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#1 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a single mom of a VERY active, intense 19-month-old boy. I have always been pretty anti-TV (including videos, children's movies, Baby Einstein, etc) since everything I have read says, "No TV until at least two," and my pediatrician agrees with this also. I have been told that TV viewing in young children can cause changes to a child's brain development, rewiring their neural pathways.

Until my son was about 16-17 months old, I never ever let him see the TV at all, even for a second. A majority of my friends (with very different parenting styles) advocated having their kids sit in front of Baby Einstein videos for at least 30-60 minutes a day so they could have a break, do dishes, or whatever, while keeping an eye on their kids, of course. They thought Baby Einstein videos were great for their kids also--educational, stimulating, and the like.

I didn't agree with this at all, especially since I did some research and found that studies have shown a link between TV viewing and ADD/ADHD. One study said that for each hour of TV a child watches daily, his/her risk of ADD/ADHD goes up 10%. I have also read, however, that these studies were found to be flawed and that subsequent studies showed no correlation between TV watching and learning disorders.

As my son has gotten a bit older, he has also become wilder, crazier, temper-tantrumier , and generally more difficult to deal with at times. One day after an evening of no sleep, I laid on the couch with him, threw a blanket on us, and put on Sesame Street. He was mezmerized, of course, and laid there so calmly, sweetly cuddling with me, rubbing and patting my arm, and being such a cuddle bug. I felt a bit guilty about my zombie baby, but loved having him cuddle there with me so calmly, and I got a break. Finally, some rest! It was like heaven.

I thought, well, it's not that bad. It's Sesame Street. It's public access TV; there are no commercials. He's not being brainwashed into wanting to eat McDonald's. There's no violence. I am watching everything with him. There's nothing scary. The programs are even PC, showing people of all races and abilities, and people doing non-gender-typical activities.

Since then, I have fallen into the bad habit of popping on the TV whenever I have an exhausting night of no sleep, which has been frequent lately as I often stay up late to work grading papers. (I am a part-time college teacher.) Sometimes he watches two hours a day. I feel guilty. I never wanted to fall into this trap, but it's so easy (and calms him down so much) that I see why people do this. I don't want it to become a habit, and I don't want to get too lazy, but I am so exhausted.

Is this terrible? What do you all think? Should he be watching no TV, in your opinion? What do you do for your kids? Does anyone know anything else about other research? I am so conflicted about this. I also wonder about the not-until-two prohibition, like the day he turns two it will magically be ok and have no effect on him. I suppose that's just a guideline, but I am just really confused and conflicted.

Unfortunately, my parents (whom we live with) have seen this as somewhat of a license to turn the TV on themselves whenever they want, and they are NOT turning on children's TV. This is a whole different issue, but related I guess since they think it's ok now that I am letting him watch some TV. They are also doing this when I am at work, so I have no control over it. I keep telling them I don't want ANY regular TV on when he's around, and very limited kids TV, but they haven't been listening to me at all. (We have a terrible relationship anyway. Again, another issue.)

Help! I need advice on this TV issue. I am feeling guilty.

--Holly
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#2 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 05:56 AM
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We never watch television, but a very rare dvd is okay. Most of our dvd's are pow wow dvd's. The children dance along and practice for when we return to the pow wow trail.
Every once in a while, we get a Scooby-Doo video or children's video's that have been recommended here on MDC, like Finding Nemo.

Then again, my children are older.
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#3 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mama in the Boonies! Actually, that could be my screen name too, as I am in the boonies myself on 6 1/2 acres, way out in the woods. Thanks for your reply. Do you not watch TV yourself either? I wish I were more disciplined with that, but my job is so intellectual and mentally demanding that I get sucked into the mind-numbing effect that TV provides (once my son is in bed anyway). I don't want to harm him by getting too lax, however.
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#4 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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We don't do TV at our house either - we'll rent a movie or get a National Geographic at the library.

When x and his wife moved to a new house and my kids each got a tv in their own room, I became even more adamant that there was no tv at our house. I think I might be more relaxed if there was more balance between the two houses.

I think everything in moderation. I don't think TV is evil. I think there are better things to do. I also think all of the marketing is wrong but can provide opportunity for conversation.

I don't like to use TV as a way to manage my children either. I'm a pretty scheduled person and so we have a routine that just doesn't involve tv.

