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To have children's tv on all day?

(122 Posts)
ispentitwithyou Mon 17-Nov-14 08:41:10

I am more or less a Sahm (i work Sundays) to a one year old. We have our own little routine during the week and I like to think we do a lot of fun activities,games and learning during the day through a combination of structured and unstructured play and also just letting her sit and play by herself whilst I tidy up mumsnet however we seem to have fallen into the habit of having children's tv on in the background all day.......

Example: we will be playing with her dolls house and taking no notice of the tv (but the volume is on) a song will come on and we will probably stop and singalong to it, then carry on playing....

Bad for her concentration?


Interfering with some vital part of development?

Not to drip feed,her speech is advanced for her age(so people tell me) and we get out for a walk everyday weather permitting


ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 17-Nov-14 08:44:32

We have tv on most of the day in the background and most of it is kids tv. If we do a proper activity like painting or similar then I will turn it off, but if she is simply sitting playing herself with her toys then i just leave it on.

She is nearly three, and her speech is incredible, according to those around me (I have no frame of reference) so I dont think it has a detrimental effect.

LovleyRitaMeterMaid Mon 17-Nov-14 08:45:12

Sounds like it's an unnecessary distraction. Just turn it off if she isn't watching it.

shakemysilliesout Mon 17-Nov-14 08:45:45

Why not try music instead? Or radio?

WeirdCatLady Mon 17-Nov-14 08:47:09

If it bothers you then turn it off. If it doesn't bother you then leave it on.

You are the parent here, only you know what works well for your family.

I'm sure people will be on to show evidence of how tv stunts growth and then there will be others who can prove it is good for development.

(Sitting firmly on the fence) smile

Lottapianos Mon 17-Nov-14 08:50:18

Yes, highly distracting and unnecessary. 1 year olds can't concentrate on two things at once and can't filter out background noise like adults can. So turn the TV off when you're doing other things together.

manchestermummy Mon 17-Nov-14 08:50:54

I too would just turn it off. Not least because Cbeebies repeats itself.

LadyKooKoo Mon 17-Nov-14 08:51:52

Turn it off. For the reasons stated above and also to save on your electric bill.

Nouseforausername Mon 17-Nov-14 08:52:06

I can't cope sitting in a quiet room so we usually have kids tv/film/music on in the background. Music is most distractingvas he gets up and dances but for the most part he couldn't care less.

scarletforya Mon 17-Nov-14 08:53:19


I don't get the hysteria over letting children watch tv. We watched tv all day ourselves before dc came on the scene, it's what we do. Maybe it's a class thing.

PickleMobile Mon 17-Nov-14 08:54:56

I have either the tv on sometimes but more likely the radio. Dd may stop and watch occasionally when she is playing. Her grandparents have the tele on all day when they watch her. It's for background noise mainly which is why I put the radio on instead.

Lottapianos Mon 17-Nov-14 08:57:39

Scarlet, the official advice is no screen time at all for under 2 year olds, including TV, laptops, iPad etc. Its because children who get used to screens have difficulty developing attention and listening skills in real life, non tech situations, which is likely to impact their wider communication development. Research from the American Association of Paediatricians if anyone wants more info

manchestermummy Mon 17-Nov-14 08:59:10

A class thing? I'm not sure how you've arrived at that not knowing anything about the socio-economic background of the OP, or anyone else on this thread for that matter wink

We find TV effective (for want of a better expression) when we exercise some control. The TV is on all the time at my dn's house and I never see her play: she's 14 months and spends most of her time nose up to Cbeebies.

TobyLerone Mon 17-Nov-14 09:06:03

I wouldn't do it because the constant noise would drive me insane. I hate the tv on as background noise and we never do it in my house.

