Unschoolers...how much TV do your kids watch - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 50 Old 01-25-2005, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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and do you limit it? We have gone back and forth over the tv thing here, and I am inclined to limit it, but only because it seems like if I don't they watch it all day long. They don't read, or color, or play, just sit in front of the tv like little zombies. It really bothers me, not because I can't control them or whatever, but because I am sad to see them not doing the things they love to do. I really believe tv watching can mimic drugs, I know my back hurts less(well I don't notice it)when I am zoning, and I usually watch it a ton when depressed, which in turn seems to lengthen my depression. So what are your experiences...I really want it to be a non-issue...should I just turn the other cheek, turn it off when no one is in the room, and see what happens? If I could have my way we would only use it for movies here and there...we don't have cable, but still get some channels. I am having the same problem with my ds1 and the computer, when he's not wtching tv lately he is on the computer, or begging to use it(even when someone else is on it). Also do you censor what they watch? My kids are 7, 5, 3 and nb.

Sorry this is disjointed...just happens to match what is in my head these days. :LOL
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#2 of 50 Old 01-25-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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I am extremely interested in this thread.

We're not unschoolers, but I try to be laid back about most things and let them make their own choices...

we struggle with TV. I never allow it to be turned on (including DVDs and tapes) before 3 PM. I figure if they were in school, they wouldn't be able to watch TV before 3 pm, so I'm not doing any more harm on the TV front than if they were in school.

But I get the same feeling... it makes me sad and sick to see them veg out before the TV.

my one DC who doesn't watch any TV, plays online from 3:01 PM until I make him turn off the computer... which can go on till bed time.

I try to limit TV to PBS, but we have lots of movies, and if I'm not on top of things, DH will let them watch movie after movie during the day. It really bothers me!
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#3 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 12:10 AM
 
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Not unschooling...yet. Ds does go to school each day and dd is home with me. Ds is not allowed to watch tv/movies during the week(although at times we've slipped) this has been the schedule through part of 1st grade, and all of 2nd & 3rd. There were many months where he didn't watch it on the weekends either. I've turned off the cable twice now and turned it back on again due to dh. I've finally convinced dh to do it again. Hopefully for good this time. It would be fine with me if we could just limit it to some movies, pbs, and discovery but unfortunately that's not yet possible without paying for a whole package.

Dd on the other hand didn't watch anything for the longest time til last winter when we were stuck inside. It went from Sesame to Wiggles to Dora. She would ask and dh would turn it on. I think it is totally addictive IMO. I don't want her watching tv at all or ds for that matter. There are so many other things that we could be doing. But since my dh has been a tv-addict( and I've been sucked in sometimes too) it's a constant battle around here.

It seems to me the best way to deal with it is to turn the cable off and then if you want to let them watch something rent it or go to the library and check it out.

Good luck to you
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#4 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 01:40 AM
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Some days (some weeks, some months) Rain watches a lot of tv. Some days (weeks, months) she doesn't. A lot of it depends on her current schedule and interests. When she's doing a show she generally has less free time and goes to bed earlier, so she doesn't watch much, maybe 1-2 hours a day max, including when she's just sort of in the room. When her schedule is less busy she likes to stay up late and watch sitcom reruns for a couple of hours, while IMing friends, plus we watch 1-2 hours in the evenings (my CSI and Law and Orders, and sometimes she watches reruns of Simpsons and King of the Hill).

She rarely does watch TV before 3, but she could. There's not much on here.

When she was 5 she was addicted tyo Friends reruns at 6 every day.

We both spend 2-4 hours on the computer every day (sometimes while watching TV). We update our blogs, play online scrabble, email.., she chats, I do this.

It usually doesn't worry me. There have been timees when I felt like Rain was feeling depressed and escaping the world through media and books, which is sort of normal at 12, I think. We talked about it, I prodded a bit, I made an effort to make other activities more available, and she got through it. I don't know if I helped or if she just got through that stage, but she's happier now.

