Telezombie for Kids Under Five

Updated on June 18, 2012
E.S. asks from Hackettstown, NJ
14 answers

Am I the only one anti-TV? We only allow our two year old about 20 minutes a day, if that. All other times our TV is off and we are hardly home anyway.

So what are your TV habits for kiddos under five?

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answers from Dayton on

I was much more strict with my first, but now not so much. After 4 kids in 6 years (and the pregnancies that go with it), some family problems, and lots of earaches, the kids have seen more television than they should - including the 18 month old who had chronic ear infections. The older kids actually watch less now than the littler one.

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answers from Albuquerque on

You're definitely not the only one. I was actually more strict than you. My kids didn't see TV in any form - recorded shows, live shows, or DVDs, until they were two. Since then they usually watch one 30 minute show a week (they're five now). They also watch DVDs on plane rides, but that's it. My husband and I aren't big TV watchers so it's not a big hardship to keep it turned off when they're awake. I just don't think TV (or video games) are necessary for little kids, but I certainly don't judge other families that watch TV. It's whatever works for you...

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answers from Detroit on

I don't really have any restrictions on my daughter's (who is almost 5) TV watching - but when I feel she's had enough, it gets switched off. Even when it's on though, she's really not just passively watching it or turned into a zombie. She's still drawing, playing with toys, wants to play a game with me, etc. Therefore, I don't think it holds that much fascination for her. She spends the majority of her time during the week in preschool/day care and then will be in kindergarten in the fall, so it's not as if she has all day to watch TV anyway. If it's on one of the kids' programming channels for an hour or two in the morning, and a couple of hours after she gets home, I don't see it as a big deal (and yeah, it does end up being more on the weekends). She still has plenty of other activities to fill her time and the watching of TV has not hurt her in any way. Some of it is Daddy too though, when I have to work and he's in charge and he restricts TV even less. Watching TV is how hubby and I unwind at night.

ETA: The only channels she watches are Nick Jr., Disney Jr., PBS Kids, Sprout, and the occasional Disney cartoon movie. And no TV in her bedroom!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

No, you are not alone. DS (6-1/2) has no regular tv. He occasionally (if it's a rainy day) watches 30 minutes of a nature show (we have Blue Planet and Planet Earth) of DVD. He has seen 4 movies in his lifetime (all DVDs). Three that he was given (you would think you would give a DVD for a 3 year old to the parents first, wouldn't you?) and Star Wars. He is a zombie when he sees a tv in a restaurant. I couldn't live with that all the time. The actual scientific evidence supporting either no or very limited screen time is pretty convincing. DS did not see any screen until he was about 3-1/2.

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answers from Washington DC on

I admit that DD watches TV daily. I try to keep it to educational shows and turn the TV off and shoo her into free play or art projects, too, but we usually have a bit of TV during her/our day.

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answers from Portland on

We're close with you. Kiddo averages about 2-3 hours a week in total these days. We're just busy and have enough to do, even at home. He's five and for us, for right now, it's just fine. I'll consider more if he asks for it... but not much more at this point. I rarely (like, there has to be an emergency) watch television during daytime. Otherwise, we're pretty selective too-- usually if he watches something in the afternoon, it's a nature documentary while I'm folding laundry. When I'm done, we turn the doc off until the next folding session. Keeps it interesting and it lasts longer.:)

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answers from Columbus on

When my kids were that age, we mostly watched purely educational dvds or commercial-free kids TV, but it was rare, not because I'm fundamentally against it, but because there's just nothing worth watching -- it's mostly junk. Even now, most evenings we sit and read together or play a game or go outside. It's rare that we watch TV -- just too many better things to do.

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answers from Dallas on

I allow my daughter to watch television quite a bit, but the only channel I allow on in the house during her waking hours is Disney channel. (We only have one tv.) The cartoons on it are non-violent and the characters generally use acceptable grammar and vocabulary. She generally does other things while the tv is on, not zoning out. I read recently that young kids typically look away from a tv something like 150 times in an hour, which is quite different from how they use an ipad or iphone. I am adament about not having a television in her bedroom or my bedroom, as I do feel that hinders sleep routines.



answers from Lancaster on

My kids (2 and 1/2 and 15 months) don't watch any tv. My initial intention was to not let them watch tv until they were 2 years old due to how if effects the developing brain and attention span, but honestly now it is just a habit to not watch it. We are busy doing other things and they are pretty good at entertaining themselves when I need them to. I guess as they get older we might occasionally watch movies or maybe sporting events, but that's about it.


answers from New York on

My kids dont plug-in until after dinner. Solves a lot of fights and whining about the TV. Its just not an option until after dinner is done.

My niece, on the other side of the coin, says her job is: "to sit on my butt and watch TV." She is 4, and that is pretty much all she does.


answers from Minneapolis on

Theoretically, I am anti-TV for young kiddos. In practice, I do allow a few hours a day. I've gotta cook, clean, do laundry, pay bills, take occassional phone calls, etc. TV comes in handy during those times, and for when I am need a shower.

That being said, I am very strict about what they watch. I've blocked any program that is rated PG, or has violence of any kind. So, that pretty much leaves just Disney Junior, Nick Jr, Sprout & our local PBS Kids station.


answers from Grand Forks on

I am definitely not anti-TV, but I did limit TV when my kids were little, and I still do today, simply because I believe in moderation. There is a time and place for everything. I found TV to be really useful when I was making supper, or if the kids were sick, or if we were "snowed-in". Usually I just make sure that they have other (better) things to do for the better part of the day, but it is a good way to wind down at the end of a busy day. I find that there is so much entertaining, wholesome educational TV available for kids that I have no problem finding appropriate content.



answers from St. Louis on

with my daycare kids, they watch 1 show/day....unless we're tied up w/ weather issues. Then it's 1 in the a.m.....& maybe 1 before parent pickup. But, honestly, we rarely hit that 2nd show.....



answers from New York on

I have never considered myself anti-TV, but I do not own a television, IPAD or android phone. I do however own a computer. My daughter is allowed to use it for up to half an hour per day. She likes Starfall. My daughter has recently taught herself to read.(Out of boredom perhaps :) She turned three in April and that is pretty much what she does when she is independently playing.

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