Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to Know When There is Too Much TV?

Quick ways to know when the TV watching has gone overboard:

  • My almost 3- year old wants a "purple horse that flies, just like Sophia" for her birthday
  • When, "What does Elsa eat in her ice castle"? is a legitimate conversation topic with your spouse
  • When you justify your tummy pooch by thinking that if Caillou's mommy has one, then it must be normal.
  • When you mumble channel numbers in your sleep, "289 for Disney Junior..."
  • When you are getting dressed to go out and find yourself humming the Jake and the Neverland Pirates theme song
  • When playing with miniature horses and the two year old names them: Elsa, Anna, Sofia, Dora, Cinderella...

And yet, with four kids, heck even when I had three kids, I'm much more willing to let them watch TV than I was before.

Our first watched no TV at all until she was 2, and since she had a 4 month old brother at the time, it was only on airplanes or long car rides. The second one started watching on airplanes and in the car (rides longer than 2 hours count for me) when he was 18 months. He adored shows, which was helpful on 6 hour cross-country flights when our first wouldn't sleep or watch shows, and would only cry or vomit. Fun times:)

When we had our third, I was willing to let the older two watch TV as a special treat during the week or on weekends. So maybe 22 minutes in the morning if the baby was fussy and I was on my own. Or an hour on the weekend during nap time so I could have a minute to myself.

Continue on to pregnancy with number 4, and all rules were out the window. Six weeks of bed rest and I was happy to let any of them watch as much TV as they could outside of meals, school, and sleeping. Total this was maybe 30 minutes to 2 hours a day, depending on how much help I had.

We've scaled back since the baby was born and I'm back on my feet as a fully functional parent:) TV is a treat during the week, maybe 2-3 days a week they get half an hour, probably in the morning if we are done with breakfast early, all bags and lunches packed, clothes and shoes on, sunscreen on...
Weekends offer maybe an hour a day for them, although that first child just isn't that into it. Maybe we restricted it too much when she was younger and now she won't watch?

What's your TV/screen time policy?

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Jenna said...

Seeing as how Sydney is only 7 months old, she doesn't really understand the whole concept of TV yet. I think it's funny on the baby message boards how moms always say "so-and-so just loves Sofia!" I'm like, really? You get a 7-month-old to sit in front of the TV and watch a show? Why?

That being said, I don't think we'll be too strict on screen time. But honestly, I don't know when we would really have time to watch TV, other than the weekends. I think it's okay as long as their activities are varied. If I was a SAHM, I would probably let her watch one show in the morning after breakfast.

I love hearing other parents' experiences - keep it coming!

Krystle @ Color Transformed Family said...

I used to be a lot more strict than I am now. Noah didn't watch any tv until she was a year old. Now... well most days we try to do without but when I need to shower or get some serious cleaning done I don't hesitate to let them watch a little PBS.

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