The Great TV Debate

Thursday , 7, June 2012 2 Comments

So far I have not used the TV to pacify my 7 month old child.  But I can already tell that he is WAY more interested in television than I am comfortable with.

During the day I often have the TV on in the background.  While folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, dusting, etc.  I listen to The Today Show or Rachael Ray.  I don’t sit and watch TV for hours on end, but it is on a good portion of the day.  I have noticed that since he was about 4 months old, Eli has been very drawn to the moving images on the television.  I am sure he has no idea what he is watching, but it is only a matter of time until he does, right?  I think I am going to have to leave the TV off more often, and that will be a good thing for both of us.

I guess the sad truth is that I enjoy watching television.  And turning it off will be difficult for me, but I want to influence Eli in a direction of not depending on the TV for entertainment, so it is something that must be done!  I want him to play with toys, play outside, be creative, pretend, and be active.  All things that are better achieved without the distraction of the television.

As he gets older, I want him to view television as a treat.  We may have some shows that we enjoy watching as a family.  Maybe we will have a weekly movie night.  I know there are plenty of educational children’s television shows out there, but aren’t there other ways for our children to learn the same things?

I am not saying that I will never use Elmo, Little Einsteins, or The Wiggles to entertain my children once in a while.  I am sure there are moments in every Mommy’s life when the television is almost a necessity.

Am I dreaming here?  Is it really possible/necessary to limit your child’s television intake to a few hours a week? 

How do you handle your child’s television schedule? 

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  • Julie says:

    I feel the same way! We didn’t introduce the TV to our oldest until she was about 1.5 years, although we did have it on in the background regularly. I always felt guilty about it. Then when I got pregnant with our youngest, I definitely used it as a crutch-I often didn’t feel good and it was easy entertainment 🙁 We surely fell in the “too much” category, although I did try to limit to 2 hours a day that the AAP recommends. (although obviously not all at one time) The past few months, however, (since we moved into our house, really), she doesn’t have much interest in watching tv. She’d rather be playing with friends outside. So, now I don’t feel guilty if we watch a movie every few days or she asks to watch a show in the mornings, and little brother will often sit through some of them, too. (I never bothered “introducing” him to TV shows like Dora at the same age as her because he follows her around like a shadow, and if she’s off playing, he is too!) I think it’s something you have to monitor, though, and if you start letting them watch a ton of TV at an earlier age then they’re going to “depend” on it.

  • […] that I end up getting sucked in by whatever is on TV.  Having the TV on all the time also exposes Eli to more television that I would like him to see at this age (or any for that matter!).   I think I would be much more […]

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