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valerieanne
06-26-2013, 05:16 PM
How much screen time (tv, movies, games, computers, ipads) do your children have on a daily basis? Do you limit or negotiate screen time? If you follow a particular philosophy of homeschooling, has that informed your screen choices - or - did you select a homeschool philosophy that fit your approach to screen time?

We are pretty old-school here. I'm trying to get a pulse on how thick my tin foil hat is.

alegre
06-26-2013, 07:19 PM
I had been struggling with how to handle requests, mostly for the ipad. The kids and I recently worked out a plan together. They can use the ipad from 1-2pm and 5-6pm. If we're doing something else at those times, the window of time comes and goes and they don't use it. So far it's going well, especially because they had input in making the policy. The 7 year old also uses the computer sometimes for educational reasons (mostly writing in Word and magictreehouse missions online), maybe 15-30 minutes a day. Where we live it's easy to be outside a lot all year long, which cuts down on the desire to be using screens.

jdubbleb
06-26-2013, 07:55 PM
Our philosophy is based on plain old moderation, we limit screen time. We do not negotiate, because the other 30 efforts did not pan out well, Trickster is lacking in the self-control department (in fact, I just had him read an article on overstimulation today). That, and, I totally believe in conversation, reflection, observation and just exploring the beauty nature provides, reminds me of a line from the Phantom Tollbooth:

"...the most important reason for going place to place is to see what's in between"

That being said, it's always a struggle!

2 hours/day, generally anytime after 6 pm for tv. 2 hours of gaming per day on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday). If we watch television before 6, it is always educational (documentaries, cooking shows, character building movies, but my kids love them).

Given that it's summer, they are often not in the house until 8:30-9:00pm and often get frustrated with missing their window of television opportunity because although wake up time is negotiable, going to bed time is not...at 9:30pm goodnight!

No non-educational computer time or video gaming during the week. Computer use during the week is limited to educational and creative purposes. Luckily, for Trickster, I do deem video game research as educational, but then it's limited to 30mins, as he gets overstimulated and has trouble getting to sleep.

We don't own an Ipad, Kindle or any other type of tablet, so no worries there.

farrarwilliams
06-26-2013, 07:57 PM
I think you have to start with your beliefs and decide based on that. Here, I believe screens can be fine and good and screen use can be perfectly healthy in moderation. I have tried to set it up to not be antagonistic or stressful for me (or the kids) in figuring out screens. While I can't say we've always been perfect about them, I'm fine with how much my kids use screens, there's almost never any whining or lawyering about them here. The kids can put them down.

I would say there are three kinds of screen use here.

First, educational screens. I have the kids use the iPads for math games or watching Brainpop or we watch a documentary during school time. I don't worry about how much we're using. Some days a lot, some days none. I use it when it seems right or when it's the best resource. Additionally, if we're waiting around for something or stuck in the car for a long time, educational screens are allowed - typically playing math games on the iPad.

Second, creative screens. This includes programming in Scratch and Mindstorms, making movies, doing art, etc. They can use screens for creative use whenever they have screen time.

Finally, purely recreational screens. This includes TV shows, Wii games, Mindcraft, DS games, etc. This is not to say that some of these activities don't have a redeeming value, just that we do limit them. These have about a two hour window every day - from 5-7pm. Sometimes we're not home during part of that time and they don't get used. Usually they do. If the kids have other obligations, they do have to fulfill them first, but that's very rare.

In general, I tend to encourage less screens when the weather is good and be more lax about them when the weather is bad. A few times a year, such as around Christmas and birthdays, I we'll do an open screen time when the kids can use them to their heart's content. They usually go crazy for a couple of days and then start to put them down and limit their own use.

dbmamaz
06-26-2013, 09:20 PM
we have 'school hours' from about 10 am to about 3-4 pm, occasionally longer if the work isnt done. During that time, only 'educational' electronics are allowed. my kids do most of their writing on the computer, and my teen has a few materials he uses on the computer - like pdfs of curriculum or intellego unit studies.

they are allowed short breaks during the school day to check facebook (but i'll say something if that goes on too long), or sometimes to read some fan fiction.

