19mo old addicted to Signing Time? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-22-2008, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm posting this in TV free because it seems like the most relevant forum, but I'm hoping to get some advice (or some BTDT experiences) more than simply "Turn it off!" (Not that you have to tell me what I'm doing is right, either!)

My boy doesn't watch any standard TV, but does have several Signing Time videos -- I think he/we probably watch an average of 4-5 episodes a week (never more than 1 episode/day). Usually he watches while I'm making dinner, or we'll watch together if it's late and he still can't fall asleep. He LOVES them, and has started to ask to watch (via signing, naturally!) quite frequently -- sometimes throughout the day. (Or, maybe he's just thinking about them, but he'll sign "time" and point to the TV -- right now, it's still quite easy to distract him with something else, it's not like he's *insisting* on watching.)

Our situation is: I'm a single mom (by choice -- so, totally single), between jobs right now but about to go back to work full-time. There are some evenings where I really can't come up with anything other than ST to keep my boy occupied while I make dinner (I always try first to have him with me in the kitchen, pots and pans etc., but often that just doesn't work -- he wants to be either in my arms or watching ST). And when he still hasn't fallen asleep by 9:30 or so, and we've read book after book, and played on the bed, again, snuggling on the couch and watching an episode together doesn't feel that wrong to me. But what worries me is if we're on a slippery slope -- if, on my part, I will get lazier about using TV as a babysitter, and on his part, he's getting used to using TV to zone out. And of course, there's the whole "No TV before the age of 2!" mantra -- I guess I'm just not sure how much I should be worrying about it.

Oh, and also -- he's got a bit of a speech delay, only has 5-10 words right now, but lots (?20) of signs, and I'm convinced that signing is a good, not a bad thing in his life! So as far as the *content* of ST, I'm very happy with it -- but I continue to question the medium.

OK, that was quite a post. Thanks for making it to the end -- hope you all might have some insight for me!

-Esme
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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Welllll.....ST was our slippery slope. I/we hoped to be tv-free but DS1 was also a little behind in speech and LOVED Signing Time. I had taken a sign class and done it w/ him since 10 mo or so, and he would use maybe 1 or two. But later on, a few episodes of ST and he was signing along to songs, signing helicopter and such--those vids rock! But anyway, yeah, once you find out how easy it is to cook dinner, especially when you can tell yourself it's educational...it's hard to go back. For me, anyway.

It's tough, though. We never use the tv when dh is around--it's when it's just me trying to get something done, which sounds like your situation.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, Newbymom05 (should you change your name to 08?) --

Do you mind sharing how slippery your slope has gotten?? Basically, my feeling is that if he continues to watch a few episodes of ST a week for the next couple of years, I can live with that. I don't think there's any reason he would even know that there's anything else that you *can* watch on TV -- although I guess that will change sooner than I wish!

On the other hand.... should I really be concerned about him watching at all at 19 months? I guess I should go take a look at the research on the under 2s... (of course, there's probably a reason I haven't done that yet).

Also -- looking into the future, I really do NOT want TV to become a battleground. On the one hand, it would be easier not to have one at all -- BUT -- I'm not willing to give up the occasional DVD for myself (e.g. The Wire, which I happen to think is one of the best things ever created, in any medium) AND I'm basically a believer in moderation in everything.

Feeling confused.

-esme
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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With dd (who also loved st), we had to go all or nothing. We don't turn on the tv at all for her. And after about a week, she stopped asking. Now she plays by herself, going from room to room finding things to do. She never did this before when I allowed her to watch one show a day.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh dear. Just what I didn't want to hear!

But I've been very conscious these past few days, deliberately NOT resorting to ST -- even last night, when he was awake until 11... and today, when I couldn't make dinner without putting him on my back -- which was, in the end, a tv-free solution... And then this evening I wanted to check out a couple of youtube videos (there's a really good rendition of Boynton's Pajama Time out there, in case anyone's interested!), and kind of "forgot" that that's basically TV... and within a few minutes he was asking for more. Very few words, my boy, but he knows how to sign for TV! Yikes! (the sign, BTW, is ASL for "time" -- I think he figures anything with moving images/singing/dancing/etc. is "Signing Time").

Is there anyone out there who *didn't* go cold turkey and has made their peace with an occasional DVD? Am I posting in the wrong forum??

-esme
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:34 AM
 
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we are weaning off TV... and its a slow process it seems

We went from a digital cable household when we lived with my step-MIL, to bunny ears and DVDs (which, we have plenty - too many even). Before we moved, someone of the 6 of us (9 if SIL and her BF and ds were over too) would be watching something - so the TV was on pretty much all.the.time

Now that its just us (5, me, dh and 3 kids), its a bit better. While i would perfer the kids to be nearly tv-/video free, i know we couldnt do it as a household, as there are a couple of tv shows that are 1 of my very few vices (diet pepsi and knitting/crochet is the other vices). But, i watch all but 1 of my computer after they are asleep.

Anyways - we are still working on weaning out movies now... which i think will be much harder on my oldest (whos about to be 10) then my youngest 2 (ages 5 and 2).

~Kris mama to Alexis (15), Elizabeth (10), Andrew (7), and 1 angel
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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Esme-

We are TV-free except for Signing Time. My DD (who will be three in January) has only ever seen ST on TV (well and some recent coverage of the election). We have a bunch of episodes on the Tivo from their run on PBS and she watches a few episodes a week, never more than one at a time. She watches it often with DH in the early morning before anyone else is awake or when I need a few minutes of down time from her.

