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Why are toys and tv such an issue?

Tiffany - posted on 10/30/2010 ( 89 moms have responded )

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I see mom not only on here but people I know as well, not allowing their children to watch much tv, or play with their toys very often or not let them have many toys. I dont get the reasoning behind this. My oldest will be 3 in Dec. We watch tv alot, but while we watch it we dance to any music that plays during it. We listen and answer the qestions that are asked in the cartoons. My kids have tons of toys. They have toys to help them learn as well as toys to just play it. I dont make them play alone. I play with them. My 3 year old makes up his own games with diffrent toys and actually shocks me at times at the games he comes up with. He speaks to people in spanish and chineese, and i dont know what he is saying half the time, but he lerned it thru tv. He is actally right now learning to read thru the internet. He knows how to work our laptop and we play fun games and dance while he learns to read. My daughter is 13 months ol and has spina bifida and all the toys she hasas helped her to learn to crawl. Now we are working with her with toys to help her learn to stand and pull up and wak. I guess my question is, If tv, toys and electronics can benifit kids SOOO much, in a producive active way, why are they such an issue? Like I said, my son will 3 in Dec, but has the vocabulary of a 6 year old and is in GREAT physical fitness, so is it all really that bad? or is it just considered bad because the "experts" say it is. I wonder sometimes if the so called "experts" have any kids of their own. lol

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Angela - posted on 10/31/2010

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There is on denying the fact that entertaining our toddlers can sometimes be hard work and with hectic lifestyles, television can be a convenient short-term baby sitter, as we do housework, make phone calls and prepare meals.

Unfortunately it seems everywhere we turn there is compelling new evidence about the ill effects of TV on our children.

Although certain television programmes or DVD's can be beneficial for young children, experts say that when parents allow their children to watch "too much" TV, they miss out on developing important skills such as gross and fine motor skills, social, language and intellectual skills, as well as creative and imaginative ones.

So, how much Television is okay for kids?

Determining the answer starts with being aware of how your child interacts with the television and your understanding of the types of programming suitable for the stage your child is at.

A process not dissimilar to reading food labels at the supermarket. - by being aware of the different "ingredients" in the television programmes, you avoid watching those considered "unhealthy" for your child.

Young children don't bring a lot of background knowledge to the couch and assume everything they see on tv is a reflection of real life - if it exists on tv it must exist somewhere for real - the more tv they watch the more real they think it is.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under 2 years shouldn't watch tv AT ALL.

The first 2 years of life are considered critical for brain development and television and other electronic media such as computers, can get in the way of connections forming that are vital to encouraging learning and healthy physical and social development, such as exploring, creating, playing and interacting with parents, adults and other children.

There is a term "optical lock" which refers to the eyes looking but the brain thinking something else. The best way to describe this is if you are watching the weather and waiting for your city to come up, your mind wanders and suddenly the presenter has passed your city - you were looking at the tv but your brain didn't register a connection.
This happens for children under 2 as they watch television.

Young children also can not discriminate between reality and fantasy. Children learn to behave based on what they see - for example, a scary image may lead to night terrors.

For children over 2 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1-2 hours of QUALITY screen time per day (includes tv, computer, videos games etc).
Australian guidelines for 3-5 year olds are for 1 hour per day maximum.

Programmes with informational and educational content are recommended, such as teaching letters, languages, counting, problem solving etc.
As are programmes with pro-social themes, such as helping, caring, sharing and co-operating have been shown to actually help children develop more socially acceptable behaviours.

Interactive programming is also recommended as children are encouraged to interact with the storyline, solve puzzles, sing and dance along etc.

It is important to monitor what your child is watching and be selective about what you will (and won't) let them watch.

It is also beneficial if you can watch tv with your child and comment and question them on what they are seeing: eg. "what happened when....", "how do you think.... is feeling?, "how do you know...."
This allows you to correct any mis-understandings your child may have and you can talk about your own personal values with your children too.

Remember the more they watch, the more they are influenced and the shows with the greatest effect are the ones they think are real.

Television can be used as a fun adventure and as an educational tool as long as you take charge and use it sparingly and wisely.

All the best xx

[deleted account]

TV and toys do not make a child. A parent makes the child. The reason tv and toys work for your child is because of the way the parent (YOU!) is using them. There is no reason to change what you are doing or feel guilty because someone else does something differently.

I am one of the ones that does things differently from you. I limit TV to one show or movie a day (if that). The toys and book we have must fit into the baskets and closet easily, or we have too many and go through and get rid of stuff. (I don't ever buy her any new toys (exception is Christmas) but she gets hand me downs and gifts from family members all the time, so yes there are times when it's necessary to purge.) I have my reasons for raising my daughter like this.

One of is is not right and one of us is not wrong. It's just that we are different people and have different ways of raising our kids.

Nicole - posted on 10/30/2010

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I am not interested in debating this but I will share my opinion on tv.