outside of school hours, its almost unlimited. the biggest limits are safety - not as in worried about adults trying to do nasty things with them . .. there's just no way. But not downloading viruses. My teen still has his computer in public space, so while I know he reads some 'adult' fan fic, he cant look at porn. My younger son is very rule-oriented, and made sure to tell me when he'd changed his fan fic filter to include up to age 10, even tho it was 6 mo before his 10th birthday.

but we are a family of 'gamers' - my boys often get along better with kids they meet on line than kids they meet at home school activities.

quabbin
06-26-2013, 10:00 PM
I think screen time is one recreational option among many, and that as a beginning reader and poor sleeper, DS is better served by books and outdoor play; and I've seen that the more I allow, the more DS gets attached to it. So our rule is one show a day, whether it's a 20-minute episode from PBS or The Wizard of Oz in its entirety.

In practice I am more lenient in foul weather--we often in early spring get weeks of just above freezing, pouring rain, and I am not going to play Hi Ho Cherry-O every day! But generally I would rather take a field trip.

We don't have iPads or anything, so TV is the only screen time DS gets, unless you count typing back and forth across the living room with DH (which he doesn't realize is helping him learn to read).

valerieanne
06-27-2013, 03:02 AM
My car isn't sporting one of those 'Kill your television' bumper stickers or anything (my bumper sticker says, 'I can get you a toe' - see, a pop-culture reference, albiet a dated one). I just don't know if I can be flexible on this, which totally shocks me. Yes to a weekly movie night. Yes to a math app. Yes to Youngzine. Yes to convalescing in front of Star Trek dvds. No to tv. No to games. I'm feeling totally closed minded on the tv/game thing. Maybe I just have to accept the fact that I am officially uptight on this one issue, and own it. Dds not complaining (yet). I'll make myself a 'fun governor' nametag for our next 'unschool' group. So be it.

KristinK
06-27-2013, 11:02 PM
I struggle daily with screen time. mostly because I have 4 kids all vying for the 3 screens (laptop, tv, iphone). and if one is on one device, all the others freak out and insist that THEY need equal time on the same device...so trying to "equalize" them and rotate them all on equal amounts of each screen results in hours lost each day. and me fed up. and noone truly happy with the screen time they were allowed ("she's watching me!" "I don't want this show!" "I want that show!" "It's not fair!" blah blah blah).

Generally 4pm is "tv allowed" time, but then if we're out all day and come home late, they freak out about "losing tv time". it's an obsession, sigh. and I don't know how to handle it beyond threatening "If you keep whining about tv I'm going to toss it out the window!" Lol.

MrsJadeDragon
06-27-2013, 11:41 PM
Both my husband and I are media hogs so we know we can't deny our daughter media time. At five years old, she gets about three hours in the early evening on weeknights before bed, not including supervised time spent on active learning media including videos that I pick out for her and her educational websites. We can spend a lot of time on these.

Recreational screen time is a reward, however, and she has to earn that time by being good in preschool (now listening to mommy during our school hours), taking her nap (or having quiet time), and generally being a good listener and doing her chores. She has her own Kindle (hand me down) and i am hoping she will get better at reading soon so she can get used to digital books. We are also pretty particular about what we let her watch. No needlessly stupid cartoons like SpongeBob; we veto a lot of "mindless" cartoons. We are lucky that she is naturally drawn to a lot of PBS and Disney so we don't have to do a lot of policing.


On weekends, it's pretty much whenever she wants though I do tend to cut her off at about two hours if she's been doing nothing BUT watching TV. She's pretty good at self regulating so I don't always step in. She's a multitasker so often it's background noise while she's playing with toys or drawing or somesuch.

Tex-Bex
06-27-2013, 11:57 PM
We are working on setting up a system. The kids are earning media time with chores, reading, and optional schoolwork. They may use their time however they wish, as long as their parts of the house are in order. At 9 and 7 years old, they usually choose a Ninjago show or Minecraft computer time.

valerieanne
06-28-2013, 01:24 AM
It sounds like each family finds a system that works for them. It makes me realize that I want to avoid a system :) Regarding screen time, anyway. The ability to socialize with new people frequently revolves around pop culture, since it is usually a safe, easy way to find a common connection (see Disney thread). I'm reflecting on the fact that our deficit in screen time will impact dds cultural knowledge. I'm also acknowledging the fact that being tv/game-free is more significant than being soda-free, for example. It's a tough meal, and I need to chew on it more.

farrarwilliams
06-28-2013, 09:26 AM
I don't think you can avoid having a system of some sort. I mean, allowing screens all the time is a system and so is banning them all the time. I'm also often against systems when they're elaborate, such as points and rewards, that stuff is more trouble that its worth for most kids... For us, screen time is just part of our daily routine. I think that has cut out all the arguments about it. If we didn't have it as part of our routine and didn't have any sort of system, then I'd spend a lot more time arguing with the kids about it because it would always feel like a possibility for them. As it is, they don't ask about it outside of the time when it's always allowed.

