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August 19, 2012



Beautifully said.


Very beautifully said. My mom often tells me that I should let Jack watch "just a little" TV, but as his mama, I know his personality, and I know "just a little" would not be enough for him. She thinks it would make my life "easier", but I know it wouldn't because then I would be dealing with the begging and whining for more that you mentioned. For us, none is just easier than a little. I also worry that it would be a slippery slope for me, because as you said it is oh so tempting sometimes to use the TV as a babysitter so I can shower, or cook, or exercise, etc...and I worry that once I started doing that it would become too much of a temptation. I do NOT judge anyone who uses TV for this purpose (especially as I realize people are in much more challenging situations than I...single parents, multiple kids, etc), but I feel very good about our decision not to do so, and I feel Jack's ability to work and play and imagine have been greatly enriched by it.


Exactly that - we are not ourselves when we watch TV. It is controversial isn't it, but its is important and brave to state your own views without judgement.


i think it’s great that you observed, reflected, decided what was best for your family, and set a path that would get you to your happy place. the “controversy,” i think, springs up when we try to tell *each other* what to do.


Media is such a difficult slope to navigate. We have gone through various phases of TV exposure, but i have definitely found that having a general policy of no TV at home during the school year was much easier to deal with than my previous plan of "just one show on the weekends." Juni had a harder time wrapping her head around the concept of "just a little" TV and there would be all sorts of begging and negotiating. But goodness, there are days when it is tempting, isn't it? To turn the TV on and get those few minutes to myself... Honestly, it helps that Juni is at a Waldorf school and I'm rather sheepishly embarrassed at the thought of her telling her teacher that I let her watch cartoons while I dozed next to her. Ha, peer pressure, I guess...

(I have been more lenient over the summer, but we certainly view TV as a very special treat rather than a part of our routine.)

Because you are so right. They are not themselves when they watch TV. And I so very much prefer to see them being their crazy, exuberant, sometimes-exhausting selves - even if it does make it harder to get dinner on the table...


My son watch tv...or something like that. We use the computer, and sometimes, when is very warm outside or even inside, when we are tyred or, yes, I confess, when I need a babysitter.. we switch on the computer, look for http://www.rtve.es/infantil/ and choose some series of clan tv ( caillou, pepa pig, pocoyo, chunginton...) and wathc a couple of chapters. I also make same researchings in youtube and look for series or videos that I collect for him ( chapter of te serie gazoon, the tale of the three pigs, songs that he knows from the school, videos about animals, specially horses because he loves them, images with music, some music videos, or some plays with images). It´s not often, not every days, but we use that from time to time and I think is good for both of us. For diverse reasons: one, he lives in a world with tv and I noticed that he is a little outsider repect his classmates when he didn´t have any contact with tv; two, there are series and programs that give goods things, pocoyo for instance don´t have violence or ... only funny situations, friendship, new words... and do you see Bernie the sport bear?; three, sometimes we really need some quiet time inside, specially when we have 45 degrees outside(usually we use books for this moments, but, I think variety is good); four, I use "tv" for introduce him another language, we are Spanish, we almost always watch tv in English; five, I want him to be familiar with computers, smarttelephones... those screens that are so crucial in his connected world and I want him to learn using them in his benefit; six, using computer instead of normal tv, I avoided commercials, and surprises with series that I don´t like for my son or for his age, I totally choose what to see without interruptions... also this clantv page has plays using the characters of the series and we pass good time playng together.

Miranda Makes

This is so similar to my story with Fiona. We are no TV now with her. It is amazing! I used to think giving up TV was only possible for the most self-disciplined among us. Turns out it's not that hard! We never even think about it anymore!


Great post! I really love how you just told your own personal experience and didn't add judgement. It definitely inspired me to cut down on Lu's screen time over the past few days. I was not feeling great about how much she was watching this summer, and on and off since Ruby arrived. She still has been playing a lot too, and even getting to a point where she turns the TV off herself to do something else after a few shows. But most of all it's just weird now, because we moved the TV in the guest room to avoid Ruby watching until she's 2 or 3 and so when Lucy watches now she is in a different room by herself. That just seems lonely! Anyways, great post!


Hi Nichole. I found you through Olivia. I couldn't agree with you more. We have a 7, 5, and almost 1 yr old. We do allow screen time, but it is limited and we are forced to do it together (only one tv in house). For years, students would come to me with that "flat stanley" effect from too much tv and it was so nice to watch them 'develop' in just a few short weeks of not having tv between 8 and 3. There are many days our tv isn't even turned on and I love those days!!

Sara E. Cotner

Just lovely! Thank your for sharing your perspective, your approach, and insights into life with your sweet, sweet, child.


Thank you for sharing Megan. Yes, I too, could imagine it being a different set of challenges if our family situation was different.


Thanks Lori! Indeed, you are so right about how a topic becomes controversial. I know I shy away from a lot of topics on this blog for just that reason -- I never want to come off as sounding preachy, because I'm not. No matter my education or training, I'm human like everyone else. Full of flaws and full of gifts.


As a teacher, I work really hard for parents to feel comfortable as themselves around me, and not to feel as though I am judging them if their child brings up Dora the Explorer or whatnot in front of me. In fact, as parents, we are all equal. We are all on this journey together. We are all trying our hardest to raise decent children who will grow up to be kind, well-meaning adults. And there are so many ways to do that.

My overarching view point to many ideals in life is that moderation is the key. We can only do our best. Perfection doesn't exist. Love and compassion makes everything better.


Yep...I'll trade story time on the couch any day before TV.


Hi Ashley! So glad you stopped by to visit! I love Olivia's blog too. I still remember the great convo we had at Marcus and Christy's wedding night a few years ago.

When I worked in public Montessori, I remember how incredible it was for the children to discover a side of themselves that had rarely had a chance to blossom before starting school.


Thanks Sara!!


Thanks Amy!! I'm so glad you liked this post!!


Thank you Kristie! :)


I was hesitant to post as I don't ever want to come off as being judgmental! For me, it's a fine line to walk between offering experience as a source of inspiration and not as a source of intimidation. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, Rach.


I agree- I think there are "times" for it.
We are in the process of moving and so we are granting them more now...
but when we get in our new schedule we will clamp down again.
on the weekends is a good move.

bottom line is- they can learn to relax WITHOUT it.


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