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Moms Talk Q&A: Television

Your chance to weigh in.

Hello Moms! This is your chance to weigh in on issues that impact your family.

As always, our discussion will be kicked off by our esteemed Moms Council, but keep it going by adding your thoughts in the comments section.

This week's topic:

Television: How much is enough, too much, and what, if any, parameters should be set?

Shihoko Goto April 13, 2011 at 05:09 PM
My preschooler's art teacher swears that she can always tell which child watches TV regularly, and which one doesn't, simply by looking at their artwork. According to her, the ones who don't get much TV time produce more original, colorful drawings, while the kids who watch lots of TV tend to all draw the same thing. I have always made a conscientious effort to limit my children's TV time to a couple of hours on weekends only, and to this day, I don't allow them to watch TV with commercials. While some programs can be very educational, I strongly object to exposing young children to too much advertising. When the art teacher told me that creativity comes from limited TV viewing, that was simply icing on the cake. By limiting TV access, children are able to learn how to amuse themselves, think independently, and learn to read for entertainment.
Gail Norris April 13, 2011 at 05:17 PM
The amount of TV watching is the one issue on which my husband and I do not see eye to eye. He’s in the TV business professionally, so it’s an integral part of his life and he’d keep it on all day. Me, not so much. I enjoy watching my favorite shows, but I’d be happy if the TV were off too. When our twins arrived, we had to compromise on how much the TV is on and when the kids allowed to watch. Yes, I’ll admit that they probably watch more than they should (and more than I’d like them to), but they’re not couch potatoes either. Priority is given to doing homework, reading playing outside or swimming, taking gymnastics classes, playing sports, or just playing with their toys or doing crafts. But sometimes they need the downtime, and, I’ll be honest, so do we after wrangling very active pre-schoolers all day. During that time, we’re selective about what they can watch…and the DVR is our friend. Rarely do they watch live TV, which gives us much greater control. We let them watch educational programming, such as PBS Kids shows we record, or their favorite movies. Interestingly the one thing my hubby and I do agree on is TV watching in the car. Absolutely forbidden. There’s plenty of the world to see, songs to sing and games to play, whether riding around town or on road trips to Nana’s house, and they enjoy that. As with all things, I believe moderation is the key and when I feel like it's getting out of hand, I simply hide the remote.

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