RTB
06-28-2013, 10:05 AM
We generally don't have screens during the week for recreation. We may watch videos and such if they relate to what we are studying. We also have movie Thursday, where we watch a movie together. I save recreational screens for the weekend. But, it is kind of self serving, as they are so excited to watch a show, that my super early risers will let me doze for another hour. :)

fastweedpuller
06-28-2013, 10:36 AM
I agree with Farrar that screen time kind of involves a system. However, valerieanne, I do hear your concerns about your daughter's pop culture gap(s) if you "disallow" her to graze willy-nilly on ICarly or what have you. I know from personal experience, actually.

Growing up, my mom had absolute rules about our screen consumption. Granted it was "just" TV back then, and wow, only stuff we could get on the aerial from 4 stations, so I discovered wide chasms in my cultural awareness once I went to college. But: my mom taught me to hate TV for its dumbing-down, greatest-common-denominator reductivism, and sitcoms with laugh tracks specifically were verboten (something about manipulating one's response to the shows, if I remember correctly) and to this day we don't "do" TV. Just. can't. do. it. And I am fine with that.

Somehow though the kid finds out about things like Monster High. She discovered YouTube at a precocious age (serves us right I suppose for being some of the first to jump on the IPad wagon) and will find some fairly amazing clips to watch. So we negotiate: Horrible Histories OK, My Pretty Pony not so much. TED talks OK, but tell me, what are you learning from (insert offensive show)?

I do kind of let her go nuts with NOVA or anything with David Attenborough. She loves Fetch. And...as a family we HAVE enjoyed Ru Paul's Drag Race...

valerieanne
06-28-2013, 12:54 PM
We have a system for watching movies, using email, and reading Youngzine. I think we've avoided a system for tv and games, as they have simply been absent from our lives. We never banned them, or retracted them. They've just never been.

My paradigms are being challenged :) Dh and I were both tv free when we met, so the whys have never been discussed. The parents of the DL school we've joined have asked, 'why'. I don't really feel that I need to give them an explanation, but it made me realize that I've never explored 'why'. We are anticipating that dd will want to discuss the differences as well, and I do feel that she deserves a clear explanation.

It may sound odd, but I think we are going to approach it the same way we've approached our atheism. Some people find value, comfort and pleasure in tv/games. It just doesn't offer those things to us, so we skip it. We don't do tv. We don't do games. We don't do Jesus. No judgement, there is just nothing there for us. We looked in the store window, and kept on walking.

Her exposure to the kids with full screen access is going to amp up in September. It will be interesting for me (and likely entertaining for you) to see what happens then.

fastweedpuller
06-28-2013, 01:22 PM
Interesting that you have linked screentime with actual consumption (as in something you can purchase from a store window). In the earlier that-RU-family-is-wackadoo thread the one thing that really stuck out to me is the notion that parents are either good arbiters of the consequences of their child's actions, or they are not/should not. (And yes, Stella, extra points that it all comes back to brushing teeth!) Screentime definitely falls into one of those value-judgment things parents can throw their weight behind (by modeling good behavior themselves of course or pointing out how addicting x show/game/e-zine/forum is, how it disrupts the normal rhythm of the day).

Frankly I just want my daughter to be able to self-entertain WITHOUT a screen. Especially now that it is summer (and we live on a farm with animals) and her school workload is lighter: dang, she better not be telling us she is BORED and "needs" to plug in!

