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Topic: Do you restrict TV?

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TheSampleLady avatar
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Subject: Do you restrict TV?
Date Posted: 8/29/2007 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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If so, how, and how much? Do you limit how long your child can spend watching TV? Do you block channels? How much TV do you watch?


I allow a liberal 2 1/2 hours per day. They rarely watch that much, but it allows for a 30 minute morning cartoon and a movie in the evening if they want. Or, a couple shows in the evening. I haven't formally blocked anything, but I don't let hte kids watch Cartoon Network at all (shame, because it was my favorite as a kid) because of some of the themes that come on, and they aren't allowed to watch anything violent or gruesome.

I watch an hour or two a day. Mostly at night. I seldom have the TV on during the day. I like some of the prime time shows, though.

thezookeeper avatar
Date Posted: 8/29/2007 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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I agree with your comments about Cartoon Network. The grandparents will put it on at their house and the kids will leave the room. LOL!

We only get basic cable and that is only because it is included in the rent, or I wouldn't have it at all. The kids get 30 minutes during the day (usually when they are cranky and I'm trying to get lunch on the table) It's usually PBS or maybe TLC (we love Peep! LOL!)

They may or may not get additional time in the evening. It depends on whether we found a good Netflix rental or if we'd rather play Pac Man or something.


I'll watch a movie on occasion after the kids go to bed, while I'm doing laundry or working on school papers, etc.

We really like Netflix because we have so much more control (and we have the DVD player with parental controls so it cuts out the foul language) This can be a pain though when you are trying to watch ToyStory and it keeps cutting out the word "Woody" and you have to re-set the controls.



JCCrooks avatar
Date Posted: 8/29/2007 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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We don't really have to restrict it as our kids just don't like much.  We only have antenna stations and typically they will watch educational shows on PBS - and only 30-60 minutes in one day - but not every day.  My HS'ed son loves Cyber Chase, Fetch, Dragonfly TV, & Design Squad, plus the evening ones like Nature, Nova, History Detectives, etc.

We have a TVGuardian box which filters out all the offensive language (and we keep it set to strict filtering).  We LOVE IT!!!!  It's the best blessing we've had as a Christmas present (we asked for!)


We have an older TVG box on our VCR and we watch live TV and VHS's on that.  Then we have TVG built in to one of our DVD players - so we always watch DVD's on that one.

As a family may watch 30-60 minutes after dinner.  Something we've taped, or DVD's from the library.

My PS'ed daughter just likes to watch her videos and she might watch 30-60 minutes.  She's autistic so she loves stimulating ones like Baby Einstein, or Signing Time, etc.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 8/29/2007 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 158
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The channels are restricted, the amount of time seldom is.  Because of the limitation on the channels, the kids tend to self limit their viewing time. 

ChristineMM avatar
Date Posted: 8/31/2007 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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When it is not summer break, I let my kids watch 30 minutes during the day (usually while I shower which began as a way to keep them safe and quiet and not exploring other things when they were younger and finding time to take a shower was hard). They watch kids shows that I approve.

We watch one show as a family at night, various shows. One year we did all the Little House series, the next, year The Waltons. Other times, it was mostly documentaries and educational stuff. To be honest, now we watch mostly  'entertainment' and even some reality shows with the kids then talk about them. My kids are 7 and 10 now. To be honest it is hard to find good quality family entertainment. We also sometimes borrow movies from the library and watch them as a family at night together, often spliting the movie into two parts as we don't want to take the time to watch the full long movie in one night.

When I say we watch TV we are really watching our DVR, our TiVo, to be specific. We fast-forward through commercials. I have parental controls set and certain channels are outright blocked with a password, everything from HBO to pay-per-view (don't want accidential movies ordered that I have to pay for). I also have rules about not watching certain shows, those range from downright trash/dumb shows to harmful shows to shows that glorify kids behaviors that I don't want my kids expressing.

When they visit the TV-addicted realtives houses, I can't be the boss of those TV's. And while on trips out of state visiting relatives they see 'live televsion' and some commercials. So they have seen some 'twaddle' TV for kids at other homes.

If I let them, my kids would watch TV all the time. I see this in the summer, they try to watch a ton of TV. Yet when I kick them off of the TV they find plenty of things to do and to play and they are happy.