When children watch television they act out scripts rather than making up scripts of their own during creative play.



Commercials promote materialism.

Tiffany - posted on 11/15/2010

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I 100% respect respect what all are saying about scientific studies, but i dont buy into it all. The way I see it is just because some or even ALOT of kids didnt show any binifit from it, does not mean that NO child will. I believe this subject is one that should be handled from personal experiance and not other childrens experiances. I believe there are lots of things that can be learned from TV. Not that they cant be learned in any other way, but TV makes it fun at times, gives the child fun colorful visiuals alon with music and so on. Yes it can be tought with colors and music, but TV can just be so much of a treat for kids. We even at times use it as a punishment haha. If our son acts up, all we have to say is "go sit down and watch tv" he instantly calms down and behaves because he would rather be helping me cook or clean. lol. It works for us as a learning tool and a disipline tool. lol. I understand why some would listen and rely on scientific studies, but im not one who does. I dont rely on studies medicine professional help or anything. I believe all things depend on the child and so on. I believe tv depends on the child and how the child interacts with it, i believe medicine should be a last resort when all else fails, I believe rofessional help (for me as far as my kids go) will never be used because if I cant controll my own kids, then something is wrong on my end. Not saying that proffessional help should not be used by anyone, that is just my personal beliefes for myself. Cu I know a few people who need some professional help with their kids lol. I guess what it really all winds down to is I am the type of person who wont believe it till I see it with EVERYTHING> My kids binifit from TV and toys alot, so I will never be one to say interacting with your children and the tv is bad. I will always be the one saying "USE IT RIGHT AND IT IS WONDERFUL" I will never be the one to say "Hey yall, there was a study on this, and...." I will ALWAYS be the one to listen to the study on the news and say "Sphhhhhhh" and change the chanel. No offence to anyone else though cu I understand that everyones opinions are diff, and i understand it is a choice. but this is just my opinion and my choice.

Svetlana - posted on 11/06/2010

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I'm currently taking a human development class in college and the reason why kids can't have a lot of TV is when watching TV the brain level is usually at a normal sleeping level. There is a lot of information being shot at the kids that they barely have time to process everything. Educational TV is different but should also be limited because kids need to have imaginary play, that way they learn to be creative. They did a study and found that kids that watched regular television for longer streches than the 1/2 hr per day had a much lower IQ. Kids brains are rapidly developing and everything that is not used gets "pruned out" or cut out, and kids will never be able to recapture the lost brain cells. Brain lost at that stage is lost forever which will inhibit learning in school or how bright they can be. However having lots of toys is very good for the kids development, the more the better if they can afford it! =)

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Bethany - posted on 11/15/2010

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they're such an issue because there is so much more of them now. Compared to a generation or 2 ago. SO much more. I had a toy box. Kids my daughter's age (2) have toy rooms. I'm trying to stick to the toy box, rather than the toy room and similar to me as a kid, less than an hour of tv a day, with most days no tv.

Jenny - posted on 11/15/2010

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just remember the most meaningful experiences your child can have is quality time with parents!

Rebecca - posted on 11/12/2010

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There is certainly a time and place for television in kids lives but its when it BECOMES their lives that its a problem. I remember lots of shows including play school and sesame st from my childhood that helped me to learn - but i also spent ALOT of time outdoors. Moderation is the key. Also the toy thing - i dont think children can have too many toys - it helps them learn motorskills, role playing, co-ordination etc...but there is also alot to be said for a good old cardboard box!!! It sounds like you are doing a great job to me Tiffany - dont stress about what others say - in your heart you know what is right for your child!

Megan - posted on 11/12/2010

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most often they don't have any kids of their own or they have nanny's and the children behave like tiny adults. Scary.

Erika - posted on 11/12/2010

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That's crazy not letting kids watch tv or play with there toys am a mom who belives in letting my son watch his cartoon's and playing with his toys if I did not let him do this the house work would not get done because I would be running around after him all day

Wendy - posted on 11/12/2010

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Hi Tiffany, i think the way you do TV and Toys kind of negates the whole too much TV question. i believe as long as your children are getting enough Sunlight (Vital Vitamin D) then the point is kind of moot. the too much TV is sparked i personally think by the TV baby sitter problem. Where some parents would rather just leave their children to watch TV and be done with not having to do too much in terms of supervision.

Leah - posted on 11/11/2010

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I believe that children learn best from human interaction, not television and/or toys. I suppose the reason you've had success with all the screen time you give your kids is because they have you there too. Do I agree with letting kids watch a lot of TV? No. I don't agree with anyone watching a lot of TV. That's one thing I think my mom was right about. It rots your brain.