Starkspack
06-28-2013, 02:17 PM
My car isn't sporting one of those 'Kill your television' bumper stickers or anything (my bumper sticker says, 'I can get you a toe' - see, a pop-culture reference, albiet a dated one). I just don't know if I can be flexible on this, which totally shocks me. Yes to a weekly movie night. Yes to a math app. Yes to Youngzine. Yes to convalescing in front of Star Trek dvds. No to tv. No to games. I'm feeling totally closed minded on the tv/game thing. Maybe I just have to accept the fact that I am officially uptight on this one issue, and own it. Dds not complaining (yet). I'll make myself a 'fun governor' nametag for our next 'unschool' group. So be it.

I fall most closely to this. We do use the iPad for apps and she watches videos there. We do use the computer and occasionally she watches a video there. We occasionally watch movies together. But I have a real problem with TV with commercials. Even PBS isn't completely free from product influence anymore, best I can tell. When DD watches some kid channels, she sees commercials. We have already started the anti-commercial indoctrination, but still. I also have discouraged gaming, not because I think gaming is bad, but rather because she is too young (IMO) to get hooked on something she will want to spend hours doing on a screen. That said, she has some educational game apps that she plays from time to time. But no Angry Birds, for example. :)

As it is, she gets hooked on videos. We use the iPad as a babysitter sometimes, especially on car trips. We are on vacation and one of our flights was 9 hours long, and DD watched TV on the plane and videos on the iPad for at least 6 of those hours (egads). But it kept her quiet, was totally out of the norm for us, and got the job done (passed the time). Generally we just strive for moderation, and after a day like that, we restrict screen time so it balances out.

Mum
07-02-2013, 03:14 PM
Our kids are actually really good at self-monitoring their own screen time. I don't mean that in a hippy dippy, let them do whatever they want sort of way. It's just very rare that DH or I need to step in and say, "You're watching too much tv", etc.

In fact, earlier this year, DS11 (10 at the time) actually came to his Dad and me and asked us to move his pc out of his bedroom to the basement. Why? Because he said he felt like he was spending too much time playing Minecraft and wanted his room free from the temptation to play games instead of doing something more interesting in his opinion.

I think self-monitoring is an important ability for kids to have. They need our help developing the skill, but they can't develop it without a little loosening of the parental grips on what they do with their free time.

valerieanne
07-02-2013, 04:42 PM
Excellent point, Mum. We are taking a holiday in August, and all the extended family are tv watchers and gamers. I'll keep an eye open for self-monitoring behaviours in all the kiddos, mine included.

ScienceGeek
07-02-2013, 05:30 PM
We don't have any limits. Dh is pretty much always in front a screen, iPad, computer or tv - though we don't get cable anymore, all the 'tv' we watch is iTunes or Netflix so no commercials - and that makes it hard to tell them they can't be on. I'm also on a LOT, either preparing for science class (I teach a homeschool science class in my house), genealogy, photos, Facebook, or reading on my iPad. The kids actually saved up their money and bought their own ipads and do most of their reading on them. We do education apps and my 10 year old watches 3-5 brainpop movies every night. The 13 year old reads National Geographic and looks at their National Geographic Today app every night. They do play mine craft for hours on end but they have learned from it. The 10 year is now learning SCRATCH and electronics because of mine craft. Most evenings we watch a tv episode from netflix together as a family - went thru 10 years of Stargate last year, sometimes a movie.
So most of their screen time is computers and iPad, they tend to wander out for breaks on their own and I make them come out for school for once in awhile...lol. That being said, don't think they spend all their time on computers - they're very active, martial arts 4x a week, swimming once a week, horseback riding, 4H, etc.

dbsam
09-16-2013, 01:07 PM
Until this year, our 'system' was easy live with. No screen time on school days. We had no video games, no smart phones, and few channels with antenna TV so there wasn't much to limit. We were pretty busy on weekends so the screen time was minimal.

However, in the past year we got satellite TV, bought the kids an xbox for their Bday (they LOVE Minecraft), and we are now homeschooling so they are home much more. We relaxed during the summer since the xbox and TV stations were new and I wanted to see if they would self-regulate...they don't. They will stay on Minecreaft all day and not even realize they are hungry!

So, we need a new 'system'. I am not a fan of rewards but am considering allowing them one hour/day if they finish all their school work. When they were in Montessori, they were allowed a 'work of choice' if they finished the work on their planner. I am not sure I can consider Minecraft a 'work'!

rebjc
09-16-2013, 03:33 PM
My four children are all 6 and under, so I am sure it will change as they get older. I don't follow a particular philosophy but if you were to look at our family it looks somewhat Waldorf/Montessori inspired. I think young children should be playing and doing hands on activities, but screen time in moderation is okay too. I really wish I could do without TV at all, but Mama needs a break.