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#5 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 03:12 AM
 
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We unschool and have no limits on TV. My kids watch about 1 - 2 hours of TV a week. During the winter we've got a Netflix-type DVD membership, so they're watching 6-8 hours of DVD a week, but that's a lot of documentaries and stuff I've hand-picked. And if a DVD doesn't show up in the mail, they simply rarely think to turn the TV on.

My kids (two in particular) have addictive type personalities, so I've worked really hard to prevent them falling into the trap of watching TV all day long. I model responsible TV-watching. I turn the TV on if I've expressed interest ahead of time in watching something specific; I turn it off at the end of that show no matter what. I turn the TV on only rarely. We have a single small-screen (21") TV. It's in a room that's filled with other interesting things to do. There's only a small viewing area with limited seating. I try to provide activities, materials, opportunities and my own time so that they find other things to do besides TV.

We have family meetings every week and although the level of TV-watching is rarely an issue I'm concerned with, we try to touch on it regularly at our meetings just so that I have the chance to reiterate that TV viewing is one of the "healthy lifestyle issues" that needs to be kept an eye on. My kids know that my expectation is that the TV won't get turned on unless they have a specific reason to want to watch something. They know that I believe that too much TV viewing tends to lead to health issues and attitude changes, and to reduce the effectiveness of communication within a family. They seem to accept my opinions as valid.

Somehow, although I have strong views on the dangers of TV viewing, I've managed to avoid becoming emotionally embroiled with my kids in a battle of wills over TV. (I have failed in this respect over similar things like sharing housework and eating fruits & veggies, so I'm no paragon of virtue -- for whatever reason we've just been lucky with the TV issue, in that it hasn't become a big flashpoint.)

It works for us. But I confess if my kids were habitually turning the TV on for hours a day I would impose limits in a heartbeat. I believe that what occurs when the TV is off is so much more valuable on average than what occurs when it's on.

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#6 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 04:43 AM
 
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We didn't have cable for the longest time (still don't actually, but there's always grandma's house), but OH do we have videos! :LOL I used to totally nag my son when he was about 4.5 b/c we had just moved to a place that had PBS for free, and he wanted to watch for HOURS every day... I stressed, I nagged, I argued, I even pulled the plug , until I discovered unschooling and resolved to let him decide. So at first he gleefully watched as if there was a void he needed to fill, from cartoons to cooking shows (!). I found myself consumed w/worry that he was somehow "ruining himself" but just when I thought I'd go insane, he just didn't turn it on one morning, he'd play trains instead. Or he'd turn it on but it'd end up just being background noise to his playdough sculpting--you get the idea

So anyway, we've been limit-free for about a year, and tv is now just like anything else for us--it's a resource--so, some days they want to watch the same movie three times, many other days we're just too busy doing other fun stuff--yk?

If you've lived w/restrictions for awhile, and then you let up, be forewarned--of course your kids will watch like there's no tomorrow for awhile! :nana: It's like the law of supply and demand--if a kid has only minimal access to something, it'll probably seem that much more attractive to him. BUT if he's allowed to watch tv just as if it was anything else in his full and busy life (which it ought to be), then it loses its appeal, and his desire for it will be muted. Same way that a first ice cream cone might be very appealing, but a third or fourth won't be as appealing--yk?? There's a good article that Joyce over at unschooling.com just posted today about tv restrictions and the laws of economics--it's quite interesting Anyway, HTH!!

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#7 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 06:34 AM
 
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It really varies, and I'd have a hard time nailing down an hour count for it. The are no limits on TV at all for our kids, either in how often they watch or what they watch. Each of us has different shows we enjoy (My husband and son like South Park, I love Crime shows, Dd likes Nickelodian stuff) and some we all like together like Simpsons or King of the Hill. The children own their own TVs, and we have a small on in the living room.

