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AIBU to say 'No' to visiting child who wants TV on?

(134 Posts)
ChocolateWombat Sun 23-Feb-14 14:50:39

I have had this a few times. My child has a friend to play after school or in hols. There are lots of toys and other activities to do. Within 10 mins, visiting g child asks for TV on.
We don't have TV on in background. My child has 20 mins of TV after dinner. They tend to sit on the sofa and just watch TV for that slot of time, not play at the same time.
I have told visiting child that is how we do it in our house and they can have some after dinner.
Sometimes children have continued to ask over and over again, despite there being lots of other things to do.
Have also had it if child has come over with parents. Child has asked their parent if they can have TV. Parent has relayed request to me. I have explained how we do it in our house and they can have TV after dinner. Sometimes parent has just accepted it, other times, they have asked on behalf of their child again, or emphasised that in Their house, they always have the TV on.
I don't want to be rude to guests or totally inflexible, so do you think IABU?

Lottiedoubtie Sun 23-Feb-14 14:52:04

Yanbu

redcaryellowcar Sun 23-Feb-14 14:52:23

yanbu, i think its nice to actually play when friends come over to play!!

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Feb-14 14:53:27

It's up to you what you do in your house or what sort of host you want to be.

I just can't get fussed about someone wanting the TV on or off.

girliefriend Sun 23-Feb-14 14:54:44

No yanbu, I think its tragic that children can't just go off and play and a depressing sign of the times that they need the telly on constantly sad

My dd ha s had friends over who have requested the same and I always say no, you're here to play not watch telly!!

If she has a friend for a sleepover they are allowed to watch a dvd or something but the telly is not constantly on, I like having music on most of the time anyway.

cardibach Sun 23-Feb-14 14:54:54

YANBU, but I also think an inflexible '20 mins after dinner' rule for TV is unreasonable in its own right. What if a really good/fun/educational programme is on for longer or at a different time?
TV should be on when there is programme which people want to watch or for relaxing downtime, not as a rigid 'treat' or background noise. (although I have Winter Olympics on fro background now...)

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 23-Feb-14 14:55:43

Your house, your rules!

poppins30 Sun 23-Feb-14 14:56:18

I don't think I'd ever ask for the TV to be put on for DS in someone else's house. I think that's really rude.

I always pack a bag with toys and Lego etc, so if we're visiting he has plenty to do (he's 7) although at home he does watch TV whenever he wants, unless I want to watch something which isn't often, he's always playing as well. TV is a quiet background noise in our house and I don't mind it.

diddl Sun 23-Feb-14 14:58:33

Do you mean they want the TV on instead of playing??

I have sometimes let them watch one dvd for example, but not just sit staring at the tv indefinitely.

Thumbwitch Sun 23-Feb-14 14:58:48

YANBU. We do have the tv on quite a lot, but if DS1 goes to play at a friend's house, then I expect him to be doing just that, playing. If he wanted to watch tv he could have stayed at home and done that. I don't mind a little bit, and if the child whose house he is at has it on, all well and good - but I wouldn't expect the other child's parents to switch it on specifically for my DS1.

fuzzpig Sun 23-Feb-14 14:59:28

I'm torn - we have no tv at all mon-thurs and my DCs are fine with that, but I have relaxed the rules when DD had a friend over after school and they asked if they could watch a movie. Went straight back to normal the day after.

SantanaLopez Sun 23-Feb-14 15:01:41

I genuinely don't see the point in being too rigid.

mrsjay Sun 23-Feb-14 15:03:09

maybe the telly is on in the background of his house my tv is on most of the time even when the dds were little <gasp> they managed to pkay with it on yanbu to not put it on though if it isn't on in your house it is very U and smug to boast about your child only having 20 minutes of tv a day what was the point of saying that,

Earlybird Sun 23-Feb-14 15:04:59

How old is the child who is asking?
Has the child been to your house before?

I wonder if the child is asking because they feel a bit 'lost at sea' at a friend's house. if they haven't got engaged in an activity, perhaps telly is their default way to pass the time?

