Talking about Waldorf reminds me of something that happened with my niece. She went to Waldorf school from 1st-6th grade. It was a big deal to give up tv, but they loved the school so they made the sacrifice. My sis said that her behavior was so much better that she wouldn't change back to unlimited tv even if they weren't in Waldorf anymore. The behavior change is consistent with my experience with dd2, but not dd1. I suspect that it affects different people differently. Some are bothered by it, others aren't.
I just wanted to commend your bravery in beginning this conversation here! I think I would have been intimated to let others know (especially other naturally minded parents) that I was not limiting TV! I also LOVE that you are being so intentional with your thinking. I think many of us simply say YES too much TV is bad... but don't think through why we are so worried about it. Your questions and your comments show such engagement and thinking. Just want to give you a shout out for that.
I truthfully don't have any new insight to add to the conversation. I did watch a TED TALK a while back.. sorry I don't remember the researcher's name.. maybe someone could help me out? He discussed the way neruons formed in small children. He discussed the way rapid sequence shows (ones that change images very rapidly) did have negative effects on the way neurons were formed. However he claimed there were no negative side effects (at least in terms of the brain) to children watching slower shows -- he mentioned Mr. Rogers :-). This worry was something to consider until 3. After that many of the neurons were formed (connected?) so the rapid actions shows were not such a worry.
I know that I'm late to the thread but I want to say this...
We are a no-TV home. I know for me I would not be able to homeschool if we had a TV going. I know that I just get sucked in. I would wake-up and just keep going. LOL
My children do watch a few DVDs and are on the computer for maybe 1hr a day. But most days it is not any at all.
I am not limiting TV but I introduced it only when dd was 4 and indirectly limited it in the sense that I did not prevent dd from watching something if she wanted to watch, but I was aware that if we did not have enough interesting things to do, then TV would be there as a default, so it sort of kept me proactively creating other avenues.
Why do I not limit it anymore? Because there is no need to. There is enough variety of things that we do that TV is not used very often, and more imptly, not used as a default "nothing to do" kind of option, but only when watching specific things that dd wants to watch. I myself don't watch at all so maybe that is another reason it didn't catch on in a big way.
no longer or or ... dd is going on 10 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
I don't actively limit it but our rhythm does include "media" times during the day, and it's not really on besides those periods.
In the morning I work (freelance writer) for an hour (sometimes two) and that's "media time" for the kids. They can use the Ipad, watch a video, or something along those lines..its sometimes longer than an hour, NEVER longer than two and when it's off it's off and we go on with our day homesteading, playing and adventuring. If we need a quiet period during the day it might go back on, or if it's evening and we are all vegging out it may go back on..but for the most part I prefer it OFF in the middle of the day.
We do not actively limit either, but it's more a matter of time and availability. We have one main TV in our house right now. One in the basement is almost exclusively used by the older two and DH and I. The only one my 5 and under kids use (except movie nights in the basement) is the one in the family room, in the hub of the house. Not a rule or anything, that's just where we all gravitate. Because there are 5 kids 5 and under, and they all like some different things, our policy has become that they need to use good sharing and compromising skills, and if there is too many squabbles between two or more children, whomever is squabbling needs to take a step back and let someone else have a go. This naturally is fairly limiting and realistically means that even if they wanted to, it's unlikely that one child would be able to use the TV allllll the time or like everything that everyone was watching and just be okay with sitting and watching allll the time.
They've worked it out amongst themselves whose shows come on at what time and we've posted a little chart to help them, or I will remind them, and mostly they don't intrude on each others' territory these days. Or they quietly join each other without contesting what is being watched, even if they don't want to watch it themselves :o) Some of our best learning moments lately have come when someone concedes to what another child wants to watch, but ends up getting "sucked in" (and I use that phrase in the best way) anyway and getting involved, asking questions about the characters or story, and you can just see the lights going on in the other child's head when they realize their sibling is taking an interest in something they like.
Peaceful, homeschooling, UC/HBing, select vaxing, breastfeeding, intactivist mama to a bunch of small people.
Going off of richella and 4evermom, I agree it seems to be NOT a one-size-fits-all issue for all kids; some are more sensitive than others.
In our house we're striving for the middle path, knowing it's always changing...
In our case we have a DVD player and computers, but no network TV. My highly creative, imaginative 4yoDD will watch Youtube for long blocks if allowed, so we do limit her and frankly she seems thankful for it. She enjoys the "two more, one more" countdown we do with cartoons (which yes I do choose with her at this point). Maybe she has an inkling that she doesn't want to sit there that long but doesn't yet know how to pull away on her own?
I've seen plenty of behavioral difficulties in kids from no-TV homes, so it's not a cookie-cutter issue.
All that said...TV before age 2 doesn't look so good in studies.
I would definitely choose youtube with a 4 yo. It's very easy to get something weird. Once dd was watching on dh's phone and he dozed off and she found a cartoon which started out like whatever show she wanted to watch, but suddenly it would cut to a scary horror-movie monster-kind of face, then back to the cartoon. She was fine, but who knows what other kinds of stuff could pop up when no adult is paying attention. Even network tv has standards (whether we agree with them or not!).
I've come to realize that it's not the same for all kids, but in our family we have never limited screen time of any kind. We are a pretty "tech-y" family and feel that computer/device literacy is a basic skill that we want our children to have. Both kids learned to use computers at a very young age (DD was using a mouse when she was 2) and are very comfortable with them.
We have not had cable TV for almost 10 years now, so for the kids Netflix and YouTube. I have much preferred this over TV because the kids can dictate what they watch, follow links to expand on a subject, and aren't as subject to the whims of corporate media or pop culture. We recently got a free trial of cable with an internet upgrade and took it, although we've made it clear to the kids that we will not be paying for it when the trial is over. At first they were pretty captivated by Y-TV but the novelty has worn off and they don't watch that much of it.
When the kids were younger they sometimes went through phases where they spent a lot of time on a computer, or playing video games, but just when we'd think "hmm, could this be a problem?" they'd get through the phase and move on to something else. Now it is rare for them to spend a huge amount of time on any one thing, and I'm pretty happy with their variety of activities.
As for Internet safety, my son did come across what I think must be the same video that richella referrred to. I couldn't "take it back" but it was a great topic for conversation. Both kids are pretty sensitive and self-limit their exposure to stuff they may find scary. We've had the porn talks with them in the last year or so now that they are older, and the kids are pretty open with us about their experiences so I'm not too worried about it. We also live in a tiny house so it is easy to keep tabs on what they are up to online. :)
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)