Nicole - posted on 11/11/2010

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It can be VERy benifitial....But TV and compter and stuff like that it's very good for their eyes...they like all the lights and such when they are infants, My son is almost 2 1/2 and he didn't start watching cartoons or anything till he was almost 2...he still prefers music to tv!! besides that if you just sit in front of the tv it permots laziness, But if you are dancing and singing and interacting then that's diff...but not everyone does that! and that's where the Bad stigma comes in!!

Bona - posted on 11/10/2010

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I think your kid and my daughter watch the same kid shows!

I have nothing against my kid watching tv, like you, she surprises me at times when I get to hear new words from her that most of her age doesn't know, she's 2 by the way. But of course, there are television shows (cartoons) that I filter too, those cartoons that plays pranks and everything that's not nice... that I don't want her to see.

She also loves music, most of her toys are musical and because of these she had memorize a lot of nursery rhymes and songs before she reached 2 years old!

So, I guess I'm not against toys and tv, it's just how we filter the not-so-good benefits from these things.

Randi - posted on 11/10/2010

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Lets see, This sat in my in box for a while...So...


I have two boys. Six and 3 1/2. My oldest has mild aspbergers (I still cant spell that right), and is dislexic, and has a hard time to sit still. We use the tv and toys to help him learn and play with him. He does wonders with it, he didn't start talking till he was 4, and with the help of a therapist (and a change to a new ped that actually DID something instead of telling me just wait, and leave what ever is wrong alone) and some tv/educational movies, he is now talking VERY well, he's gotten over a lot of his social anxieties. He is still a little behind in school, but catching up. He has learned to use his mind outwardly instead of inwardly. He is very smart and runs "the kids" computer well, and they have tons of games for it, that are all fun and learning. The only channel in their room they can watch are Disney, nick, and nick jr, they favor nick jr though. In the living room we watch nick jr and interact/dance/sing along and answer questions, etc, but also they LOVE to watch shows with their dad and I that are not per say kid shows. Their favorite shows are....Dirty Jobs, Myth Busters, Ice Road Truckers (because their dad worked in Alaska with the ice roads). And other Discovery, History, and Science channel shows. They love shows about space, and the ocean, and animals, and they are so smart on stuff when it comes to that, and what they learn by watching these shows with thier dad and I. They love to talk to adults and tell them what they learned and know.

Their toys are mostly educational, because that's what they ask for. They do have some non learning toys, their cars and blocks, but they use them a lot in conjunction with their educational toys. And they are both doing very well, their smart and healthy. And my oldest is making improvements within himself every day, by expanding and allowing him to use toys and watch tv...That's just our thoughts on the matter though.

Tahlia - posted on 11/10/2010

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I let my kids watch tv alot but it always got some form of education it it and same with toys. they still have other toys and they are allowed 2 play with them whenever they want. I dont think alot of tv or toys would harm them and their phsycological behaviour at all.

Kell - posted on 11/08/2010

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The only channel we let Xan watch is CBeebies, so no commercials. He doesn't sit and watch many programmes, but he likes the theme tunes and we sing and danced to them. The only shows he actually watches properly are Alphablocks, Numberjacks, and Something Special. Through those he has learned his alphabet, numbers and Makaton sign language. He's also able to spell basic words and knows all his colours and shapes and has a huge vocabulary (he's also very clear in his speach because we talk with him all the time). He turned 2 in September. He's learned this through a combination of TV and us encouraging him. He has loads of toys (he adores cars and recognises approximately 50 makes and models already!), and enjoys playing with puzzles and also plays snap with animal picture cards and spends a lot of time with his many books (he has an entire bookcase of his own). He can play well by himself, but as I'm a SAHM, I spend a lot of time playing with him and his toys. Yesterday he pretended one of his socks was a puppet, so we're going to make sock puppets together today!

I think that so long as TV and toys aren't used as babysitters and are used instead as a means of improving and introducing new skills and opening communication, there is absolutely no problem with them

[deleted account]

Well, you asked the question, so I'll give it a shot...

TV is bad for many reasons. It certainly stunts creativity. It promotes obesity. It can even cause learning disabilities And it keeps children from thinking for themselves - they identify so strongly with media imagery (characters, etc) that they're unable to come up with their own stories and characters.

There have been MANY studies on it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO TV under the age of 2.

As for toys being bad, I've never heard that one. We stick to the "no toys with noise" rule purely for my sanity. I can't stand the racket!

Iysha - posted on 11/08/2010

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i have read that Experts say too much tv (more than 2 hours a day) for a child under 2yrs old is not good because it increases the chance of them aquiring ADHD. Something about the fast change in scenery or something...

However, I do let my daughter watch a hell of a lot tv...I am a big tv watcher and so is her daddy. In fact, he sleeps with the tv on (it took some getting used to) and now that we have moved, we all sleep in the livingroom since we dont have beds yet...so she has been falling asleep with the tv on. Do I think it's harming her? NO...I do think it is creating some bad sleeping habits that I am going to have to break as soon as we can afford beds.

