The frugal ecologist asks:
Curious about what your tv policy is for your kiddos. We have done zero screen time for our 2 year old. That’s been easy, and I’m not sure when/if we want to break the glass…as a kid I had a limit of one 30 min show per day, but I remember zoning out to hours of tv if my mom wasn’t home…
When did your kids start watching tv? Do you set limits? Do you treat it as a reward? Do they watch on a regular set or on a device – tablet etc. maybe this should be an ask the grumpies!
No judgement, just curious how other folks approach this…
Well, nursing time was Comedy Central time for me, so DC1 started out from almost day one really liking The Colbert Report and to a lesser extent The Daily Show. As for when did DC1 start watching tv hirself, it took a while for DC1 to be able to concentrate on shows by hirself without screaming, and we did have shows in moderation because when zie was able to watch shows by hirself, we wanted to be able to put a show on and have hir captivated. We had friends who always had the tv on and the kid would just ignore it. So they didn’t have a magic bullet when the baby-sitter called in sick or what have you. Tv time went up probably around age 3, but by that point zie was reading well too (helped by Starfall and the Talking Letter/Words Factory videos).
DC2 has probably never not had screen time. The amount went up dramatically after we got an ipad because kids are really good with ipads and ipads are way more interesting than say, Reading Rainbow.
We are really lazy parents. So we don’t have the tv on by itself. (Technically we haven’t owned a tv since early grad school, but we have had a movie projector and we do have computers and now the ipad, so it’s essentially the same thing.) But we also don’t really limit things either. DC1 has to do hir chores before even thinking about using the ipad. DC2 gets to use it if DC1 isn’t using it for chores and if we feel like zie hadn’t been watching too much or not getting enough parent time or what have you. I do suspect that this may be part of why DC2 isn’t dramatically improving with reading skills the way DC1 did at this stage (the other part being that this preschool isn’t academic like the one DC1 went to at this age/stage). We were also much better at controlling *what* was watched by DC1, so there was a lot more educational programming. There are a lot of things I really dislike about netflix, and not being able to keep specific shows from appearing on the kids screen is a big one. (We did eventually get rid of the youtube app because that always ended up either with someone twerking or, worse, with one of those women advertising for toys talking about how princesses/girls/women really enjoy shopping and make-up.)
So I don’t know. We sort of set limits but they’re not hard and fast limits, they’re lazy limits that have a lot to do with how busy we are and what else is going on. We don’t treat it as a reward. They watch it on a device these days and used to watch it on the movie projector.
There are a lot of parents who would condemn us, and a lot of people who think we’re hippie weirdos. We are what we are, which is mainly lazy. Our kids are going to be amazing no matter what, so whatever, yo.
What were your parents’ policies growing up? If applicable, what are your policies now? How do you access media?