Thursday, January 12, 2012

Relaxed or Strict About TV?

When Abby was first born, I was totally against allowing her to watch tv.  It was easy to say that I would NEVER allow her to watch it when she slept 14 hours a day.  That changed once she became mobile and I realized that tv allowed me to shower in peace.  Since then, I've become very relaxed about the tv because it doesn't seem to stop her from playing for more than a few minutes at a time.  I'll be honest, now it's on almost all day in the background and I do feel that she learns from the shows she's allowed to watch.

I'm still strict about what shows she watches but I don't typically sit and watch them with her.  I trust that networks like Sprout or Nick JR will only play shows that have educational value appropriate for toddlers.  Well, last night I realized that what I think is appropriate and what they think is appropriate are two different things.  I am now second guessing my whole relaxed attitude on tv.

I was sitting there holding Lilly (who seems to want to be held at all times) while Abby was watching a show that we don't typically watch but it was on one of my 'go to' networks and I was amazed at how badly one of the characters was behaving.  The character didn't get his way so he was stomping his feet, pouting, throwing things and eventually hit one of the other characters.  Granted, at the end the life lesson was to use our words and never hit but I feel that kids will emulate behavior they see before they apply life lessons that they hear.

I made sure to talk to her while we were watching the show and pointing out that the behavior was bad and that's not how we act but when it was time to clean up for bed later that night, she actually pouted her lip and said I'm mad just like she saw the character on tv do!  Now, maybe I made too big a deal of it or maybe she heard my husband and I talking about it but maybe that's what she learned from the show.  I'm not sure why she behaved that way but I do know that she had never used those exact words or actions before.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't say that she's happy to clean up and go to bed but my request is always met with negotiations ("2 more minutes, Mama?  No, 1 more minutes?)

I know there are some people who are relaxed like me and others who are completely opposite.  I guess now I'm going to fall somewhere in the middle and not trust the network but actually watch these shows with Abby to make sure they are appropriate.  It's hard enough to correct typical toddler behavior so I don't need characters on tv to reinforce it.

Where do you all fall on the tv debate?  Do you find that some shows geared towards kids reinforce behavior that you are trying to correct?


  1. I didn't let my oldest daughter watch TV until she was almost 2 1/2! Then my second daughter came along, and I became a lot more relaxed about TV. We just have antenna TV, so PBS is really our only option.

    I think you're wise to not trust the networks!

  2. I am pretty relaxed because I do believe there is value in the shows. I like Disney Jumior the best.



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