We dont just sit at home watching tv all day. We do go to the library, go for walks, play with the few toys she has (few toys because we only took what we could fit in our car and most of our stuff was clothes, not toys) and play with the dog. We look out the window and point out whats what, dance, sing, and just have some fun. In the summer we're out in the pool and the park. Not all the shows we watch are necessarily G rated either...she loves Percy Jackson, Alice in Wonderland and Land of the Lost(Will Ferrel). We watchscary movies too and she likes them...she points and gets excited when monsters are on. lol
I dont think my daughter is behind on her development, she says mom, dad, dog, bad, bad dog, sthat (what's that), bye and hi. I think that's pretty good for a 16 month old.

In the end, all our kids will learn to read, learn to write, learn to speak, etc. As long as the kid isnt just sitting in front of the tv all day doing nothing and having no other forms of play or interaction then I dont see anything wrong with it.

I didnt have the tv on a lot when I was my daughters age but my sister did and we are both smart, both have had some college education, both had no signs attention disorders, and are both into art...lol...

i'm not saying experts are wrong, just that there is a gray area....a really big gray area that a whole lot of people fall into.

Natascha - posted on 11/08/2010

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i agree with you totally i don't think anything is wrong with watching tv or toys. My daughter is 7. She learned how to count and ABC by watching Elmo by the age of 2. Than I started buying learning leapfrog games and toys that we sit there play with.

Tracy - posted on 11/06/2010

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Everything in moderation I say. Some weeks its lots of tv and others its more outside time....they are kids, just let them be. My son LOVES tv and yes, i do limit it from time to time, but from the age of 2 he could sit through(and watch) a 2 hour movie! He thrives at school, he is intelligent and a well balanced boy, even according to his teachers. He doesnt act out and as long as i am parenting him corrcetly and teaching him right from wrong and being aware of what he watches, he will always remain a well balnaced child. Tiffany, I think you are doing a great job with your children! Sometimes we need to throw all the books out the window and just go with our gut! If our kids are well balnaced, happy and healthy and thriving....we are doing a great job!!

Eva-Lotta - posted on 11/05/2010

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This seems to be a topic that can be discussed with no end.... :)
My partner has a son who is 4.5 year old and we limit tv with him. We have shared care of him so for one, when he is with us we want to be out doing fun things together and not sit andwaste time in front of the tv. I tried to get him of the couch and dance and move and follow the "instructions" in the shows that we were watching but he doesn't so we now have the tv off and do other things.
With our 12 month old girl, there are a few select shows that she enjoys and I dance around and sing with her. She has a number of toys that have been given to us (I have only ever bought 2 toys myself for her)...
I believe that if the kids are just left in front of the tv and constantly left to entertain themselves - not good. But if you use it as a interactive tool and it gets you and the kids moving and having fun and learning together - great!
I commend Tiffany for doing so much with your kids and really help them develop - it sounds like you have really found a good way to interact with your kids.
I guess different things works for different people!

[deleted account]

I know I'm coming a bit late to the conversation but I wanted to add in my two cents. I am the mom of a 14, 12 and 9 year old (who have all been considered "ahead" or very bright).

When my kids were younger (preschool age) they watched t.v. I usually limited it to a show or and hour a day and I was very picky about the shows. Now, my kids watch no t.v. (we don't have a t.v.) and only an occasional movie.
Why? I don't think that there is anything really worth watching. When they were young, there were plenty of educational shows and many can be interactive, if you teach your child to use t.v. that way. However, for older kids, teens and adults, t.v. is a strictly passive form of entertainment. By that, I mean that kids do not interact with the t.v., they do not move, they do not have to think or explore or do anything really but sit and absorb whatever ideas are being portrayed through what they watch.
Right now your kids are young and there are plenty of educational opportunities on t.v. (especially if you use them interactively as you have described). When they get older you will find that kids on t.v. portray attitudes you don't want to see in your kids (disrespect toward adult, pettiness, self centeredness, sneaking behind parents backs, etc.), you will find bad language, violence, and generally things that won't benefit your kids at all.
The problem with t.v. is that it becomes a habit, a "thing to do" when we are bored. It's hard to limit, control or even take away something that your child has always had the freedom to do previously. I know it doesn't seem like it will be when your kids are young, but trust me, it will be. Kids are easy to influence while young. They are eager to please. This changes as they move toward independence.
For instance, I know that my kids need to know how to use the computer, navigate the internet, etc. But I put limits on where they can go and how much time they can spend on the computer. Why? because there are dangers on the internet. My older kids are aware of some these dangers and we talk about them. My youngest isn't even ready to know about them. So, I control until my kids are ready to do it themselves.

The other thing about t.v. --it has been found that t.v. can decrease a child's attention span. It has even been linked with a.d.d. And some of the most intelligent people have attention span problems. Think about it...your child never has to watch any one thing for more than probably 10 minutes (usually less in children's shows) before they move on to a new concept. This keeps kids watching but doesn't improve attention span.

