Child development experts recommend that children before the age of two should not watch television and after that they should only view up to two hours of television. This recommended two hours also includes any time spent on the computer. Kelly cleverly calls it "screen time" - meaning any time spent watching a screen.
Well, according to our poll most of you do well with these guidelines. Yay! Good for you!
Now let us ask: Do I?
Do you really want to know? Are you going to impeach me from the author panel if I tell you that ... no I do not?
Well really if you want to know. Some days we watch a half an hour or less, sometimes none! (yay...pat on the back) Most days we get 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then there are days like today when it seems like my child has spent about 50% of the day glued to the set. While I was sick and pregnant with my second child, ALL I could do to entertain my oldest son was to turn on the TV and we watched it ALL day. So if I fudge it a little and say on AVERAGE we watch it two hours a day I guess it could sound like I am doing my job as a mom to carefully monitor my child's TV consumption.
BUT! Does all that really matter? Does it make a significant difference if I let my child watch 2 1/2 hours as opposed to just two hours? I know the benefits of limiting TV and the cons of excessive TV, but should we (by we I mean me) be coming down the stairs freaking out on our husbands who are trying to help us out by turning on the TV so we can get some more sleep since we were up late the night before or up with a baby all night, because it will eat into our child's precious TV time and if he has too much TV his brain will be mush and I will as a mother have failed?! Whew! Am I the only one who has been sucked into this crazy train of thought? Fortunately for me, I have an understanding and loving husband who gently caused me to pause and think reasonably about this and step off that (likely mostly sleep deprived) train.
I think if used wisely, TV can be a good thing. I tried to teach my child his letters and the sounds they make. I could have been teaching him gibberish for all he cared until...Super Why and Word World came along. Now he prances around the house ALL day saying "ball starts with B, buh, buh, ball!" for almost every and any word. I credit...TV! It has been especially helpful since my son has dropped his nap. I no longer have the luxury of 2-3 hours to myself each day while my son visits slumberland. Plus. I like TV so why shouldn't he get to watch something for fun too? Excuse my rant. I just feel like TV gets a bad rap.
I should say that I also strongly promote that TV should be limited in content (very closely) and time (but not obsessively) because too much TV CAN stump creativity as well as a sense of reality, it can promote childhood obesity and physical inactivity, and sadly because of what is on some TV it can introduce them to topics beyond their years prematurely. YES, I know all that.
But is it really some evil monster that is going to eat your child up if he watches it too much? Heavens no...if you monitor it wisely!
Those are my two cents. I really want hear from you. What do YOU think?
What is your child's TV consumption like? How do you monitor it? What do you personally think is too much or do you follow the expert 2 hour standard?
What do you do to busy your child without the TV when you need to get something done?
Has your perspective on "screen time" changed as your children have dropped naps or gained siblings? What about when they have started school?
Do you agree with me on this topic? Why or why not?