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I think I'm raising a TV addict

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#1 AmityD

Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:11 PM

I think 'm raising a TV addict. I'm not proud of this admission but I'm ready to accept my enabling in this behaviour and help my darling son beat this addiction, in order to prevent a life of future couch potatoness.

I don't know how this happened, it all started so innocently. An hour of ABC kids in the morning, half and hour of Wiggles in the afternoon. A little DVD here and there. He couldnā€™t even sit through a whole episode most of the time.

But it all changed. He started wanting more. He dropped his day sleep, so I put on the TV in the afternoon to encourage some 'quiet time' on the couch. It got cold outside and the park was off limits, so I put on the TV to keep him entertained for a while. And now he's hooked.

I blame Foxtel. There are kids shows on 24 hours a day. They've opened up a whole new world to us that that we never knew existed. Dora, Diego, Little Einsteins, Mama Mirrabelle's Home Movies. He could literally sit glued in front on them all day, quite happily, like a little Homer Simpson.

However, I realised things had gone too far recently when it was bright and sunny outside and I asked him what he wanted to do together that day. "Let's watch TV ALL day!" he replied, with obvious glee at the thought. I promptly turned the TV off and he sobbed for half and hour.

Even the convenience of our digital Foxtel IQ is coming back to haunt me, with my Mother in law calling to ask me last week why Jamison was refusing to go to the toilet unless she paused the TV. This child of the technology age thinks everyone can pause live TV and was determined to hold on until his favourite show was held for him!! Clearly something has to be done.

But to be honest, I can relate. I love TV. I would give up many luxuries before I would part with my Foxtel subscription. Food, for instance. However, the last thing I want to do is raise a couch potato, a child who spneds their life watching a screen instead of being involved and active. I just need to find something else that occupies him as well as the square box does, because I haven't found it yet.

It would be lovely to think he could spend his hours doing craft projects, or putting together one of the numerous puzzles he has, or playing with some of the education toys that sit idly on his shelves. But in reality he shows no interest whatsoever in any of those things. Some kids are great at entertaining themselves and will happily play with their trains, lego, dolls or colouring in. Not my son. My little social butterfly has to be around people (mainly me) all the time. Except when he's watching TV, which is how we ended up here. Because, let's be honest, it is not possible to entertain your kids every minute of the day, no matter how dedicated a parent you are.

And of course, there are plenty of other things we do together that are good for him. We read books every day, we put music on and dance around the house, we go to the park, we bake cookies, we go to playgroup and sports lessons, he comes to band rehearsals with me and we use our imagination and play pretend. But on those cold and wet days when I need to get work done? Well, you know.

However, according to the numerous studies I've read on the subject, I'm doing son a huge disservice by switching the TV on, with it having many negative impacts on his future.  

One study from New Zealand's University of Otago tracked more than 1,000 children through to adulthood and researcher, Dr Bob Hancox, says no matter what your intelligence level or social background, childhood television viewing can have an impact on your education. The study even claimed the more TV kids watch, the less likely they are to graduate from university. Fantastic!

Another study from the University of Sydney found that children who spent more than two hours a day in front of the television were less likely to be fit, after 2,750 NSW school children were put through their paces.

So my uneducated son will also be a slacker in the fitness department too. Mother guilt setting in....

But the thing is, we don't know what else is going on in these kids lives. Could it be more about the shows they were watching than how much? I am the first one to turn off anything violent or adult in it's content and will continue to do so once my son is old enough to deem me extremely uncool for my stance. But is a bit of age-appropriate kids TV really going to hurt him, when it's balanced with everything else that is important for him?  

Either way, I'll be turning it off a bit more from now on and battling the inevitable tears I'll get in thanks for protecting him from being an uneducated, unfit slacker. Roll on summer, the days are going to be loooong.  

Does your child watch too much TV? Or do you strictly control their television time? What suggestions do you have for keeping them entertained that doesn't rely on screen time?

Edited by AmityD, 18 July 2009 - 09:35 AM.

