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To think kids watching tv is a bit of a waste of their life?

(317 Posts)
Amykins35 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:14:28

My daughter is 5 and her father and I are separated. When she has contact, she usually watches at least 5 films over the course of a weekend. On the other hand, here we used to go to the cinema on some of my weekends before her baby sister was born and that was the only thing she watched. We didn't even have a TV at home until 4 months ago. In the winter we had a film night on my Fridays where we baked cakes then snuggled on the sofa with teddies to watch a film and eat our cakes. But now the weather is finally brightening up we'll be going to the park/walking the dog/playing in the garden on those Fridays and so she probably won't watch anything here til next winter.
I read a few weeks ago that kids in the UK watch an average of 3 hours tv per day and that makes me sad as I really do think its a waste of their lives. Also, I don't understand where people find time for their kids to watch tv - my daughter goes to bed much later than her friends but we still run out of time to do everything she/we wanted to do. A typical day is:
7.30: she wakes up and gets ready while playing with DD2
7.45: breakfast
8.00: leave to walk/scoot/bike 2 miles to school

After school:
I usually drive to collect her so we can pop home for a snack before after school activities which usually finish at 6. She then plays/draws/reads while I cook tea, tea usually finished by 7 when we walk the dog, back home for homework, bath, stories and bed usually around 8.45.

There just isn't time in the day for tv and I don't understand where people find the time for it. If DD isn't doing an activity she likes to trampoline/paint/have tea parties etc after school and I think the amount of TV she watches at her fathers is a waste of his contact time. Before I get flamed and told my DD needs to rest and relax which may be why she watches TV at her dads - drawing and listening to stories are relaxing too. My DD never asks to watch TV here even if worn out - which is very rare indeed! AIBU to think watching TV is a bit of a waste of children's lives when there are so many more fun things they could be doing?

ShowMeTheYoni Sun 21-Apr-13 13:41:53

Each to their own OP. I don't fill every minute of my kids days. You might not agree with tv, I think an 8.45 bedtime is far to late for a five year old, but I'm not going to start a thread about it. So YABU IMO

PoppyAmex Sun 21-Apr-13 13:42:10

"I'm not lucky she's a 7.30 waker, she wakes later because she goes to bed later"

I'm still laughing at this.

Yes, nothing to do with luck, OP. All these silly women on the Sleep forum desperate to get their children to wake up later than 5am... someone should tell them this is all they have to do, put them to bed later. grin

ObiWankenYoni Sun 21-Apr-13 13:42:47

'and a nanny'

Stealth boast.

Who cares??

JustFoofy Sun 21-Apr-13 13:44:41

You have balance. She's staring at the tv at her dad's and doing the other stuff with you. Balanced.

I heard the "groovy moves" music from show me show me the other day and choked up. Everyday we did the groovy moves regardless of what we were doing at the time. Dd is at school now so I have to groovy move alone sad

ivykaty44 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:44:57

I used to have a friend/neighbour when I was about 6 years old, she was a couple of years older than me and they didn't have a tv set in the house. If she came to my house to play do you know what she did? She plonked herself down in front of our old tv in the sitting room and refused to move - she was the most boring friend to come to play ever!

Why would a girl of 9 want to watch wrestling on a saturday afternoon rather than play with me the most energetic and interesting girl in the street!

I didn't invite her often as there were other children who had tv's and were allowed to watch it at home and they made far better play mates on a saturday afternoon.

We don't have live tv, but dd2 still watches what she wants when she wants (we are out a lot and she takes part in a lot of sport) which is great as a relaxing time on a sunday evening - after 5 hours on a bike today I can bet my last dollar she will be watching catch up casualty tonight

Ragwort Sun 21-Apr-13 13:45:16

I think you might find your DD's habits change as she gets a little older grin - my five year old DS used to be like your DD, loved playing outside, doing things etc etc - now I find it hard to drag him away from the TV (he is 12) - despite doing loads of 'worthwhile' activities.

Personally, I don't like TV much and yes, I am a bit judgey about adults who seem to find entertainment in watching some of the rubbish that is on our screens, but I remind myself, we are all different, lots of people would probably find my hobbies extremely dull and boring grin. I think watching TV is a waste of my time yet I happy to spend hours time on mumsnet !

Squarepebbles Sun 21-Apr-13 13:45:41


My dc 9,9&8 watch TV and have screens but no more than 1 hour a day.Yesterday they watched a Harry Potter film as a Saturday treat but had no other screen time during the day.

Always having it on effects concentration and the ability to amuse oneself.I don't want my dc to have the attention span of a gnat or to think studying means a TV droning on in the background.