It sounds like you are a great mom and doing a fantastic job with your kids. Just beware. The dangers of t.v. will show up. There is good and bad. Be prepared to deal with the bad. Teach discernment. Everyone should at the very least have the habit of watching with your child and talking about behaviors and attitudes of the characters.
Just my 2 cents!

Corinne - posted on 11/05/2010

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Thankyou Aime DeWitt! How many times have I had to explain that T.V doesn't actually CAUSE the seizures? I am epileptic, THAT is why I have fits. Sometimes the T.V can cause it, sometimes a flickering street light, or a drive through the woods on a sunny day, or for no reason whatsoever. Now to try and get the M.I.L to understand.......:)

Kristin - posted on 11/05/2010

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It's not a problem when you are there interacting with them and teaching them about what they are seeing and doing. It is a problem when the electronics become the baby sitter/ caregiver.

Donna - posted on 11/04/2010

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I agree with you. We watch TV and we dance and talk about what she see's. She has learned so many things from watching TV as well as what we have taught her. She is playing pretend with her baby dolls and tea set. She will pour tea and feed it to her baby's or to me. She makes "dinner" in her kitchen and reads books to her babies. We do many things through out the day and some of that day does include TV. Some days more than others. And it depends on her mood. Some days when she is extremely fussy and I've tried every thing else, then we watch TV snuggled on the couch. She is 15 months old and says about 12-15 words and knows about 6 signs to tell me what she wants. Perhaps every child is different. I agree that it should not be used as a baby sitter and there is no interaction with your child.

I'd say that you are a great Mom and your kids sound fabolous. Do what works for your family!!

Chrystal - posted on 11/04/2010

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I think if you feel right by what you are doing then don't question it. Sounds like you kids are learning just fine by what you are doing. Stay strong to your beliefs:)

Suzanne - posted on 11/04/2010

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I agree with Erica, I am one of those people that have the tv on all day for background noise and most of the time it is on playhouse disney. Sometimes she will stop and watch something but most of the time she plays around, talks to me, we read books, she explore everything. Then when a song comes on she stops to dance and that puts a big smile on her face, which in turn makes me happy. We get out all the time and go to play group and play centres or the beach or just for a walk. If your kids are learning new things then i cant see it being a problem. But like some of the other mums said, what works for one person doesn't always work for the other. I have found to that leting her play by herself has made her more independant and she is not as shy as some of the other children her age. Whether the tv or the toys had anythin to do with this i don't know, but it doesn't seem to be hurting her :) Keep up the great work you are doing :)

Angelique - posted on 11/04/2010

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My little one is a TV addict just like her mom... TV never hurt my development or my imagination - I think I benefited from it! I think toys are an important part of growing up, when I was growing up we had certain things we collected (I loved my action figures) and I knew that for every birthday and Christmas I would get another action figure to add to my collection.

The internet is a great way to teach kids in an exciting way - using their brain is using their brain... who cares HOW they are learning to use it?

Aime - posted on 11/04/2010

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TV won't cause seizures, unless your child is already prone to having seizures. If she is then obviously you'd want to avoid situations that would cause a seizure, but I wouldn't worry about it otherwise. Our parents use scare tactics into getting us to raise our kids their way sometimes lol.

Anny - posted on 11/04/2010

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I don't let my daughter watch too much TV but she isn't even 1yo yet. My son just turned 2yo a couple months ago & he watches TV but not all the time. I get yelled at a lot by my in-laws for letting him watch TV before 2yo since letting kids watch too much before then can cause seizures. I allow it but not too much. I also do a lot of reading & work on workbooks with my son. He also plays learning games but I do everything with him.

I think a lot people have problems with TV cuz of the seizures that they can develop. That's my experience anyways.

[deleted account]

Lots of differing opinions here, so I'll just throw my 2 cents in. :) I think everything needs to be in moderation. For our family, we have three girls 7, 4, & 2, TV is limited. I let them watch a couple show in the afternoon and then maybe a couple more when my oldest comes home. Yes, every once in a great while I used the TV as a babysitter to get some much needed housework done around the house. Have a damaged my kids, I don't think so. My girls are extremely creative, imaginative and crafty. If the TV is on for that limited time and they are not paying attention to it or are just vegging and not interacting, then I turn it off and we play. As far as the toys go, we only have a small handful. My girls don't play with toys the way they are meant to be played with. They combine toys to create different games and such. So for us, and my sanity in staying organized :), we have only a small handful that they use to play. For us less is more. They much prefer using scarves & dress-up clothes to make up games, plays & shows. Again, everything in moderation. Good Luck!

