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#31 of 54 Old 12-29-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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There is actually A LOT of research out there about how TV as background noise is very detrimental to children's language skills and particularly to play.  The book "Into the Mind of Babes" (which is not at all anti-TV) covers it very well if you're interested.  I'm not in any way anti television, but the research on the detrimental effects of television as all-day background noise is very, very clear.



Yep this, and, for older children there is also good research to show that watching TV before school in the morning is detrimental to learning.

 

I really like TV. I am very much a have-it-on-in-the-background-while-I'm-doing-other-things person but, I don't think it is good for children (or adults really). We can minimise the detrimental effects to some extent by thoughtful viewing etc as some PPs have mentioned but IMO the ideal would be no TV.


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#32 of 54 Old 12-29-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lach View Post

There is actually A LOT of research out there about how TV as background noise is very detrimental to children's language skills and particularly to play.  The book "Into the Mind of Babes" (which is not at all anti-TV) covers it very well if you're interested.  I'm not in any way anti television, but the research on the detrimental effects of television as all-day background noise is very, very clear.


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if you need to have background noise, how about the radio? music? We had to stop having the radio on when ds became terrified of military jets at about age 3 when we were listening to something on NPR about the war in Iraq/Afghanistan. So, I'd recommend music. But definitely NOT TV.


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#33 of 54 Old 01-03-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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I only use television as a babysitter.  I don't think that it has any educational merit until a child is at least 3, and just serves to keep them entranced and to sell them things.  That said, sometimes I need them entranced!  I have 3 kids all close together, and sometimes I need to keep the older 2 quiet and happy while I tend to the baby (and when #2 was born I also used television as a babysitter for #1).

 

I've read a lot about the impact of media and television on children, and most of the adverse affects you hear about are unlikely to make much of an impact when television is only used in moderation (ie not on as background noise all day) and when parents play with and talk to their toddlers.  I don't think that television is harmful for kids, but I do think that usually kids have something better they could be doing.  I also think that it's very stimulating, and inappropriate as downtime.  I'm also very concerned about marketing to children and my kids NEVER watch any children's television aimed at their ages.  Sometimes we watch PBS in the late afternoon because I love Ruff Ruffman :)

 

So my vote is for TV as babysitter.  thumb.gif  We don't have a set TV mission statement, except that less is more.  We'll go  months without turning on the television, and then have a week where everyone's sick, the weather's bad, I'm 9 months pregnant and too exhausted to move, the newborn and the two toddlers hit their fussy periods at the exact same moment and I need to tend to the newborn and keep the older two from literally killing eachother ("We do NOT sit on eachother's heads!" is one of those things you don't expect to be saying).  And then the TV is on 6 hours a day for a week running.


I am so glad that there is someone here who is on the same page as me as far as tv goes.  I think that all by itself (taking out other factors like home environment and such) tv doesn't hurt.  It doesn't help, but it doesn't hurt.  It's one of the things I swore I'd never do but my daughter's personality decided for me.  There are times when I switch it to something I approve of (without commercials) so I can cook dinner without her being up my rear end.  I figure she's better off with twenty minutes of tv rather than trying to climb the stove while I'm cooking on it.  I have fallen into a habit of using it to get her to sleep during her current nap regression but we are almost ready to start weaning off that.


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#34 of 54 Old 01-03-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Please tell me how you have taught this....and where you might start.  Mine are 6 and almost 4, the 6 year old was pretty bad about begging for junk till I started taking away the one show he likes on a "commercial channel"--Spongebob.

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In a similar fashion, my kids have become very critical observers of advertising techniques. They don't mindlessly absorb television commercials. They often have fun re-creating absurd versions of the advertising they see. I think that allowing them to watch commercials and encouraging them to de-construct and analyze them has reduced the power of advertising in general in their lives. 

 


 

I had started a reply last week, was interrupted and lost it, and I've been away since then, so it's taken me a while to respond. 