Some days the TV is probably on most of the day, and other days it is hardly ever on. Most days are in the middle I suppose. My son likes to stay up late and watch some shows on Adult Swim while he lays in bed, and when my husband is out of town or I am flaring I will lay on the sofa and watch TV while I knit lol. We've always treated it much like we treat anything else in that our advice to them is "You know yourself best, and you know that constant TV watching probably wouldn't be healthy or make you feel really well. Do what you feel is healthy and responsible for yourself." If I thought one of them was really depressed and was glued to the TV due to that, I would surely voice my concerns to them just like I would with anything.

I've never even considered "pulling the plug" or imposing a limit. I enjoy watching TV and I know I would be pretty ticked if someone did that to me.

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#8 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 10:55 AM
 
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We don't have any limits and it really varies how much they watch. Sometimes (just recently, as a matter of fact) it seemed like the tv was on just for "noise" and as a matter of habit rather than because anyone was watching anything in particular. I mentioned this, and suggested a bunch of things that we could do instead.

Ds1 agreed with my observation--there are specific shows he watches, but he also thought the tube was on just to be on lately. Dd isn't a big tv fan, but there are a couple of shows she likes on food network. Ds2 likes some tv but doesn't keep track of when certain shows are on--it's sort of hit-or-miss with him.

There isn't really anything they watch on a regular basis--some weeks it's the food network, some weeks it's the science channel, some weeks it's Disney--it depends.

*I* could easily live without tv but the rest of my family enjoys it. I don't censor the shows they watch, although I'll let them know if the show/movie they choose is likely to be scary or graphic or gross--knowing what bothers each of them.

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#9 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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...way too much!

But not the same amount each day, not every day, sometimes we listen to music all day long, sometimes we get out and about and just don't have time for tv. I don't limit time spent watching tv, or with the tv just on as background noise, but I do limit content (no violence, ever, not even violent cartoons and superheroes) and there are certain times I do not allow the tv to be on, like dinnertime when the entire family is expected to sit at the table and at least pretend to eat whatever it is I have cooked for them!
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#10 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 11:31 AM
 
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..not unschooling, but are very laid back and child-led.

Our TV, (which is waaaay too big), is not in the main room of our house; it's not in the bedroom. We have satellite, for dh's sports. Dc know how to use the entire system, dvd, satellite, cd, etc. They go days and weeks without ever turning the TV on. When they do they know the channels that intrest them and they choose Dicovery kids, Disney (only if Jetex or House of Mouse is on, they wanted me to add ), and sometimes old movies on TCM (they say they like the 'old navy' guys...?).

I think having the TV away from the center of our home makes the biggest difference in how little it is turned on compared to other family homes.

IRL, I know an unschooling mom that joked that PBS was her curriculum. I thought that was a little twisted.
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#11 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 12:35 PM
 
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There are no limits on TV in our house and I don't censor what they watch. Their watching varies. The day before yesterday, they watched no TV at all, but yesterday they watched a couple hours (American Idol and Amazing Race). Some days they put it on as background and do other things, and other days they sit and watch. In general, my daughter watches more than my son, and in general they watch more at night than during the day.
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#12 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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I have to agree with everyone who says TV can be a bit addictive. BUt I think artificial limits wont help in the end. I think parents need to suggest alternat activities, and be specific about why you don't want the TV on all the time. Specific reasons make a whole lot more sense and I think are more likely to be followed than 'cause it is bad for you'. Like when they ask for X new toy, question what on earth makes them think it is cool, prolly a TV comercial or a friend. Or if they suggest X course of action, proly imitating a friend or a TV character. But just like you shouldn't refuse all friends you shouldn't limit all TV, just be specific about why you want to avoid which shows (or friedns) and whatnot.

