Friday, November 12, 2010

Let's Talk TV

There is nothing that makes me feel so guilty and at peace in the same moment than TV, not for myself but for Isabella.  The doctors all say no TV until 2, well I've broken that rule.  A lot.  Are cartoons really going to turn Isabella into some mindless zombie?  Is she doomed to have to fill a Ritalin script until she's an old lady?  I don't know.  I hope not.  I grew up on TV and I'm semi-well adjusted, but maybe that's some fluke.

I know some mom's who don't allow any TV.  They don't even keep it on for background noise.  Are they freaks?  Or are they just kick ass moms?  Now I'm not plopping little miss Hells Bells in front of the tube while I sip mimosas on the deck (although that does create a nice visual), but I like the background noise.  In all honesty the only show I can count on her watching from start to finish is the Wiggles (God love 'em), but other than that, she likes the theme songs and then is pretty much over it.  Once in a while there will be a song or a commercial jingle that will catch her attention.  However, I will admit to using the TV as a babysitter so I can cook or get dressed and sometimes we'll snuggle up together and watch a show.

Honestly I'm not sure how I feel about television for my child.  She's out everyday, even in the cold weather.  One or two outings in the morning (park, gym, mall, walking, out for breakfast, museum, aquarium, play date) and one in the afternoon (visit grandma, park, walk, deck, out to dinner) so she's out a lot and we play a lot in her room, but to say that there's no TV involved would be a boldface lie and that's so not my scene.

So how do you feel about TV?  No judging, just curious.
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Mrs. MidAtlantic said...

I don't mind Laura watching a little TV. She seriously only watches for 2 minutes before she's onto the next thing. So if it gets me two minutes of sanity? Great!

Kelli said...

The tv is usually always on but mostly for background noise. Sometimes Hanna will sit for 5 minutes and watch but she is normally to busy getting into other things to be bothered with the tv.

She does like a little "explorer" before bed though. That's when she will sit and watch a whole show. But I usually watch tv before bed so who am I to judge.

A/K said...

we're in the "no TV" club, but we don't watch all that much TV ourselves. We do occasionally show her Russian cartoons on YouTube, mostly for the language exposure. They're about 4 minutes long. When I was home with her, I would put on the cable music channels for background noise.

misssrobin said...

I am way over on the other end of the age thing. My kids are twelve to twenty. So I know how it's going to affect them.

We did plenty of tv. Yes, I used it for babysitting. I also used if for education. We love PBS. My kids still enjoy Arthur and Little House on the Prairie on PBS. I don't let them watch much network tv. If the shows aren't nasty, too many of the commercials are. We have lots of dvds so there is still plenty of entertainment.

With all that said, my kids are all at or near the top of their classes. They have all been active in sports and the arts. They are all big readers who have always been years ahead on reading level. I don't think it's ruined them.

They still have some days (vacation days) when it's on more than I want. So I just turn it off. But kids need down time, too. Especially when they are teenagers and feeling a lot more pressure and so busy. Sometimes they just need a break.

Ultimately, you need to decide what works and what feels good in your heart. The sooner you can get over being the perfect mom according to the world and just try to be the best mom for your child and your family the sooner you will be more at peace and confident in your choices. Trust yourself.

Lil'Misa said...

I told hubby I didn't want Carter to watch tv until he was 2 but we broke that rule.

#1. We like the background noise or music and Carter will dance to the songs Barney sings.

#2. Sometimes having the tv on is the only way I can get anything done, like cooking. He will be at my feet while I'm making dinner and if I put on Sprout channel he will happily play or watch the show (for a minute).

#3. It isn't our babysitter. We will watch it with him, interact with him and the show and he doesn't "watch" more than an hour. I limit it to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 at night if we do both. There are days he gets no tv.

Lindsey Anne said...

I agree with you. I don't understand the moms that freak out because their baby is looking at the tv. I think there is no harm in having the tv on for background noise. My son isn't as old as your daughter so he doesn't really "watch" tv yet, more just glances at it occasionally. I need the tv on while I'm home with him during the day for my own sanity.

I'm not sure if I'll let him or have him watch tv when he's a little older, but I'm not totally against it.

Melaina25 said...

We have the TV on when he's in the room, but we never put on show specifically for him.

Travels in Heels said...

We do not have kids yet but I would take the same approach you do. I love to have it on for background noise too.

Sippy Cup Mom said...

I myself love TV and so does my husband. So I almost always have it on for background noise while he is playing.

I do let him watch Disney/Sprout shows and Toy story. He loves it, sings along and dances.

Sarah said...

Once Lillian turned 1 I felt like 1 cartoon a day was reasonable. She doesn't always watch it.

Now that she's trying to skip her second nap, it's a nice time that we lay on the couch together and watch sesame street in the afternoon. I like it, she likes it, and she gets in some much needed rest.

I do leave the tv on during the day as background noise and because it gives me some "adult speak" during the day.

Erin said...

Our pediatrician was a very staunch supporter of the "NO TV BEFORE 2!" rule, so I did follow it - and the way that our house is set up, there isn't a TV that is visible from the kitchen or dining room or playroom -- so unless we're in the living room, TV isn't even an option. The boys are 2 and a half now, and I let them watch an episode of Blue's Clues if they are having a babysitter over as bribery to behave themselves. I also started letting them watch Sesame Street while drinking their milk in the morning because they get up at 5am, and I want a few extra minutes of sleep! That plan backfired, and I had to go back to NO TV rule because the boys started waking up during the middle of the night, and screaming/demanding that they be allowed to watch TV. Um, sorry guys.

Erinsgobragh said...

I'm so glad you posted this cause I was thinking that I was being a bad mom for having it on as background noise! Thank you you've made me feel so much better!

jennoreilly said...

I have no problems with t.v. its the commercials I hate. In Canada there are stricter rules about commercials than in the US but we still have a short commercial once every 30 minutes on treehouse and regardless if it's a toddler toy or an infant toy my three year old will say 'mommy we don't have that toy!' all excitedly. Seriously? Yep she is already thinking she needs these things, so sad :( anyway, when she does get t.v. it's about 30 -45 minutes a day maybe more if she needs a quiet time but she's happy and healthy so I've no problem with it at all.

Here from FFF, happy weekend!

Christine said...

Last Spring we gave up one day of TV as a family for Lent...We called it no TV Monday. Like you, TV became background noise in the house. It got turned on first thing in the morning and didn't get a break until we went to bed. In the early morning the volume would start out on a ten and by the time we went to bed it would be close to 50! This background noise was competing hard for our attention and created a big wall of sound and light. No TV Monday was a rescue from that. I don't mind television. But we kept "No TV Monday" around long after Easter came on went (we are still doing it). I find my kids are still doing the same things they did when the TV is on all day...except there is some peace around here. With 4 little chatterboxes under one roof, peace and quiet is hard to come by so I will take it where I can get it!!

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