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Do you think toddlers watching TV is bad objectively? There are some shows that I know my little ones would have been happy to watch forever but I also made sure that there were other things they were interested in. Do other people think, like me, it's about balance rather than "number of hours"?
By definition, "too much" of anything is not good. I am surprised that 14 hours a week is regarded as standard – I should have thought that was rather a lot for a toddler. However, what happens to the waist measurement and height over the years is surely more dependent on what the child is doing when he/she is not watching television. This looks like a classic Daily Mail half-baked story.
My little grandsons did love the children's programmes on TV, but were rarely sat down when they were watching. Programmes like Justin's House encourage children to participate and dance about, and on Baby TV, which my 8 month old grandaughters often listen to and watch, there are lots of lovely songs that trigger off a session of jiggling about and playing clap hands with us. If we see the children doing the 'couch potato' thing, the TV doesn't stay on for long, and they are encouraged into playing and being active mind you, two 3 year olds trampolining on the sofa is another matter. They go swimming every week, play in the garden, ride bikes and scooters, climb ropes and frames in the park and certainly get lots of exercise.
I get so fed up with the daft stories and dire warnings that the Daily Mail delights in highlighting every day. Don't they know how to bring good quality news any more?
It really is all about balance. We cannot shelter children from the real world of mass media - they need to be given the chance to learn how to discriminate.
But neither can we stop poor parents using it all the time as an excuse not to interact in a positive way with their children. What do we do? - confiscate their TVs?!
I also think that TV can be a valuable tool for quietening down difficult situations and giving a child some time out - parents should not feel guilty about doing this - their ancestors used gin-soaked rags when it all got too much!
Parents should of course be fully aware of what their children are watching and vetoing anything unsuitable.
Balance and sharing. My older grandchildren enjoy watching TV at the end of the day and I watch with them. My 3 year old GD prefers to play which is rather exhausting for me. I must admit I sometimes use the TV as a means to sit down for a while but I don't like them watching any old programme. I do get tired of these 'survey' / 'advice columns' or whatever. Probably next week they'll be saying it's 'educational' and therefore should be watched for at least 93 minutes a day
My DGC enjoy various Cbeebies programmes & watch some programmes after nursery and before bathtime. The eldest, nearly 7, is not really a TV fan . She likes to watch a movie with her dad at the weekend and prefers her computer games. However as one DD does not drive & the other does not have the car during the week as her Dh uses it for work they walk everywhere, play on their bikes, scooters, trampoline, climbing frame and go for runabouts on the common & in the woods! This summer I reckon kids have watched more TV because the weather has been so grim!
DD doesn't have a television, but GS do watch DVDs and use the computer. When they came here GS2 felt very sorry for me as I have to watch the programme on CBeebies being broadcast rather than choose what I wanted!!
I wonder if our generation was harmed by listening to "Listen With Mother" and "Children's Hour"?
Yes, I would - I remember when my eldest son was a toddler and I would spend a couple of hours letting him ride round on my back or tumble over my shoulders until the children's programms came on and I could have a rest!
My daughters are 31 and 36 and even back then there were concerns over the amount of television children watched. We were warned not to use TV as a babysitter. They loved certain programmes such as Rainbow, The Magic Roundabout, The Clangers, Play School, Button Moon and Fraggle Rock.
All through their childhood they were rationed as to how much they could watch and both had outside the home interests. Brownies/Guides (meetings, camps, hikes), singing, dancing, piano, gymnastics, horse riding. We were happy that they were out and about, making friends, getting exercise and enjoying themselves. Yes, we put in a lot of effort too ferrying them around but as parents we take on that responsibility it is part of the contract of parenthood.
I agree with you. Some TV is a learning process and as long as the TV is not used as a baby sitter then I see it as a learning tool. My grand son is 9 months old and loves Mickey Mouse. At first I told my daughter I was worried that he was too young for TV till I saw him interact with the songs and instructions to clap hands etc. Even at 9 months Jamie can sit in his walker and clap to the music. He is never in front of the TV for longer than 10 to 15 mins so in his case I think the TV is a valuable tool but nothing can replace the interaction of Mum joining in and playing along. (or GM too!)