16 March 2010

to tv or not to tv?

(photo source)

i need help friends. my mom and i took a road trip from st. louis, through the carolinas, and back home via nashville a couple of weeks ago (which i still need to blog about), and since then noah has become hooked on veggie tales. here's how the two connect...we bought (technically matt bought) a portable dvd player to help noah stay content on the trip, even though he has never been interested in tv/movies before. we figured it would help him pass the time in the car, and it did. he was absolutely mesmerized by those little dancing vegetables. one afternoon after we had been home a day or two, i decided to put veggie tales on the big screen for him. he sat in his little chair, draped a blanket over his legs and sat there for 25 minutes with his eyes glued. every day since then he has wanted to watch them. he walks to the tv and says, "ready!" and every day, he has sat longer and longer in front of the blaring screen.

all of this may seem normal and fairly innocent, but this morning i'm feeling conflicted because he walked to the tv right after breakfast, and said "ready!" (i've been letting him watch after his afternoon nap and snack, never this early.) i gave in, turned on pbs, and he is currently enjoying an episode of "dinosaur train." my conflict is that, dum dum dum... it's nice for me and that makes me feel guilty. i've always been determined not to make the tv a babysitter in our home, but clearly it is serving that purpose as i have been uninterrupted while writing this post.

what i want to know is, what are you guys doing? how do you handle the almighty tv? am i dishing out a diagnosis of adhd by allowing my 18 month old to watch? what is your limit for your kids? should i follow my conscience and just say no, or less dramatically put a time limit on the amount? i feel like i know the answer to these questions, but i want to know if this is one of those first time mother worries or something i really should be concerned about?


Jesse and Kristin Moore said...

Lee is a little addicted to the TV right now so I understand your concerns. I like the idea of whatever length of time you decide, just make it consistent...10-11 every morning or whatever. With Lee, if he had his own way, he'd watch TV 24-7. We just tell him, "It's not time for (whatever show he is requesting)." Sure, he screams and yells but he eventually gets over it. Don't feel too guilty. When Lee is older and I tell him about not letting me take an uninterrupted shower, he will feel bad enough! :)

Jennifer R. said...

Granted my children are older but I have a TV Chart for them. Abe in particular would watch TV every moment of every day if I'd let him. When they are young I just told them no TV right now. Now that they are getting older (Abe mainly) this is a privilege they award themselves. They have 5 shows a day, if they get in trouble I take one away. IT is their choice to behave and their choice to sacrifice a show if they do not. This way they take consequences in their own hands.

With Noah, since he is younger, just distract him when he wants TV and you do not want him to watch it with something he enjoys equally as much, a game, coloring, painting, a walk, etc.

Magers Family said...

Isaac too would watch TV all day, every day if we allowed it. I tend to only let him watch one show at a time, so no more than 30 minutes. Kadyn goes down for her nap before Isaac so that is usually a time that he can watch a show on PBS kids (we don't have cable or anything so it's pretty limited to what I consider good shows.) We very very rarely watch TV as a family in the evening so I think one show a day is not going to be that devastating. I will say that during the winter months I tend to let him watch more, but now that it's warmer he doesn't really even ask about it. Kadyn isn't really that interested, but I am sure that too will change.