For TV, it is less than an hour during my dinner prep time. I try to keep it to less than a half hour during the weekdays, but that doesn't always work out.

We don't have any video game system and don't plan on getting one anytime soon. And we don't have educational reading systems like Leapfrog.

My 6 year old is the only one allowed on the computer. She goes on Reading Eggs for about a half an hour a day. My younger three are known to break things easily and they are highly impulsive so we don't feel they are mature enough to be on the computer yet.

On occasion, we will read them something educational found on the internet or show them an educational video on the internet/netflix, but that isn't very often at all, a few times a month.

Take2
09-16-2013, 04:34 PM
AnonyMs (Valerianne) - Wow, you just described my "screen-obsessed" niece perfectly! My kids have screen time limits and they can entertain themselves just fine without electronics. My niece, who is always either watching tv, playing on an iPhone or iPad, cannot entertain herself, calls my kids "immature" for using silly voices during play and doesn't sleep well. We went to the library the other day and she could not find a single book that would interest her.... so sad.

Avalon
09-16-2013, 06:10 PM
We're a bit like Farrar. I limit recreational screen time to roughly 2 hours per day, but I don't really count any educational or "functional" uses of the computer, like looking up library books or searching things on Google. My son has zero interest in watching TV or movies, so he spends all his time at the computer. My daughter likes certain shows on Netflix, so her recreational time is split between Netflix and Facebook.

I find that any more than 2 hours starts to affect attitude and activeness.

eranderson4711
09-19-2013, 02:46 PM
We recently cut our cable to save money and that has also cut our screen time too. I think my kids watch maybe two hours of tv a day. My oldest only time on the iPad is while the youngest is napping. Depending on the weather those times will either go up or down. Nothing better then popcorn and a movie on cold rainy days.

Mariam
02-14-2014, 10:06 PM
For us the answer is, it depends. We have a 6yo and for the iPad there really is no limits, from the time he gets up until bath time. He has his own iPad, but I control what apps are on it. For the TV, Wii and the computer, there most definitely limits.

The iPad has a couple of games on it that are purely for gaming. Disney Infinity and Angry Birds. The rest of the apps are for reading (such as Reading Rainbow), Bill Nye Videos, Khan Academy, BrainPop Jr,. and some other apps for learning history, geography, language learning, video editing, music creating. There are references such as an atlas. Any other videos he gets from the PBS Kids and Disney Jr. apps.

But the TV and Wii are another story. We allow specific games for exercise on the Wii. But gaming has to be earned through good behavior. The TV is for weekly family movie night (not dependent on behavior) and the occasional, boob tube watching, but that too has to be earned through good behavior. (I am not counting any DVDs or Netflix videos that we watch for school. ) We donít have cable right now so most of our entertainment is through Amazon and Netflix.

But we havenít really had any issues with excessive iPad usage. The charger is in the family room, so when the battery dies, he has to give it up until it is charged. But also, he seems to regulate himself. He will use it for a while, and then when he is done, he brings it out to change while he plays. With the Wii, he will not regulate himself well, so we have had to be stricter about it.

He doesnít get to keep it in his room overnight, though he can use it during the day in his room.

Christen99
02-14-2014, 11:27 PM
My kids have to earn iPad or PC time, and it's pretty minimal. My youngest has to get through all of his school work, staying on task, finishing before his time is up, and having a good attitude (we struggled greatly with all of this, as he has autism). Once he's accomplished everything, and finished whatever chores he has for the day he can have 15 minutes of PC time, or 20 minutes of iPad time.

Twice a week, he can watch a movie but that involves cleaning his room or a larger chore if his room is picked up.

The kids don't watch tv, but on occasion we watch something educational for school but it's built into their school time.

Both of the boys spend a lot of their free time reading, and building (Legos for the youngest, models for the oldest). During warmer months, we try and be out of the house as much as possible.

Melyssa
03-25-2014, 01:12 PM
I've never regulated screen time, for my kid or myself. Shrug. She's 14 now and I don't see what the big deal is. She's a great kid with awesome grades and many interests. But to each their own!