Can you have a talk with your family about the kind of tv that they are watching in front of the kids? I can understand how this is upsetting.
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#5 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bisou View Post
Do you not watch TV yourself either?
No. Our television has no antenna and no cable. It's basically just a monitor for the dvd player.
I grew up without a tv, not even for movies. On the rare occasions we went to the movies it was at the drive-in or the dollar show.
I did know what tv was, as all but one of my friends watched it. Those who watched it were not as fun, as they just wanted to sit and watch it and not interact.
My friend who was also tv-free, is still my best friend. We did everything from going to the library to volunteering together.
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#6 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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you could freecycle the TV and then be able to stumble upon other things that are relaxing and calming for you both?? Play in the bath until pruney while momma reads?
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#7 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 12:43 PM
 
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Is this terrible? What do you all think? Should he be watching no TV, in your opinion? What do you do for your kids? Does anyone know anything else about other research? I am so conflicted about this. I also wonder about the not-until-two prohibition, like the day he turns two it will magically be ok and have no effect on him. I suppose that's just a guideline, but I am just really confused and conflicted.
I'm not sure what to do about the parents putting the tv on all the time dilemma. Until my Mom's death she had the tv on 24/7, it was like that my whole life. My dd learned quickly to tune out the tv, especially since it was nothing that would interest her anyhow. We we're in that room constantly so I didn't see making a battle out of it.

I feel bad that your putting so much pressure on yourself. I agree that kids before age 2 shouldn't be parked in front of a tv. I do think it's a guideline, and I still regulate tv viewing for my 6yo.

Before I was a Mom I had so many rules for my future children. I was going to be the perfect Mom. As a single Mom, I think we're spread pretty thin. Sometimes we need a small break, and that's hard to come by. If you use the tv a couple times a week to catch a break I really don't think you are damaging your child. Actually I think the opposite, that you can be a better parent giving yourself a break.

Your child is going to do well, because you care so much, and not as much because you never turned on a tv.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#8 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 01:11 PM
 
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I grew up without tv and we don't have one, for all the developmental reasons you mention, plus I think most of the stuff on there (even PBS) is dumbed down and tied in to commerce, yada-yada. And also because, as you have found, once you turn it on, it's a slippery slope. One that I would have a very hard time not sliding down.

That said...I am not a single mother, and my hat is off to anyone who is one. And when you've got sleep deprivation on top of that? Plus a wild and crazy kid?

Mama, do what you have to do. You need a break now, and you can always cut the tv off later when your kid has got through the wild phase.
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#9 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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Play in the bath until pruney while momma reads?

My dd will play in the tub for 2 hours at a time. I've never seen such pruney feet.
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#10 of 92 Old 02-23-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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Mama, I hear you. My ds is 22 mos, and my h and I have been separated for over a year. I too have resorted to letting ds watch more tv than I thought I would. Actually, it's not tv, it's Sesame Street dvds, or select other DVDs (Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Charlotte's Webb). I don't let him watch regular tv because I don't want him exposed to commercials or to adult tv content. I let him watch 30 minutes per day, sometimes 60 minutes. I just can't do it all - I WOH full time (wish I didn't have to, but that's the way it is right now) and he's with me full time on the evenings and weekends. I need a breather and letting him watch these dvds while I fix dinner or take a shower (I have a small apt and can see him and the tv from my bathtub) or clean the catbox or whatever makes life a bit easier and me less grumpy and frazzled.

I try not to feel too guilty about this. He enjoys the shows and does seem to get something from them, in particular he says his a-b-c's along with the Sesame Street characters. I just limit the amount of time and whenver possible, even if I'm in the kitchen doing whatever, I try to talk to him about what we're watching.

In an ideal world, I'd have oodles of energy and time and his dad would be at home with us to help out and he'd never watch anything, but this is not the case. I just try to keep it balanced and do my best.
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#11 of 92 Old 02-24-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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Like with every other issue, it all depends on the child! And specifically with TV, it depends on what you're exposing him to (and I realize that with your parents, you don't have control over that part of things). But I do not think TV is evil. Kids want to relax and be entertained at times, just like adults do.

My son is 5 now, and I probably let him watch too much TV when he was your child's age. Not junk TV - I too kept on on PBS, and educational videos about animals and construction and trains, etc. But I know I felt guilty at times....yet that was the only time he would be calm and relax for two seconds, as opposed to working himself into a frenzy. And you know what...he is fine now! As in, he's intellectually curious...he's smart, he loves to read and spell already. He still loves his videos and his PBS shows. But he also loves his books, his games....I think as long as your child is also getting exposure to OTHER things that stimulate him, then TV sometimes is okay. I mean, it's out there. So for me, I'm trying to steer my son towards choosing better-quality shows.....and watching things like Mr. Rogers (who I think is wonderful) never hurt any child!