 

First, I think that at younger ages because so much cross-merchandising happens with character-branding, it's impossible to separate advertising content from the stories. Even with public television shows like Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Barney and Thomas the Tank Engine (I'm probably dating myself with those examples), the characters are used to fuel a huge marketing machine. So if you can't make peace with that, it's probably best to go almost TV-free in the pre-school years, because I don't think you can escape it otherwise. I didn't object to the occasional stuffed Barney or Thomas and friends toy train sets - usually received as gifts from others. I did make sure they had lots of other non-branded toys and clothes, and made sure they heard me praise the qualities of the non-branded stuff - lasts longer, nicer materials, better quality etc. 

 

As they grew, we talked a lot about why they wanted something they saw on t.v. Why they thought it was better than other items and what exactly they thought it would it do for them. If the answer was "it's cool", we'd talk about what made something "cool" and whether a material thing should make you feel good or bad. We talked a lot about what actually make us feel good. They were almost never material goods. Rather, they were things like spending the day at the beach or drawing a great picture or an unexpected trip to the playground. 

 

One of the most effective learning tools we used was to give them their own money and allow them to spend it on some of that advertised junk. They learned some hard lessons when their carefully saved cash was spent on a toy that disintegrated after just a few hours of play - or that never lived up to the marketing hype in the first place.  

 

These are all great ideas too: 

 

 

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Quote:
In a similar fashion, my kids have become very critical observers of advertising techniques. They don't mindlessly absorb television commercials. They often have fun re-creating absurd versions of the advertising they see. I think that allowing them to watch commercials and encouraging them to de-construct and analyze them has reduced the power of advertising in general in their lives.

I totally agree, and I have seen much the same with my own kids. I always mentioned the tricks of advertising to them. ie: better lighting over the "good/better" product, talking ridiculously loud to get your attention (my kids called this the "im yelling for no reason so it must be really cool!" trick), and etc. We talked about what products actually do, what they are made of, why people want them (ie, they have real meaning and value in some way or because everyone says it's awesome?), is it worth the price, and etc. The acting alone in some commercials is funny enough to watch and then make fun of. ;)


 

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#35 of 54 Old 01-03-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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I also hear of lots of TV-related tantrums -- i.e. you let them watch one show a day or something & then they start asking for it constantly, all day long -- and I'd rather just avoid that altogether. I


BTDT!  We have actually finally gone tv-free after tv had reached the point of being such a PITA because my youngest would just get so obsessed with it - asking for it constantly, crazy tantrums when it was time to turn it off etc.  We had only been tv-free for a grand total of TWO days when he completely stopped asking for it!  We had been trying all kinds of approaches towards limiting it but it turns out that eliminating it all together was way easier.  We've now been without tv for 3 months and have never been happier.  :)

 

I think it depends on the personality of your kid though.  We did pretty limited tv for dd (our older dc) and never had a problem when it was time to turn it off, and there were lots of days that we never even turned it on.  Ds just seems to have a greater capacity for getting really hooked on it.


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#36 of 54 Old 01-04-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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Our approach has been extreme moderation. I work professionally with children who have learning challenges. I've read the research, and while none of it is conclusive, there are some findings that are extremely compelling.

We allow no TV at home, at all, until a child is about 2 1/2. I don't go apeshit over TV they see while they're out and about, but we do tend to be homebodies so it's not an issue that came up much. When all my kids were two or under, we didn't even have a TV in the house.

Between 2 and 5, we allow extremely limited exposure to carefully selected shows and videos. It probably amounts to about 90 minutes a week, most weeks, with much less in some weeks. We have only one TV. We keep our TV in an out-of-the-way part of the house, so that it's not a prominent part of family life. It's only on when somebody's specifically choosing to watch something-- no background noise, in other words-- and we turn it off as soon as the chosen show is over. My kids are each allowed, at this age, to choose one show or video a week, which they can watch with whoever else chooses to watch it with them.