#2 Gossamer

Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:29 AM

Does your child watch too much TV? Or do you strictly control their television time?

Both of our boys (4.5 and nearly 2 years old) watch no television.  Our TV is off while they are awake.  

What suggestions do you have for keeping them entertained that doesn't rely on screen time?
I don't keep my children "entertained" as such.  From an early age I've encouraged them to play by themselves.  I don't need to "entertain" them as such.  As long as they can see me they happily potter around doing their thing.  They are now at an age where they happily play together wub.gif (with occasssional interventions to sort out disputes over toys).  

They like to help with cooking, housework, we go for walks, read, draw etc.  Also, compared to many other children we know they have relatively few toys but that does not seem to impact on their ability to find something interesting (at least for them) to do every day.  Despite their "lack" of toys and no TV they are occupied and rarely bored (I don't think DS1 knows the word LOL).

#3 lisakd

Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:10 PM

My nearly 4 year old did not watch any TV until she was over 2 yo.  She now has TV about 4 days a week for between 30 mins and 3 hours, depending on the weather etc, but a 3 hour session will mean no TV the following day.  We try to have 3 no TV days a week and I admit they are harder for me, but mainly due to the fact that I have a 4 month old as well so find my time split and often can't entertain or join in activites with her due to looking after bub.

We do not have a usable backyard at present (just demolished a pool so we have a great dirt / mud pit) and sleep times for the baby dictate our ability to get out for at least one sleep per day, but i do the following to help her enjoy activities other than TV:
  • Quiet time (an hour a day) is in her room with her toys, not in the lounge with TV
  • The radio is often on in our house to prevent the TV going on and she LOVES to dance to it.
  • TV in the morning doesn't go on until she is dressed and has had her brekky
  • I have play dough made (bought) available and cutters etc for a quick play activity
  • we always have pencils, textas and colouring books handy and I often print her favourite characters from websites with downloads for new things for her to colour in
  • I have started to keep old magazines, toy catalogues etc and we use these for cutting and glueing (I often cut things out in advance for her to glue whilst I am in the kitchen overlooking her)
  • She helps me clean the house.  She loves using the dustpan and broom to clean up small messes (mostly her's after eating) and is a great help at packing away toys and clothes

I join in with her as often as I can (usually for an hour or 2 each day when the baby is sleeping) in lots of the above, as well as puzzles, books etc.

I am not happy using the TV as a babysitter but I AM guilty of it at times.  I don't want to get into the habit, as my 4 month old has started turning his head to the "noise box" when he is in the room.  I remember her doing the same but stuck to my resolve to not let her actively watch anything until she was 2. I hope I can do the same with my son, but know it will be harder with her already watching things in front of him now.

Edited by lisakd, 14 July 2009 - 12:12 PM.

#4 Mel1609

Posted 14 July 2009 - 01:11 PM

Hi Amity, your concerns are a common one I think for most parents. We all want to make sure our kids are active, healthy, and stimulated each day. We also have to ensure that they fit into the family they were born into. In our house, my daughter has watched TV right from the start, basically becasue I do myself. Not all day, of course, but I like to watch certain programs, so therefore she was exposed. I think that's pretty normal, I don't know anyone who watches absolutely NO tv at all. Personally I think certain programs have a lot to offer, and much can be learned.
The difficult is to ensure that they can develop all of their skills at such a crucial learning point in their young lives. So a variety of activites is called for. We go to the park ( even when it's cold - most kids don't care about the weather, so we have to suck it up ! ) we do carft, read, go for lunch or shop, play centres, visit friends, playgroups etc, etc. So with all that, some tv thrown in is no big deal. It annoys me when parents proudly announce their child watches no tv - does that make you a better parent for some reason ? I believe children need to be exposed to most aspects of life in order to be well adjusted. Nothing harmful, of course, but I don't think tv in moderation is harmful. It sounds to me like your little one might be calling the shots a bit too much, here, and that that may be the issue, not the tv itself. ( Forgive me if I'm over-stepping the mark.) If they have boundaries, they accept them, and learn to enjoy themselves in other ways. Maybe a firmer hand ?

#5 peachkoala

Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:21 PM

My DD is exactly the same as your son, even to the point of asking to pause the TV so she can go to the toilet!!  (we have foxtel)

When she goes to bed she tells me she is a good girl and she can watch TV tomorrow!!

She has never played by herself, she is so hard to entertain even if I sit down with her. I try playdough, drawing, cd's/dancing etc. All keep her occupied for 5min then she asks to do something else, or to watch tv. She knows how to work the DVD player, put the tv on, etc. She is the type of child that needs other children to play with. Of course, DD2 is too young to play with her!

She doesn't watch TV on a Monday or Tuesday as these are her daycare days. Wednesday morning she has swimming and Friday morning is playgroup. The rest of the time we go to the park if it isn't too cold or wet and DD2 is awake. Or play outside, but she quickly gets bored of that.

She doesn't nap, so her quiet time is watching a DVD in the arvo and she generally watches playschool in the morning. Other times I may put it on if DH isn't home during the dinner/bath/bed rush and I need to quietly feed DD2 and put her to bed.

I do have some rules. No TV until we have had breakfast and are dressed, teeth and hair done etc. No TV during breakfast and lunch. We generally watch deal or no deal at dinner. Other rules include she must switch off the tv when I ask her to, or I give her a time limit etc.

I don't really have any suggestion on how to keep your son occupied though, as I do struggle to keep DD1 occupied.

#6 ZombieFerretOfDoom

Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:49 PM

My son watches far more television than I am comfortable, it is a real gripe with me.

My husband is the sort of person who will have the tv on constantly and watch whatever is on regardless of whether it is any good, just because it's there, whereas I only turn the tv on if I want to watch something. I hate having the tv on as background noise. On evenings when my husband isn't home I frequently don't turn on the tv at all.

So while I managed to keep a relatively tv-free home for my son in his first year during the week (I occasionally would put on a Baby Einstein or something, or put on a dvd for myself when he was younger), it's become harder since he turned 1 - especially over the past few months, the weekends in particular are a different story. My husband often gets up weekend mornings to take our son so I get a chance to sleep in a bit, and he ALWAYS puts on a dvd immediately, then he usually wants to watch something during the day himself, and will put on another dvd for our son later in the day. He'll also often put on a dvd after daycare days, when there's only 1-2 hours of awake time as it is, and it's just unnecessary.

It wouldn't bother me so much if our son got up and danced during Hi-5 etc as he used to, but now he just sits there like a stunned mullet staring at the screen. I got really annoyed with my husband this weekend as our son was playing happily with some of his toy cars and hubby decided to put on a movie - immediately my son stopped playing and sat there open-mouthed staring at the tv. I don't mind watching tv for a break from entertaining him, but interrupting happy independent play by putting the box on really p!sses me off!!

He now wants tv during the week, drags me to the box saying "tv? tv?" and I get tantrums if I don't turn it on. I'll admit it's an attractive babysitter especially now as I'm 31 weeks pregnant and it relieves me from having to be Active Mummy, so I give in more and more frequently now - especially as it's been such a rainy winter and it's a very long day when you're housebound - but it worries me how much he's beginning to watch. I imagine it'll get worse when the new baby comes and I want to keep him busy while I look after her - the tv will get more and more tempting!

Aarrgghh - sorry didn't mean to get into a rant but your blog touched a raw nerve!  wacko.gif  I've mentioned my concerns to my husband a number of times and brought home a brochure on tv watching for young children - but he really doesn't see it as an issue and thinks I'm overreacting. It's hard, we're very much in synch as parents on pretty much everything else but on this we're miles apart!! Do any other posters have this problem?

#7 ironmanmum

Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:38 AM

Hi Amity,

I agree with "Mel1609". I too, am tired of the self righteous parents who say they have NEVER let their children watch TV, and heavens, little Jonnie/Jackie, doesn't even know the word. Well good on them. Welcome to the real world which includes technology of every description. What happens when their dear child visits some other persons home? Is TV forbid there as well.?

Give me a break,everything within reason, (i can already hear the hounds baying at this statement)and in moderation.

My boys watch a little telly,my DS1 is fixed on Dinosaurs ATM. DS2 is not that interested, unless animals are on the screen. I think as parents we can judge how much is enough, or too much. and depending on that will work on fixing the issue if we have over stepped the TV watching.

In general i am tired of self righteous parents. Their children eat organic, they sleep all night, they wee on comand,they eat everything given to them,they can spell at 2!,They are read to 2 hrs a day, one parent is always with the children at any given time, they were NEVER given dummies, Tantrums,what tantrums!!breastfed for years and finally have NEVER been to any kind of paid care. AND are forever telling you how wonderful their children are..

PERHAPS, i should have put this in the VENT forum.
As you can tell i am having a great day.....


#8 Debra S

Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:43 AM

Who reads all those long replies?
People (children) will do what is easy if they can.  Turn it off at 2 hours and dont turn it back on for the rest of the day.  You will have to endure a lot of nagging at first, but lots of boredom needs to be experienced in order for your boy to change.

#9 HWMum

Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:29 PM

I guess it all depends on What they are watching. As long as they are getting some value our of it, I don't really mind.... well to a point anyway!
There are some real benefits of Playschool and Sesame Street type shows, as well as a whole lot of DVDs that are teaching kids stuff as they are entertained. One of my girlfriends recently put me onto a DVD called Talking Time  which helps my son develop his ability to speak by mouthing out sounds. It sounds like total gibberish to me, but he loves it!

#10 Velouria

Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:19 PM

I think it's just as much about parents giving up the addiction as it is the kids. When I just had the one it was really tempting and easy to overuse, now that my youngest can play along with the oldest it is a non issue.

#11 Armagnac Daddy

Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:23 PM

"I love TV. I would give up many luxuries before I would part with my Foxtel subscription. "

If all else fails it might be time to rethink this.

I'm not going to be righteous, as someone said above. In fact TV is one of those things where idealism prior to birth has been watered down by reality afterwards. I don't know what I'd do if we got to the levels you have- presently Bear, who is 2 and a half, when offered TV on the couch while having her final drink of milk, usually demands music instead. I'm chuffed but this will probably change, I know.

A workmate had a couple of young primary aged kids (in the 6-8 range from memory) who had become bad TV addicts. They tried moderation but it didn't work, the kids were demanding that they watch TV while eating etc.

So he and his wife made the ultimate sacrifice, they threw out the TV. After a couple of days of grumbling they joined in the games etc being offered, and a new routine of spending family time together was established.

I think this would be a pretty extreme step, but if all else fails...

And as for the person with the hubby who keeps sticking on the TV- throw the bloody thing out the window. Speaking as a dad here, I've got to say men can be completely thoughtless sometimes...

#12 Anne

Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:17 PM

My kids are older now, but I remember the hassles caused by TV, and I thought my experience might be interesting. I grew up in a home with limited TV, my husband with TV available anytime. He likes TV 24/7, I hate the constant noise and insisted on limiting it for the kids. We found a compromise by having a TV in another room where he could go to watch, but keeping it off in the main part of the house.  

I think TV has to be limited and you might as well start early. How many kids will choose homework over TV if its available? Not too many probably. When they are older, negotiate a time limit for TV. When you are not actually turning it off right then they will usually be reasonable about this, but you might both have to compromise. Our limit was one hour per day. They could choose the programs, but once the hour was over the TV was off. There were often complaints, I was the fun police, but I felt strongly about it and tried not to relent, although there were times when did.  

Its different for each child too. One of my kids was the "I need entertainment every waking moment" kind while another was perfectly happy to entertain himself. Needless to say the entertain me type is more difficult to convince that there is life outside the box because they love the noise and companionship of it.

