Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I did a pretty good job with AT, she didn't really watch TV until I got into the second trimester of my pregnancy with GR. So she was about 18 months at the time and I was more tired than she was on some days - the days she didn't go to preschool to be exact. I could easily have held off longer if only I weren't so tired. Oh well. By the time AK entered the world I had a 4yo and an 18month old so TV became an enticement, during the many, many nursings, to keep GR from drawing on the walls in the next room. While there are plenty of days that we don't watch TV, there are plenty that we watch a few shows and then I'll admit, on those days when sleep deprivation hits me like a
and I cannot stay awake as much as I try, the TV is on more than I even know. But still, for all these years I made myself one promise - I will not put TVs in my children's bedrooms. Then during spring break my 9yo niece stayed with us and the kids were driving me crazy so I begged Joe to drag the extra TV out of storage in the basement so they could watch a DVD in bed so I could decompress before bedtime routines. And he did, and they watched a movie and the TV stayed upstairs. At first, I moved it to the playroom, I could only slide it on the floor and I wanted it out of their room, and they could play Click Start in there. Then came a really long day, with excellent behavior from all my kids on a really tough day. As a reward they wanted a movie, but again I needed some peace so I scooted that TV right back into their room. And now I am that mom. I suppose it remains to be seen if I can stick to my new rules now that it's summer. There's only a DVD player and my main rules are that it can't be more than once a week, viewing can only start after PJs and teeth brushing and it must be completed before bedtime. I don't think that will be too hard, but if I find myself tempted to let it slide... I think I'll have to make Joe take the TV back down to the basement.
What are your rules for TV watching during school and during summer.


abourbonforsilvia said...

kudos to you.. l dont allow TV on their bedrooms neither. "but you have one in your room", LittleMissAttitude complains. "yes, but l am your mother and l decide"

ck said...

I swore I'd never have one in my car. And then I gave birth to two children who refused to sleep during long car rides; they preferred to scream.

We have a DVD player in the car now.

ViolinMama said...

Luckily, I know you and I have pretty similar styles for TV viewing and rules. I love that!

Aside from some Sesame Street in the morning, and possibly Word World as lunch is prepared, I also prefer TV free mornings and we can usually avoid the TV, unless I just crash with the newborn. I like getting the girls either outside, or pretending with their toys or books till around 1pm. 1pm is then naptime or quiet time - depending on the child. If the day was particular busy, fun, exercise full, and TV free, the oldest can watch a movie at nap/quiet time so I can also rest with the newborn. Otherwise, she does quiet time in her room with toys and books, and usually does well there.

I then like the TV off the rest of the day (especially dinner time - this is FIRM. It is family time, and I notice it helps keep Lovely in her seat eating, not getting up and up and up) and usually it stays off unless I need its distraction for dinner prep, or the kids are playing elsewhere and Hubby is watching it post work day for him, or the kids are in bed and it is the adults turn. But, with the baby here, and it being summer, it is on more in the evenings too. Luckily, I can send the kids outside with the cooler evenings!

I will bend these rules if we've had a few days in a row of business - sometimes we all need a "veg" day. Like, the last two days you have been out and about, so a day for a morning on the couch, etc is FINE with me lol. This morning is one of those mornings as I'm prepping for Lovely to have a weekend away with the grandparents (next weekend is Val's turn while Lovely leaves town with my sister) so the TV is on until HER lunch is prepared. Then my plan is some outside time for Val before her lunch and nap, and then getting Val back outside some this evening before a weekend of rain is forecasted (boo!).

We don't have TVs upstairs for the kids' rooms, and I'd like to stick to that. So far, we don't seem to have clashing TV times where I or Hubby need to DVR something while they watch - but we don't have a hockey lover in the house! LOL. We also will never (this is a never I'll hold to) let them have computers in their rooms till they leave this house....and even phones will have to be earned like it was for me and their Daddy.

I don't see a problem with a TV in the toy/game room. My sister has a spare TV in "game/toy" room for my niece and friends, so I think lots of people do that.

Another perspective: Another dear friend with 3 kids (my out of town pal) told me last year she does have DVD TV's in her 3 kids rooms (the boys share a room) so the kids can wind down with movies on weekends, or to entice her kids to go to bed earlier on weeknights. So far, she has not seen this adversely affect her kids in a year of use.

I'm not sure I'm there yet, or will ever be, but then, I don't keep their schedules, and their kids and family are great, so obviously mothers need to trust their gut. You know your family best and what they can handle, as does she. I'm surrounded by great moms with wonderful kids and values!

I grew up watching LOADS of TV and I'm still EXTREMELY social, imaginative, etc. My parents also made sure the shows I watched were quality - not just quantity. I do the same, though more strict, than they did, and if I turned out ok, I think my more strict TV rules today for my family will keep my kids even healthier. We could never be TV free (I always get a pang of jealousy when I hear people are TV free...they seem better than I am) but I think making viewing as healthy as possible and keeping the parents sane is key. It's hard when the kids are so little!

Love this post and the comments!