Once DD1 started school, we banned weekday screen time for her. She can watch one show/video on the weekend, if she chooses to. We also started having "movie nights," where DH and I and she would sit down together and watch a carefully chosen movie-- mostly high-quality children's movies like Mary Poppins, Charlotte's Web, or Matilda. We do that maybe once a month.

I don't believe in forbidding. I believe in minimizing, and in creating a family life in which the screen is a very small influence.


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#37 of 54 Old 01-04-2011, 08:54 AM
 
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This is something I have been thinking about a lot recently. DS is 10 months old. For a while there, he was absolutely captivated by the TV, so we never had it on while he was in the room. Now his toys are more interesting to him, so we watch it while he is playing sometimes. We never watch children's television or anything aimed at him, and if he appears overly interested, we turn it off. As he gets older, we will probably start filtering what we watch a little better. I don't want him actually sitting down to watch anything until he is at least 2 y/o, but after that, I don't think I will mind him watching maybe 30 minutes a day if I need to get something done, take a shower, etc. We will see!


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#38 of 54 Old 01-04-2011, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Love this discussion! I am still curious what people's reasons are for going tv-free. 

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#39 of 54 Old 01-04-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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Love this discussion! I am still curious what people's reasons are for going tv-free. 


For me it's I don't see value in it, or should say I haven't seen it yet for my 5 yo's.  I don't think a little tv is going to be terribly detrimental but I don't see any added value either.  Secondly, so far dds find other things to do without it and I don't want to mess that up.  As for having it as background noise, with my dds (and most kids?) they pick up everything.  You can be having a conversation that you think they're totally unaware of and the next day they're asking questions about what you meant when you said such-and-such.  Even if they're not appearing to pay attention interesting bits get through and it's too hard to screen for what an interesting bit in the background noise might be.  I can't even have the radio on in the car without having to explain in an age appropriate way more than I am capable of explaining in an age appropriate way.

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#40 of 54 Old 01-05-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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Love this discussion! I am still curious what people's reasons are for going tv-free. 


My kids watch limited TV, as I've said. But DH and I don't watch at all; we were TV-free for years before the kids came. We actually only got one because we wanted the opportunity to show DD1 a few classic movies.

Our reasons mostly revolved around it being a waste of precious time. Not watching the TV means we have time for so many other things that bring joy and fulfillment to our lives. People are always asking me how I find time to do XYZ activity with three small children-- and my answer is always, how much time do you spend in front of the TV every day? We also limit our computer time to forty-five minutes a day each-- I mostly break that into short ten minute segments during the day, and DH takes it all in one lump sum in the evenings.

With our under-twos, we didn't allow TV because the research has been clear that TV has no benefits for this age group, and because kids this age need to be spending their time on the activities that further growth and development. They are only AWAKE for ten hours a day, and to spend 10% or more of that time in front of a screen seems terrible to me.

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#41 of 54 Old 01-05-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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We have nothing, ever.  No TV, no cable, no movies, no DVDs, no DVR, no Netflicks, no video games, no nothing. Started that way from infancy, and still at it at almost 7 years of age.  We will stay that way for the foreseeable future.  For our family, TV and everything else is a very slippery slope.  It is just easier and less hassle for our family to go cold turkey than to do moderation.  So in our family, we do not do moderation, but we are just strange like that.  But the no TV is not based on age.  It doesn't work in our family to prohibit or limit TV for younger ages, and let the adults watch some TV.  For our family, it's just easier to have an across the board moratorium on TV.  I will say, however, that we constantly have the radio on tuned to NPR, and commercial talk radio.

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#42 of 54 Old 01-05-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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DD is almost 7 and has watched very, very little TV in her life and few movies. I would estimate she watches less than 3 hours/month of anything.

DS is almost 3 and has seen rather more TV. I have a part-time job whose demands spill over into my at-home time with him (DD is in school then) and I need a few hours of time for that. He watches, hmm, 3 hours a week, and has since about two. (One hour a day on the mornings he is not at daycare.)