Amalea - posted on 11/04/2010

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theres many educational tv shows out there nowadays. sprout is a great channel for toddlers. But I do place some restrictions on my 7 year olds things. For example, the other nite I was in his room with him and he was watching nick at nite, and I heard someone say @$$ 3 times in 10 minutes! and another time, a commercial on nickelodeon, it had a bunch of kids around 10 years old talking about when its time to talk about sex, telling kids to ask thier parents. So you really have to watch out for things like that. alot of toys nowadays are getting recalled for toxic plastic, and many other things. You are right that many programs and toys are educational, but you need to watch out for other things also. Best wishes to you and your kids!

Diane - posted on 11/04/2010

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I think we have become a society of having to be told what to do instead of using common sense....no matter what you do with your child if its out of love and saftey they benifit. I am a stay at home mom and if i didnt let my 7 year old watch tv i would not be able to get anything cooked for dinner or done outside of playing and i dont feel one bit guilty for it. Now what they watch is a different ball game some of these cartoons are just not for the youngest or children thats where being a parent comes in....Just my opinion...

Christi - posted on 11/04/2010

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I don't allow my son to watch a whole lot of TV for the simple fact that I would rather him interact with me and learn from puzzles and watching me do things than sit and let his brain rot in front of a TV. He is Autistic so it is kind of a different ball game too. There is no interacting with him while there is another distraction so I keep TV to a minimum, mostly if I need to shower or get some housework done.

Aurora H. - posted on 11/04/2010

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Every parent(s) are different. Truth be told my daughter, who's 10 months old, won't watch television unless some weird commercial is on or if we're watching FOX News. Yes, my daughter watches the News. We have not a lot of toys but we try to keep it that way cause we want to teach her ourselves how to talk, what colour is what, and etc. But everyone had a different method and standards on what is good for their own kids. Just remember Television isn't always good. Have you're 3 yr old go out with you to the park and play games outside. There are some things that television, internet, and the toys can't teach kids. Its Reality Vs. Fiction.

Candice - posted on 11/03/2010

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Sometimes I feel guilty over how much TV my two yr old watches. People constantly remind me that its not good for kids to watch TV.. I even recently read something that suggested kids shouldn't be allowed to watch any TV until they are 2 because it stunts their development. I'm so glad to see a Mom who realizes like I do how much my son is learning from watching educational TV shows. My two year old knows his shapes, colors, ABC's and can count to 20 all because we watch the shows and interact with them and talk about them together. I'm so tired of the "experts" making me feel guilty about this!

Aimee - posted on 11/03/2010

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i agree with you.. my daughter learns so much from watching tv. there are some shows that i just hate and dont want her to watch, but there are alot of shows for kids out there now that are very educational. i think its fine to let them watch as much as they want, but i also think its important that they dont just sit there all day staring at the tv they need exercise also.. otherwise my daughter learns best watching tv.

Robin - posted on 11/03/2010

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I am glad to see I am not the only mom that does not like the TV! Way to go moms!! Let's turn off the TV!

Aime - posted on 11/03/2010

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My daughter is 2 1/2, and we have the TV on the entire day. I have banned shows such as spongebob, and we check movies out at the library like Cinderella that we will sit down and watch together sometimes. She will watch the shows for a while, then find something to play with for a while, or we'll do some crafts for a while, or go play outside, and if she wants to watch T.V. again she can. When Daddy comes home, Lily knows that her T.V. time is over, and it's Daddy's turn. She sometimes protests this, but we have rules and that's that. We have a billion toys because everyone I know had kids before us, and they gave us bags and bags of toys that I can't bring myself to just throw out. But I rotate these toys. They are in bins, and they are rotated out. My kids pick up their own toys at the end of the day, even if it takes an hour to do so, we do not spend the day worrying about the toys being picked up constantly. Very small, cheap dollar store toys are bought as rewards sometimes when she is doing especially well on potty training and such, but otherwise we do not buy new toys unless it's a birthday or Christmas. They rarely ask for something at stores, and if we say no we explain why and they drop it most of the time. Sometimes the kids play together, sometimes they play seperately, sometimes I play with them. We talk to each other even if she's playing by herself, we talk to each other even if she's watching T.V. I don't think the T.V. makes me a bad parent, I think it has taught her things I otherwise couldn't, such as counting in Spanish and Chinese. My daughter knows and identifies every color when asked, she knows all her shapes, counts to 20 in english, 5 in spanish, 3 in Chinese, she talks in complete sentences, uses words much more advanced than her age, and remembers things she did and watched throughout the day to tell Daddy about later at dinner in graphic detail. She's a smart girl, and she has all the toys she could ask for and plenty of T.V. I think T.V. only becomes an issue when you let them watch programs that aren't very appropriate for them. And as someone said, having a lot of toys doesn't make a child materialistic, it's getting everything they want that makes them materialistic. You are doing great!