One more thing - I have a friend whose son is the same age. She allows him no TV at all....which I've never really thought twice about - I respect her a lot. But I do know that her son is OBSESSED with TV whenever he leaves home! When he comes here, he always wants to watch it! (I respect his Mom's decision, so I steer to them to play other things). But I can't help but notice what a big deal it is to him....he knows it's out there but has no access to it, so it's become very desirable to him. Whereas with my son, TV is totally last on the list because it's no big deal. Just an observation I made.
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#12 of 92 Old 02-24-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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#13 of 92 Old 02-24-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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I without TV am way more evil than TV could ever be. We use it a lot. She's watching right now.
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#14 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lana:
Unfortunately I can't get rid of the TV since I live in my parents' house and it's theirs. Even if I didn't ever watch TV and it was my place, I'd probably want to be able to watch movies once the little one was in bed.

Taking a bath is a good alternative activity though, as he loves the bath. I might have to try that.
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#15 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Janna:
Thanks for your perspective. I know I have the tendency to be really tough on myself, and it really irks me when I feel like I've let my son watch too much TV for the day, and then I go to work (I teach night classes) and I come home to find out that they've had him watching non-kid-friendly TV! ARGH.
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#16 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mama, I hear you. My ds is 22 mos, and my h and I have been separated for over a year. I too have resorted to letting ds watch more tv than I thought I would. Actually, it's not tv, it's Sesame Street dvds, or select other DVDs (Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Charlotte's Webb). I don't let him watch regular tv because I don't want him exposed to commercials or to adult tv content. I let him watch 30 minutes per day, sometimes 60 minutes. I just can't do it all - I WOH full time (wish I didn't have to, but that's the way it is right now) and he's with me full time on the evenings and weekends. I need a breather and letting him watch these dvds while I fix dinner or take a shower (I have a small apt and can see him and the tv from my bathtub) or clean the catbox or whatever makes life a bit easier and me less grumpy and frazzled.

I try not to feel too guilty about this. He enjoys the shows and does seem to get something from them, in particular he says his a-b-c's along with the Sesame Street characters. I just limit the amount of time and whenver possible, even if I'm in the kitchen doing whatever, I try to talk to him about what we're watching.

In an ideal world, I'd have oodles of energy and time and his dad would be at home with us to help out and he'd never watch anything, but this is not the case. I just try to keep it balanced and do my best.
Yes, I have the same feeling. I was so exhausted and frustrated with his behavior a couple months ago that it was escalating into yelling, on my part, which I did NOT want to do. He was hitting and slapping me 10+ times per day, throwing books at my face, etc. It was tough to deal with and I didn't deal with it well. Putting Sesame Street on for a bit has calmed him down so much and we have such nice bonding time, but on the other hand, I don't want to have that part of our routine!

He actually screamed for the TV to be turned on this morning (Sat), and since my parents and I were all there, I figured he had enough entertainment with the three of us. I was going to go upstairs and work on some applications and leave him with my mom for an hour, and since he was having a fit, she wanted to turn on the TV. She said it should be part of his routine that he can expect: an hour of TV every morning, and then turn it off and that's it for the day. I disagreed; I don't want him feeling like he can watch it EVERY day. It's frustrating having to argue with them, but I guess if I were married/partnered, we could disagree on child rearing too, so it might be the same thing.

I do have high expectations of my mothering, and I think sometimes it can actually backfire for me because I don't allow myself any leeway, and then when it becomes too much I just lose it. I think having patience for my son and being kind to him is probably more important than whether or not he watches TV a bit.

But again, I am so conflicted. Even when saying that, I question whether I really believe that him watching a little TV is ok. UGH.

I am an academic by profession and overly analytical. A curse! :
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#17 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I without TV am way more evil than TV could ever be. We use it a lot. She's watching right now.
That is so funny! I feel that way too sometimes. It's probably better for my son to watch Sesame Street than have me get overwhelmed from fatigue and frustration and yell at him.

You all are making me feel much better. I know I watched Sesame Street and Mr Rogers as a kid, and I am a college English teacher with a pretty functional brain. I think I turned out fairly bright.

Then again, perhaps growing up without TV, I would've solved global warming, come up with a cure for cancer and HIV, and be a multi-millionaire. But I jest.