I have heard alot of people tell me it is just for background noise, but that background noise still has an effect I don't like. My DH doesn't listen so well with it on, my DS tends to pick up on odd traits that I never modled. My friends kids, tend to think that an afternoon of watching is relaxing, yet are very cranky afterwards, and often can't tell me what was on. My neighbor can tell me whos going out with who, in the world of stars, yet says she doesn't have 2 minutes to sweep the floor every night. (not that I care about her floor, she brought it up). I know countless children who can name all the pokemon characters, yet can't name half a dozen states. Many more can tell me just how far away there favorite show is, after you tell them what time it is, cause they can't read a clock (at an age where they aught to be able to - 10 or so, digital!) I have friends who have the time to compose essays such as this one, yet can't get there kids dressed in the morning (and are complaining about lack of time) People who have no time to excersize and complain about it, yet always find the time to watch a show or two on TV (not that I do much excersizing, I admit it, I am addicted to the net .) I think the background noise has an effect.

I am not saying all TV is bad, I have one and I like occasional shows, though we are limited due to no cable . I let my son watch a movie or two, usually I limit it to one a day, the reason being he is cranky if he watches more! It isn't really play and it isn't really rest, and it isn't actual work. so it is a bit of a in between. Perfect for days when he is sick (or I am) but not good for all day or everyday. I always expleain why (short and simple, he is young still), and I try to offer a much more fun alternative for him.
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#13 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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I think we'll be unschooling, or at the very least, leaning heavily towards it. While we have TVs in the house, we quit watching them when ds was a baby. When we're in the midst of a tornado warning, we'll tune in to our little 13" in our "tornado area". Ds has never asked to watch tv (he just turned 5 a couple of months ago). I like it that way. We want him to remain a child while he's a child, and from what I've seen of TV, it grows 'em up waaaay too fast for my comfort level! But to each his own.
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#14 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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Sure, tv is about priorities, and w/everything else, I think mom and dad's example is key. If you can't find 2 minutes to sweep the floor but can watch an hour or two of tv, or spend an hour or two online :LOL, that's sending a loud and clear message about priorities. If you do the above, but restrict your kids' tv viewing, then that's sending a double-standard message, which is IMO not fair.

As for content, LOL, I don't much care about violence, I feel like my son is quite capable of turnng his head when something upsetting comes on, he knows the diff. between fake and real, and he trusts us to warn him if something is likely to bother him in a show/movie. (We always watch together anyway) As for sexuality-content, I am much more cautious there, but generally we don't watch anything inappropriate ourselves. He's getting our "message/opinion" when he notices us switch channels/turn off a dating show/scantilly-clad babes, and he understands the concept of modesty just fine for a 5yo. JMTC!

<<<Edited to add that my OWN comfort level w/violence is pretty low, and I think my kids take after me! It's not like they're watching Evil Dead or something, not even remotely close...>>>

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#15 of 50 Old 01-26-2005, 08:22 PM
 
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Yea my son can and does watch far more violent things than I feel comfortable watching. ("Man on Fire" with Denzel is one is fave movies lol) We've always told them if something was going to have violence, or scary images, or sexual content but they've always been the one who decides if they should watch or not. We watched a show about showgirls (done in a somewhat documentary style) that had a lot of nudity/sexual content in it but we all thought it was a great show. If someone had been uncomfortable viewing it they could have done something else, etc.

We spend hours online every day too... lol.

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#16 of 50 Old 01-29-2005, 01:43 PM
 
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We don't have a television. We tried for a year to do the limiting thing, but the more I thought about it the crazier it seemed. We've made so many parenting/lifestyle choices to protect the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of our children: homebirth, extended breastfeeding, cosleeping, family bed, natural foods, alternative medicines, whole organic foods, natural fibers, homeschooling, etc...(you know the list!) It just doesn't make sense to me to ignore the research on the effects of tv on the developing brain (REGARDLESS OF CONTENT!) the effects of commercial culture on the human spirit and the effects of sitting around like a zombie on the growing (and grown) human body. Television watching is such a passive non-wholistic activity. My kids haven't learned anything from the Discovery Channel or Sesame Street that in any way compares to what they gain from a few hours in the library or an afternoon at a museum. To me unlimited television is like leaving a huge bowl of candy out on the table and letting them eat as much as thay want. A piece of chocolate once in a while is not going to hurt, but an unlimited supply? No way!
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#17 of 50 Old 01-29-2005, 03:17 PM
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We leave huge bowls of candy out on the table, too, and my daughter is free to have all she wants.