For us it hasn't been a slippery slope-- as far as leading into any other tv.

We have chosen a TV Free lifestyle for her because of the commercialism and most of the messages in tv programming -- to which I think ST is an exception. I realize others may say we are not really TV free but that's another post. I am okay with he choice we have made to allow Ms. Rachel. DD is very verbal (over 400 words at her second birthday) and now has a enormous signing vocabulary, knows the signed alphabet and has lately started making up spellings for words using the manual alphabet. I see a strong connection between language and reading developing.

When we are in the homes of others where the tv is on (constantly in every room, like my sisters house) my daughter ignores it (and my nieces and nephews who are sucked into it). A few times when someone has mentioned watching tv, she will wait long enough to realize the show is not ST and move on.

I think it is important for you to decide what you need (being a single mom is hard) and what you want for your kiddo. I think if you decide on some firm rules, stay true to them then I don't see any issues with the choice to include ST, even if you want a so called "TV-Free" environment.

ETA- We also have the ST CDs and often sign and sing the music. Occasionally if DD will ask to watch and I think it's just because she isn't focused on anything else--I suggest the CD instead. It usually works.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, this is certainly an encouraging post -- thank you! I like the idea of getting some of the CDs (are they the same songs, or -- ?) We've been doing well so far on my cold turkey plan -- and my son has been able to keep himself somewhat occupied during the dinner-making hour recently -- playing in the kitchen, making trains out of boxes etc.

The truth is -- *I* kind of miss ST! I'm not a big TV watcher -- in fact, the only TV I watch at all these days is Netflix shows, e.g. The Wire. But as I said in the original post, I really do like the ST content. I think I'll try to wait until he hits two, and reevaluate then.

-esme

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Originally Posted by kghaffar View Post
Esme-

We are TV-free except for Signing Time. My DD (who will be three in January) has only ever seen ST on TV (well and some recent coverage of the election). We have a bunch of episodes on the Tivo from their run on PBS and she watches a few episodes a week, never more than one at a time. She watches it often with DH in the early morning before anyone else is awake or when I need a few minutes of down time from her.

For us it hasn't been a slippery slope-- as far as leading into any other tv.

We have chosen a TV Free lifestyle for her because of the commercialism and most of the messages in tv programming -- to which I think ST is an exception. I realize others may say we are not really TV free but that's another post. I am okay with he choice we have made to allow Ms. Rachel. DD is very verbal (over 400 words at her second birthday) and now has a enormous signing vocabulary, knows the signed alphabet and has lately started making up spellings for words using the manual alphabet. I see a strong connection between language and reading developing.

When we are in the homes of others where the tv is on (constantly in every room, like my sisters house) my daughter ignores it (and my nieces and nephews who are sucked into it). A few times when someone has mentioned watching tv, she will wait long enough to realize the show is not ST and move on.

I think it is important for you to decide what you need (being a single mom is hard) and what you want for your kiddo. I think if you decide on some firm rules, stay true to them then I don't see any issues with the choice to include ST, even if you want a so called "TV-Free" environment.

ETA- We also have the ST CDs and often sign and sing the music. Occasionally if DD will ask to watch and I think it's just because she isn't focused on anything else--I suggest the CD instead. It usually works.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esmejoy View Post
Well, this is certainly an encouraging post -- thank you! I like the idea of getting some of the CDs (are they the same songs, or -- ?) We've been doing well so far on my cold turkey plan -- and my son has been able to keep himself somewhat occupied during the dinner-making hour recently -- playing in the kitchen, making trains out of boxes etc.

The truth is -- *I* kind of miss ST! I'm not a big TV watcher -- in fact, the only TV I watch at all these days is Netflix shows, e.g. The Wire. But as I said in the original post, I really do like the ST content. I think I'll try to wait until he hits two, and reevaluate then.

-esme
I think reassessing at 2 sounds great. I think ST has a lot to teach.

Yes the song are the same. They even have 2 versions on the CDs--one with words and one without--kinda like karaoke. Our library has a few--you could check yours out and try to see if he is interested before you buy them. They used to have downloads from the ST website but I don't think they do that anymore.

And can I just say I miss the Wire. Sigh. We aren't big tv adults either but we really enjoyed the Wire--we watched the first few seasons on dvd when DD was pretty little--back in the multi-nap-a-day stage--- we were like drug addicts--the second she was asleep we had to get our Wire fix.

Gee-- that last comment might discredit me for posting in this category.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:33 AM
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DD was addicted to ST at around a year or so (we also do no TV except a bit of that), and we gradually got through it. Now she'll still smile endearingly at me and say "Baby Signing Time" like eh? eh? aren't I SO cute and sweet you just want to let me watch it again? But we stopped getting them from the library b/c it was too annoying to have her go into tantrums over it. We save it for when she's sick and I am at the end of my rope, and she totally gets now that TV is very limited.

She is still obsessed with the songs and will request that I sing them a lot. I really need to get the CD. I think singing a song and getting really animated makes it just as memorable and she learns new signs/words just as well as watching.

I just wanted to say we've been there!
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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Hi, esme!

I think it depends on your reasons for going tv-free. Do you want to avoid all pop culture? All electronic media? Just be in control of what LO watches? Just avoid commercials/commercialism/the gimmies?

For us, it's mostly the last one. We own/rent videos and DS watches something on most days. If it seems like too much to me, I just distract him. Sometimes I put a video in to get some much-needed me time so I can be a better mama again.

IMHO, parenting is about doing what's best for you and your family. Only you can decide what that is!!

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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