I know there are many mainstream parents (some of my friends among them) who have TV and movies on constantly. I visited a friend recently who had Star Wars playing on her HUGE big-screen TV for her two-year-old and newborn to watch. Star Wars? I don't think that's the best for a young child of that age.

Likewise I had a student who, much to my dismay, told me she had mounted a TV/VCR above her baby's crib that played, in her words, "on a constant loop" 24/7 (literally) to entertain the baby when he woke up so they didn't have to get up and tend to him. She told me this when I was surprised that her baby slept 12-14 hours and didn't get up until after 9:00 am. I wanted to know how she did it to see if she had any helpful hints for my son. After her explanation, I wanted to ream her out, but I didn't think it was appropriate as her teacher.

I think that the biggest danger comes from parents who use TV in place of any real interaction with their kids, kids who watch TV with no other activities (like outdoor play, play with friends, or creative and imagination-building activities like art and reading), and parents who allow their children to watch TV without supervision. When my son watches TV, I am always watching with him, and he only watches programs I have seen several times, and only shows without commercials.

This doesn't hold true for my parents, however, and I guess I will just have to keep working on them and trying to emphasize the importance of limiting the amount of TV he watches and that the type of programs he watches are the kind I want him watching.

If anyone has additional thoughts, please share!

Holly
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#18 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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In my opinion and according to my beliefs, I do think TV can be considered "evil." As a disclaimer, this statement is in no way a judgement against all you lovely mamas.

I find that my TV-free dd plays alone exceptionally well, compared to many other children. I think that since you are wanting to address your guilt here, you should ask yourself, "Does my child have the skills to play alone at times, which could give me the same kind of break that TV watching does?" IF so, and you get breaks at these times, don't feel guilty about the TV.

I would only worry (if I didn't think TV was "evil") if TV is the ONLY possible way for you to get a break. Independent, creative play is a natural activity for babies and children. If it isn't happening, it should be reintroduced and nurtured because it's a very important life skill.

IF your child plays alone at times and you can utilize this for a break and if you find yourself increasingly using the TV for more breaks, then I would worry that maybe you are a little too depleteled -- sleepwise, or nutritionally, or overscheduled, and some changes might be in order in the best interest of yourself and the family as a unit!
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#19 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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We're TV free here and rent a movie about once a month. When we're not renting a movie the TV is in storage in the basement.

Just another perspective on TV giving you down time. DS sounds like he was a lot like your son at your son's age - very active - he still is. But what I found over time ( we didn't have any TV before 2 and then a little here and there, increasing to an hour a day by about 3) is that DS was harder to handle when TV was in his life than when we didn't have it. He was more aggressive, threw bigger tantrums, and sometimes just a downright emotional mess - and that was just with an hour to an hour and a half a day and on the public access kids programs. The trade off just wasn't worth it for just an hour a day of quiet (well, he never was a quiet watcher! Very active watcher) unsupervised time.

At 4.5 we talked to him about it and about what happened to our day after the TV was turned off (and he was always OK with turning it off), and how it felt in the house with so much discord (it really just ramped him up too much - overstimulated him) and as a family we decided it would be best if we killed TV in the house. There wasn't even a transition time for us. He agreed and we put it away and things have been so much better. And he became so great at solitary play that I know get lots of time to decompress. Now I know at your DS' age it's just not that easy - he has to be watched more than a child a bit older, but there are still other things he could be doing that would also allow you a bit of a break.

Not all kids respond to TV the same way, and your child may be very different than mine, but I just thought I would throw out another perspective. For some kids TV overtimulates them enough that their behaviour worsens, even if they calm down for the duration the TV is on.
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#20 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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Not all kids respond to TV the same way, and your child may be very different than mine, but I just thought I would throw out another perspective. For some kids TV overtimulates them enough that their behaviour worsens, even if they calm down for the duration the TV is on.
YES! My oldest dd watched tv or a video up until age 3. What first turned me on to exploring tv-free was when I noticed that bedtime was HORRIFIC when she watched something any time in the day after noon.
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#21 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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Thanks, all, for the good discussion and multiple viewpoints. This is a subject that I've thought a lot about, even before getting pregnant with my 5-month old twins.

I was raised in a home with several TVs, but we were not allowed to watch TV from Sunday night to Friday afternoon. My parents strongly pushed reading instead. I grew up with my nose in a book. But when I hit college, I had free cable TV in my dorm first semester and became a TV addict. (Worse, an MTV addict. ). Also, growing up, my siblings and I were glued to the TV any time my parents left the house. It was forbidden, so we were captivated by it to the point of watching absolutely anything we could (e.g., fishing programs, informercials). My husband's upbringing was more moderate with regard to TV.

