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#1 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 4 and my son is 2. I'd very love to just grant all their request to listen to tv- We have no TV in the house so we don't have cable, we have netflix and a bunch of child's movies, on our laptop. So I'm not worried on what they listen... just how much, and how. My son sits for a half an hour and then goes off to do something else, that's very okay with me. My daugther, on the ohter hand, would stay all day in front of the laptop. Constantly asking me to put that part of that movie, then that part, then this other movie, put not that part. Moaning that this movie is too long, but still wanting to listen, but no, put that part instead.

It's very like she's tired of listening but can't stop.

 

So when that happens, I propose activities she likes. Sometimes she says yes, sometimes she doesn't want and keep requesting parts of movies. Sometimes I just get tired of her requests and close the computer and ask her to find something else to do.

 

There are days we don't go out -I'm in my first trimester afterall, I have less energy- and it really shows on her general attitude if she's listening more tv. She'd yell more, throw things, be more agressive, steal thing to her brother for the fun of hearing him yell at her...very unpleasing to everyone! A calm request for drawing can turn into a battle for which will have that princess coloring page and the blue crayon, while usually my kids play together beautifully. I propose time-in when this happens, but it does not seems enough.

 

Having to limit her viewing would be weird to me, but maybe she's just a little too young to really know when it's time to stop.


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#2 of 12 Old 12-03-2012, 02:58 AM
 
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Honestly the tv is one of the things I'm really torn on.

I'd actually like to not have one in the house.

But my husband is very into gaming etc and it's one area I've had to compromise on.

We aren't hooked up to broadcasting tv/cable, so the kids only have access to dvd's etc which makes me feel a bit better about it.

 

I have found when I tried to control the screen time they almost become obsessed with it, but if I leave them to make their own choices after a few days they don't even seem to be bothered or watch too much of it. 

Some days are better than others of course
 

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#3 of 12 Old 12-03-2012, 10:43 AM
 
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My DH is a big gamer as well. We only have Netflix and he games after boys are in bed. We went through a period where DS1 was watching WAY TOO MUCH and his behavior deteriorated etc. So, we have a rule, during the week no TV period. On Sat or Sunday (not both) you can watch 30 - 1 hr (or 1 kid movie) that's it. Then it's off the rest of the week. It's made a huge difference for us....we don't bend on it at all....I'm mean tho winky.gif


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#4 of 12 Old 12-04-2012, 06:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreann View PostHaving to limit her viewing would be weird to me, but maybe she's just a little too young to really know when it's time to stop.

I think one of the major misconceptions about unschooling is that parents don't or shouldn't guide their young children and help them recognize when it's time to sleep, eat, or change their activity. Many young children (and even adults) have trouble recognizing their bodies' needs and need guidance. It was an eye opener to me to realize my ds didn't realize when he was getting hungry. He wouldn't ask for food. He'd just start exhibiting behavioral problems. 

 

TV was never a struggle for my ds because he never liked passive entertainment. He does like the TV on for background noise but he didn't like it at all until he was 3. Then, something on Sesame St freaked him out and we put a blanket on the TV for a few more months. I know I wouldn't have wanted him watching much TV as a toddler. I'm a bit uncomfortable seeing really tiny kids so totally wide eyed and absorbed by the TV. I was visiting someone once and the baby was parked in front of the TV and I could not get him to engage with me. He just leaned back and forth because I was blocking his view. My own ds as an infant would stare at the TV for a few minutes and then burst into tears. 

 

Anyway, once my ds started watching TV, I never regulated how much it was on though I turn it off when other kids come over so they will be willing to play with ds instead of "just sit and stare" (my ds's words). And I didn't want him watching certain shows at certain ages.


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#5 of 12 Old 12-04-2012, 07:47 AM
 
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I do limit television. 

 

I'm not a fan of banning anything, and in today's world it just seems unrealistic to me. That said I hate commercials and most of the new media that's available for kids today so I pick and choose what and when the kids can watch.  In the nice weather we barely turn the television on at all because we are OUTSIDE! In the barn, in the fields, in the yard etc...the kids don't ask for it, and I don't bother offering it. In the winter we tend to have "movie afternoons" when it's gray and freezing outside and I'm totally okay with this -- it's cozy and I think there *are* some wonderful kids movies I want my babes to see. 

 

When I was pregnant with DS the TV went on anytime I felt sick and pooped. And I reminded myself that once the second trimester came I would feel better and it would pass and DD and I would get back into the swing of adventuring and playing together. And it did! 

 

We also had a period where DD was begging for TV and I finally caved because I wanted to see what would happen if I let her have the television on whenever she wanted. So I did just that - and I went about my usual day baking, doing things, setting up activities..and pretty soon she was bored and came in to help. 

 

I have this love/hate relationship with it


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#6 of 12 Old 12-06-2012, 04:17 PM
 
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We don't own a tv but my kids get about two hours a day with the ipad. They watch Netflix or PBS Kids or play games or listen to books on it.

 

I *have* to have a break in the middle of the day where they aren't talking to me. My kids are very intense. My older daughter is extremely verbally precocious and our life is kind of isolated. I don't control how they use it beyond "don't break it" and they can't buy new things. My daughter self-selects out of age inappropriate things very quickly. They know which shows are for them and when they see a new one they want to try they ask me first. It's kind of weird how much they ask for permission. I don't think I was like that. But then again my parents told me no for everything. Ha.

