Mom Confessions: I Let My Toddler Watch Way Too Much TV

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toddlers watching tvIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession: 

I let my son watch way way too much TV. We would do things like go to the park but I don't have a car. — anonymous

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Does your child watch too much TV?

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Total Votes: 179

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We all have secrets -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgmental!

Do you have a Mom Confession you want to share? PM me. We can share your confession with your CafeMom screenname or anonymously.

Past Confessions:

I've Given My Child Benadryl for Early Bedtime

My Kids Sleep Alone in the Car

I'm Afraid My Husband is Going to Die

I Don't Like Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

I Have a Family, But I'm Lonely

I Lie and Say I'm "Working" to Avoid Playing

I Let My Son Fall Asleep to DVDs

I Don't Shield My Kids' Eyes from Nudity

I Use Housecleaning to Avoid Playing With My Kids

I Am Not a Fun Mom

I Don't Set Up Play Dates for My Kids

I Wish I Had a Fulfilling Career Outside the Home

I Use My Kid's Flushable Toilet Wipes

I'm Going to Disney Without My Children

I Bribe My Children

I Hate Reading Children's Books

I Sleep Naked With My Toddler

I Hate My Neighbor's Kid

I Don't Like to Play

I Sleep While My Kid Is Up

My Kid Watches TV Up Close

I Let My Toddler Play Outside Alone

I Turn My Kids Over to A Mom I Just Met

My Toddler Wears Crude T-Shirts

I Let My Toddlers Climb Play Equipment Unassisted

My Kids Go to Sleep After Midnight

I Let My Toddlers Go Naked in Public

I Throw Away My Kid's Artwork

I Paid $22 for My Son's Haircut

My Toddlers Eat Pizza for Breakfast

I'm Dying My Toddler's Hair

I Leave My Toddler Alone in the Bath

Our Children Aren't Invited to Our Wedding

I Scold Other People's Kids

I'm on Vacation, But My Kid Is Still Going to Day Care

I Favor My Older Child

I Let My Toddler Eat Food Before Paying for It

I Find Excuses to Send My Kids to Bed Early

confessions

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PinkS... PinkSodaPop

It's really a proven bad thing to allow very young children too much television.

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming."


Moms who are interested in more sound information regarding this subject can read these articles:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/tv_affects_child.html

http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_and_watching_tv



I feel strongly about this in my house and my kids don't get much t.v. time ---- They can choose to watch a movie (appropriate for their ages...) ---- or they can have a favorite show they get to watch each day.
But we allow for 2 hours of total time spent at the t.v. per day either viewing or gaming time.

We encourage our kids to read, or do other activities such as art, or music instead of watching t.v. ---- We like them to do things that are more brain empowering!
  angel mini

Pollymom Pollymom

Well, it is hard to take your kids anywhere if you don't have a car. Not every town has public transportation or decent weather to walk anywhere. You don't always have friends or family around to take you and your kids somewhere. So I can see the anonymous mother's point.


If that were me, I would probably let my kids have TV time, but then there'd be time for play, art, stories, etc.


Then when I had a chance to go into town, I'd stock up on art supplies, toys, books, etc. at the local Dollar Tree or Wal-Mart or something to keep the kids busy while indoors.

Slieu... Slieurance

I must admit, my child also watches way too much TV. I do try to do other things with him, but in the end we still end up watching too much.


No one is perfect and we all do things that we probably should not do. I try not to worry too much about it. There is so much other stuff for us to worry about TV is not going to be my big worry.

apexm... apexmommy

I really don't think not having a car is an excuse.  It sounds like anon mom just wants to make it one.  There are things you can do without a car, even just playing outside.  Most kids love to play with dirt, sticks, leaves.  A good activity when I'm about to pull my hair out is filling the sink with water and watching my toddler splash while I drink a soda or something else to unwind.  Having a car is helpful, yes, but I have found that people will make excuses about anything.  I'm not judging this mom, because who knows where she lives?  Maybe an apartment complex in a bad neighborhood?  I'd keep my kid in, too.  Also, define too much tv.  At my house, too much is more than 2 20 minute shows or one 45 minute video.  Other houses, that's a good day.  So it depends.

Lumin... LuminousMom

You know, in our house its very different day to day. On my husbands work days, I wake up with the kids at 8ish, they watch 15 minutes of Sprout while I shower and get dressed.. then its breakfast and we go straight into preschool. That takes us about 2 hours, but by the time its 10:30 I really need a break so I let them watch another 30 min or so while I check emails/cafemom/facebook. We do art, we go on walks, we play in the yard, we cook together...  But on my DH's day off he will turn the TV on for them and leave it on all day! I HATE that. IMO the TV only needs to be on if someone is sitting right in front of it actually engaged in watching it. It doesnt need to be on for them to play.


My only advice to this mom would be to try and find other activities to do inside or outside the home that use up some time, and engage their minds. Collect leaves on a walk... buy a giant box of crayons and do aBC's, Shapes, Colors, and numbers on paper.. my kids love that and they learn! Do flashcards... have dance offs, listen to music and have quiet time. Read read read.. buy two sets of crayola watercolors and some watercolor paper and let them be creative, it washes off anything and kids love it! Just use your imagination... it doesnt make you a bad mom, but you can do better activities with some inspiration!

toria... toriandgrace

My daughter watches too much TV from time to time. I'm a full time grad student with a deployed husband, sometimes I need to do class or write a paper, so we throw on Noggin. I think she'll survive.

ethan... ethans_momma06

Oh man...I  am so guilty on this one and I HATE it. My biggest problem? Remembering to turn the darn thing off...If I could just remember to do that, most of the problem would be solved.


People act like not having a car isn't a big deal, but for some it can be a real challange to take thier kids outside without one. I didn't have one for years, and I lived in a not so great neighborhood. No way was I going to risk something by walking somewhere on my own.


Does that mean that T.V. is a replacement for outside? Nope....stock up on indoor activities and it wont be that big of a problem.


Well...as long as you can remember (or remind yourself) to turn the darn thing off :)

Mommy... Mommy2Mal

I don't think any one of us can say what exactly is too much TV. As another mom pointed out, TV time in her house is kept to a minimum, but in my house, the TV is on almost 24.7 and I don't feel guilty about it. Partially because the kids don't spend all day (every day) watching Disney, we watch "grown up" shows, lots of history channel, and yes, tons of MythBusters, we watch the news, and spend some time with the TV on music channels (not MTV, but the ones that are strictly music with some background image?) especially around the holidays when we can listen to Christmas music all day long.


One of the big arguments with toddlers watching too much TV is that it stunts their speach, but I find it to be quite the opposite. My kids often talk about the things they see and hear on the TV and are both (according to the pediatrician and "what to expect") advanced verbally and bilingual. I think it's up to each mom to decide what is and isn't too much TV and I think it can vary from day to day.

fmchavez fmchavez

Unless whatever on tv has dogs constantly streaming across the screen, my daughter isn't interested in sitting to watch it longer than 5 minutes at a time. If I put a movie on for her she'll watch maybe 10-15min of the entire thing.


She does love Blues Clues though and will sit for nearly the entire thing, but I limit to 2 episodes a day, if not for her sake, then definitely for my sanity.

Sweet... Sweetmami07

I admit I am one that lets their children watch to much TV. I am trying to make it more educational atleast but I need something for my children to do so that I can have a small break. I am in the Arm and work alot so its hard but a horrible excuss. I just don't have any ideas on how to keep them occupied so that I can so something for mysel!

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