The TV question - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: The TV Question
We are TV-free--no television applicance in the home 23 100.00%
We own a TV but only use it with a VCR to watch videos or taped shows 75 100.00%
We own a TV but we are selective over what our children watch. 218 100.00%
We own a TV and allow our children to regulate their own viewing. 18 100.00%
Our children do not have a TV in their own room(s). 161 100.00%
Our children have a TV in their own room(s). 8 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-13-2003, 12:28 AM
 
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I am too embarrassed to even say how much t.v. Avey watches. The kid is an addict. He throws a fit if he doesn't have the t.v. on. I think he likes the sound, because he ignores it sometimes even if it is on. I am one to listen to the t.v. rather than watch it sometimes. I am coming up with some preschool lesson plans to do with Avey, and some fieldtrips and activities so he won't be hanging out with the electronic babysitter all day. It is so cold out, that it has just become convenient for t.v., especially since the new baby has been born. He won't watch as much when it warms up.
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Old 03-14-2003, 06:42 PM
 
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Em,

This is a further digression, in some ways, I guess, from the thread ..

But, I did want to say that I agree that honesty is THE way to go. I was a liar when I was a kid (on and off, I guess), and when I decided not to do it anymore, it has been black-and-white ever since. It's either a lie to me or it's not. So saying "gone" to me was kind of gray. It was gone from the living room but not gone forever.

Besides, I'm a lawyer! So accuracy is important. Like I wouldn't say there's "nothing" in a room when there is something there. I'd say there's nothing of interest in the room!

So the TV thing was the first time I've ever said something that I didn't feel was totally accurate. Pretty much true, yes, but not totally accurate and not as honest or forthcoming as I wanted to be. It was partly because I was afraid of his response, probably, but also because I was really exhausted and hadn't planned what to say, so I fumbled around and came up with 'gone.' Pathetic! But I have been more accurate since then, and since I'm accurate/honest/forthcoming on everything else (probably to a fault), I assuage myself to a degree on the guilt.

Anyway, thanks again for your suggestion. Life without TV is SO much better!
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Old 03-19-2003, 10:47 AM
 
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"Recent studies have shown that school-age children who watch less television are less aggressive and have less body fat regardless of programming," says Robert S. Kahn, M.D the study's senior author."

This is true in most cases. Children who sit in front of a TV all day tend to munch on junk also. My dd watches limited amount of TV. She has a TV in her room where she can watch "her" movies. We have no cable in that room and no antenna, so the only things she can watch are her movies. I only let her watch them at night when she is going to sleep. Durning the day I think that it is vitally important that she is outdoors playing. She is an incredibly active child and loves to run and ransack! LOL. I encourage that. If she gets it out now, at 8yrs old, maybe she won't feel the need to be that way when she is 16 years old! She doesn't just go out on warm, sunny days either. We play outside during the winter and on hot, rainy (as long as it's not lightening) days too. I can remember being a child and having so much fun playing in the rain, my mom would lay towels on the porch and let us run and I do the same for my dd.

As for me....Lord, I am a primetime addict! Only after dd goes to bed!

Laura
Thrilled to be married to Boue
Proud mommy to Justice, 8 and Kaeleb 5 weeks:binky
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Old 03-19-2003, 11:18 AM
 
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My little guy is too little to play outside alone, and I can't bring my baby out in freezing weather, or he would play outside more often. Then in the Summer, we have to be careful because he is very pale and blonde and burns easily. Yesterday, I put on some '80's music, and we danced like idiots and had some fun! I was surprised that he was so happy to listen to music rather than watch t.v. The baby must have thought we were nuts!!
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Old 03-20-2003, 12:22 AM
 
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Fraya - Oh those unprepared moments! I've had a few myself. Like when DS quietly walked up behind me while I was digging my spoon into the ice cream carton, having just quietly removed it from the freezer while he was in his room playing (he hadn't to that point had any sort of real, sugary treat)... "Uh, uh... it's just yogurt honey. In a real big container?" Talk about insulting his intelligence! He walked over to the kitchen drawer, pulled out a bowl and held it out to me. At that point I realized I had been caught!

Bladestar - Indeed, the music and dancing are a staple at our house. In the evening before bath, we even do the nudey dance (him, not me ) and it's great fun and exersize. Especially as you mentioned in the cold months of winter.

Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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Old 03-20-2003, 11:36 AM
 
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:LOL My son does the nudey dance also!! Before and after his shower! He saw his daddy do it, and thought he should advertise his too It is really funny when they both do the nudey dance just before and after a shower! Like father, like son Sorry, tmi...
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Old 03-23-2003, 02:47 PM
 
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No cable here. We keep out ancient television in the junk room. If we go out and leave Sequoia with a sitter (doesnt happen since Dylan was born) we drag it out, hook it up in the living room and rent her a DVD, if were going to be gone and shes asleep, we will take the sitter to the place and let her pick one out so she's not completly bored. I also came from a TV free household, and am glad.

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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Old 03-28-2003, 12:52 AM
 
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Here is our situation. DH grew up with very little TV. Guess what? All four sibs are TV addicts. I grew up with as much TV as i wanted and I'd much rather read.

DH decided to go it my way. He came down last saturday to find both DD's (age 5 and 7) playing "beach"( in swimsuits, with towels on our living room floor.) He said "I can't believe they know they can watch cartoons but don't even turn on the TV.

OUr girls do watch TV sometimes, but very little. Last winter DD 1 came down with pneumonia and the Dr wanted her to rest as much as possible the first 24 hours. When I "caught" her hoola hooping in the playroom I suggested she watch a tv show. No thanks she said. I couldn't believe it when I heard myself say "Please, I beg of you, lie down, and watch TV!"
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:45 PM
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Alexa-I know what you mean. My 2 yr old dd had pneumonia a couple months ago and even though she was nursing constantly, I still desperately needed to get fluids in her. I never even buy soda and there I was saying "please, please drink your soda".
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Old 04-03-2003, 07:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by frogertgrl


The AAP Policy RE9911 is the best thing I've read so far detailing the social, emotional and cognitive damages from television.

The policy states: "Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years. Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group, research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant caregivers (eg, child care providers) for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Therefore, exposing such young children to television programs should be discouraged."

Our son watches Sesame Street (dances to the music while playing and glances sometimes at the people and the puppets), however I have met few children who recieve more individualized attention. We fill that critical need for direct interaction... he is with one of us 24/7, sleeps with us, nurses, plays, talks, etc with us even when Sesame is on.

My question for Frogertgrl is: Is there something more to this policy not stated here. I read it all and saw nothing of frontal lobe damage. As well, my mother is a pediatric Speech language pathologist and has heard nothing of frontal lobe damage. I am not trying to be flip... I am just wondering if there is some other study you have to back up this notion of brain damage.

thanks- nikki
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Old 04-06-2003, 05:25 PM
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Hi Nikki, don't think you came across as flip at all!

No doubt your mom has studied brain development in her education and work. And probably received such advocacy materials from the AAP such as:

http://www.aap.org/advocacy/mmguide.pdf

The AAP Policy I referred to uses data from quite a few sources, and yes, references the 'critical need' for 'healthy brain growth' but doesn't state what part of the brain they are talking about. For that, one needs to read further in the AAP archives. The AAP's policies often reference the 'interactive' functions of a child's brain and how television/videos do not contribute positively toward that brain function. But they don't often spell out the medical processes in their policies. That's typical policy format.

This, I hope will clarify what I mentioned:
http://www.aap.org/advocacy/chm98nws.htm


Quote:
Neuroscientists have shown that environmental experiences significantly shape the developing brain because of the plasticity of its neuronal connectivity. Thus, repeated exposure to any stimulus in a child's environment may forcibly impact mental and emotional growth, either by setting up particular circuitry ("habits of mind") or by depriving the brain of other experiences. While appropriate stimuli — close interaction with loving caregivers; an enriched, interactive, human language environment; engrossing hands-on play opportunities; and age-appropriate academic stimulation — enhance the brain's development, environments that encourage intellectual passivity and maladaptive behavior (e.g., impulsivity, violence), or deprive the brain of important chances to participate actively in social relationships, creative play, reflection and complex problem-solving may have deleterious and irrevocable consequences.
Quote:
The brain's executive control system, or pre-frontal cortex, is responsible for planning, organizing and sequencing behavior for self-control, moral judgment and attention. These centers develop throughout childhood and adolescence, but some research has suggested that "mindless" television or video games may idle this particular part of the brain and impoverish its development. Until we know more about the interaction of environmental stimulation and the stages of pre-frontal development, it seems a grave error to expose children to a stimulus that may short-change this critical system.
Of course, every parent will decide for their family what is appropriate levels of media. For us, that is zero but I understand other families might be motivated to 'mediate' the effects of television, videos and attempt to make them more interactive. I would rather apply my energies toward non-media activities with my children. But this is a very personal decision and I think the best thing is to do whatever one does consciously, as many children in this country are encouraged to view television for reasons other than 'education' (give mom a break, help child wind down, etc.)

