my husband is having a particularly bad day.

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#5 of 9 Old 06-19-2013, 06:33 PM
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We dont own cable but my DH has a PlayStation that has youtube, so we watch youtube videos on the TV. I prefer this because its not mindless zoning out and i can choose what she watches. She mostly likes animal videos, kid songs and sparkabilities (she's 2). She'll watch a few videos, get bored and then goes off to play. I dont worry about any damage because its not an all-day thing, just a couple of times a day. She also has plenty of interest in books, toys, drawing and exploring. I think that if your child is preferring watching cartoons over everything else then you should definitely limit it. Even if studies show that its beneficial, too much of a good thing can definitely be bad. I would help maintain a balance between watching kid shows and playing with toys and other activities.
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#6 of 9 Old 06-19-2013, 07:20 PM
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Presently tv and videos are reserved for very special use for my 16 month old daughter. I will play her some YouTube videos if I need to distract her for some reason, and occasionally I'll allow grandma to show her silly videos on tv if I'm cooking dinner and she's imploding (this is actually kind of often...?) My biggest concern with media is negative influence, so I am kind of a stickler for that. But very simple, not overly stimulating videos about the alphabet or animals can get a pass from time to time. I think what you describe is very normal, OP, I remember watching certain movies over and over as a young'in. I would keep an eye on it and maybe offer other activities first?

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#7 of 9 Old 06-20-2013, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, after some thought on the matter, I decided to pack up the t.v. My husband and I never watch it ourselves, but it was becoming a problem with our son. He would start asking for it before we were even out of the bed, and it made me very uncomfortable to see him zoned out for extended periods of time. I also realized that along with the sudden t.v. love, we were getting way more defiant "no's" from him, and more frequent stormy behaviour. He's asked for it a few times since I packed it away, but otherwise we're back to books and blocks and jumping on the couch. I think this is what works for us for now: no wee-wee!

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#8 of 9 Old 06-29-2013, 11:33 AM
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My kid doesn't watch much TV, but there are a couple of really short 10-minute educational shows he does like, some Youtube song/videos, and those Scholastic story videos they have at the library.  I only bring those out when it's a rainy day, or we've kinda hit the wall with other means of keeping him occupied, so he's not in the habit of watching anything daily.   

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#9 of 9 Old 06-30-2013, 05:44 AM
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I think if you can just simply get rid of the TV, or put it in a cabinet where it is out of sight, at that age they will just move on.  That's great!  My DS1 is 3, and has been watching tv regularly for about 10 months - since his little brother was born.  I try to keep it to an hour a day.  We only get PBS on our TV, I don't let him watch Hulu or youtube on the computer because I found that is endless, and he will just want me to keep starting more videos, and it is available all the time.  I only allow Dinosaur Train, Daniel Tiger, Curious George, or he likes some cooking shows and This Old House.  A lot of the other shows I feel like are too flashy and stimulating, especially Sesame Street.  So far we haven't had too much of a hard time turning it off, he accepts that it is time very easily, or sometimes we will check and say, oh, nothing is on, and turn it right off.  Of course I would rather he was reading books or outside, but he doesn't nap most days anymore and so it helps to have some down time, and it is the only way I am able to get DS2 down for a nap or to bed when I am on my own at bedtime.  It's not uncommon for him to ask me to turn it off.  Recently we got a copy of Milo and Otis on DVD to fill in when I really need him to be watching TV and there is nothing on.  I think the alternative would be that I yell more, and if it saves me from loosing it I think it is worth it, because that's not good for him either.

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