I am very happy with the effects being basically TV-free has had on DD. She is highly imaginative and entertains herself very well. She also seems younger than many of her peers--less smart-alecky and sophisticated-- and is much more sensitive to violence and frightening imagery. This is sometimes a plus and sometimes a minus. Some of this is probably her, and some of it surely the lack of TV, I think.

We used to be completely TV-free, but I freely admit that we now use it on as a babysitter for those 3 hours/week and on rare occasions of crisis (eg. both parents have a stomach bug, emergency need to pack up and clean for a trip, work crisis). I have let go of guilt about that. I do not kid myself that it has educational value, though. It's purely a useful convenience.

As the kids get older we will probably institute a weekly family movie night, but DS is still too young, IMO.

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#43 of 54 Old 01-06-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sssheri View Post

Love this discussion! I am still curious what people's reasons are for going tv-free. 



Our reasons are

 

- there are no developmental benefits

- it has a negative effect on vocabulary and imaginative play *even* when it is just on in the background and the child isn't actually watching it

- children who watch TV before school in the mornings have a harder time settling down to learn at school

- it discourages physical activity and outdoor play

- it discourages family interaction and togetherness (IMO watching a TV show together is not the same as playing a game together)

- I don't like the comercialisation of characters, stories etc

 

Is watching a bit of TV the worst thing in the world? No, but we can do without it and we believe that our family will be better for it. We may not be TV free forever but it feels right to us at the moment.

 

Oh, and technically, DH and I are not TV free as we do watch some shows on the internet but only when J is asleep and we use headphones. So she is TV free and we are TV limited I guess.

 

ETA - I have always said that I would make exceptions for things which are of major cultural or family significance. I would have let her watch the moon landing for example. And, my Dad made a movie when he was younger. He's just had it converted to DVD from the original reels. DH has never seen it so we plan to watch it all together as an extended family. I'm ok with that for J.


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#44 of 54 Old 01-07-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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Wow, I'm surprised by the responses that say there are no developmental or educational benefits to watching TV. Like everything, it is all about moderation and careful selection of what the kids see.

For example, my DD (4) loves Dinosaur Train on PBS. She now knows all about Cretaceous and Jurassic time periods, repeats after them when they teach long dinosaur names (that I can barely pronounce myself), and has learned a lot of other vocabulary and information. I mentioned a raccoon is nocturnal, and she said, "Oh, that means they are awake at night and their eyes are different than ours." Thanks, TV! She told me that we're herbivores because we're vegetarians, and that some animals eat each other, and those are called carnivores. True!

She also likes to watch Miss Spider's Sunnypatch friends sometimes, and when I was making dinner she told me that the mushrooms are a fungi. She's told me quite a few facts about science and nature, and when we were talking about the concept of adoption and how families can look different, they had already discussed it on there. It's made her less scared of spiders and bugs because she knows a lot more facts about them, and it has encouraged her to draw them and talk about them--continuing the learning process. The show also reinforced what we've taught her about how important it is to share feelings--they showed a rain cloud that felt all stormy and upset and then when it let it's feelings (rain) out, it felt happy and light again.

The other day she told me she wanted to go ride her "B-I-K-E! That spells bike, mom." Yes, she learned that by watching Word World, on PBS. She's also learned a lot of consonant blends from that show and lots of examples of the silent e. Oswald (Noggin) and Super Why (PBS) have both often addressed relationships with friends, what you say when someone's upsetting you at school, what to do when a friend is mad, how to ask a new friend to play with you. Social skills, another development lesson.

TV is not all bad. There IS good stuff on there, if you're careful. And if you limit it. We have certain times we allow it, and the rest of the day it's quiet or we listen to music.

And personally I don't see how having the radio on in the background is any better for language development than leaving the TV on. Background noise and talking is background noise.
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#45 of 54 Old 01-07-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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I am in the super minority on MDC in that my family loves TV. My home had multiple TV's as often as possible so we could all watch diff things at diff times. :) For us, the key was discussion and parental modeling of personal limits and respect. We've learned many things from TV and we've had great fun too.

