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To think educational and interactive programmes should not count as "tv" or "screen" time?

(12 Posts)
Justmia1 Mon 14-Mar-16 13:51:13

Name changed for this.
I am very unwell these days and can't really cope with the day to day chores on top of work etc. Basically I am down for nearly a week now and getting very slowly better but still no energy. Two DCs. 3 and 1.5.
AIBU to show them this much of "tv?" It's basically educational programmes and add to their learning as I do see the results. For example DS is learning a huge amount of new words and what not. I do make sure it's all educational programmes. DH can't help because of long hours and needs to do overtime for us to overcome some financial difficulties we are facing(separate thread previously).
I feel guilty. They spend may be up to four five hours per day on screen these days and NONE of it is plain old fun programs or kids shows. It's educational videos. DH is worried too and has been working hard after getting home to help me.
Pls fire away but hope I get to hear what I want to hear: that it won't do that much damage if I let them. Thanks a lot for reading this far!

poocatcherchampion Mon 14-Mar-16 13:54:52

I'm sorry you are unwell and struggling to get through the day.

There is no learning that small children need to do. They just need every day life. I think educational TV is a total con.

If you can only get through the day with them watching the telly on, put it on and be done with it.

TeenAndTween Mon 14-Mar-16 13:58:04

I think that if it is a for a short period of time because you are unwell, then it is fine.

But if this is going to be an on-going situation then I do think you should try to see if there are any other options.

They may be developing vocabulary, but they won't be getting sufficient exercise, developing motor skills, knowledge of the physical world and direct adult-child interaction.

Fink Mon 14-Mar-16 14:02:12

As pp said, if it's for a short time until you recover then you can't help it and it's unlikely to damage their long term well-being. But regardless of the type of programme, the fact is that they are having an excessive amount of screen time which is not good for them. If you're sick for a couple of days, don't stress, just get better and back to normal. If you have a long term condition and won't be able to look after dc for the foreseeable future, then you and DH need to make another plan for caring for dc as this won't work long term.

Justmia1 Mon 14-Mar-16 14:56:15

Thanks so much for this quick response! I was away feeding kids.
It's not just two three days but not usual either. It's my way of dealing when they are unwell. Other than this, they do go out for walks and play on the lawn and in the play room (it's a room that we have set for their toys and all kinds of crayons and stuff so we get some respite from the toys spread all over the place. it's not an ongoing condition I have so far but the GP suspects it could be because I have spent a bad winter (unwell quite often, the cold and tiredness). I have to say that I am really afraid of being diagnosed of something chronic. It would be lovely if any of you could elaborate on some suggestions. We are about to apply for the free child care for the DS1 and it will get him better exposure than I probably am giving him right now.

TeenAndTween Mon 14-Mar-16 15:04:31

Other possible options
- use the 15hrs free nursery care if your elder one is old enough
- call in favours from friends and family when you are ill if you can, even if they can only take 1 child
- depending how ill you are, break up the TV with them playing wherever you are so you can supervise even if you aren't moving around
- pay teenage 'babysitter' to play with them for an hour or so after school

But you can only do what you can do. It might not be ideal but it isn't the end of the world either.

lalalalyra Mon 14-Mar-16 15:09:04

It's all about balance. So if you were deciding to put them in front of the tv instead of taking them to the park then it wouldn't be good. However, the choice you have is tv for longer than ideal or a more unwell mother. So the tv is the lesser of two evils.

You can only do your best and at the moment that's a bit more tv than ideal, but you are getting them out to the park and they are playing in the playroom as well.

Justmia1 Mon 14-Mar-16 16:20:55

Thanks for going through my points.
DS1 is going to be in the nursery for free child care (15hr per week) from April as he has just turned 3. So couple weeks to go yet. But younger one won't be going unless we pay and that is an option me and DH will have to consider if I am indeed diagnosed of some thing.
For the family and friends option, I think it's hard to organise that my family moved to Germany and DH's are all across the pond. So it's hard rightnow. Child care seems our only viable long term option.

Yes it looks to me that this is what I am doing. Preferring my health over their tv time. They do get to go to nearby parks(we have plenty ) at least twice a week and spend hours. Plus their own toys etc. Hope the situation gets better from here.

I do wonder why there is such an extensive industry around this "education videos for kids" drama? Why is it not challenged ?

Justmia1 Mon 14-Mar-16 16:21:27

It's so easy for people like me to fall for it.

TeenAndTween Mon 14-Mar-16 16:26:12

Some kids TV is more educational than others. If you need to use the TV while you are ill, then aiming for more educational stuff is super.

Real people rather than cartoons / puppets is better as they can see real people talking.

Actually I think CBeebies isn't too bad as it has a good variety of content.

99Luftballons Mon 14-Mar-16 17:01:04

My kids are older but I do think there is value in 'educational TV'.

For example, over dinner we quite often watch documentaries that lead to a whole host of discussions. And kids are learning things they wouldn't acces in school. Which leads to certain interests and then they will go off an explore these interests either by reading more about them or when playing, applying what they have learnt. When building Lego for example, my ds's were making the fastest car-quite a normal playing situation. However, My younger one made his more aerodynamic so it went faster after watching a challenge on one of the documentaries we watched. (Well, semi was called smartest guy in the room and was a set of really smar guys setting challenges for each other!)

Justmia1 Mon 14-Mar-16 17:52:33

thanks for that suggestion and yes it looks to me that I feel better when DS1 is actually able to sing alphabet songs or DS2 does any imitation of the animals and their sounds he has seen. It's much more easy to show them via YouTube than actually doing it myself. But I do it myself and use stickers/cards/books etc. We also tend to draw a lot. And I have definitely noticed that their learning speed is faster when it is me teaching them rather than the laptop screen or tv screen.

documertaries sound like a lovely idea and that example is very amusing. How old are your DCs?

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