JerbysMom
03-27-2014, 03:06 AM
I'm afraid screen time limits don't exist in our house. We don't watch much TV, usually just the news and recently Cosmos, with some PBS sprinkled in. Buuuuut... we are all three pretty hardcore gamers. Besides Mario, DS only likes to play games that have a creation element to them. He spends hours making insanely detailed levels on Little Big Planet and building stuff on Minecraft. I'm really lenient about since he's creating not shooting, slicing, exploding, etc. And he wants to be a video game designer when he grows up. The problem with the gaming emerges when he has to turn it off to do school, eat dinner, whatevs. Then it's "5 more minutes" or "I'm doooooing something". So I'm thinking no games before school and some kind of time limit after school. Weekends will probably remain a free-for-all.

BASHHomeschool
04-15-2014, 04:28 PM
We don't limit screen time per se yet...we are so busy doing other things that we simply do not have a lot of screen time. We do have some activities on the computer including Dreambox math and ABC Mouse. However, we only do that once or twice per week if we do it. We also have a few game consoles and a TV. We watch TV as a family and we occasionally play some games. I suspect as our kids get older we will need to put in some limits but right now they pretty much self regulate and prefer to go outside and play or read than sit in front of the TV.

VickieB
04-16-2014, 10:07 AM
We are definitely not the norm where computer usage is concerned. We do not institute limits. We are an internet / computer based family. The computer orientation started when I met my programmer British husband online almost 18 years ago. :) We have also run an online business for about 15 years. The great big WWW is definitely part of our family :D

aspiecat
04-16-2014, 06:28 PM
I no longer track how long DS (14) spends looking at a screen. Three of his subjects are done via the Internet, so that is about four hours of educational screen time. There is also his Xbox playing time each day, about a couple of hours.

Sounds like an awfully long time as I write it out - still, his recreational screen time is essential to him as it settles him and gives him contact with his online and real-life friends (the latter he doesn't see at all now).

Keiran'sMom
04-16-2014, 07:09 PM
I limit screen time for the tv, and we generally do some video games at night. Computer time is more free but he likes to do Khan academy and PBSkids.org. So I consider that learning time. I may not set limits but he does have rules. He cannot do it till our other work is done and he has to ask to get on. Also, when I tell him it is time to get off for dinner or to do something around the house he has to with no whining, questions, or negotiating.

aspiecat
04-16-2014, 07:17 PM
Ditto about chores, etc. The only time he isn't to be disturbed while on the 'puter is when he is Skyping with his bio dad in Australia. Other than that, he pretty much has to stop whatever he is doing recreationally on his laptop or Xbox if asked to do something or go somewhere without complaining. He knows I am happy to give him limits if he gets an attitude about such a thing...

MNDad
04-17-2014, 06:39 AM
We do not allow DD to watch any TV. She's never really complained about it. When we go to a restaurant where a TV is playing, though, she's mesmerized because it's novel. (BTW, that's probably my #1 pet peeve - the ubiquitous televisions in restaurants and waiting areas. Can people not just read or think for 2 minutes?!?)

She does watch 1 movie per week on the weekend, typically about 90 minutes. She only uses the iPad on the airplane. She looks forward to it; and we only fly 3-4 times per year. On long car rides, it seems she prefers to read.

We fret a lot about screen time for kids. This isn't the TV we watched as kids. The ads are far more tailored and efficient. The animations, text crawlers, flashing and flying things are more vivid and numerous. It's more visually stimulating than it was in the 60's and 70's when I grew up.

We sound like sound like some sort of bizarre neo-Amish, but it all works out for us.

MNDad
04-17-2014, 06:43 AM
I don't follow a particular philosophy but if you were to look at our family it looks somewhat Waldorf/Montessori inspired. I think young children should be playing and doing hands on activities

This is our philosophy, too. Humans evolved handling physical objects and partaking in scenes with which they could physically interact. Maria Montessori came before the dawn of the virtual world; but she was remarkably prescient.

farrarwilliams
04-17-2014, 09:11 AM
I seriously don't understand people who allow occasional movies but not occasional TV shows. I'd much rather my kids watch certain quality TV shows than certain lousy movies.

CatInTheSun
04-17-2014, 10:04 AM
I seriously don't understand people who allow occasional movies but not occasional TV shows. I'd much rather my kids watch certain quality TV shows than certain lousy movies.