I don't think you should put the telly on (agree - what is the point of a playdate?), but perhaps you could help them find something to do? I bet once they are occupied, telly will be the furthest thing from their minds.

ChocolateWombat Sun 23-Feb-14 15:07:38

Thanks for replies
Not sure if they want it on, so they can sit and watch it without playing. In Houses where TV is on most of time when I've visited, the kids seem to watch a few mins, play a bit, watch a bit, play a bit.....there is a lot of flitting between things.
Our 20 mins after dinner works, because we don't actually watch live childrens TV anyway. Child has variety of DVDs and also some stuff recorded off TV, so chooses and the time of day doesn't determine what is watched.
When we have then put on the TV after dinner for guest children, my child has sat down to watch it, but I have often found the guest watches for a few mins and then want s to play again. My child at that point, is not intererested in playing, because is watching TV and absorbed in that
. So my observation is that if TV is on for a limited time, children tend to make it their focus for that time. Then when it goes off, they do something else. When it is on all the time, their attention flits between the 2, rather than being fully directed to one thing. Just an observation.

MollyHooper Sun 23-Feb-14 15:08:04

Having more than 20 minutes of TV doesn't actually do any harm so the whole thing is pointless really.

I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Logg1e Sun 23-Feb-14 15:09:21

I don't like the tv being constantly on, and we don't have one in our main living area. I think some children (and adults) are just used to it being constantly on and feel uncomfortable without its noise there in the background.

ChocolateWombat Sun 23-Feb-14 15:15:24

Didn't mean to sound smug about 20 mins TV. Tbh sometimes it's a bit more or a bit less depending on the programme of course.
I guess the length of time isn't the issue in my mind. It's just that we don't have it on as background. When its on, TV IS the activity at that point.
I would also occasionally have a DVD night, when child or child and friend has a who,e feature length film. Friend invited for that purpose...popcorn etc.
I do find it tricky if I go to a friends who has TV on all the time, as find it harder to co concentrate on what they are saying. My child also finds it harder to play and join in with host child, as my child will tend to just sit down to watch the TV. However,I would not dream of asking them to turn it off....it is their house.

FionaJT Sun 23-Feb-14 15:16:10

YANBU. It's good for children (and their parents!) to learn that rules are different in different places. It's just as rigid to say that because a child has the TV on in the background at home they should expect it to be provided for them everywhere as it is to refuse to put it on because that is what your child is used to!!
I have said no to visiting children many times - I don't have a strict schedule for TV being on a certain times, but I don't let it go on as a default setting while they're playing. Maybe if they've been playing for a while and are getting cranky/need a break I'd put it on while friends are round, but I wouldn't leave it on the whole time.

mrsjay Sun 23-Feb-14 15:18:02

you sounded to me a wee bit smug TV really isnt harmful at all it is entertainment

Swanhildapirouetting Sun 23-Feb-14 15:20:14

YANBU. However, if everyone is miserable and they are trashing your house, and you are talking to the parents, put the TV on! Better than tears.

Sometimes it is a sign that you need to supervise and encourage play, given them some ideas.

I think if a child is genuinely upset, and at a loose end, and everyone else is playing happily, it's alright to put the tv on for that child (if there's a separate room for it) Myself, I cannot abide background noise, so I hate it if the tv is on in a communal area where others are talking.

I have friends who never have the Tv on for visitors in their houses and the children play very very well as a result. It does mean accepting the children will make "mess" of some kind.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 23-Feb-14 15:23:04

Does your child burst into flames at 21 mins?

As long as neither child was glued to it for the duration I wouldn't care tbh.

They spend all day at school working then playing games at reals. Sometimes half an hour of cartoons with some snacks gives them a chance to relax and re bit before they go off and play.

balancingfigure Sun 23-Feb-14 15:23:16

OP I completely agree with you about tv in the background however even if I didn't it's definitely 'your house, your rules'!

mrsjay Sun 23-Feb-14 15:23:33

if people come to my house i do put the tv off but when the dds were younger and if they had friends in the tv was on sometimes they watched it sometime they didn't

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 23-Feb-14 15:24:07

At breaks

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