I don't think screens are evil but I think a lot of parents are lazy in how they parent ie they'd rather have quiet kids in a vegetable like state than kids getting toys out and making noise,mess,creating and arguing.

Oh and I had 3 under 15 months which I found hard and did rely on CBeebies but no more than an hour a day.

<Dons hard hat for inevitable flaming>

Squarepebbles Sun 21-Apr-13 13:46:19

And that should have been yanbu.

Squarepebbles Sun 21-Apr-13 13:46:59

You just say no.

Mine read masses if they're at a loose end.

theodorakisses Sun 21-Apr-13 13:47:57

For me, the time between cheggars plays pop and willo the wisp was blissful relaxation time after a busy day at school. If my mum had tried to engage me in anything other than tv squash and a blue riband I think I would have left home.

PseudoBadger Sun 21-Apr-13 13:48:04

I read it that OP is a nanny, not that they have one?

PoppyAmex Sun 21-Apr-13 13:48:53

"Always having it on effects concentration and the ability to amuse oneself."

But it might teach them how to spell! grin

Scholes34 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:48:58

There are some great things on TV, amongst some not-so-great things. With the amount of baking you do, OP, you should at least be making a point of watching The Great British Bake-Off when it's on or Paul Hollywood's Bread, though your DD would be missing the last 15 mins if she has an 8.45 pm bed time. I'm sure you could fit in these programmes between a cycle ride and walking the dog. If not, you should seriously re-think the need for a cycle ride.

theodorakisses Sun 21-Apr-13 13:50:03

PoppyAmex, I actually love you a little bit

claraschu Sun 21-Apr-13 13:50:18

There are so many things to do. and so many ways to relax.
I don't feel great after watching TV. To me it is the equivalent of junk food- appealing and off-putting for many of the same reasons.

I also hate the sound of TV in the background (or the radio), but I think that is just something that really bothers me, and most people quite like it.

I keep my mouth shut about this in RL, so that people won't think I am a smug killjoy.

My kids are older now, and they like a bit of TV occasionally (football mainly), but they have never been big TV watchers.

StorFetHamster Sun 21-Apr-13 13:52:39


I don't let my DC watch too much (like hours and hours) but they watch a large-ish amount, but it's fun. That's all it is. They want and need to wind down and relax without doing something like a game or structured....and, tbh, watching TV is a lot more relaxing for most kids than reading (some obviously love it, but even dd who finds it relaxing prefers TV).

theodorakisses Sun 21-Apr-13 13:52:42

What time are they awarding the prizes?

Squarepebbles Sun 21-Apr-13 13:52:53

Tis my downtime and I type quick on an Ipad,couldn't give a

Oh and if they bellyache when their hour is up they get zilch the next day<evil mum>

They get an hour to zonk in front of TV after school then off it goes and they run off outside.

JustFoofy Sun 21-Apr-13 13:53:55

Theo willo the wisp/cheggers plays pop/blue riband/squash grin

Thankyou for that. It all came flooding back.

Shinigami Sun 21-Apr-13 13:54:53


I have wonderful memories of watching costume dramas with my Grandma and time team with my Grandpa. It kick started my love of history.
You do come accross as a bit smug TBH.

Squarepebbles Sun 21-Apr-13 13:56:32

Don't need a prize,I'm far from perfect however I limit screen time and acknowledge the reasons for that. There are loads of parenting choices I don't always make the best choices however I acknowledge they may not be the best choice.

Leave your kids in front of TV for hours however don't berate those that question whether that is in the best interest of children.

ObiWankenYoni Sun 21-Apr-13 13:57:11

PseudoBadger Sun 21-Apr-13 13:48:04
I read it that OP is a nanny, not that they have one?

Even so, how is that even relevent confused

I could say, I have one child and I'm a fishmonger. It still wouldn't be relevant to an OP grin

Squarepebbles Sun 21-Apr-13 13:58:27

Oh and in Cheggars day there wasn't the endless loop to watch 24/7. You watched a couple of shows after school and beggared off.

PseudoBadger Sun 21-Apr-13 13:58:55

I thought she was possibly saying that she's so fab she can entertain not only her own, but other people's children without the evil screen.

BooCanary Sun 21-Apr-13 14:00:05

I think my DCs probably watch about 8 hours a week. TV normally goes on when the DCs are absolutely shattered and need to sit down and chill for a bit.

Five films in a weekend is excessive IMO, and I'm not a fan of having TV in the background all day long, but an hour or so here and there is fine, as is enjoying a family film on a weekend.

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