The American Academy of Pediatrics has said that toddlers under 2 should watch NO TV and older children’s watching should be greatly reduced. They say that it can cause behavioral problems, childhood obesity and a host of other developmental problems.
What do you think about this recommendation? Do you let your children watch TV? If so, what are your guidelines for your children when it comes to the TV?
The Hot Mess Mom –
This might be one of the reasons why I am the Hot Mess Mom. I don’t really have a lot of restrictions on TV for my kids…I just don’t. My daughter will be 8 and she could watch the Disney Channel until her eyeballs slowly leaked out of her head. My son is almost 2 and he is very active. He really doesn’t pay that much attention to the TV no matter what cartoon is on. He really only watches it when he is really tired early in the morning or at night before he passes out.
I would like to say that we make sure our kids only watch the very best and most educational shows but that just isn’t the case.
As I type this my kids and I are watching Toy Story 3. My son is on the couch playing with one of his talking books and trying to push my laptop out from under my fingers. I strongly feel that how a person interacts with their children and enhances their growth and development is far more important than freaking out over a toddler watching TV.
I’m not saying that I think HBO and Cinemax are appropriate babysitters for kids. However, I don’t have a problem with letting my kids watch the normal age appropriate stations like Disney, Sprout, Nick Jr., etc….. And not going to lie my daughter puts on Goosebumps shows all the time. She absolutely loves Pretty Woman, and Miss Congeniality but she is still a Disney Princess lover. I know that I have taught her well enough that she is not going to go acting out the scenes in other movies.
All in all I definitely feel that if children are going to be exposed to TV shows at a young age then they should try to be age appropriate. Ensuring your child has good morals and values and a strong foundation is all you need to know that watching TV isn’t going to have such a huge impact on their behaviors.
The Naturalist Mom –
In our house we don’t make TV a huge issue. We have TV and I do put kids programs on, but usually it becomes background noise for playing. I am however picky about certain shows. I dislike one particular show that is the yellow, dish cleaning object with the nickname of Robert who lives in a tropical fruit of the great big blue ocean. Loathe it. Not sure why.
We never really make it a priority so it’s never really life or death. I do think certain shows influence poor behavior (see referenced cleaning utensil). But I also think certain shows help as a supplemental tool. PBS, Disney Jr. and Sprout are our favorite options. Like anything else, it can be a positive or negative based on how it’s used and how frequently its depended upon.
The Scrambling Step Mom –
I personally do not agree with children not being able to watch ANY television. I allow my 1 1/2 year old to watch educational shows, such as Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She is still at an age where she does not sit through a whole show, but she does participate in some of the activities.
Now, for my 8-year-old stepdaughter, she has free-reign at her mom’s house to watch whatever she wants & it shows. We do not allow the “tween” shows at our house because we notice a sassy attitude when she does. We have tried talking to her mom, but it does not really work.
My stepdaughter pretty much watches TV 90% of the time over there. On the weekends, with the exception of “movie night”, we do not really watch TV because we think she watches it too much.
The Perfectionist Mom –
I do let my daughter watch TV. Do I think that she needs to watch it all the time? Absolutely not. Should I have it on as much as we do? Probably not.
It might not be a popular answer but I do let her watch TV when things need to get done and she is being fussy. If there is something that she needs, I am there for her, hands down. If there is no reason why she is fussing or coming up to me and just wanting to be held, I have used it to distract her.
When it does go on there are only a couple of shows she is allowed to watch. Care Bears, Sesame Street, and PBS programming are pretty much it. Some shows have educational value. I remember watching Sesame Street when I was little. I see nothing wrong with showing her those things.
The LONGEST it is on is for 30 mins at a time. She really doesn’t have the attention span to watch even that. I plan on keeping it this way until she is older, probably around 5ish. It will really depend on her maturity levels. This is my first child I never know what stages are coming. I want her to play, imagine and learn, TV can hinder that no question about it.
The Not-So-Single Mom –
To be totally honest, TV doesn’t bother me much. I grew up watching a host of AWFUL “children’s” cartoons and I think I turned out pretty ok. There are limits…for instance if my daughter won’t listen, won’t eat or is just glued too badly, we will change the channel or turn it off. I like to have the TV on as background noise and something to watch while we are home and just hanging out and cleaning up.
She LOVES Disney Jr. shows, and she learns from them. I have seen it first hand. She will watch, and then play with her toys, or both. She rotates around. It’s not like she is sitting on her rear just watching TV. If it starts to become an issue, we change it up.
For instance today, she watched only a few minutes before we had to leave for the doctor, then she napped when we got home and I didn’t turn the TV on at all while I was cleaning so she has barely watched any today, but it is on now. She usually only watches age appropriate cartoons, but we also watch our own shows while she is awake too, and sometimes she watches…but usually she plays with her toys instead.
One show I feel bad letting her watch, but, we have no sitter late on Sunday nights and we watch it at a friend’s house with a few other couples. Eventually she won’t be able to watch, but for now she switches between watching and playing those nights. I have to say, we are pretty laid back about it.
What are your views about your kids and watching TV? Do you feel things should be restricted?
The MOMentous Moms
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