Limits, and postponing fun till you've completed what needs doing, are important lessons for kids. As parents we dont do them any favours by pretenting they wont have to do this in the real world.

My older kids, now in their 20's, actually thank me for policing their TV when they were younger.  They are self motivated, read widely, and have many interests. If you think your kids are watching too much TV they probably are. Trust your instincts and limit it. It certainly wont do them any harm!

#13 Armagnac Daddy

Posted 15 July 2009 - 03:40 PM

A personal anecdote on the matter here...

(Trackback reciprocated)

#14 Prancer is coming

Posted 15 July 2009 - 07:16 PM

i don't let my almost 3yo watch tv.  There will be the odd occassion where it might be on in the day or when we are at other people's houses and it's on and she sees it.  My plan was nothing until the age of 2 and then I might relax it, but now I have a baby I don't want watching it and we honestly don't miss it.

I've cut my tv viewing down because of it, but spend more time on the net - so no better off really!

Anyway, I find the topic really interesting.  I've read numerous studies recommending young kids don't watch it, but I seem to be a wowser for not allowing tv.  I'm sure if I mentioned on EB other practices not recommended for young children eg going to MacDonalds every second day I would not get the response that it was harmless.

My DD is good at entertaining herself.  I have no idea if that is her personality or something she has learnt.  I like to leave the house everyday and do lots of things like playgroup, kindergym, mother's group, park visits etc.  That helps to wear her out!

I think every parent has issues they are big on, and ones that they don't really care about.  TV is one I care about, whereas I'm sure others care about things that I don't see as important.  Parenting is such a hard job and making a change that in the short term will result in tantrums and less time for yourself seems pretty daunting.  Maybe work out what you think is appropriate viewing and then whether you want to make small or big steps to get there.

#15 simarn

Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:00 PM

It seems that the issue of 'tv watching' is always going to be around. I agree with someone else who said that..
idealism prior to birth has been watered down by reality afterwards

Growing up I was never allowed to watch much tv. Although we lived on a farm, so getting muddy and dirty with the cows and chooks was always more fun anyway. I was determined to not let my children watch much tv either..... BUT... reality hit and I found that my sanity needed me to bend my rules a little.

My DH works ALOT so I am home on my own with DD ALOT (we also have one car so if we go out it has to be walking distance). So my TV is on for the following times:

7am till 9am = I always watch teh 'TODAY' show in teh morning, because I enjoy it. DD pays no attention to at all!!! Which is great.

8:35am = If we are going out for the day, I tend to switch over to Sesame Street briefly while I change her nappy and get her dressed (otherwise she just WONT be still enough for me to do it).

Then TV goes off and we have our daily activities, indoors or outdoors, whatever the weather allows

3:00pm - 3:30pm = After her sleep, she is very delicate, so I put on PlaySchool while she 'wakes up'.

4:50pm - 5pm = I put on 1 episode of 'Pocoyo' so that I can get DD's dinner ready, her bedroom ready for bed, her bath stuff out etc (As I said, DH is away at work so I need to make sure I am organised)

5pm - 6pm = I watch the news while DD eats dinner (I always have her back to the TV as sometimes there are things on the news that I dont want her to see), and then she plays and doesnt seem to pay attention to the TV (until the weather man comes on who she seems to LOVE!).


So... probably a total of an hour a day. When I type it out, it doesnt seem to bad, yet I feel guilty every time I switch it on. I know I am not alone in that tho. I dont think I am being a bad parent. I suppose the thing I feel most guilty about is that I like to have that 'noise' on. Otherwise I can feel very lonely.

I have Bub No.2 on the way tho, so will be interesting to see how this all changes.

#16 Bloomer

Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:01 PM

I don't keep my children "entertained" as such. From an early age I've encouraged them to play by themselves. I don't need to "entertain" them as such. As long as they can see me they happily potter around doing their thing. They are now at an age where they happily play together  (with occasssional interventions to sort out disputes over toys).

so much easier with 2 and until the eldest goes to school and then the second becomes very attached to mummy..  But of course we are out of the house early to go to school.

