How much TV time is too much TV time?

Carolyn - posted on 06/28/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




I'm the mother to two beautiful little girls. Ella's five and spends a good amount of time watching TV. I try to balance it out with time outside and reading, but I'm worried she's watching too much. How long do you let your kids watch TV a week?


[deleted account]

J is 8 years old. He gets 1 hour of screen time per weekday. He can split it up anyway he likes--i.e. 20 min watching TV and 40 min of video games. (We use netflix & DVD's so he doesn't waste time on commercials.) He can also carry time over from one day to the next. So if he doesn't have any screen time on Monday, he could use 2 hours on Tuesday. He can also trade it in for special Mommy&J time. This is time that we spend together doing essentially anything he wants (within limits, of course). Obviously, I spend time with him anyway, but this special TV trade-out time puts him in charge of what we do and in some cases, when we do it, and he thinks that's awesome so he is pretty willing to trade. On average, he watches about 3-4 hours over the course of the week. As a family rule, we don't do TV, computers, or video game on weekends. We just turn it all off except for the cell phones.

I think the AAP recommends 2 hours or less of "quality" screen time per day for kids 2 years old and up. This means educational stuff--academic games, educational programming, etc (stuff my kid no longer has any interest in) OR 1 hour or less regular screen time.

ETA...He does get extra screen time when we travel because I let him play on a portable game on the plane or in the car.
Also, We're not very strict with it. If I am busy, I might let him watch a full length movie one day even if he hasn't saved extra time, but I try to make up for it at least a little bit by getting him to trade in his time the next week....does that make sense? Sometimes things just get out of whack, and it's not a big deal. You just don't want her sitting in front of the TV for hours a day every day.

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