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To wonder why people get so defensive about babies watching tv?

(128 Posts)
Quilty Sun 24-Feb-13 21:27:04

Just that really. Was at someone's house with 10 month old baby watching cbeebies, I jokingly comment that I will delay putting the tv on as long as possible (in reference to the irritating song that was currently on) - cue babies mum getting hugely defensive about how much tv the baby watches, how it's only on before bed etc etc and lecturing me about how it's a godsend when you need to distract them for 5 mins so you can go for a wee.

I in no way suggested that I thought she was doing anything wrong, so why such a defensive reaction?

Squitten Wed 27-Feb-13 13:15:11

Panpiper My Mum often uses that phrase - "for company". Which is how she justified leaving it on for the cats(!?) When I told her that our telly had broken and we were considering not replacing it, her first question was "what about when I come to visit?" Total addict.

12ylnon Tue 26-Feb-13 17:01:50

Perhaps she thought you were judging?

Just had to say- i did the same as you and put TV off until DS was 2... It's honestly been the bigest parenting mistake i've made .
It made DS very obsessive about TV when i finally let him watch. Just warning you!

Locketjuice Tue 26-Feb-13 16:47:03

Why do you people care so much what everyone else is doing? Getting arsey over it.. Really? Watch a bit of tv and chill out wink

lightrain Tue 26-Feb-13 08:30:25

It's the same as anything, isn't it? If all you did with your children all day was read books to them (and never took them out to the park or walks, never did things like baking or jigsaws or painting, etc.) then they wouldn't be learning or developing as well as they could. Same with tv - if that's all you do all day then its no good. If you give a good balance to activities you do, and that includes tv watching, then tv can be enriching and a brilliant tool for learning and fun.

MortifiedAdams Tue 26-Feb-13 07:59:45

dry just as background noise. Like people who have the radi on on all day. My tv is, more often than not, on. I don't watch it apart from when dd naps and I put something on that ive recorded.

Fakebook Tue 26-Feb-13 07:59:26

Fakebook, given the evidence, why don't you care? Do you care about other boundaries for your kids or do you just let them grow up without intervention from you for their own good. I just struggle with why someone wouldn't give a toss. It seems a bit negligent to me

Wtf. Negligent? Negligent is not feeding your child or cleaning them. Negligent is not giving your child things he/she needs, like a warm coat or shoes.

Letting your child watch tv isn't negligent. My dd knows her boundaries thank you very much. She knows the tv isn't turned on in the morning when it's a school day. She knows she can't sit and watch tv alone at night. She knows that she has to ask my permission to play on the phone/computer.
I didn't really want to show off or sound smug, but she is 5 years old and is already on a harder level in her maths kumon than most children her age. Her reading is exceptional. Her writing is excellent. She could make cakes by herself if I let her. She knows what ingredients you need to make doughnuts. She knows what trees are growing in our local park.

I could go on forever. My dd isn't neglected. She just watches a lot of tv. hmm

Dinkysmummy Tue 26-Feb-13 07:24:24

I think it is has a lot to do with societies view of letting your DC watch tv as a bubba. As society believes (on the surface) that tv=bad parent.
I did lots of reading and playing and learning games with dd, but she also watched tv, bith her watching independantly and both of us watching Micky mouse clubhouse we did the missions together and picked mouska tools and did the shapes and colours ect.
I don't think that makes me a bad parent but I guess if someone had asked me how much tv my bubba watched before the age of two I would have lied to fit into societies boundaries of what is acceptable (on the surface, because lets face it, most people allow their kids to watch tv and it doesn't mean they are worse parents for it)

OP your friend was probably trying to fit herself into societies boundaries for tv watching and what is perceived as good/bad parenting.
Just level with her and tell her you didn't mean to offend her and that you don't think she is a bad parent for letting her DC watch a bit of telly.

Dryjuice25 Tue 26-Feb-13 01:52:43

I struggleto understand why/how anyone could possibly have tv on all day!

ArmchairDetective Mon 25-Feb-13 21:02:21

Grumpyinthemorning "Happy parent = happy child, and I go crazy without noise. Simple as that"

I find this fascinating and I'm assuming you are an extrovert as noise drives me crazy. I am an introvert and do find having two noisy DCs in a house hard enough at times without having TV or music on as well.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Mon 25-Feb-13 20:40:24

squitten I also have a friend who has the TV on all day long - for company rather than watching it. Her family background is a mess so I bet her not-so-DM used it as a permanent babysitter.

She is preggers with her first.