 

I think TV helped my kids' imagination by leaps and bounds. I think it helped my art and I think it helped my son become a terrific writer.

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#46 of 54 Old 01-08-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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How do tv free families with extremely high needs toddlers who won't be redirected and new babies do it? I babysit an infant a few times a week and my 23 month old gets hysterical when I wear him. All of a sudden she NEEDS  to nurse right that second, every time. She's very territorial with me and she will scream and wake the baby up if I don't put something on for 20 minutes or so while I put him to sleep and get him down. 

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#47 of 54 Old 01-08-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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How do tv free families with extremely high needs toddlers who won't be redirected and new babies do it? I babysit an infant a few times a week and my 23 month old gets hysterical when I wear him. All of a sudden she NEEDS  to nurse right that second, every time. She's very territorial with me and she will scream and wake the baby up if I don't put something on for 20 minutes or so while I put him to sleep and get him down. 



Beats the heck out of me.  I can't say for sure that she had never seen TV before (I do remember letting her watch the end of the world series because she woke up and I didn't want to miss the end by putting her back down right then!), but the first time I remember really putting on the TV for DD was when DS got to the point where he needed a fairly constant nap schedule and couldn't just fall asleep on the drop of a dime wherever and whenever.  She would just get very loud every single day at the exact moment that his eyes would drift shut while I was putting him down for naps, and his eyes would fly open and I'd have to do everything all over again.  MUCH easier to set her up with a snack and turn on the TV.  DS got easier to put down for naps after a while, and DD got less clingy, so I can't remember exactly how long we did this routine, but it did fizzle out after a few months and we went back to no TV.


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#48 of 54 Old 01-08-2011, 07:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sssheri View Post

Love this discussion! I am still curious what people's reasons are for going tv-free. 



Our reasons are

 

- there are no developmental benefits

- it has a negative effect on vocabulary and imaginative play *even* when it is just on in the background and the child isn't actually watching it

- children who watch TV before school in the mornings have a harder time settling down to learn at school

- it discourages physical activity and outdoor play

- it discourages family interaction and togetherness (IMO watching a TV show together is not the same as playing a game together)

- I don't like the comercialisation of characters, stories etc

 

Is watching a bit of TV the worst thing in the world? No, but we can do without it and we believe that our family will be better for it. We may not be TV free forever but it feels right to us at the moment.

 

Oh, and technically, DH and I are not TV free as we do watch some shows on the internet but only when J is asleep and we use headphones. So she is TV free and we are TV limited I guess.

 

ETA - I have always said that I would make exceptions for things which are of major cultural or family significance. I would have let her watch the moon landing for example. And, my Dad made a movie when he was younger. He's just had it converted to DVD from the original reels. DH has never seen it so we plan to watch it all together as an extended family. I'm ok with that for J.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Lily View Post

Wow, I'm surprised by the responses that say there are no developmental or educational benefits to watching TV. Like everything, it is all about moderation and careful selection of what the kids see.

For example, my DD (4) loves Dinosaur Train on PBS. She now knows all about Cretaceous and Jurassic time periods, repeats after them when they teach long dinosaur names (that I can barely pronounce myself), and has learned a lot of other vocabulary and information. I mentioned a raccoon is nocturnal, and she said, "Oh, that means they are awake at night and their eyes are different than ours." Thanks, TV! She told me that we're herbivores because we're vegetarians, and that some animals eat each other, and those are called carnivores. True!

She also likes to watch Miss Spider's Sunnypatch friends sometimes, and when I was making dinner she told me that the mushrooms are a fungi. She's told me quite a few facts about science and nature, and when we were talking about the concept of adoption and how families can look different, they had already discussed it on there. It's made her less scared of spiders and bugs because she knows a lot more facts about them, and it has encouraged her to draw them and talk about them--continuing the learning process. The show also reinforced what we've taught her about how important it is to share feelings--they showed a rain cloud that felt all stormy and upset and then when it let it's feelings (rain) out, it felt happy and light again.

