Kids and TV – Good or Bad??

28 Sep

((okay… taking a ceasefire on the melodrama for now…))

A huge bone of contention between myself and the father of my child is the amount of TV the little one watches. Personally, I schmaak the TV stukkend (direct translation for non South Africans: I taste the tv broken? Or, I love the tv so much it is broken? I love the tv to death? sleepyjane? help?)

Now, I know that tv is bad for kids. Every hour of tv causes a 10% increase in attention deficit later on. It is bad for developing eye movement, co-ordination and creativity. It doesn’t teach them about personal interaction. About learning the social skills of body language, about delayed gratification. Yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah…

But, scheeesh, tv is SO good for me. In the mornings, when I need to shower (and don’t need a crying toddler outside the shower door), it is a lifesaver. It is a wonderful bribe to get him to do what I want him to do, when I want him to do it (and not hours of tearful negotiation later). NOTHING works better than “If you don’t eat your food/sit still/lie down to change your nappy/get dressed/brush your teeth/let me wipe your face I’m switching off teletubbies”. And when I have a hungry baby who suddenly realises that he –  it helps to be able to say, “watch what Noddy’s doing while Mommy makes your supper”.

For months, my child WOULD NOT eat breakfast at home. It was creche food or die. Which meant that I rushed around like a bat-out-of-hell every morning trying to get him to school on time. Usually I turned up there with hair standing on end, wearing yesterday’s clothes and without shoes. The advent of tv in the mornings has revolutionised my life. Now he opens his mouth like a docile little bunny every morning (as long as he can watch Bob The Builder) and I get to look semi-respectable when I step outside my front door.

So, I know that tv is bad long term, but right now, his vice is my virtue, and the tv ain’t going anywhere!!!!

Cause I’m the mommy, and I said so!!


8 Responses to “Kids and TV – Good or Bad??”

  1. expensivemistakescheapthrills September 28, 2008 at 8:47 pm #

    i DETEST barney.


    do you have dstv? have you discovered channel 306? – The BBC kids’ channel. (C-Beebees) 24 hours a day. Educational programs. 24 hours a day.

    PS: I see nothing wrong with what you do!

  2. wendy September 28, 2008 at 11:45 pm #

    well perhaps me commenting is not the best as I myself am addicted to tv. I am now addicted to childrens tv too. I bought a charlie and lola bag “for Lily” but actually I like it
    I think a bit of tv at the right times does no harm and Lily watches some really good programmes that teach her loads. We are in the land of ceebeebies so thats all thats on
    Balamory is a fav as is big cook little cook (blegh)
    I could go on but you catch my drift. we like tv and we do plenty of other jumping , rolling , paiting , gluing and puzzles too. its all about the balance
    I wish we got noddy!

  3. myminiheart September 29, 2008 at 3:21 am #

    i like “bob the builder” too and i need to know what other moms will have to say about this so when i become a mom i will know what to do.

  4. Sleepyjane September 29, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    Haha! Unfortunately I can’t help BUT I will say this…it’s good to be the mom. 🙂 I don’t watch tv because there are other things I’d rather do, but if I was in the same situation I’d do exactly the same.

  5. Sue September 29, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    As you know, Jake is allowed to watch TV. And while he’s not allowed to watch it 24/7 as and when he wants to, I do also find it a lifesaver during those in between times. Jake watches TV in the mornings for about 20 minutes and in between him getting home from school and me getting home from work (about 40 minutes). TV isn’t the answer to problems and I do think that too much is bad (I would never let my child dictate how much he gets to watch). I also don’t agree with using it as a baby sitter or as an alternative to thinking up things to do with kids; we made the choice to have kids, it’s our job to stimulate them. Still, TV is cool and if we make an issue out of not allowing them to watch it, it’s not going to stop them turning into couch potatoes later. Jake loves watching a good movie and I love slobbing on the couch with him. I love the way he interacts and I love watching his reactions to what’s happening. And Jake loves watching animal documentaries too. So, can’t be all that bad… X

  6. odette September 29, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    uhh, tried books and building toys? sorry, i’m not much of a help here. 😀 i’d rather turn on the tv perhaps just to buy some peace. 🙂

  7. Caroline September 29, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    I largely second what Susie said above. TV has been shown to be detrimental to children in numerous studies and especially negative in young children, but it does depend on how you ‘use’ the TV and the amount of time spent staring at it. It should never be used as a baby-sitter and to replace human interaction, but it does have its place and most mothers have noticed (in my case with alarm) at how drawn to the TV children seem to naturally be! I think like most things in life, it comes down to balance and as long as we are responsible parents and supervise the use of TV/playstation/Internet in our children’s lives, it can do more good then harm. Totally forbidding the watching of TV would have negative consequences as well.

  8. sandra green September 29, 2008 at 2:44 pm #

    A rule of thumb is: ‘ BAD TV is bad for your child!’
    I think we are all intelligent enough to know what is GOOD and what is BAD for our kids.
    And there is some very good stuff out there that will broaden their minds and open new worlds for them.
    We just need to monitor what gets watched, and if by chance they see something they should not have, we should be able to explain it or talk about it with them.

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