I don't want my kids watching much TV, and I would hate for them to see most of what is out there. But I don't want it to become an object of fascination for them either. Somehow, we'll have to find a more measured way to allow them to see TV as what it can be (informative and entertaining), without making it so compelling or allowing them to dive head first into all the junk that's out there.

Thanks for information about the different approaches everyone is taking with regard to TV. Good thread!
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#22 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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Chrisstiana,

I hear that every once and a while and I think it can happen. But I know more people (including myself and my siblings and many close friends) who grew up TV free and didn't go through a phase where when we were out of the house we had it on all the time, 24/7.

Again, I think it just depends on the personalities involved. When DS is over at a friend's house he gets annoyed by the TV as he'd rather be playing legos or playmobil or dressing up. My siblings and I were the same way and when we got to college what was more important to us was being out with people so we just hooked up with like-minded people and spent time heading out for brunch, coffee, beers, or a movie.

I think (but don't know) what made a difference for my siblings and I was the fact my parents were so involved with the outside world that when we were at friends' houses who didn't have parents that took them hiking, picnicing, caving, swimming at the hole, cross country skiing etc every day that wasn't a work or school day and instead let them watch TV we really realized we'd rather be out and about and that's stayed true.
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#23 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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I'm of the opinion that commercial TV is pretty darned bad, and that adult TV is usually completely inappropriate for small kids. (Televised golf is pretty inoffensive-mostly car commercials, as are certain documentaries and music programs)

We have a television in our living room. I think it has been on twice in the last year, both times so that DH and some friends could watch a movie while DD and I were visiting family in another town.

We had a housemate for about six months (she moved out yesterday ) who watched TV constantly. I finally had to ask her to close the door to her room when the TV was on, since DD would wander in there, and I'm sorry, but "The Pacifier" is not a movie for small kids, no matter what she thinks. I finally bought a couple of Mr. Rogers DVDs to use a distractor when I had to pull dd out of there. Now that she has moved out, I will probably continue to let her watch them once in a while.

I'm of the opinion that carefully chosen children's videos in very limited amounts can be a useful tool, but an easy one to abuse. We limit to 30 minutes a week and chose Mr Rogers because of the gentle transitions and lack of merchandizing. My DH works a lot of overtime so that I can SAH, and I don't have family nearby to help with her, so once in a while, I'll put on a DVD so I can get dinner on the table by the time he gets home so that we're not up past midnight with evening chores and dishes.
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#24 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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I was raised in a home with several TVs, but we were not allowed to watch TV from Sunday night to Friday afternoon. My parents strongly pushed reading instead. I grew up with my nose in a book. But when I hit college, I had free cable TV in my dorm first semester and became a TV addict. (Worse, an MTV addict. ). Also, growing up, my siblings and I were glued to the TV any time my parents left the house. It was forbidden, so we were captivated by it to the point of watching absolutely anything we could (e.g., fishing programs, informercials). My husband's upbringing was more moderate with regard to TV.

This in a nutshell is why my DH doesn't want us to ban TV completely. I frankly don't think I'd want to anyway, but his feeling is that he wants our kids to have some exposure to television so that when they do go off on their own, they have a lesser chance of spending their entire freshman year of college glued to 180 channels of digital cable TV, or whatever. I know from having read many other stories here on MDC and elsewhere that this is far from a guaranteed outcome of a no-TV upbringing, but I do think it's something to think about.

My kids do watch a certain amount of TV. We don't have cable, so it consists primarily of PBS kids' programming. Most days they watch half of Sesame Street (we get home from preschool in time to catch the last half), Mr. Rogers, and Between the Lions. I usually watch with them and we discuss what they're talking about on the shows. Then the TV goes off and stays off the rest of the day. (Most of the time. I am not perfect in this regard and my kids probably watch a lot more TV on average than many other parents on MDC.) We don't have crying/complaining/begging to watch TV on a regular basis, so I feel relatively confident that they are not addicted to it. On nice days, which sadly have been few and far between lately, we will often go outside in lieu of the afternoon PBS shows, and I rarely if ever hear complaints or comments about it.