How about not allowing either? haha

The only tv my kids watch is on PBS (some kids shows, which tbh I only consider for MY benefit when I need them distracted; the bulk is shows like COSMOS or Inner Fish or other nonfiction). They do watch some movies, but I am highly selective (for example, they've only seen a couple Disney flicks). I think visual media is easily absorbed. DH OTOH is a movie-guy and brings occasional gunk-food cartoons in from the library such as "Monsters vs Aliens", etc. I figure some won't kill them.

I also think there is a big difference between a 2yo, a 5yo, and a 10yo. My older kids I'm more relaxed about now, since they dissect commercials when they see them (since it is less often) and scoff at princesses that act stupid (my 10yo was going off while watching Frozen, "What? She's acting like this with a guy she's just met?? Are you kidding? What is WRONG with her?" My 5yo is more gullible. My 8yo is in-between savvy and suck-in-able.

farrarwilliams
04-17-2014, 02:30 PM
How about not allowing either? haha


Oh I totally get not allowing either one. :D I mean, I don't personally ascribe to that philosophy, but the idea that movies > TV is just nonsense to me now that we're post-Golden Age of Television. There's a ton more educational material available as TV shows for young people and older ones, like the PBS shows you point out. And even in terms of quality storytelling, there are a few really good children's shows, like Avatar and Korra, both of which are massively superior to the Airbender movie as well as to a number of other crummy children's movies.

Of course, I don't always understand what people are saying. Some people say, "We don't allow any TV!" What they mean is that they don't own a television set and instead watch on their computers/tablets. Or they mean that they only watch things through Netflix and/or DVD's. To me, those are both "watching television."

Totally agreed about the ability of older kids to dissect the media messages. I've been working on that with my kids since they were very little. They're extremely cynical about cross-marketing and advertising messages now. And also a little diabolically interested in them. I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up in the ad industry, honestly.

CatInTheSun
04-17-2014, 03:37 PM
Oh I totally get not allowing either one. :D I mean, I don't personally ascribe to that philosophy, but the idea that movies > TV is just nonsense to me now that we're post-Golden Age of Television. There's a ton more educational material available as TV shows for young people and older ones, like the PBS shows you point out. And even in terms of quality storytelling, there are a few really good children's shows, like Avatar and Korra, both of which are massively superior to the Airbender movie as well as to a number of other crummy children's movies.

Of course, I don't always understand what people are saying. Some people say, "We don't allow any TV!" What they mean is that they don't own a television set and instead watch on their computers/tablets. Or they mean that they only watch things through Netflix and/or DVD's. To me, those are both "watching television."

Totally agreed about the ability of older kids to dissect the media messages. I've been working on that with my kids since they were very little. They're extremely cynical about cross-marketing and advertising messages now. And also a little diabolically interested in them. I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up in the ad industry, honestly.

My kids have seen the Avatar series at least 3x now. ;) That's Mamma approved.

I agree with you: to me it doesn't matter the medium, or the channel (just because Arthur is on PBS doesn't mean it's not terrible). If you are going to care about tv/movies you better be watching what games/ads are on their ipods/ipads/devices, too.

Avalon
04-18-2014, 12:30 PM
Of course, I don't always understand what people are saying. Some people say, "We don't allow any TV!" What they mean is that they don't own a television set and instead watch on their computers/tablets. Or they mean that they only watch things through Netflix and/or DVD's. To me, those are both "watching television."


I agree with you, but I think the words you use depend a lot on how old you are and what services are available in your area. I think the TV/movies distinction is just semantics now, but when my daughter was small, there were no iPads, smart phones, apps, or streaming video. Parents preferred movies because there was no advertising, and when the show was over, you turned off the set. She was about 4 or 5 before I let her touch the computer, and all there was to do was a few cute little Sesame Street websites or storybook read-alouds for kids. All the grandparents thought my kids were geniuses because they knew how to use a mouse.

It is unbelievable how much things have changed in the past decade. We don't have television, either, only Netflix, (and Canadian Netflix has a fraction of the programs that American Netflix has). My son has also argued with me over screen time when I tell him to stop watching Minecraft videos and come watch a movie with the family. He figures screen time is screen time, no matter whether he's watching videos on YouTube at the computer, on the iPad, or watching a Netflix show with us.