It is a whole different way of life, yes.

TV doesn't have to be passive. In most unschooling households I know of, it's rare to see children staring glzaed-eyes at the tube. At our house, that happens after a long, busy day. Usually TV-watching is much more interactive, and we're knitting and talking and watching it, or some combination like that. When Rain was little, she would dance and play and watch TV.

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#18 of 50 Old 01-29-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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:LOL Yeah, our bowl of M&M's is right next to the remote. *I* can't regulate myself, but interestingly, my kids can. My theory is that candy was VERY restricted in my house when I was growing up, which made it all the more reason to gorge myself on it when I had the chance. For my kids, it's around all the time and doesn't seem to have the same allure for them.

We talk about healthy diets and choices of course, (just as we talk about tv shows and movies) but they have access to everything.

I think it IS a difference in lifestyle--I believe my kids can and should make their own choices. I realize this doesn't fit everyone's life though.

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#19 of 50 Old 01-29-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
We leave huge bowls of candy out on the table, too, and my daughter is free to have all she wants.

It is a whole different way of life, yes.

TV doesn't have to be passive. In most unschooling households I know of, it's rare to see children staring glzaed-eyes at the tube. At our house, that happens after a long, busy day. Usually TV-watching is much more interactive, and we're knitting and talking and watching it, or some combination like that. When Rain was little, she would dance and play and watch TV.

Dar
ITA, that TV watching doesn't have to be passive. We also knit, cook, talk with each other, and I sometimes work on an art piece when watching TV. They can have as much candy as they want too

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#20 of 50 Old 01-30-2005, 01:33 PM
 
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Our tv is almost always on. Right now Animal Planet is on & Joe is painting & "helping" my mom iron. For the last few days Joe has watched Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan & he dresses like Captain Hook & sings all the songs.

He is almost always watching TV but he is almost never JUST watching TV. I have actually never seen him sit, staring glassy eyed at the set. We watched a lot of TV when I was growing up but I would always read a book at the same time. (Yes, Mom, I CAN concentrate on both! :LOL )

We are very happy with things as they are, & he has picked up so many interesting facts- yes, it IS possible to learn from TV, even cartoons. I will begin telling him about something interesting & he's like, Mom, I KNOW that, I saw it on... whatever.
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#21 of 50 Old 01-30-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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I want to begin by saying that I DO respect the consistency of the unschoolers who have posted. The parents who I am frustrated with are the ones who make so many choices for their kids like: they can't eat refined sugar because it's bad for their teeth or they can't eat white flour because it may lead to allergies, or who frown on people who smoke around their kids, and then let them have unlimited access to the tv, even though the research has shown it's ill effects on brain development. I guess the candy bowl analogy wasn't a good one. To me television is much more dangerous to the developing brain than M&Ms (although that red dye is pretty nasty stuff!) As for doing other things while watching... I'm not sure I think that 's so great. I would much rather see my kids fully engaged in one activity, be it knitting, dancing (or watching a film) than only partially focusing on more than one... I realized I couldn't have a tv and then try to restrict it, I think that could lead to all kinds of unhealthy power struggles and hypocritical situations. So, we decided as a family to get rid of it. We have never regretted it. We play more games, read more books, play more music, go for more walks, dance more, paint more,(you get the picture). By the way, I do consider myself an unschooler, just one without a television! I hope that I haven't offended anyone, that is really not my intention.
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#22 of 50 Old 01-30-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudhutters
...As for doing other things while watching... I'm not sure I think that 's so great. I would much rather see my kids fully engaged in one activity, be it knitting, dancing (or watching a film) than only partially focusing on more than one...
In my opinion when Joe is watching TV and doing something else, he is not only partially focusing on either activity; rather, he is switching his attention back & forth between the two. This has to aid in his brain development somehow (I am tired & cannot think what I mean to say. But I would imagine it gets his right & left brain working together!) , and as I have said before, it can be done- I have always read while watching TV. Why? Because I grew up watching my dad do the same thing!
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#23 of 50 Old 01-30-2005, 10:46 PM
 
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I have to say that as a kid my mother had the attitude of 'doing something else'. for us it was really never true. No matter what she said. I can multitask cleaning, teaching, reading, and crafting like a champ, but the TV, that sucks me in.