I really don't care what anyone else does re tv as long as I'm not in their house having to put up with it.

littlehayleyc Mon 17-Nov-14 09:07:53

I would say switch it off if you're not watching it. I grew up in a house where the TV was on all the time, and it has taken me a while to get used to the quiet. Somehow home didn't feel homely unless the TV was on. Since having DC I'm more conscious of it being on as background noise and try to switch off unless anyone is watching a specific programme. I always find my DC concentrate a lot more on what they're doing, or go and play in their room with more imaginative games if the TV isn't on.

livelablove Mon 17-Nov-14 09:14:24

I say turn it off now before later problems arise. I had T.V on a lot with dd as I liked the "company" effect and felt a bit lonely, at first she was not that bothered as you describe but as she got older she would watch more and more and get upset if it was turned off. If I had the same problem now I would have the radio or music or podcasts on and make sure there were times that it was off. I wouldnt even introduce T.V until much older, then set a time limit right from the start, I think it is so much easier not to get into bad habits than try to stop things that have already started.

fuzzpig Mon 17-Nov-14 09:17:36

I would turn it off. My DCs play a lot more - and higher quality play IYSWIM (more immersed in it, better concentration, even their imagination seems brighter) since we switched it off.

They still watch it but only when they are actually wanting to sit down and really watch.

I wish I'd switched off more when they were smaller.

Heels99 Mon 17-Nov-14 09:19:30

Turn it on only to watch specific things. Constant tv isn't great for children.

ZenNudist Mon 17-Nov-14 09:21:34

I wouldn't, sounds like the tv is completely unnecessary. Encourage her to focus on one activity at a time and leave tv to set times or for certain programmes.

Might seem ok now when it's ceebeebies and 'wheels on the bus' but if you let it continue you'll be allowing a lot of advertising and junky tv (ponies/princesses, whatever it is for girls) on all the time.

I just think tv is a slippery slope. My Ds(4) watches too much tv as it is, plenty of rubbish on Cartoon Network and disney junior. I preferred it when he'd watch 'night garden' and 'Mickey mouse club house'.

He always asks to watch something, it drives me nuts. I tend to allow it first thing if I've been up all night with his baby brother, or when I make tea, or a film at weekends or for a play date. No tv on nursery days or when we've been out all day.

rockybalboa Mon 17-Nov-14 09:23:01

It would drive me mental and my kids would be glued to it all day. If she's not watching it anyway just turn it off.

Jengnr Mon 17-Nov-14 09:26:04

We have it on all day too. It's very far down the list of things I'm mithered about.

ispentitwithyou Mon 17-Nov-14 09:26:12

Oh god,I seem to have outed myself as working class on my first ever thread! (Clutches imaginary -can't afford them- pearls)

Really interesting points,will be reading properly when I get some more than two minutes!

scarletforya Mon 17-Nov-14 09:29:20

Hmm, I studied psychology and there seemed to be as many studies refuting bad effects as those claiming bad effects. I also studied violence on tv/social media etc, that is harmful in some circumstances and I don't allow my dc to see anything 'violent', even Spider-Man etc.

My Dd watches mainly cbeebies. So I should have qualified my post more I guess. We don't allow any advertising either, no relentless princess plastic vomit peddling!

I guess we spend a lot of time channel hopping and using recorded stuff.

Chunderella Mon 17-Nov-14 09:44:37

Notwithstanding the AAPs position, my understanding is that the research is rather mixed. But it seems like a waste of electricity to have it on when you're not paying any attention to it.

ispentitwithyou Mon 17-Nov-14 09:47:54

I think it was probably a slight exaggeration to say it is on all day long but I have certainly noticed the amount creeping up and up....

I am quite particular in the way i am bringing up my daughter in regard to her diet,sleeping habits,routine etc
most people i know express surprise at how militant I am in some areas so that is why I am surprised at myself in how much i let her watch!

I certainly agree with the poster that said it is way down on their list of things they worry about,and I also suspect it is something sahm parents do more? I think this May be because it can be hard to keep a child stimulated all day long without some help! I also agree with posters that said it feels like company....

Completely agree with it being a slippery slope as they get older though I think

think I am going to take the following ideas

Use radio as background noise rather than TV

Have the tv on at scheduled times when it is just myself and my daughter,when my husband is off it will be on whenever,as it's everyone's "day off" not just his!

Find out when Justin's house is on so we are not just channel surfing until it comes on [grins]

Turn all external distractions off when doing activities

I do agree with posters that say it has had no effect on speech development etc though as part of me thinks a small amount of TV is a good learning tool

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