Renae - posted on 11/03/2010

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To the best of my knowledge (and fully admitting that I may have missed some new research on the topic), it is my understanding that no research has shown a small amount of TV watching to be a detriment to children under 2, the findings are that TV does not have any benefit at all for children under 2. So, as there is no "proven" benefit from TV for children under 2, most paediatric associations do not recommend TV for children under 2 because it is easier not to recommend it at all than to educate parents about moderation and using TV in small amounts with very young children. All that being said, I'm moving on to the toys topic.



I find it quite fascinating that some people give their children very few toys, if none at all. A couple of moms have commented along the lines that they can teach their children better than toys can. I am not for one second disagreeing - of course you can. But what I am wondering is how then do you demonstrate all of the learning effects that toys are useful for? Do you use other household objects you find around the house? Then why not just use toys? Wouldn't it be easier? I am just thinking that without toys, I would have a hard time finding even 3 or 4 different ways to demonstrate 'cause and effect' to my baby. What about the baby learning manipulation of their environment? Which we all know is an important part of intellectual development in the first year - how do you teach that without toys? Surely there is only so much you can do with the make-shift "toys" in the tupperware cupboard. Although, I am not very creative, so maybe some other mums are great at coming up with all sorts of games without the use of toys - but personally, I find toys very helpful! I'm not disagreeing at all with anything anyone has said about their views on toys, I'm just completely curious as to what you do instead. :)

Sonya - posted on 11/03/2010

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well my opinon is dat tv is a great way to help dem learn such as wiv talkin n helpin wiv imagination n once ur child is still gettin a chance to spend time wiv der mammy n dat it shudnt be a prob as der interactin wiv u like i wud dis aggree if a perant was jus leavin der child watchin tv all day everyday wivout havin perant n baby time. . but every perant is different n will raise der child nw they want i jus dnt aggree wiv d one who hink they shud give out 2 those who do watch tv. . . like fair enuf they dnt agree wiv it they r aloud to give der opion but not try but ppl down bcuz they hink der rite. . .

Stifler's - posted on 11/02/2010

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I don't see the big deal. Once my kid is old enough to do finger painting and play outside in the baby pool and stuff that's what we'll do. For now we can watch the midday movie. He's more interested in playing with the remote.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/02/2010

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No toys? How is that fun for me? My daughter is not even 17 months old yet and I have her birthday and Christmas presents mapped out for the next 6 years. I'm just way excited about getting to play with all my favourites again.



Dude. I can't imagine no toys. TV - whatever. I can live without it and she doesn't watch very much at all. But no way would I give up the toys. Playmobil and Lego ftw!

Paula - posted on 11/02/2010

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One reason why I enjoy forums such as these is the wealth of points of view on topics. I have not had a chance to read all the replies so I apologize if this is some what redundant.

I had the TV as a babysitter growing up and I have chosen to not allow my kids much TV. We have weekly family movie nights and if the witching hour is hitting really bad I'll turn on something that we have previously put on DVR, something with some value in the show. Other than that, we really do not have it on much.

I have friends who always have their TV on and their kids are doing well in school, are well adjusted, healthy, etc. I think, as with many things in life, one should look to the family dynamics and how things are used.

One book I would highly encourage folks to read is, "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. The premise behind this book is that we, as a society, do not allow our kids to experience nature as much as previous generations; and that connection to nature is being lost. There is \something to be said about living in the "3D" world as much as possible. TV and computers can be utalized to teach in a way that some kids learn best, but they are only 2 dimensional. There is no substitution for going out to experience our surroundings.

If it's the weekend and the kids (6 and 4) want TV time they must earn it. They earn it by playing outside or reading. Every 1 hour doing these things gets them 30 minutes of Wii, TV or computer.

Reading is HUGE in my family. We always have books laying around, even my little 22 month old totes them around. It truly is a way of life for us. Talk to any teacher and they will say that reading, learning more vocabulary, is one of the biggest keys to success in school.

Blessings!

Nikkole - posted on 11/02/2010

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My Son will be three in December and he has a TON of toys and wathces tv! He knows how to count to 10 knows most of his ABC's and we are learning colors now and working on potty training (hes being VERY difficult lol) But We watch Nick JR and Nickalodean he LOVES I Carly for some reason and most of the shows we watch are NOT bad for kids and we watch a LOT of disney movies! The reason my son has soo many toys is my husband grew up with NOTHING and i think he dosent want out son to grow up like that. But my son is SO smart it scares me but he makes up his own scripts while playing and he can talk VERY well for his age most people think hes about 4 I SAY YOU GO GIRL your being a great mommy keep up the good work!