I personally feel if it is important enough to watch it is important enough to umm watch. I don't mind shows that I can talk about with DS, letting him see what is not outside my door. And I don't mind the occasional veg out session. but I do not feel that the TV is totally harmless. It is a tool. I don't let him have free reign of daddys screwdriver yet either.

On the MnM's, My kid only trusts my opinion that too many will make him sick, he has never had the misfortune, nor seen anyone else with the misfortne. I hope that by the time he can open the bag, and or work the VCR he will have the internal controls not to abuse the ability. My goal is eventually to be mostly a friend and confidant of him, but not at 2, Not sure when, haven't been there yet . But when I get there, you wont find mme limiting the TV or the MnMs, well maybe for his younger siblings .
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#24 of 50 Old 01-31-2005, 04:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joesmom
rather, he is switching his attention back & forth between the two. This has to aid in his brain development somehow (I am tired & cannot think what I mean to say. But I would imagine it gets his right & left brain working together!)
Actually what I would wonder is whether it is robbing children of the habit of maintaining their attention on one task. Many anti-TV lobbyists claim that attentional problems are much more likely in kids who have watched lots of TV and the statistics tend to bear this out:

http://www.whitedot.org/issue/iss_st...DHD%20Toddlers

In the study of more than 2,000 children, Christakis found that for every hour watched at age one and age three, the children had almost a ten percent higher chance of developing attention problems that could be diagnosed as ADHD by age 7. A toddler watching three hours of infant television daily had nearly a 30 percent higher chance of having attention problems in school.

Not exactly the type of brain development I'm hoping my kids will get!

Miranda

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#25 of 50 Old 01-31-2005, 05:05 AM
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I wish I was better at multitasking. I've been working the front office at my job, filling in, and I have such a hard time handling 3 or 7 different tasks simultaneously. I'm also not good at watching TV while doing other things, although my daughter is. When she was younger she always had story tapes going (Jim Weiss was her fave) while she did imaginary play in her room, and she's always watched tv while doing other things, and she actually can attend to both, and more.

Most children are not encouraged to be active while watching TV. A lot of parents tend to turn off the tv if kids "aren't watching" i.e., they're dancing around or playing or something. My mother used to do this. I think a lot of parents reinforce passive TV watching.

I also think ADHD is way overdiagnosed in schools, and often the problem is how schools teach and what expectations they have, not the children's brains. Bill Gates has ADHD, right? Also, correlation does not indicate causation, and that's a major problem with studies like the one quoted. It seems equally likely to me that children who have the characteristics often labeled as ADHD would have more of an interest in TV, and thus watch more, even at younger ages.

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#26 of 50 Old 01-31-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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I just use the TV for exercise videos once in awhile- the kids watch a little of those if they're around. The TV is downstairs and we don't use it otherwise- they don't watch any.

We also can't get any stations on commercial TV without cable so it's a big buzz- even if we wanted to watch, we'd need to buy cable.

I don't think TV is necessary for every unschooler. Every family is different.

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#27 of 50 Old 01-31-2005, 08:13 PM
 
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Dar wrote:
Most children are not encouraged to be active while watching TV. A lot of parents tend to turn off the tv if kids "aren't watching" i.e., they're dancing around or playing or something. My mother used to do this. I think a lot of parents reinforce passive TV watching.