I understand that I can only manage risks to my children, not everything is within my control. But I feel accountable in this area (media) to be informed and protect my children to the extent I can in critical developmental years. They will have their own relationship to media as we all do. But I would rather their minds be free to develop healthfully as much as possible and when I read the warnings from orgs like AAP and why television puts healthy brain growth at risk, I am more motivated to come up with interactive alternatives to media.

HTH to explain what I wrote earlier!
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Old 04-06-2003, 10:49 PM
 
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i looked up some more info on this after what you had originally posted. i got to thinking about how i was feeling defensive about my decision to let my son watch a baby einstein and a sesame street music video and realized what a media junkie i have become since we moved from san francisco to nebraska (not too much to do here). we just cancelled cable and have cut out his tv watching and of course he doesn't even notice. he just liked the music!
thanks for your info. i am so glad for your posts. i just hope we didn't impair his little synapses from "exuberating" LOL.
thanks again, nikki
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Old 04-07-2003, 01:33 AM
 
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Until someone comes up with compelling evidence that TV is good for my kids, they don't watch TV. Very simple, really. (Now if I could only wean my husband from it!)

I believe that we need to work hard to educate and empower parents to the point that media-free kids once again become the norm. It means a lot of deliberate action-taking, building communities, driving to true play dates, etc.

I'm not militant about much, but I'll take on this pipe dream...
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Old 05-18-2003, 04:09 AM
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TV tends to induce alpha brain waves, and this is what a lot of the research is referring to. So does meditation...

I still find TV to be more of a positive than a negative in our lives. And I have a wonderful ten yr old with many friends and interests who has always been free to watch as much or as little TV as she wants...

Dar

 
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Old 05-19-2003, 10:27 PM
 
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I seem to find that my kids are too busy to watch too much TV. I am a child who was raised on *no* TV, no sugar, etc....and I felt so pissed and alienated that I rebelled as a teen. I also grew up listening to a lot of folk music and relate that to my punk phase.

I like to think that I allow a happy medium.:
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Old 05-20-2003, 07:27 PM
 
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My answer's not really here. We have one television. We do not have cable, and our reception is so/so. PBS is one of the few things that comes in decently. The tv is in a cabinet that can be closed in the living room. My dh and I almost only rented movies and the rare thing on PBS (like Manor House). We have only had any television for four years, and only had reception at all since we moved in here a little over a year ago.

When we first got the television, my younger daughter was an infant and didn't watch any, of course, and my oldest only watched carefully selected videos, and only when I allowed her too. As my younger daughter got older, she started watching videos on occasion too.

But then as my girls continued to grow and we settled on unschooling, and I started hanging around the discussion boards at http://unschooling.com/, my opinion of television started to change. I now pretty much let them watch whatever they want to watch whenever they want to watch it. When we first started this, they watched videos and PBS constantly. But as we kept going, they naturally started to set their own limits.

We go weeks and even months at a time without their turning on the tv, and we have days when they watch maybe an hour or so. And then there are days when they watch a lot, but those are almost always the same days that the night before they slept too little or they're sick or they're coming down with something. Sometimes one will be watching and the other won't, and I don't think I have ever had an issue where I wanted them to have them turn off the tv so we could do something/go somewhere and they didn't do it right away.

It's pretty much only PBS and kids' videos. Occasionally they watch something a little more sophisticated, but that is always because dh or I want to watch it and have decided that it something we are comfortable watching while they are awake. Because we are watching it with them, we are able to talk about it.