#17 Bloomer

Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:02 PM

ps TV is unlikely to go on in our house during the week before and after school unless an extreme circumstance.

#18 Rob14

Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:17 PM

You're a bad mother, period.  Any TV is bad for children, because it is a supernormal stimulus that prevents their creative faculties from developing.  Schoolteachers can tell the difference between the kids who watch television, and the kids who don't.

Kids who watch television, when put in the real world, are like a fish out of water.  They don't know how to relate to three dimensional reality or independent thought.  Their minds are still imprisoned in the two dimensional flashing hyper-reality of television.

Supernormal stimuli like television, prevent children from caring about ordinary stimuli like a squirrel scampering across the yard, or thinking about what it means that a bird flies overhead.  It strangles natural curiosity in the crib of consciousness.

My kid is 11 years old.  She hasn't watched TV all her life, and when she goes to her friends' houses, she finds TV incredibly dull and inane.  She plays piano, fixes computers, rides her bicycle around town, takes care of her dog, reads piles of books, and makes excellent grades.  She is very curious and knowledgeable about the world way beyond her years, and asks intelligent questions.  She is able to relate to adults on an adult level.  She's going to be carrying the "burden of civilization" for the drugged out TV zombies like your kid.

If you want to try to undo the damage now, get rid of all TV.  Tell him it's broken and can't be fixed, and you can't get another one.  Anything short of that, after I've given you this information, means you are an abusive mother.

#19 shanghaimama

Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:39 PM

The Research Center for Families and Children indicates that moderate television watching with discretion in program viewing can be somewhat beneficial for school age children. Both indicate that those children who watched a moderate amount of TV performed better academically than those children who excessively watched television or those children who did not watch television at all.

#20 upup

Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:13 PM

I decided after reading many studies and especially the reccomendation from the American Peadiatric society to get rid of the TV. Sure the first week I didnt know what to do but I got used to it and I LOVE it not being in the house any more. Sure its extreme, but so is my choice to give the best I know how to to my DD. I think she will have plenty of access to TV at Grandparents and friends house ect I may even reintroduce it later but for the moment the peace is wonderful.

Goodluck with your decision based on so many studies it is time for you to limit his viewing.

#21 Ed Velvet

Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:53 PM

You watch a lot of TV, so your kids watch a lot of TV. It's unavoidable.

As for good/bad, I think that changing channels when something unsavoury is on is missing the point. TV is not bad because of the content - it's because rapidly changing flashing images mess up the brain in early development. It's addictive and mind-muddling for toddlers. It's fine for schoolkids, who have the basic wiring all finished. But show MTV (or between-show adverts, previews and fillers) to a 2 year old and you might as well give them LSD.

But my 2 year old watches too many DVDs (never broadcast TV). It's just such a good babysitter sometimes. We all make up excuses and false boundaries, don't we?

Edited by Ed Velvet, 15 July 2009 - 11:54 PM.

#22 shanghaimama

Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:00 AM

QUOTE (ella30 @ 15/07/2009, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I decided after reading many studies and especially the reccomendation from the American Peadiatric society to get rid of the TV. Sure the first week I didnt know what to do but I got used to it and I LOVE it not being in the house any more. Sure its extreme, but so is my choice to give the best I know how to to my DD. I think she will have plenty of access to TV at Grandparents and friends house ect I may even reintroduce it later but for the moment the peace is wonderful.

Goodluck with your decision based on so many studies it is time for you to limit his viewing.

Is the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending no tv at all now? I thought they were recommending limited viewing?

#23 Emptynester

Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:59 AM

My kids are grown now, and in university, yet I'm actively researching on parenting issues because I may be a grandmother someday, and might even write a book about my own childrearing experiences, and enjoy sharing online when it might be useful. TV watching is a serious issue parents need to think deeply about, because of the many ramifications later.

