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How much tv does your toddler/preschooler watch-honestly!

(148 Posts)
SuperAmoo Fri 02-Oct-09 21:27:50

My DD1 watches so much tv and I'm always reading about how watching more than two hours of tv per day is bad. But the fact is after being out at preschool or a friend's or the park etc in the morning, she watches tv for the rest of the day because she's too tired to do anything else, even play on her own. Does anyone else have this problem?

emkana Fri 02-Oct-09 21:30:55

I think letting her watch TV all afternoon is not great, I personally try and stick to the no more than two hours rule, and preferably try and keep it at 1 hour. I think you should just get tough and tell her that the TV is finished after x amount of time.

gemmiegoatlegs Fri 02-Oct-09 21:31:37

my dd watches loads of TV since she started full time school a few weeks ago. She is too knackered to do anything other than lay under a blanket on the sofa and grunt like an undersized teenager.

For now this is ok for me, although I am planning on phasing the box out gradually as she gets more used to her new routine. How old is your dd?

Do you think a forty minute nap or just a lie down in her bedroom on an afternoon might revitalise her for the rest of the day?

decena Fri 02-Oct-09 21:33:35

My 3yo has 2 x 20 mins a day and is well used to having the tv switched off. I can't imagine her watching it for 2 hours! She goes to nursery in the morning and has an hours nap after lunch.

Undercovamutha Fri 02-Oct-09 21:36:18

I TRY to limit it - but I know plenty of people who don't. The only reason I try to be a bit strict about it is cos my mum is always going on about how kids watch too much TV these days which makes me feel guilty, and also, I am a real telly addict myself.
DD (3) watches about 30 mins after lunch, and then about 1 - 1.5 hours after tea. She watches more than this on the weekend (maybe an extra hour), and sometimes more in the week if, like you mentioned, she is shattered after nursery. All in all it probably evens out at about 2 hours a day on average.
However, when it is on she does not move her eyes from the screen!

Undercovamutha Fri 02-Oct-09 21:39:27

One thing that has worked rather than TV when DD is tired is Story CDs. They are obviously still a passive activity but great for tired little ones, and surely better than telly. My DD loves them, and sometimes it helps in encouraging her to have a little nap after nursery school. They have a good selection on amazon, quite cheaply.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 02-Oct-09 21:46:58

I am very familiar with tv guilt. I remember someone saying on here something like "How hard is it to get some playdoh out?" I felt shit. Then I thought about all the things I had done that morning

read several books
played with cars
eaten breakfast
gone outside to look at bugs
read some more books
drawn some picures
sung some songs
gone back outside to look at the bugs again
been a pony for three circuits round the carpet
cut out some fish shapes and hung them from the ceiling

and it was only ten oclock.

so I put the tv on. Some children just don't bloody stop, it is the only time I get to do something without fifty billion interruptions. I try not to feel guilty, it is not actively harmful.

Undercovamutha Fri 02-Oct-09 21:54:32

HumphreyCobbler - I know exactly what you mean. After a few hours of thinking up activities, don't you just want to shout 'Why can't you just play with your bloody toys ....... on your own!!??!!'

MegBusset Fri 02-Oct-09 21:54:51

DS1 (2.7) watches about two hours a day. He has 1/2hr in the morning, an hour at lunchtime (since dropping nap) and 1/2hr before bed.

I put it on because it's the only thing that will get him to sit down and stay still! If he didn't have the rest at lunchtime (he flat out refuses to lie down) then he would be hellish for the rest of the day. We always do loads of stuff the rest of the time (pre-school, playgroup, park, friends' houses, shops, puzzles, books, drawing, etc etc etc) so it can't be bad to have a breather for a little while!

However... I don't have it on outside these times because it can cause tantrums/whinging.

TheWorstWitch Fri 02-Oct-09 22:01:39

Honestly?
5 minutes a day. My 2 year old DD is allowed to watch one episode of her favourite DVD before milk, stories and bed.

If she's tired after lunch, she can have quiet time and look at her books while I have some quiet time myself.

mwff Fri 02-Oct-09 22:02:59

loads, mostly cbeebies. dd1 learnt everything she knows (which is lots) from sid and andy

gigglewitch Fri 02-Oct-09 22:06:57

my 3yo watches about twenty mins a day, usually cbeebies
it's all the chance she gets, poor little bugger - usually ITNG in bedtime hour...

dairymoo Fri 02-Oct-09 22:08:22

My DTs (2.1) watch 10 mins in the morning while I make our breakfast and then about 20 mins in the evening while I make supper. I have to say I couldn't stomach the thought of them watching more than about an hour a day, but if I ever have another may eat my words.