Anne - posted on 11/02/2010

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Whenever i let my daughter watch tv i swear she drools lol. i dont see any problem with toys she plays with hers all the time

Merry - posted on 11/02/2010

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Our tv is on most of the time because I have one son who is a year old and I have no one to talk to and it gets quiet here! I like the sounds and we do music alot too. I watch tv cuz I like to expand my knowledge and learn new things. I like tv because I am constantly finding out stuff that can make me better from it.
So the tv is on for ME not for my son. He has one tv show he likes and if I need to het something done I put his show on and he calms down to watch. But if my shows are on he will play with his toys, or with the cats, and I see him imagining and creating stories in his head while he plays. Then I will play with him if he wants me too, or we will cuddle and breastfeed on the couch for a quiet time.
I have a variety of toys for him that cover all the developmental parts like figures, cars, dolls, animals, books, balls, blocks, push toys, pull toys etc. Not an excess of any one type but a variation so he is able to explore all aspects of play.

Tiffany - posted on 11/02/2010

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I know I asked for peoples opinion. I also stated in my last post that nothing I was saying was geared to anyone here. I was just stating that I use other ways of learning as well as tv. Yes my kids do watch alot of tv, but not an excessive amount. I know why the question is being answered the way they are. I just chose not to go by experts researchs, and so on with everything I do because I choose to raise my kids based on what binifits them and not by how other children who are not mine reacted to things. The way I see it is just because some odd thousands of kids didnt not binifit from some things, not only regarding this matter but all matters, does not mean that every child wont. I was just wanting to remind people that tv and such is not my only form of teaching my kids things they need to learn, because I posted another post earlier stating all this and I just wanted to make sure people saw that.

[deleted account]

I haven't read all the responses, but for us, it's a non issue. I don't really care what people think is best. I like tv for background noise because I, personally, hate silence. It drives me crazy! As for the toys, I feel like as long as you aren't buying a new toy every time your child asks for one, your good. Have you seen the toys out there today? I love playing with them! I think I buy the toys more for me sometimes, lol:)

Grace - posted on 11/02/2010

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Tiffany, perhaps you should reread your post and understand why there are people responding to it the way we do. You mentioned "We watch tv alot", then asked regarding using TV, toys and electronics, "why are they such an issue" and asked AGAIN "is it all really that bad?" So you are getting people to answer your questions and they are telling you what THEY THINK. I don't think people are accusing anyone of being good or bad parents, but why the things you mentioned can be "bad" if used to the extreme. I, along with some others, agree NOT to have the TV on all the time for the reasons we believe to be true. We are using the experts' opinion as research, not doctrine. Because some people like us really do believe there is no good to come from having the TV on all the time, whether or not the kids are stoning in front of it. Some people like to have it on all the time, that's their choice.

Cleo - posted on 11/02/2010

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I don't agree with Nicole Fraser. My daughter loves to watch cartoons and while I listen to her play she makes up an original script that is all her own. It depends on the child and their creativity. Do we have the TV play throughout the day sometimes? Yes but are we sitting down glued to the tv all day as well? Of course not. I mainly use the TV as a source of music for my young children and I to enjoy while I clean and they play. I think we can all agree that too much of ANYTHING is not good for anyone.

Tiffany - posted on 11/02/2010

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Hey I'm gonna remind everyone once again, And Im not being rude to anyone at all, that tv is not the only form of learning my kids are doing. We read books, we go to pet stores to learn about diff types of animals, we go to parks to learn about diff types of plants. We even trun shopping into learning. We are not home alot so my kids are not getting excessive amounts of tv. And once again, Im not meaning this rude, so please dont take it that way, but i was not meaning, with this question, for others to give me suggestions of other ways to learn, or any links of why tv is bad. Im not changing my ways of the wa I raise my kids no matter how many people say it is wrong, no matter how many studies they do on it, and no matter how many people try to get me to change it. (THIS IS NOT GEARED TOWARDS ANYONE HERE) I know my kids, I know what they do and dont binifit from, i know my son is 2 years old and is reading, so I know I have nothing to worry about. My son is extreemly advanced and has been watching tv since he could see it. I was just wondering opinions on people saying tv is bad and using my story as an example of how it binifits some. ONCE AGAIN, I AM NOT MEANING THIS RUDE. I TEND TO NOT KNOW HOW TO WORD THINGS WITHOUT IT SOUNDING RUDE (even when i am talking directly to people) THIS IS MEANT IN THE MOST SINCERE WAY SO PLEASE NO ONE GET OFFENDED BY ANYTHING IN THIS POST

Deepa - posted on 11/02/2010

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Angela took all the words and it is absolutely right !!!. My dd is 2 and half , watches TV and learn something new. But only for 2 hrs everyday. Along with all developmental lag, it sometimes lead to vision problems and ends up with thick glasses.

When she is on top of her tantrums somedays, It is too difficult to distract her, so only resuce i hav is TV, and i do put her infront of that till she calms down. Days like that she watches TV more. But next day or so, we just go back to our routine 2 hrs.

I think it is better to be with them with puzzles, books, reading/writting, showing pics and making stories. It is going to do the same teaching TV does and with out any harm on eyes and special bond between you and ur child.

And along with all that, let them learn to spend more quality time with u and other family members. TV time shuldnt steal that from them.

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