Smudging Mon 25-Feb-13 20:36:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmberSocks Mon 25-Feb-13 20:30:21

no healthy child with other options would sit and watch tv allllll day.maybe if they had strict limits in place before an they were removed,then yes at first but eventually kids learn to self regulate,its nature.They might watch more than you would like them too but if offered alternatives they wouldnt sit there watching it all day,i think the same applies to video games.

People always assume kids dont know whats best until we tell them but they are human beings and eventually they know when enough is enough.

Also, kinda found that a little patronizing. Just so you know.

I didn't say anything to lead you to the conclusion he has any issues?

Squitten Mon 25-Feb-13 20:29:22

My Mum is a total telly addict. The TV used to be the first thing on in the morning and last thing off at night. We used to eat in front of it too. Whilst it certainly didn't make either me or my brother idiots (both academically successfull), there were noticeable side effects.

My Mum never did anything with us and we had a rather dull childhood as a result - we were taken care of but no fun memories. My brother quickly graduated onto video games and became utterly hooked on them as a teenager. The really odd effect on me, though, was that I grew accustomed to having it on in the background and to having the noise all the time. I found it very disconcerting to be in a quiet room and started to realise, as an adult, that I needed it on to be on in order to be comfortable! It was really weird and I slowly weaned myself off it and now try to use it sparingly, although I think I'm very prone to repeating my Mum's mistake and relying on it as a babysitter.

Coincidentally, however, our TV broke last night - completely conked out. DH had the IPad at work so we have had our first completely telly-free day in a long time and it was nice! I noticed that I was much more productive and the kids played much more together and fought less. We're going to see how we get on before we decide whether to replace it.

his concentration is fine. He'll sit and play with his toys for ages. I'm not sure what kind of multi step puzzle he would be doing. He understands if he wants to put more plastic coins into the singing piggy bank, he needs to empty the pig to get the coins first.
Bedtime is great. Goes to bed at 6 if he hasn't had an afternoon nap, 7 if he has, and sleeps until half seven so I'd call that a win. Part of his bedtime is tidying his room, bath, bottle watching Winnie the pooh/story (mood dependent) and then bed. Maybe we've lucked out?

Kiwiinkits Mon 25-Feb-13 20:19:50

Frying pan, how's his concentration? Does he sit there, for example, and do a whole puzzle? Does he problem solve multi step problems? How's his bedtime behaviour? If he has trouble with these things perhaps you might try having the tv off for a couple of weeks. You might be amazed to see the difference.

iclaudius Mon 25-Feb-13 20:13:49

i agree snazzy but i think experts agree too much 'screen time' of one sort or another is not great in childhood

Snazzynewyear Mon 25-Feb-13 20:08:02

Media effects research over the decades has been notoriously inconclusive. Not surprising when you think about all the other variables that just can't be acounted for.

iclaudius Mon 25-Feb-13 19:58:47

Clipped Phoenix - but do you think tv 'benefits' children with an ADD leaning?

iclaudius Mon 25-Feb-13 19:54:09

Fredfredgeorge I can educate you with long long lists of research studies and articles if you like....
I'd love to know where you get your sweeping statement from

We have the tv on all day. Not just kids stuff either, he used to recognise the theme to waking the dead when he was younger. Now DS is a little older (17 months) I limit what adult stuff I watch with him there because of swearing. But Disney Jr is on pretty much all day. He watches the shows he likes, ignores the ones he doesn't. we still bake and do stuff together even with tv being on

Kiwiinkits Mon 25-Feb-13 19:35:24

Fakebook, given the evidence, why don't you care? Do you care about other boundaries for your kids or do you just let them grow up without intervention from you for their own good. I just struggle with why someone wouldn't give a toss. It seems a bit negligent to me hmm

ICBINEG Mon 25-Feb-13 15:08:27

Babies are so different....

I mean we should prob be done for child abuse because we never let DD have ANY of the things that young babies like before she was about 4 mo....you know like mirrors, things in black and white, toys of any kind.

That's because she had major over stimulation problems and would scream and arch her back if there was anything brightly coloured in her field of view (let alone black and white stripes...they would still freak her out up to 9 mo).

So did we fail to give her the stimulus she needed in her first few precious months?

Well if we did, I don't see we had any choice about it....presumably a ball of fury screaming their head off isn't actually learning much about the world anyway...

So I think it is clear that children will interact with TV in very different ways....

Spero Mon 25-Feb-13 14:54:07

As far as I understand the research - and I only skimmed - it is not the noise that is the problem but the fast paced change of images which it is feared have a negative impact on the brains development and later abilities to concentrate.

Catchingmockingbirds Mon 25-Feb-13 14:47:13

If just having it on in the background is apparently damaging too, I wonder if having music playing on the radio in the background is just as damaging.

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