Amongst other things, there is one thing which I have been stubborn about: keeping TV to a bare minimum for my almost three year old. We have been pretty good about not having TV on during her waking hours. We use YouTube a lot for a variety of things like nursery rhymes, some short stories and the likes.
We are so restrained about it, that hubby even gives up his football viewing. He might check scores, last quarter, but I can’t remember the last time he watched an entire game on a Sunday afternoon. Of course we wait until V sleeps and then it’s our time, it’s TV time, movies and all that jazz!
The programs like Dora, Handy Many, Mickey Club House, Sesame Street are rarely played in the house. She knows the characters though thanks to school, well branded toys, play dates, her own toys, books and occasional TV viewing.
I should actually use past tense in the above paragraph. Since in the past 2-3 months, we have laxed it a bit. She likes Handy Manny. I love the role of gender in that series. She also enjoys Mickey Clubhouse; I love how innocent it is. She has seen a few of Dora’s expeditions.
But, as she is approaching three, I am wondering, is my restraint overkill? Am I restricting her ability to grasp information from other places? Recently she saw Nemo, Shrek and another cartoon movie. I don’t think, she got the entire story. Weeks after she still remembers a few things, like how the shark came, how Nemo was sad, how Shrek galloped and on and on.
I read that limited (30-60 minutes) a day is now age appropriate for her. She has been good at following 5 minute and 2 minute warnings. She does have occasional tantrums when we turn off the TV, but a bit of coaxing and distraction seem to be working fine. (Knocking on wood)
For me: No TV has its reasons. I don’t enjoy how she slouches on her chair and just gazes into screen. Even if I try to engage her in the program, I barely get a nod. I feel she might be more active and more creative minus TV. Strain on eyes!
For me: Yes TV also has its reasons. We play ON-Demand shows right now, so we can ensure that its age appropriate. We watch sports and love how she does “nice Shot”, “Run” “Touchdown” actions. It does give us all time to sit on couch and regain some energy and cuddle time!
I was discussing with a friend recently about V’ birthday party planning, no theme, just friends and family over. We both recanted stories of kids three-four years of age having Thomas Train parties, Monster Truck parties and kids demanding their own theme. I was in a way happy that all V is asking for is Party Hats and Balloons for everyone who comes. But at the same time, I was second guessing myself, wondering if I have restricted her knowledge sources?
One thing I am still adamant about is Restricting TV to age appropriate programming. Period.
What’s your take? How much TV is good enough? Are kids today watching way too much, too little? Are we as parents being a bit too controlling?
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