 

I feel guilt around it but at the same time... my husband is a software engineer. He wants his kids playing with technology. *shrug* 


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#7 of 12 Old 12-07-2012, 04:02 PM
 
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There is plenty of evidence that even "benign" children's shows can cause aggressive behavior in kids. The rapid changes of movement trigger stress hormones in the primitive parts of our brains. We are wired to notice and respond to changes (for hunting and to avoid being hunted). So keep in mind that while they sit all calm and zoned out, their body chemistry is becoming a stressed-out soup! You can minimize this effect by choosing shows that are less frenetic in pace - Scholastic has some nice narrated stories on DVD that have minimal perspective changes. Also by allowing for a release of that stress response with some vigorous outdoor play following TV time.  

 

TV is a necessary evil in our house. I have tried and tried to go 100% TV free and *I* just can't do it. We can go almost all week without it but I totally identify with the PP about really needing time when its just quiet. I too have very demanding kids and I am quite sensitive and can get overwhelmed easily by lots of noise. I adore how quiet my kids are when they are "plugged in" on DVD's or iPods, but I nearly always pay for it afterwards with a tantrum (theirs, not mine LOL) or at least a somewhat irritable grumpy kid. 


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#8 of 12 Old 12-08-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by earthmama4 View Post

There is plenty of evidence that even "benign" children's shows can cause aggressive behavior in kids. The rapid changes of movement trigger stress hormones in the primitive parts of our brains. We are wired to notice and respond to changes (for hunting and to avoid being hunted). So keep in mind that while they sit all calm and zoned out, their body chemistry is becoming a stressed-out soup! You can minimize this effect by choosing shows that are less frenetic in pace - Scholastic has some nice narrated stories on DVD that have minimal perspective changes. Also by allowing for a release of that stress response with some vigorous outdoor play following TV time.  

 

TV is a necessary evil in our house. I have tried and tried to go 100% TV free and *I* just can't do it. We can go almost all week without it but I totally identify with the PP about really needing time when its just quiet. I too have very demanding kids and I am quite sensitive and can get overwhelmed easily by lots of noise. I adore how quiet my kids are when they are "plugged in" on DVD's or iPods, but I nearly always pay for it afterwards with a tantrum (theirs, not mine LOL) or at least a somewhat irritable grumpy kid. 

I hate to disagree but I do, I'm afraid. I honestly have never seen any research of a scientific calibre that I'm personally happy with that would support this (and listen, my kids went through Waldorf kindergarten, I have seen endless references to such studies and checked them out where I could). I think we are surrounded by rapid changes of movement all the time-try watching a 2 year old! I'd also expect that if someone's body chemistry was turning them into a stress soup, they'd feel something, a rush of adrenalin or whatever. 

 

I think the reason to avoid TV, to me, is much more simple and much more prosaic. Sitting still for a period of time staring at a light box just doesn't seem like an awesome activity for a young child. I don't even think its necessarily that habit forming, its just that a lot of the time I think they'd be better doing other things. But my kids went through Waldorf kindy and, honestly, I've never had anyone satisfactorally explain to me the functional difference between that little puppet show they all do and watching the tv-aside from the fact that watching a puppet show is obviously more aspirational ("oh yes my kid watches a puppet show EVERY DAY")


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#9 of 12 Old 12-09-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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FillyJonk, I am myself against TV but after my son turned 2 year old, he watches carefully selected videos on ipad. I am still not happy with this but I need the break.
I am very interested to know your viewpoint since you seem very balanced about this topic. So for example, this article has several of the points I agree with but have not checked out any references. http://www.whitedot.org/issue/iss_story.asp?slug=ADHD%20Toddlers
I want to hear your criticism of it. And please I am not here to start a war. I truly want to hear your constructive criticism of the article( stuff like baby barims stops firing neurons when watching media.)

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#10 of 12 Old 12-11-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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We don't allow screen time between 9am and 4pm all week.  They aren't allowed to watch any commercial channels.  They're allowed to watch iplayer (BBC) or the DVDs we have and that's it.  They have to fit their computer time in during the early morning or evening too for now.  If they need the computer for work during the day, they have to do it when an adult can sit with them.

 

They have never argued to watch any other tv - there's plenty for them on the BBC and they are as annoyed by adverts as I am.  I didn't have a TV when I met my husband and would rather not have one but they like it so I'm okay with it but I don't know how to work it.

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#11 of 12 Old 12-11-2012, 06:14 PM
 
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My daughter has the same personality, OP, and I can see my son going in that direction too.  She would sit and watch movies for a looooong time if let-that is a big reason I first moved the TV out of the main living area and then got rid of cable, it was just too easy to pop on a show and end up watching for hours.  She also gets kind of miserable if she watches too much-short tempered, bored all the time, just hard to deal with.  Also begs and begs and begs for more, whereas we can often go days without watching tv once she weans off of it with no problem. 

 

I do limit shows, though not in any particular way, like saying between certain hours or for a certain number of hours.  Just kind of, okay, that's enough, after this show we're going to go do something else or today we have lots of other things to do so we are not going to watch anything.  There really is a personality change if they have been watching too much tv (for them, it probably doesn't compare to the "average" number) and I feel like it is okay to limit something that is harmful to the general family dynamic.  So maybe think of it like that, you still have to make decisions that are best for the family and if too much tv is causing fighting and general crankiness, something needs to change, even if she is too young to come to that conclusion herself yet. 

 

I should add that I am probably not "technically" an unschooler-but we are very relaxed homeschoolers :)  I started to reply before I realized it was in the unschooling forum and figured I would weigh in anyway since I had faced similar issues. 


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#12 of 12 Old 12-12-2012, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your input.

 

I tried going the unlimited way; She actually gets bored now and close the computer by herlsef and ask me to do things with her!

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