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Monday, July 9, 2012

Challenge! Accepted?

Whenever I post about television usage with our babes on my Facebook page, I get a mixed bag of responses. I get those who are adamant that TV should be killed and those who are adamant that TV has been wonderful for their children. I tend to take a more mellow stance on it, but that is neither here nor there for the moment.

It is my belief that, as with most of our consumption, we underestimate how much TV we all watch both with and without our babes. For this reason, I propose a challenge.

Here are the steps:

1) Set a goal as to how much TV you'd ultimately feel comfortable with your babe watching during a period of a week. 5 hours? 10 hours? Whatever. You choose. Record that number.

2) Estimate how much TV your babe watches during a given week (7 full days, not just the work-week). Record that number.

3) For the next week, take an honest and accurate recording of exactly how much time your babe watches TV. This includes time the TV is on and babe is running all around, but still exposed to it.

4) At the end of the week, compare your estimate to your actual number to your goal.

5) If your actual number is over your goal, start weaning your babe off TV a little at a time.

In my opinion, the television is not Beelzebub himself, nor is it some great invention to which we should all be grateful. I think it can be fine in moderation, but I think what many of us feel we're doing in moderation, we're actually overdosing on all too often.

Let us know how things go as you progress through the steps of this challenge. I think we all (no one more than myself) could learn a lot.


  1. My two children watched telly as youngsters, though I don't think either took any real interest until they were around 2 (it was on, but they weren't watching & it was mainly on things *I* was watching).

    When my children were about 3 & 5 respectively, I got rid of our tv. This was because over the year previous they had started to watch more and more, until it was on almost constantly. It also caused arguements over programmes/channels, and exposed them to adverts etc. So it went.

    They are now 8 & 6. They do have screen time, because they have an old tv which they can watch DVDs on (no tv channels though), and they are allowed the laptop at times too, though I try to limit it (often unsuccesfully!)

    TV/screen time is something I wished I had thought more about when they were little. I am now a firm believer in NO screen time/tv for under 2s, and only occasional/limited tv from there onwards (if at all).

  2. My husband can tell that I or my son is sick that if our tv is on when he gets home. I haven't had to limit tv for my son, we let him watch when he asks but he doesn't ask every day or even every week. I did make a conscious choice for myself to keep it off when he was around 6 months, and I dont really miss it, even after bed time its not that appealing. Except when friends talk about a show I haven't heard of