Advanced search

To watch TV with my toddler around?

(27 Posts)
Jefferson Wed 28-Nov-12 11:04:51

When I was growing up, I remember the tv being on all the time, even while my mum was cooking or tidying up. I would sit with her and watch Eastenders as a 5 year old. This seemed normal.

Now I have DS, 15 months. The tv isn't on all day long but when I've got nothing to do and he's playing, I will sit on the floor around him and watch some telly. Not kids tv but my own stuff (nothing too adult with swearing or anything). He does turn around and stare at the tv for a while and even go and press his nose up against the screen sometimes but mostly he just carries on playing. I don't ignore him. If he wants me to play with him, I do and I chat to him as well. I never really thought this was a problem but the more time I spend on MN, the more it seems this is not the right thing to do.

So AIBU to watch TV with a toddler around?

MrsHelsBels74 Wed 28-Nov-12 11:06:34

I do it. TV is normally on here as background noise but I don't ignore DS1 to watch unless I'm feeling particularly grumpy if it works for you I doubt it will do your toddler any harm.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Wed 28-Nov-12 11:07:40

Do what you like but I don't do that.

helpyourself Wed 28-Nov-12 11:08:27

Background tv is worse of all. They're concentrating on what's go

helpyourself Wed 28-Nov-12 11:09:37

Grr sorry.
Young children are making sense of sounds, where they come from who makes them etc. try and minimise it.

TENDTOprocrastinate Wed 28-Nov-12 11:10:48

Jefferson I did the same with my dd1 (now 5). I think it fine. She's not that bothered about tv. I will be the same with dd2 (3 months)

WorraLiberty Wed 28-Nov-12 11:10:54

I wouldn't take any notice of how some people claim to live

No-one really knows the truth on an internet forum, do they?

Theicingontop Wed 28-Nov-12 11:11:01

I've actually found that limiting TV improves my son's behaviour. And I outright banned TV for a few months and he started to improve with his speech, could be coincidence, but I'm convinced it helped. Now we only let him watch TV when he's sick, or if his little playmate's round so me and his mum can have a cup of tea in peace

Honestly though it's mostly because I don't like the way he used to react to me turning it off. Tantrums over peppa pig? Really? Nuff of that cheers.

firstpost Wed 28-Nov-12 11:11:13

I do it too grin

Can't believe I am admitting this on mn though!

CreamOfTomatoSoup Wed 28-Nov-12 11:11:34


Fairylea Wed 28-Nov-12 11:23:06

I do it.

I have the tv on all the time in the background. Dd aged 9 has grown up like it and she's in the top group in everything and very well liked so I don't think it's done any harm academically or socially. I was brought up the same way and I was accepted into 7 universities... I think it just depends how much you are interacting with them full stop really.

I'd go mad if I didn't have the tv on being at home with ds 5 months.... I'd be absolutely bored rigid. And I don't even watch it... I just half listen while I'm playing with him.

squeakytoy Wed 28-Nov-12 11:27:32

I grew up this way. I was weaned on Coronations Street and Emmerdale. I dont think it harms children in any way at all for pre-watershed tv to be on in the background.

DragonMamma Wed 28-Nov-12 11:28:21


DS was doing some puzzles earlier and I tried to catch up on Holby but as soon as I switched it off the kids TV to that he decided he wanted me to read books. I try to get away with it if he's playing nicely though. He's 18mo.

Go for it.

Jefferson Wed 28-Nov-12 11:28:38

helpyourself Yes this is what I keep reading on MN about background noise being bad. Inever really thought about it.

He doesn't actually like kids tv. I've put on Cbeebies but no interest in The Night Garden or any of those programmes so I'm not worried about his own tv watching (not yet anyway!)

Worra I'm very excited you've responded to my post! blush. I know what you're saying but sometimes it's the only way to see if what you're doing is ok

Jefferson Wed 28-Nov-12 11:32:55

Squeaky My mum was and still is a soap fanatic. I know every storyline from Eastenders, Corrie and Emmerdale from the 80's grin

MrsHoarder Wed 28-Nov-12 11:38:56

I wouldn't. But then we rarely have the TV on anyway.

When we go to FIL's and they have the TV on and aren't watching it but its just there as a background distraction I find it very stressful, and would hate to subject a small child to that all day every day.

TheCountessOlenska Wed 28-Nov-12 11:39:28

I have the tv in the background all the time - either This Morning type stuff, news or usually now she's older a children's film on dvd/ cbeebies.

I must admit that she wasn't the earliest to start talking but she's an excellent talker at 2.5.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 28-Nov-12 11:40:20

That's how I grew up too and it didn't do me any harm.

TheCountessOlenska Wed 28-Nov-12 11:41:37

I guess it partly depends on how you were brought up as I find TV noise soothing, certainly not stressful (!).

OBVS I turn it off if I have visitors grin

Jefferson Wed 28-Nov-12 11:42:19

It's not all day MrsHoarder. Maybe 20-30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon and an hour in the evening

Jefferson Wed 28-Nov-12 11:44:08

I agree Countess I don't find it stressful either but maybe that's because of my mum's aforementioned soap addiction when I was growing up!

DontmindifIdo Wed 28-Nov-12 11:45:25

We don't have TV on much in the day, but the lay out of my house means that our sitting room is really rather small, but we have a large dining room with the kitchen off that, so DS's toys are in there and we normally stay in the dining room or kitchen in the day (I try to keep the sea of brightly coloured plastic out of the sitting room so in the evenings if I can't be arsed, we can shut the door on the toy mess and have a grown up space). However, much worse, I have the radio on all day in the kitchen.

FredFredGeorge Wed 28-Nov-12 12:02:10

helpyourself Please provide the links to the peer reviewed research on the subject. Just stating that it's "worst of all" with nothing to back it up is not very helpful.

e.g this study suggests no influence on speech delay from watching TV (Thai children, but are they different to UK?)

The biggest problem with any study of course is disassociating other effects - because if those people who care the most about their children (a huge predictor of success) believe that TV is bad they'll avoid TV.

wilderumpus Wed 28-Nov-12 12:14:50

we have the TV on a lot when DS and I are at home together but DS (2) either watches if he likes what's on, or ignores it and plays. I hang around cleaning and chilling with him and playing. If the tv is off the house feels spookily quiet to me. My MIL has a 'silent' house but is silent as a person too and tbh I don't think that is much of an environment for a toddler.

DS's verbal skills are fantastic according to the HV and my speech therapist friend and he is generally a bright, engaging boy who loves imaginative play. I love the tv, is just how we live smile Am not going to martyr myself to someone elses ideal because it is 'stripped back' and therefore 'better'. if I thought it was harming him or stressing him out I would turn it off, but that's just normal parenting isn't it.

so no, YANBU; let us live and let live grin.

atacareercrossroads Wed 28-Nov-12 12:37:37

YANBU, I do it when Im at home, infact the TV is always on if Im downstairs and I have a mix of kids stuff/things I want to watch on.

Being on MN has not changed my opinion on this either smile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: