How much television do your small children watch? And watch what? When?

(45 Posts)
littleraysofsunshine Thu 13-Mar-14 09:40:01

Interest... I have two small girls, 3.5 & 2 in May. They both love to watch tv, to have some relax time. Or a Disney DVD. Or the gruffalo.

The only thing I've noticed is that my younger dd seems to have her own routine of when we get back from school drop off she will ask for the gruffalo. Or various Disney DVD and I'll offer to do reading! or playing but then she sometimes would prefer a DVD.

In the morning dp puts peppa pig on whilst he's getting ready for work (6am) they wake up with him whilst I'm feeding 6 week old.

Sometimes I find it beneficial as they do enjoy the down time. But then I think they just expect it all the time some days?

my ds is nearly 3 and yesterday I counted that the tv was on for 5 hours shock he did play with some cars during that time though.
we have the tv on every morning and again later afternoon/tea time (he has dropped his nap and needs some down time).
he watches all sorts of crap - disney, youtube videos, kids netflix.
I would like to say I will try and reduce tv time but I have a newborn so quite frankly nothing is going to change for a couple of months.

StormyBrid Thu 13-Mar-14 09:49:30

TV's often on all day here. Usually Star Trek. DD's just turned one, and is supremely uninterested in anything except adverts. I love adverts. Five minutes' peace at regular intervals!

ZuleikaD Thu 13-Mar-14 09:53:14

None at all. DD is 4-coming-up-5, DS1 is 3 and DS2 is 11m. We don't have tv. They're allowed to watch a film at the weekend and that's that.

DomesticDisgrace Thu 13-Mar-14 09:53:18

We're usually out and about most of the time but when we're home the telly is on far too much blush

sebsmummy1 Thu 13-Mar-14 09:56:31

TV is probably on for about three hours a day.

We have it on for about 45 mins in the morning, an hour around lunch time and an hour at tea time.

He doesn't really sit there watching it. He is in the adjoining room where his toys are then runs into the lounge periodically and watches a bit. The only program he loves with a passion is ITNG and then he will watch most if the program whilst squealing.

I'm not a huge fan of having the TV on all the time so it becomes background noise, but I think it can be a tool if you sit down too and talk about the different programs etc (colours, numbers, animals etc)

Artandco Thu 13-Mar-14 09:57:49

None. 4 and almost 3.

missmysexybody Thu 13-Mar-14 10:01:21

DD is 4 & DS 17 months. They have 10-12 hours of Television per week. So on Nursery days/weekend it is about 1.5 hours and more for the days we are at home. Today we at home for most of the day so they will have 2 films and perhaps an episode of Bubble Guppies (25 minutes).

I want to cut it down but run out of ideas - 13 hours is a long time to entertain 2 young Children!

puddock Thu 13-Mar-14 10:03:11

Mine are 3 and 5, we watch things off the PVR or DVDs but never really put the TV on, so it's specific things - Pixar, animations like Room on the Broom, Wallace and Gromit, Octonauts.
The most we'd have it on in one day is the length of a film (say 90 mins tops) - more than that feels like too much screen time to me. As for when, it's usually in the afternoon between end of school and tea. Sometimes weekend mornings if they've woken up hellishly early. Never after tea/right before bed.
But I'd relax all this if I had a six week old in the mix!

lynniep Thu 13-Mar-14 10:04:04

They (4, 7) are allowed to watch a program each in the morning if there's time during the week. After school/nursery they are also allowed to watch it before bathtime and in between tea and homework. So maybe an hour total on weekdays.

On a Wednesday DS2 gets more TV as its my day off, so he watches whilst I'm cleaning/making dinner etc. Otherwise he wants to do crafts and requires help constantly. However we got an XBox a few weeks back and he loves Kids Dance, so I try to get him on that now instead of just sitting back and watching the box.

Weekends are a bit more relaxed. They watch a bit in the morning but have swimming quite early and we tend to be out and about during the day. Saturday afternoon they are allowed to watch a film if they want to.
Sunday morning is also TV heavy. Again we try to get them out in the daytime, but about 4pm they start watching again unless we get them to 'play nicely together' on the XBox (only kinect games, not 'knob twiddling' games)

ZuleikaD Thu 13-Mar-14 10:04:20

Then don't entertain them - let them play! I would say I spend about half an hour a day (if that) actually entertaining mine, and that includes a story at bedtime. If they come and tell me they're bored I tell them to find something to do - they've got plenty of toys. The best way is to get them started (eg building some mad Duplo structure) and then let them run with it.

SaveTheMockingBird Thu 13-Mar-14 10:07:26

I have a 5 and 3 year old. We have the TV on for 20 mins in the morning while they eat breakfast (on the 4 days during the week that I work). No TV, only Iplayer on the computor and that's 2 10min episodes. I'd rather they didn't watch TV whilst eating, but I'm in a rush to get to work and need some headspace to sort things out in the morning and without the TV they wind each other up and won't eat so I end up late and stressed out.
That's it really other than the occassional 10mins before dinner. At the weekends no TV till around 5pm when we'd put it on for about 30mins for them to chill out before dinner.
So I guess we average 30mins a day. Maybe a bit more if the weather is pants or if someone is ill.

Artandco Thu 13-Mar-14 10:15:48

Miss - do they really watch x2 films plus tv show daily? Surely that's hours and hours? How is there time

Treaclepot Thu 13-Mar-14 10:29:04

I have 3, youngest is 3. She watches usually 20 mins after nursery.

We have it on once a week in the morning sometimes, sometimes after school or if they have been out all day at the w/e.

Mine watch none on some days, and a film in others, averages out at about 45 mins a day, when they have been ill it creeps up so we dont have it on for a week and they remember how to play with out mithering us again!

The more they watch the less good they are at playing independently.

I am ill at the mo (for last few months) so it is a struggle not to get lazy and switch it on but have seen what it has done to my lovely but lazy and flaccid DSS, and nephews who watch hours and have shit concentration.

missmysexybody Thu 13-Mar-14 10:49:24

ZuleikaD - I do let them play??
Lucky for you that you only have to entertain for 30 mins per day. Children are different and my Daughter will not play alone for long periods, no matter what I try. Don't be so narrow minded as to think all Children are like yours and happily play independently all day. Some do need entertaining for periods of time. Besides, Im happy to interact with my Children & play with them. Why would you not want to play with your children? How odd.

SaveTheMockingBird Thu 13-Mar-14 11:03:42

oh yes my 3yr old in particular needs entertaining all the time. Arts and crafts, reading stories, doing puzzles, etc etc all requires my attention. We do go out and about a lot, so that limits the TV for us. At the weekend, by 5pm I am exhausted, so that's when the TV goes on for a much needed chill out for me the DCs.

ZuleikaD Thu 13-Mar-14 11:30:21

She may want to be entertained but that's not the same as needing to be entertained. I don't entertain my children all the time (and yes I do play with them) because it's incredibly bad for them.

Thurlow Thu 13-Mar-14 11:39:29

2yo also asks for DVDs a lot. She doesn't get them though grin

Quite like others, if we're at home all day she will probably get 2x20 min DVDs (Gruffalo, Snowman, Room on the Broom etc) and then maybe another 2 or 3 x10 min shows throughout the day. It depends a lot of what we're doing during the day and if I need to get anything done. Sometimes she will cook with me, other times it feels easier and probably safer to let her watch a DVD she will be engrossed in for 20 minutes while I cook dinner.

I try not to have CBeebies on in the background but sometimes will if I need to feel confident she will stay and play in one room while I do something in the other. She will still play with the toys more than watch the TV. She will entertain herself quite a lot, but she's still young enough to get very quickly bored if you're not in the room with her, and the TV acts almost as a comfort and keeps her in a room for a few more minutes.

Needs must and all that when you have things to get done around the home.

I don't think there's anything bad with letting them watch some TV. My personal line is that she's doesn't get TV every time she asks as, like the OP's DD, she can ask a bit. And then tantrum when she doesn't get it!

MiaowTheCat Thu 13-Mar-14 11:41:49

On a day when we're busy doing stuff the bulk of the time (prob 4 out of 5 weekdays) it's hardly on, on other days - it's probably on cbeebies the bulk of the day unless I've got stuff recorded I want to watch (of the level of drama and child unsuitability of the great british sewing bee before anyone assumes I've got Psycho Death Stabbity Murderers With Axes on sky plus or something). I'm not unduly worried about it, once the weather improves and the grass on our garden ever actually dries out (STILL like a swamp out there) things will drop off again anyway.

Notice how one side is already trying to make the other side see the "error" of their ways though already. These threads never end well or with anyone feeling they are able to be honest about it.

SaveTheMockingBird Thu 13-Mar-14 11:42:31

Well no she does need to be entertained rather than wants to be entertained. She needs help with doing puzzles, need another person if she is doing a board game, needs me to read to her, if we do baking she definitely needs me, she needs somebody to set her up with painting and crafts and somebody to mop up her spills... Maybe it's the kind of activity she choses. She is not one for toys really, occasionally plays with Lego and her dolls/ pram etc which is when she will play independantly. She likes to involve me in her activities when I am there as I work 4 days a week so it is understandable.
She plays independantly with her 5yr old bother quite happily on their own for hours sometimes on weekend mornings.

Eletheomel Thu 13-Mar-14 12:18:02

DS1 is 4, he has tv on for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon) He likes scooby do, spiderman and batman cartoons, but will also watch league of superevil, dennis the menace, dino posse etc. We sometimes all watch a film together at weekends (maybe once a month?)

wigglesrock Thu 13-Mar-14 12:38:48

My 3 year old watches a bit of Peppa, Something Special & Bubble Guppies - we use a mixture of i-player & Netflix. Sometimes if the weather is terrible, & her older sisters are staying a bit later in school we'll watch a film - the films she likes - Robin Hood, Lady & the Tramp etc are about 1hr.

18 months old DD's. They have only recently started watching Show Me. So 20 minutes a day.

BrianButterfield Thu 13-Mar-14 13:52:06

DS is 2.5 and his TV consumption went way up three months ago when baby DD arrived! However now she is a little older and easier to deal with, I noticed he was getting a bit obsessed with certain programmes so made a conscious effort to cut down. I never had TV on during the day before DD (I watch very little myself and that is usually with DH in the evening) so went back to that. Now he is allowed one episode of Diego or Dora etc in bed with us in the morning after breakfast and before getting dressed and then my rule is none before 5pm, which I also try and push as late as I can. He usually gets one programme snuggled with us before bed though. This has changed his behaviour and stopped him asking for TV in the day as it just isn't on at all.

WipsGlitter Thu 13-Mar-14 13:52:45

About a hour in the evening when we get in from work/school (DSs are 4 and 6), then maybe 20 minutes in the morning when having breakfast.

It's on a LOT at the weekend, in my defence (if there is one??) DS2 has SN and he really loves TV and it does seem to help his speech.

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