You Tell Us: Kids and TV

Kids and TV have a long history together–from the early days of “Sesame Street” to the modern era of “Baby Einstein,” television shows and kids movies have served as both educational instructors and entertaining babysitters for years.

But, as mentioned in an interesting article from BabyCenter, many believe that even background television can be harmful to children’s mental and emotional development. I know some grandparents who are so anti-TV that they are offering a $1,000 donation to their grandkids’ college funds for every year that parents can keep the little ones from watching it. And yet, nearly a third of participants in a related BabyCenter survey said that their kids not only watch television, but have them in their bedrooms.

What’s your take on kids and TV? Are television shows parenting tools, or potential addictions? You tell us!

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2 Responses

  1. Krellpw says:

    There’s no WAY my kid get’s a TV in his room. Ever.

    How much does my 4 year old get to watch right now? Less than 90 min a day. Some days I honestly worry that it’s too much.

    But we definitely use the TV as a tool. The key is as parents we can’t just plop them down and walk away. We always monitor what our son watches. And 90% of the time we watch with him, even if it means it’s the 789th viewing of the same episode of Blue’s Clues.

    We make sure that we interact over television. Just as we would over dinner, a trip to a museum or a game of Candy Land.

    We discuss what he’s seeing. Talk about what we hope he’ll take away from it. Or use what we see as the platform for expanded imaginary games later.

    But I’ll confess, like most parents, I’ve plopped him down with a favorite video, so I could go grab a shower on more than one ocassion. So it’s a tool in that respect too.

  2. Louise says:

    Instead of watching 90 minutes a day of t.v., try playing board games with your kids, making puzzles, building Lego stuctures, reading books, drawing pictures, doing housework together, sharing your hobby (as long as your hobby isn’t watching t.v.) or anything constructive. Honestly, the less t.v. a kid watches, the healthier he or she will be – both physically and mentally! Parenting is your most important job! This is no time to slack off. Make the effort now, you will be glad you did later.

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