I agree. I have heard many parents say how they don't want their kids "being little zombies" while watching TV, but the same parents pretty much ensure that the kids will do just that if they make TV watching the *only* thing that is allowed to happen when/if the TV is going to be on.


I also think ADHD is way overdiagnosed in schools, and often the problem is how schools teach and what expectations they have, not the children's brains.

Definately! About the time the schools expect them to sit and be still and quiet is often the same time thier brains and bodies want/need to do the exact opposite. Particularly boys, in my experience. Ughh.

Bill Gates has ADHD, right? Also, correlation does not indicate causation, and that's a major problem with studies like the one quoted. It seems equally likely to me that children who have the characteristics often labeled as ADHD would have more of an interest in TV, and thus watch more, even at younger ages.

Yep. Many kids said to have ADHD (that I have known personally and when I was teaching) were reported by parents to be calm and attentive "mostly to the TV". This seemed to reinforce in the parents and doctors minds that the kids was definately ADHD. But then some would say that "they can't even concentrate on a TV show for half an hour" as a symptom of ADHD. I've seen both given as "proof" of ADHD.

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#28 of 50 Old 01-31-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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Well, *I* am one of those crazy moms who micromanages diet and yet does nto restrict TV (there is one in every crowd)

First of all, we have some pretty severe food intolerances here. So no we dont do candy. There are lots of things we dont do.

However, we have a tv set. IT is not connected to an antennae or anything that would give us channels (we live way out in the country). But we do have a nice collection of kiddie videos. My daughter at this point has free reign over them.

When I feel like she is watching too much tv, I will do what I did when she was engaged in dangerous or unhealthy activity as a toddler, I will use positive redirection.

We did this today. She was playing with some bonus features on the DVD and I was going nuts listening to it and she had been there for a long time. So I went over and asked her if she wanted to color with me. Sure! So we colored and made an elmo bag puppet. She does not abuse the tv and that is her choice. I do however, offer alternative activities on occasion.


We have too many other restrictions in our lives. I pick and choose my battles, tv is not one of them.
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#29 of 50 Old 02-07-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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I am bumping up this great thread. I have found a few threads asking about unschoolers and unlimited tv, and most of them are inundated with people who believe in limiting it, so I was happy to find the other perspective.
We have been largely tv free, but this week we are getting a sattelite. My oldest will watch a show or two and then declare he is done watching and will leave the room. Or he will use the shows as a springboard. Last night, after we watched Henry VIII, he decided it was time to start reading the classics.
My 4 year old will watch a bit and then go run around. I realized yesterday that we are enforcing the vegetative state by asking him to sit while watching tv! I am going to stop doing that.
But my 7 yo LOVES tv. Would watch it constantly and cries when we stop. I am going to employ a couple of different strategies. First, we are having lots of talks about critical watching. We are discussing the history of tv, the addictive qualities, how advertising works, everything. I am going to do unlimited tv for now, but dh has asked that it not go on until after breakfast. DH has very low noise tolerance. We are in the middle of packing and moving, and the dish is new to us, so we will be unlimited to let the "new" wear off. I am going to sit down with ds and list all the shows he likes or will find interesting. We are going to be able to visualize how many more hours than 24 it would take to watch them all!! We will talk about other things we have to do and how to make time for tv within that. Right now, the plan is that after we move, the TV wont be on until after 4 pm and then they can watch 3 hours a day. It is scary bc I dont want to limit my tv lover and have it become a forbidden fruit, but I fear the addiction and the brain drain.
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#30 of 50 Old 02-07-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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I try to regulate their tv watching but then my kids are young (almost 5, 3 and 1) For now I let them watch an hr from 12-1 (pbs) while I use the computer and then they usually have it on for another hr in the afternoon before their dad gets home when I'm cleaning or cooking or on the computer again! Honestly though my kids just have it on for backround noise, they are generally busy doing other things and are easily distracted. Like right now they are building with blocks and watching dragon tales. Oh and they also watch a movie before bedtime most nights, just a habit I don't really have a problem with

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