I guess my overall feeling about TV is that it is not inherently evil. You can use it as a babysitter, which is not a good use of it, or you can selectively use it judiciously for education/entertainment. Sorry, but I can't consider television evil when my 5yo was able to internalize the concept of symmetry from an episode of children's programming. Could I have taught that to him myself? I don't know. Maybe. It probably wouldn't have occurred to me. So TV can have its place. I think that overuse of TV can be problematic, but it is not "evil" in and of itself.
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#25 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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Well, as someone who WORKS in the TV industry, I feel qualified to say that, YES, TV is evil.

Okay, maybe not completely evil... Buffy the Vampire Slayer was wonderful, not evil. lol.

We don't have one at home. We DO have a portable DVD player, and we are very careful about what Ds is allowed to watch. However, we don't really limit his viewing. If he feels like watching a buncha videos one day, cool. The next he won't want to watch any at all. If all he did was sit in front of the monitor, I'd be worried and reconsider. But I tend to let him do what he wants to do during his downtime.

He is obsessed with dinosaurs right now, so we got this amazing series on dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals from the science museum. He watches, and recreates the scenes with his own toy dinosaurs. He is learned an amazing amount about biology and geography etc. from them. He can tell you which era the creature is from. He can list all the eras and talk about the climate change associated with them etc. Pretty amazing, really. I don't think he is just memorizing, either.. he seems to be really getting the concepts behind the timelines.

But he is also 4 1/2 now. He didn't watch anything until he was 2/1/2 or 3.
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#26 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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Okay, maybe not completely evil... Buffy the Vampire Slayer was wonderful, not evil. lol.
I loved that show! I wasn't able to totally give up TV until the last Joss Whedon show got cancelled Firefly too. But I wouldn't let a kid younger than 14 or so watch it.

There's a certain degree of character development that you get in episodic fiction that I really enjoy. Something I noticed among the people I know with Buffy and Angel was that people would make those shows a social event. My friends and I would gather at someone's house, eat dinner together, watch the new episode, and then hang out, discuss it and speculate about what was going to happen next. I don't know if this is a peculiarity of my friends and family, or if it is something more people did. Making a TV program a social event like that, to me, shows that there is a positive use of television.
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#27 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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YES! My oldest dd watched tv or a video up until age 3. What first turned me on to exploring tv-free was when I noticed that bedtime was HORRIFIC when she watched something any time in the day after noon.
Yeah, we never had fights about turning the TV off, or him pleading to watch it, but the effect TV had on him permeated everything he did afterwards and not even he knew why he was acting the way he was - he couldn't point to why he had this kinetic, angry energy. I remember BF and I would just look at each other and say "but we had a good day..." It took a while to figure out was going on (we were slow on the up take) but the minute we acted by taking away the stimulus the reward was immediate.

Funny how something so simple eluded us for a long time.
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#28 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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could somebody link to an article or something about tv rewiring the neural pathways, or causing any other negative effects? We allow the kids to watch videos (but not "TV" since I don't believe in allowing small children to view commercials.) Any links on going TV_free or limiting it would be great. Sorry to hijack the thread! :
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#29 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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I never let ds watch tv (except he loved the weather radar for some reason...colors I guess) until he was at least 2. Just like you I discovered I could get a break (for me it was to shower and clean up some stuff) in the a.m. while he watched PBS for an hour. It still bumbs me out a bit that I let him into that but...I don't see it as a problem right now. I live in Minnesota where it is pretty darn cold. Many folks here get out and enjoy the winter. I do not. I'm from the Texas Gulf Coast and I don't do extended time outdoors in a northern winter. I actually would though for my son if I didn't have a newborn strapped to me. Ds is mellow and prone to be a couch potatoe I'm afraid (like his dad) so come spring, the TV is off! I mean no other movies during the day.

Frankly, I grew up with tv. We have satelite with 250 channels. That's what we do at night, me and dh anyway. I don't see a problem with it. As long as there are limits. We had tv growing up (I can't imagine not having it!) and I was allowed to watch a few programs I guess. I don't think I cared about it when I was as young as 2 though. My mom never plopped me down in front of it though...I think. I'm gonna ask her. I think that may be a new babysitting phenomenon.

PS
its PBS or DVD only for ds. It is commercials that I am SUPER aginst.

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#30 of 92 Old 02-25-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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Well, TV had better NOT be evil b/c that's pretty much all DD has done today is watch DVDs. We're both sick as dogs for the third day running and DH has been away the whole time. I basically threw in the towel today and said we are going to be couch potatoes. And, since the other option seemed to be a constantly wailing two year old, my very last nerve told me that I'd better do this before I run out into the street screaming.

But, generally, we don't watch much TV.
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