I highly, highly recommend reading the http://unschooling.com/ discussion boards for the views on watching television there. It's a really different way of looking at television, and I was very resistent when I first read these ideas, but now to me it makes perfect sense. It's not that I think there are some shows that are so educational, it's that I think life itself is educational and I trust my children to learn from it, in the ways they think best. Check out the opinions on food and video games there while you're at it.
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Old 05-20-2003, 08:12 PM
 
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Hi, we don't have a TV, and I never want to. I didn't have a TV growing up, and sure I felt a little left out when everyone was discussing whatever was on, but I read so many books, and did so may cool things instead that I never cared.

I've lived in and out of houses with Tvs, and now that we are in our own place with our kid, we decided not to get one. I don't think there is any redeeming value in TV; you don't learn anything.

It's funny too, the home daycare that my son goes to in the aft. will sometimes put on a video at the end of the day, and when we go to pick him up, ALL the rest of the kids (0-4yrs) will be watching whatever it is, and my son will be off playing, making up stories and pretending. That makes it worth it, to me.

Jenn

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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Old 05-21-2003, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Celestial


*MY* conflict comes not so much from the content aspect of TV, which I can always discuss with my DS, but more from the physical effects of TV watching, limited or excessive. The four that pop to mind are altered brain activity due to the flickering of the TV screen, shortened attention spans, increased hostility after watching TV violence, and decreased physical activity.
Are these things you've personally observed? Just wondering... they're not things I've observed in my child, who has always had free access to tv. Well, I expect that her brain does go into alpha wave pattern when watching TV sometimes, but mine does the same thing on long drives or while meditating, and don't see it as a problem.

I agree with the unschooling.com recommendation - and it's really not appropriate to apply conclusions from research done on one set of children to others, living under very different conditions. The studies that how an increase in violent behavior actually only showed that increase in some children - who were perhaps especially susceptible to this because of their life experiences. Most children's responses didn't change.

As far as physical activity, my experience has been that a physically and mentally healthy child who has access to other activities as well as TV wll get plenty of exercise. Today Rain did ballet for an hour, clay class for an hour, and swam for 2 hours, plus some basic playing. TV was always an option.

Dar

 
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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We have a TV, but we regulate the watching of our 4 yr old dd. Many days we don't watch any, others, we do.
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:17 AM
 
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DD has a tv in her room but only watches it to go to sleep (it's the one we take in the car b/c she hates being in the carseat when we go to visit my in-laws 6 hours away). she watches some shows during the day on nick jr. or pbs.
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:09 PM
 
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Last summer we were completely TV free which was nice. This "school year" DH watches NYPD Blue when it is new and we generally watch 2 videos a week as a family. It is more than I would like, but it came about because:

DH usually works from 8am (before kids wake up) til 6pm. On Wednesdays he works from 8am til Thursday morning and then goes back to work on Thursday 8am-6pm. That makes it from Wednesday 8am- Thursday 6pm I have the kids alone and *I* get tired. Also, DH usually puts DS to bed so I need a way to tire them both out after a long day. A video does it.

Saturdays we do stuff all day as a family and watch a video to wind down.

If we have plans or DH doesn't work on Wednesday, no video. If we have guest, or other plans on Sat no video.

I like this because it doesn't make TV the forbidden fruit, it makes it just another activity. Just like we don't go swimming every day or to the zoo. A movie is just a little treat.

I assume this will change though, as DD is only 4 and DS 20 months!

Kay

 

 

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Old 05-24-2003, 03:23 PM
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I think a TV is a must to have. Watch racionally. Help your children watch. Forbiding is not a good idea.
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Old 05-26-2003, 04:19 AM
 
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When dd was born I started out "no TV" for the household. Well, we slid off that wagon and I was letting dd (13 mo) watch a few minutes of Sesame Street here and there at first, which was turning into every day plus Teletubbies. That is over. Thanks to everyone who posted articles. I am also going to greatly pare back what DH & I are watching. Every now & then there is an interesting PBS show or National Geographic we can tape and watch when dd is sleeping. When she is older, I may reevaluate, but for now I am absolutely NO TV for dd.

FWIW- Growing up I was allowed unrestricted access to TV and I was and still am a total addict! I think it just depends on the kid.

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