The other day she told me she wanted to go ride her "B-I-K-E! That spells bike, mom." Yes, she learned that by watching Word World, on PBS. She's also learned a lot of consonant blends from that show and lots of examples of the silent e. Oswald (Noggin) and Super Why (PBS) have both often addressed relationships with friends, what you say when someone's upsetting you at school, what to do when a friend is mad, how to ask a new friend to play with you. Social skills, another development lesson.

TV is not all bad. There IS good stuff on there, if you're careful. And if you limit it. We have certain times we allow it, and the rest of the day it's quiet or we listen to music.

And personally I don't see how having the radio on in the background is any better for language development than leaving the TV on. Background noise and talking is background noise.


 Ok, I guess what Ishould have said is that there are no developmental benefits which are *exclusive* to TV. I have no doubt that children who watch TV learn things. I have learned things from TV myself winky.gif but, I think most of what one could learn from watching TV could also be learned some other way. And I would, personally, prefer to seek out those other ways.

 

And I agree about the radio and language development. From what I've read neither TV nor radio have anywhere near the benfits that "an engaged and loving adult do" (and I can't remember where that quote came from but if I find it again I'll come back and re-post. I do think the radio is a better option if the choice is either TV or radio as radio does not have the visual stimulation which is part of the problem with TV.


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#49 of 54 Old 01-09-2011, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This discussion has really helped me feel confident in our choice regarding tv. Pretty much whatever works for you. We love TV and both had tv growing up and don't feel like it has had a bad influence on either of our lives. We both have many interests and many higher degrees- so it can't be all that bad. We will stop having the tv on as background but watch it when we want to watch it. As our daughter gets older we will monitor the tv watching and make sure she is getting lots of other experiences (and that she can handle turning it off when it is time). We will discuss with her what she is watching and help her develop critical thinking skills at a young age in regards to what she watches, advertising, etc. 

 

I really can't stand everything in a child's life being weighed against its developmental benefits. (I'm not saying that is what anyone on this discussion is doing, mostly I mean toys, etc). I know my child will develop: learn to see, touch, sit, stand, walk, and think. Sometimes a toy is just something to play with and tv is something to keep you entertained. 

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#50 of 54 Old 01-09-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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 Ok, I guess what Ishould have said is that there are no developmental benefits which are *exclusive* to TV. I have no doubt that children who watch TV learn things. I have learned things from TV myself winky.gif but, I think most of what one could learn from watching TV could also be learned some other way. And I would, personally, prefer to seek out those other ways.

 

And I agree about the radio and language development. From what I've read neither TV nor radio have anywhere near the benfits that "an engaged and loving adult do" (and I can't remember where that quote came from but if I find it again I'll come back and re-post. I do think the radio is a better option if the choice is either TV or radio as radio does not have the visual stimulation which is part of the problem with TV.


OK, that makes much more sense. I agree with you in general. With my 1st child we were TV free--until I ended up on bedrest for months and had twins. I think it's great if a family choses to be TV free and has the time, energy, and ability to stick with that. But I also know that the reality of daily life doesn't always allow for that in every family. As long as there isn't judgment on either side, each choice deserves respect for their decision.

There's a big difference between allowing some carefully prescreened TV w/no commercials, and going overboard on junk screen time. I'd guess most TV-watching families on this site are likely putting more thought into it than mainstream families do.
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#51 of 54 Old 01-09-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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I am opposite to most here.  While we didn't actively sit ds in front of the tv as an infant it was often on in the background.  Yes, background noise.  Until ds was nearly 3.5 he rarely saw comercial adverts as we had on CBC kids, TVO kids, Treehouse and PBS none which aired commercials....when he first saw an ad it was for something he already had and he would get annoyed at the tv because it was telling him to get something he already had. I disagree that a child can't play with as much imagination if thee tv is on all the time....I haven't seen many children with a more active imagination and creative play than ds.  I think because it is on often he has become desensitized to it...He never gets that glassy-eyed look stuck in front of it.  He has his fave shows but doesn't have to sit and watch all the time.  We lso have Netflix that we watch  (ds can totally find what he is looking for faster than I can lol)