My 24yr old son told me something really interesting about friends of his in high school who were the top students - he said the ones who won scholarships and got into the top uni's were always the ones who grew up without tv. That alone says everything to me. Then he told me a computer technologist he met after he left school, who told him he won't let his kids look at any screens, because the frequencies disturb the young, growing brain too much... something well worth researchign further.

My kids had intermittant tv - they grew up in three countries - Germany, the States, and Canada. We had tv for about a year in Germany, then about two years in the States, (after the youngest was 11), and then in Canada when the youngest was 13, onward, yet always watched lightly - about an hour a day and noit every day. We always had a tv for occasional video watching even before that, and did rent one or two per week, so I am talking about regular tv broadcasting here.

One thing I was careful about was to always know what they were watching, and whenever I felt it was something questionable according to my own values, I would listen ina dn make my comments - for instance, situation comedies have long enjoyed promoting fault-finding attitudes and mind-games, so I would always add my two cents so they'd know this was unacceptable behaviour in my eyes.

All three of my kids managed to get into good universities and get good grades - yet I do wonder how much further they could have gone without tv broadcasting at all - it's just that I didn't want them to feel like outcasts in school (middle school and onward) when their friends would talk about shows - if I'd been able to send them to the kind of schools I'd so dearly wanted, such as Waldorf, it would not have been an issue... and there would probably have been no tv at all.

Studies have shown that young kids lose their ability for imaginative play if they watch tv regularly, which is crucial, not only for normal mental development, but also the future - being able to problem-solve and make decisions - maybe even inventions. There are of course excellent books on this subject, and studies one can find online. Going cold-turkey is usually not as effective, so change things slowly, so you don't come up against resistance - make it fun, and always make it about what you are adding to his life, not subtracting - the lesser things will not be as much missed, and should fall away somewhat imperceptably (for him), as he develops a fondness for healthier interests and activities.

There may also be ways to limit tv by setting up time controls on your tv equipment - and of course there is no substitute for fresh air and active play for strong bodies and alert minds. My kids developed an early love of learning which helped in their later choices (educational shows are favoured in our house) to find new things to learn about science, nature, and so forth. I wish you the best of luck with this issue - it will be well worth it!

Edited by Emptynester, 16 July 2009 - 11:51 AM.

#24 alixmum

Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:01 AM

As soon I as noticed that our daughter is getting to be addicted to TV, we stoped FOXTEL. I loved lifestyle chanels but I think - that was best decision we made. She learnt to play herself and she does lovely crafty things through the whole day. YEs, she still does watch ABC but much less. Usually she watch it in the morning - Dora etc. She had a phase of the Wiggles DVDs but not any more. Now, she (4) is happy reading, pretend playing Dolls House etc.
No, we don't have strict housekeeping rule about TV (when to wach and how long etc) but if I notice that ie. today she was watching it for a longer time, than tomorrow we won't watch it - I will encourage her to play together or help me tidy up her room and so on..
What I really like for quite time is to give her some puzzle, blocks or simply a few colours of pegs to clip on card board in certain order (i.e. to learn pattern - I start pink-green-yellow) and than she follows my pattern..

#25 Gossamer

Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:10 AM

QUOTE (cathy40s @ 15/07/2009, 11:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
so much easier with 2 and until the eldest goes to school and then the second becomes very attached to mummy..  But of course we are out of the house early to go to school.
*shrug* we'll see what happens next year.  If DS2 requires more one-on-one attention from me then he will get it.  Prior to DS2 arriving and being at an age where he could "play" DS1 was more than happy to play by himself without me having to find activities to "entertain" him with.  

QUOTE (Ed Velvet @ 16/07/2009, 12:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
it's because rapidly changing flashing images mess up the brain in early development. It's addictive and mind-muddling for toddlers. It's fine for schoolkids, who have the basic wiring all finished. But show MTV (or between-show adverts, previews and fillers) to a 2 year old and you might as well give them LSD.
There's a  reason why TV is called the "idiot box".

Edited by Gossamer, 16 July 2009 - 10:11 AM.

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