There are still a lot of areas that don't have access to high-speed internet yet, but they still have access to television.

Solong
04-18-2014, 01:12 PM
For us, it is all about avoiding advertising, and the normalization over-sexualization, violence and cynicism/snark. We watch both movies and television shows on dvd ONLY. It allows dh and I to preview for content. Quantity is still very low. An hour/day at most? Movie night on Friday.

I remember staying at a hotel once, and just as I settled into a shower, dd (four at the time) threw open the shower curtain: "OHMYGOSH! You have to see this! It's a WALLET that holds like ONE HUNDRED cards! It's totally amazing!" Lol. Infomercials. We've watched the documentary Consuming Kids (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/consuming-kids/) a couple of times over the years with her. She is highly tuned to manipulative marketing everywhere, even at the grocery store or the Scholastic book fair.

MNDad
04-18-2014, 02:40 PM
I seriously don't understand people who allow occasional movies but not occasional TV shows. I'd much rather my kids watch certain quality TV shows than certain lousy movies.

It's entirely possible that by limiting TV (by which I mean 'broadcast' TV), we are missing out on some great experiences.

That said - and I do understand the lines between traditional TV programming and movies are being blurred now - there remains a difference between traditional TV and movies played through the television set because of the advertisements on the former. If we're restricting the topic to just PBS, then, no, I don't see much difference either.

hockeymom
04-18-2014, 02:59 PM
I'm going to say this while ducking under the table, but I totally don't get sheltering kids from advertising, snarky attitudes from actors on a screen and other realities of modern life. It just doesn't do any good to create forbidden fruits. It might work for the pre-preschool set, but after that, well... I just don't get it. I'd much rather educate my kid about what's appropriate (and why some things aren't--without sugar coating it), how advertising works, why we enjoy certain shows/movies/video games and not others, than just pretend it's all bad--or worse, as if it doesn't exist. It's really not like kids can't handle the differences or make good choices. Even "bad" TV show choices aren't going to hurt them any.

I think I'm just totally over the unrealistic idea that every waking moment must be spent doing something educational/creative/inspired. I know the lines can and should be drawn differently for different ages and maturity levels, but beyond a certain (young) age, it seems like so much forbidding will naturally cause push back at a certain awakened point. Sure it's great when our kids are creating a fort outside or building Roman aqueducts with modeling clay or leading their friends on clean up days at the park or whatever...but it's equally okay to spend a day having a wii love fest with a buddy or watching dumb tv shows. Sheltering to such an extreme seems more counterproductive long term than allowing kids to be part of the greater virtual world around them, in all its commercial filled glory.

Heading off to wash off the tomato seeds...

melissa
04-18-2014, 03:28 PM
I guess I'll duck under the table with you, hockeymom, since I agree with everything you just said.:)

Solong
04-18-2014, 03:51 PM
No need to duck, lol! Even here, in bf nowhere, we still live on Earth. There are more than enough teachable moments, especially as dd gets older and her world expands. We live near communities with legacies of social pathologies as a result of colonization. More than enough teachable moments to be found in real life.

We got groceries yesterday, and the new Sports Illustrated was front and centre. Dd commented, "Wow. I guess they are really into each other's butts. They're petting them like they're chinchillas or something." Mainly, we choose to avoid this kind of stuff in our home. Our home is our safe place, but we are out in the world more than we are here. I don't think anyone can pretend this stuff doesn't exist.

farrarwilliams
04-18-2014, 08:32 PM
Agreed, Hockeymom. I'd rather my kids were exposed to advertising while they're young and impressionable so that I can impress upon them how very manipulative it is.

We don't do much "broadcast TV" either, I'll say. We're cord cutters, so we rely on streaming services via the Wii mostly, though we have an antenna and can get the major networks, PBS and a couple of others. I don't think most of the PBS shows for kids are very good these days anyway, at least for past the preschool set. The last two TV shows we really liked were originally broadcast on Nick and CBBC (Legend of Korra and Sparticle Mystery). If we avoid ads, it's mostly because they're annoying, not out of any sense of sheltering the kids. They're so embedded in the movies these days anyway, not to mention that we see a barrage of ads just by going on the subway or to the grocery store.