This is exactly how our DD is. If we let her watch one show that is all she wants to do, all day every day. She gets that glassy eyed look and you can't even talk to her or get her attention otherwise. Then the tantrums start when it is time to move on to something else.  We have noticed a very big positive change in her behavior when we severely limit or eliminate TV. I know this is NOT true for every child but for our DD1 this is the way that works best for our family. And honestly, even PBS Kids stuff is marketed like crazy these days  so we just don't feel comfortable with it with much of any kind of TV. For a now, DD1 can watch whatever cartoons she wants on Saturday mornings on my laptop computer over the internet. Other than that we are TV-free. We may eliminate TV all together but this works for us right now.


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#52 of 54 Old 01-09-2011, 04:27 PM
 
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I like watching tv. It's relaxing and gets my mind off of things. With ds1, he didn't actively watch tv much until 2, but I watched tv with him in the room (not paying much attention). When he was younger (3ish), he used to sit and watch tv with me sometimes- adult stuff, but nothing scary in any way. At first, he was able to self regulate, and I didn't limit tv until it became clear that he was no longer able to self regulate. His current limit is 1 hour a day (which includes computer games), and he's fine with it when we tell him no more. If he's watching a movie, we let him watch all of it, regardless of length.

 

We do talk about commercials and how things usually look cooler than they are, and how "they" say/show things that imply something other than the truth (ie: commercials for shoes where the boy can jump really high and do cool flips. Ds happened to have the same shoes, so we talked about how it looked like the shoes would make you jump higher, but they really don't.)

 

With ds2, he's too busy to pay much attention to the tv for the most part. Sometimes when ds1 is watching tv, ds2 will sit with him and "watch." I think it's more about sitting with big brother than watching tv. It's cute, and it gives me a break to be able to cook or clean. He also likes America's Funniest Home Videos which I sometimes have on, but that's the only other show I've seen him take any interest in.

 

All in all, I let ds1 watch tv because he enjoys it, and I don't think it's harmful in moderation. Granted, there ARE better things he could be doing, but he has lots of hours in the day to do stuff.


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#53 of 54 Old 01-09-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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We love TV here.  We watch everything from educational programming to low brow comedy.  Our kids watch almost exclusively commercial free TV, with a few exceptions - and the exceptions are done with us in the room so we can talk about the commercials.  My kids are already, at 4-1/2 and 7, familiar with the concept of advertisers making things look cooler than they really are just so you'll buy their stuff. 

 

As far as inhibiting imaginative play, I'll be the anecdata for the exception to that rule.  My kids are very imaginative and have watched a fair amount of TV in their lives, including having it on in the background sometimes. 

 

Our kids do a lot of different things.  Watching TV is one of them.  Sometimes it's "good" TV (like "How it's Made"), sometimes it's "bad" TV (like Tom & Jerry).  They're well rounded kids.  I'm sure we could do without TV, but why would we want to?  In and of itself, TV is not bad...it's a tool/resource just like any other if you use it wisely.  Sometimes seeing something happen is better than reading about it, and easier than trying to get the resources together to do it yourself.  And sometimes easy is OK.


Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#54 of 54 Old 01-09-2011, 07:20 PM
 
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I have *totally* changed my position on owning a DVR.  I have figured out that I can record the TV shows I want to see without it, we can all still watch TV if we want to without it, and it is worth giving up the ability to fast forward through commercials to save a little money for my family to use for other things we consider more important than television.

 

If you direct things toward the television, it will start to take a more center-stage place in your life.  If you consciously try to direct your attention away from television, it will move away from being the central focus of a family's life.  Or one of the main focuses.

 

It's not about whether or not you actually own or use a television at all ever.  It is about how you feel about the television's role in your household.  You can change that if it is truly important to you.


lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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