Changing channels on parenting

MY kids watch a lot of TV. They get excited when certain shows come on, they sing along and also use certain character’s and their adventures as frames of reference for things in their own lives.

I’m not proud of this, but I take consolation that I only let them watch ABC. No advertising and less obnoxious cartoons that are more suited to young children.

But I don’t like that – even as I’m typing – they are glued to the idiot box.

Especially when I just read that the recommended “screen time” (TV, computers, video games, etc) for children aged from two to five is less than ONE HOUR a day.

“This is because their brains are undergoing huge devlopmental changes at this stage and it has been identified that younger children are particularly susceptible to the negative effect of complex TV interactions,” says the article in Totline, 2011 Issue 1.

Kids! Turn off the TV because I’m pretty sure you’re internalising Wibbly’s anxieties over a thunderstorm!!

I jest.

I would love for my children to watch the recommended one hour a day, but frankly I would get no work done if they did. Sure, mothers used to do it all the time pre-TV, but they weren’t working from home to a very tight deadline twice a week, trying to write a book and establish a blog audience that could one day garner some sort of advertising revenue!

It hasn’t escaped my attention that my life ought to be more geared around my children (and I’m working towards this) and raising them into rounded individuals. But it hurts my heart when I hear the injustices I am subjecting them to when I crack open books and magazines aimed specifically at parents.

I want to be educated. It’s good to know what experts deem the recommended dose of TV (I live by boundaries most of the time!), but some days (usually around certain times of the month) I don’t need to hear how rotten I am, letting my kids watch TV when I work, wash, cook, clean, work some more.

What well-meaning advice could you have done without recently?


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Playgroups don’t always go well | Parenting in Utah
  2. A Cajun Down Under
    May 13, 2011 @ 06:11:34

    I feel your guilt over the TV. I remember before my kids were born that I swore they would never watch TV. And, now ABC for Kids is the soundtrack for our lives. I draw the line at dinner time though – TV off and we eat as a family.

    I say don’t worry about the experts on this one. Motherhood is a hard gig, and if TV gives you time to breath then so be it.


    • petajo
      May 15, 2011 @ 02:30:58

      Yes, breathing is Very Important! 😉
      Thanks for your kind comments – always nice to know I’m not alone!


  3. Nicole Hastings
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:35:24

    I hear you too, thankfully the tv has been on less since my kids both go to school (no tv before school unless they are ready which they never are) but it is still on a lot. Some of my fondest memories are of tv characters too so I must have watched a bit, but so what!


    • petajo
      May 16, 2011 @ 10:45:42

      Hi Nicole – me too. In fact, not sure what I’d have talked to my friends at school about if it wasn’t for TV!


  4. nellbe
    May 17, 2011 @ 06:38:05

    I am with you, sometimes Wiggles help out, especially when its raining or they feel unwell. Do what works I say.


    • petajo
      May 17, 2011 @ 07:11:34

      Thanks for that – just worked an eight-hour shift (from the dining room) and the Fireman Sam movie has played at LEAST three times. Phew. Now to make tea.


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