I usually keep to movie ratings and am not lenient about letting them watch things that are above their age range, unlike some of my friends and relatives who let their kids as young as 3 years old see PG-13 movies.



fightpilotswife avatar
Date Posted: 8/31/2007 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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After watching my SIL severely limit the amount of television that her kids watched, then watching their total absorbtion in it whenever the machine was on, we decided not to put time limits on tv.  Our son now ignores the TV the vast majority of the time.  He's just not that interested in it, except to watch the shows that he likes.

We don't really restrict certain channels, but have taught him what types of shows we find acceptable and which we don't.  And there's always an adult somewhere in the vicinity, so it's not like he can turn on inappropriate shows anyway.  :)

bibliopeep avatar
Date Posted: 8/31/2007 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2006
Posts: 4
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>>After watching my SIL severely limit the amount of television that her kids watched, then watching their total absorbtion in it whenever the machine was on, we decided not to put time limits on tv. <<<

I have heard this comment many times,  but only online. I've never known anyone IRL who has experienced this. I'm trying to wrap my brain around how keeping them from TV would make them want to watch it more than a child who sits in front of one every day. (BTW, this isn't snarky... I just haven't seen this happen IRL.) I can understand this happening initially if a child has had very little exposure and then is suddenly presented with a lot of TV viewing. I think that happens with anything new. But, it seems to me that it wouldn't take long for the life-long TV watcher and the new TV watcher to level out in regard to their interest in TV, and even then it seems like the interest would vary from child to child. Dunno.

That said, we live in a rural area and must have satellite if we want most TV programs. When I got pg with my son, we got rid of the satellite. We could pick up one ABC station and one or two PBS stations (depending on the season! LOL) with rabbit ears. When my son came along, he viewed no TV for the first year, I guess. (He was exposed to it occasionally just because we did turn it on from time-to-time, but we didn't present him with shows to watch.) I think he was a little over 2 years old when I started letting him watch .... err... I can't think of the name. It was some PBS show. But, in general, he has never really cared too much for it.

He is almost 4 now and early this spring we opted to get rid of the TV. (We moved it downstairs, away from our living area.) We're not opposed to videos or even shows that we think are okay,  but it's just not a part of our lives. The main reason we booted the TV was because we found that we couldn't even have it on to watch the news or 'decent' programs because there were so many crude and sensual commercials. Call me a prude, but my 3-1/2 year old doesn't need Victoria's Secret models' breasts and butts burned into his brain.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is all over the TV issue. Honestly, I'm quite surprised that they've come out as strongly as they have against it, though I am personally thankful. You can google for info, but here is a good AAP link about the issue: http://www.aap.org/family/tv1.htm  They recommend no TV for children under 2, and a limit of 1 to 2 hours/day of educational, non-violent programming for older children.


PaulaS avatar
Date Posted: 8/31/2007 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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We limit it to 2 hours in the afternoon and then in the evening as a family.  We have only one son 9, when he is with friends the tv goes off.  Mostly in the afternoon it's Star Trek and he plays while watching.   We restrict content more than time.  He respects what we tell him he can and can not watch.  He has a playstation and a ninento ds as well, but will limit himself on those without our intervention. 

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2007
Posts: 73
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My kids rarely watch television. We do not have cable so there isn't anything much of interest to watch. Saturday mornings they watch Qubo and during the week they sometimes watch a video while I'm making dinner.

Last Edited on: 9/6/07 10:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Stacelito avatar
Date Posted: 9/7/2007 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
Posts: 249
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We don't limit the amount of time watching tv. We find that they will go several days without even turning it on and then we might watch 3 hours one evening. I think it all evens out, for us. My girls usually want to watch it when they're "bored" and I try to re-direct them with something out in the sun or playing with a neigbor.  It's more of a rainy-day escape for us.  We DO limit WHAT they watch, like many of you.  We find that they are reliable and faithful to watch "allowed" shows with little problem. THANKFULLY, our children have (so far) proven that they can be trusted to do what they are allowed to do...with friends, tv and the internet. If and when it becomes an issue, they'll see the "tv or internet nazis" arrive in full force!

2many avatar
Date Posted: 9/9/2007 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2007
Posts: 1,070
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We dont have cable so all the stations we get are pbs and 5 other stations so there really isnt that much to watch, so they find other things to do~
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