I'm lucky that they still have a nap after lunch so they don't need it as 'quiet time' as such.

redsofas Fri 02-Oct-09 22:13:48

My 3 yr old ds watches about an hour a day he is only interested in his favorite shows, i wouldnt really let him watch more than that though anyway!
But actually saying that he does fall asleep every night to a dvd (i know its a bad habbit but doing the bath, supper, stories and singing is never enough for him 2 be truly tired out and he will only fall asleep 2 cartoons!)

MarthaFarquhar Fri 02-Oct-09 22:19:49

About 30 - 40mins of DVD time daily. One episode of charlie and lola/bagpuss/fifi on waking from her nap (she is FOUL on waking and letting her come round with a spot of inane entertainment and some milk really helps). Another 2-3 episodes DVD between dinner and bedtime, although this is dependent on helping tidy up her toys after dinner.

we don't have the telly on as background, and I think this helps.

Undercovamutha Sat 03-Oct-09 11:06:12

Before I had DC2, DD watched about 30 - 60 mins a day. She started watching more when DS was born because she would climb all over me when I was feeding him and it was the only way I could stop her (DS is very 'sensitive' about feeding and requires some quiet!). Once I stopeed feeding him so often, I managed to cut TV down to just after lunch and teatime/bedtime. I also think it makes a huge difference when they stop napping!

pigletmania Sat 03-Oct-09 12:13:28

ooooh er my dd 2.7years does not watch as much telly as she used to(an obsence amount), she is basically bored and taking herself away from it, now i can wach my own programmes and she does not have a tantrum about it. Dd loves Mickey Mouse clubhouse and does not like anything else, besides me and dh and godmother teaching her basic skills, MM clubhouse is quite educational teaching counting, colours, shapes and social skills.

During the day i make sure that i take dd out to the park, mums and toddlers, activity places or round to friends, besides reading, counting, painting, arts and crafts with her and also nursery once a week, tv comes in between when she is tired or i have to make dinner. Anyway she gets bored of it after 5 mins and goes to play other things.

pippylongstockings Sat 03-Oct-09 12:23:58

My 2 watch about an hout maybe more at the weekend.

My DS1 watches it very very intentley - his eyes do not move from the screen and he will struggle to even hear or respond to you when it is on so I really don't like him watching more than 1/2 an hour at a time. DS2 has never really got the hang of watching TV he will be 3 shortly but it only holds his attention for so long and then he is up and playing with his brothers toys while he gets a chance!!

sarah293 Sat 03-Oct-09 13:06:19

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Elk Sat 03-Oct-09 13:28:18

dd1 was always restricted on tv watching. At 18 months she had 30mins dvd watching a day. Then it slowly increased to about 2 hours a day, in snatches. Then I had dd2, when she was 4 months old I developed horrific PND so the TV went onto cbeebies between 8 am and 7pm as it was the only way I could get through the day. I sometimes think that dd2 was brought up by cbeebies (dd1 had just started pre-school when she was born).

In the long run I don't think it has done her any harm. She talks very well and is very active.

Dalrymps Sat 03-Oct-09 13:44:58

When people are saying their dc watch 20mins a day do they mean 20 mins and then tv is off all day or do you watch your own programs for the rest/ some of the day?

MegBusset Sat 03-Oct-09 13:56:00

We have it turned off the rest of the day apart from weekend mornings when we might have Saturday Kitchen or Something For The Weekend on.

Oh and if it's been a long rainy afternoon indoors then I might put on Deal Or No Deal to keep me going til teatime!

LaDiDaDi Sat 03-Oct-09 13:57:11

I'd say a max of 2 hours. She's generally allowed up to 4 programmes/day and the longest that she chooses to watch are Peppa Pig/Tikkabilla/Tweenies which do last a full 30 minutes but her other programmes are much shorter.

I never just put Cbeebies on and let it run though as then I think it would be hard to stop iyswim. I Sky+ everything and then each episode is clearly defined, she pauses it to go to the loo too.

Some things can be quite educational I think, esp. Tikkabilla but others are much less so. I only record what I think is suitable.

mwff Sat 03-Oct-09 14:10:33

for pre-readers i see cbeebies as the equivalent of reading, something relaxing and moderately passive that keeps them occupied without requiring my input (am rofling at having quiet time while they read their books, heh, not how it's ever worked chez mwff). also it's crowd control for fractious siblings in the witching hour while i make tea.

some days we have none at all but some days we have up to 2-3 hours (including some early morning/post school watching with her sister). i think it helps massively with language development, concentration etc. am curious about what terrible fate those who couldn't bear the thought of more than half an hour's telly a day are anticipating.

once they're reading i expect more of that, less telly.

twopeople Sat 03-Oct-09 14:28:04

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