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AIBU to ask my childminder to have the TV on less?

(33 Posts)
kawaii123 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:41:02

My DS (just 1) goes to an absolutely wonderful child minder who I adore. She started off with just him and they did so many different things every day and he has bonded with her amazingly. She has since taken on two other children (one of which is only there two days a week). And now the TV seems to be on all the time. They have their lunch in front of the TV which has caused a couple of problems with eating at home and their afternoon snack. And when I come to collect the TV is on.

Don't get me wrong I totally understand that she has an incredibly hard job and sometimes she needs to whack the TV on so she can get something sorted or they just won't calm down etc. I don't think TV is evil or anything nor do I expect her to be constantly teaching my son, doing every wholesome activity under the sun etc.

We don't really watch TV at home but more out of habit because we never had it when we moved in and so I didn't have it during maternity leave etc. Now my DS gets the remote and points it at the TV etc

So would I be unreasonable to ask her to reduce the amount of TV they watch? Or should I just think, it's her home and it isn't my place to judge what she does in her own home? I know her daughter and husband are very keen on television and am not sure her daughter would be OK with not having the TV on when she is home from school.

I don't want to rock the boat because I do think she is lovely and fab but I would rather he didn't watch quite so much telly. He also gone gotten really difficult at mealtimes which I wonder might be to do with the watching telly. After a terrible afternoon and no eating I let him eat in front of the TV and he ate every last mouthful (a bit creepy staring blankly and just opening his mouth for food! smile )

Would love any advice from mums or childminders re experiences.

botandhothered Tue 11-Dec-12 12:57:10

She very clearly is not a wonderful childminder. She is getting him into terrible habits. I am shocked that any childcarer would allow TV on during meal times.
I have nannied for many years, and the children I have cared for have had maximum of half an hour Tv during the day. At just a year old you need to think about the detrimental effect this could have on his language development.
Incidentally, you are paying her to do wholesome activities and teach your son. That is what she should be doing, not using the TV as a babytsitter.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Tue 11-Dec-12 13:00:54

My CM doesnt have a TV in the room she cms from. There is a separate lounge which her dh and dcs can go into if they want to watch tv but the mindees dont go in there (nor does she).

I would be unhappy with a CM using tv as a babysitter as I dont do it myself - I would be very cross at it being on at mealtimes.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 11-Dec-12 13:12:59

I really don't like TV on at snack and mealtimes. I would def say something to her about that. I think if she is out and about with them in the morning, then having it on for a little while in the afternoon is ok, particularly if she has older children/her own DD who want to watch it.

SamSmalaidh Tue 11-Dec-12 14:05:27

I think you would be fine to ask if she could not have the TV on during mealtimes, especially if it is causing problems at home. But I wouldn't worry about it being on for her daughter after school, especially if you don't have it on at all at home.

kawaii123 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:33:08

Thanks the advice is really appreciated. Does anyone have any tips on how I broach it with her without sounding judgemental? I don't want to sound like I am telling her off.

RosieGirl Tue 11-Dec-12 18:35:56

Literally say "I am having awful problems getting DS to eat his dinner unless the TV is on, do you mind making sure it isn't on during times like this I would appreciate it".

If she seems taken aback or doesn't react very positively, ask her if she has a TV policy or is willing to make one, as if she is quite new doing the job she may not have even thought about it very much.

I am a CM and agree with the others, it shouldn't really be on during the day. The after schoolies sometimes have it on for a while, but unless I am really frazzled it doesn't go on in the day.

lechatnoir Tue 11-Dec-12 18:49:10

Another cm who might allow very occasional tv after lunch if we've had a busy morning or if I have any schoolies staying late, but tv at meal & snack times is a definite no as is daily watching. If her DH & DC want to watch it then she has to make adequate provisions for your DS if for no other reason than I assume they're not watching Cbeebies!!

TurnTables Tue 11-Dec-12 20:16:44

As a CM myself I don't like any under 3's watching any TV. My DH is a CM too did have the view of a little TV doesn't harm, that was until we saw an article (BBC Click Programme) on how TV rewires the brain or something and it's better to play it safe and not to allow children to have any screen time (computer or phone as well) unless you are using it as an aid to interact with the child.

We used to have a mindee who had problems when it came to eating, we tried to work with the parents only to discover that she got fed in front of the tv. She was 2 at the time and refused to eat at ours. We don't have the tv on as we feel it's a good time to learn social skills and interact with each other.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 12-Dec-12 15:54:02

nothing wrong with a bit of tv/quiet time, but AFTER lunch

agree with rosiegirl

Bonkerz Wed 12-Dec-12 17:50:23

I'm a minder and the tv is only on when my own older children are home (7-8 + 4-6) when I am home in day it's on classical radio channel! Even when it's on the babies take little or no notice of it unless the older ones are watching music tv!

ZuleikaD Thu 13-Dec-12 07:28:50

I'm a CM and don't have tv at all - it's perfectly possible to do the job without it, and tbh I think if you can't do the job without tv then you shouldn't be in the profession. I think you're entitled to expect more from your CM. Ask to see her TV policy - all good policies should have a sentence at the end inviting comment from parents (you are clients, after all) and you can perfectly legitimately ask for it to be off during meals at the very least. Agree with those who've said that you are paying her to do activities etc with your son - childminding is not motherhood it's a childcaring profession.

minderjinx Thu 13-Dec-12 08:02:51

Zulieka, I agree with your sentiments about there being no need to use TV to entertain children, and that the OP would be right to raise this as you suggest, but a written TV policy would seem completely OTT to me. I don't think the OP is "entitled" to see any such thing, or that there is a universal model for good practice - even OFSTED don't require written policies for this sort of thing any more. I think there is no substitute for honest face-to-face communication and that there is generally still too much paperwork. I would simplly tell any parents who were interested that we have the TV on very occasionally and then only in the lounge, certainly not during meals, when we talk. I think finding a carer whose judgemenr you trust and with whom you share broadly the same principles and parenting style is better than relying on reams of policies on every conceivable subject.

ZuleikaD Thu 13-Dec-12 09:02:47

Legally, the OP should already have a copy of her CM's policies, and she absolutely has a right to see them! CMs are obliged to make their policies available to parents, and I would be very suspicious of a CM who didn't have a tv policy. Likewise these days I would expect a social media policy.

minderjinx Thu 13-Dec-12 09:28:54

There is no law that says CMs have to have a TV policy, therefore no entitlement.

ZuleikaD Thu 13-Dec-12 09:30:58

I didn't say there was, I said I would expect a policy and that the client has a legal right to see all of a CM's policies.

FestiveWench Thu 13-Dec-12 09:45:48

I have used 3 cms over the years.

One had the TV on all the time. The other two used it occasionally

With hindsight I would never have sent the boys to the first cm. the tv was a symptom of her general attitude to how children should be cared for.

FestiveWench Thu 13-Dec-12 09:46:45

Btw none of them had a 'tv policy'

HSMM Thu 13-Dec-12 09:52:54

I don't have a TV policy.

minderjinx Thu 13-Dec-12 10:25:54

I don't have a TV policy. I don't watch TV enough to warrant one. I am not suspicious of people who do - just wonder why. But as I don't have an acorn collecting policy or a puddle jumping policy or a teeth cleaning policy or a snowman building policy, why would I want a TV policy?

llllll Thu 13-Dec-12 11:08:39

I don't have a specific TV policy but I do have it written somewhere in my policies that I will allow a small amount of TV.

I have had some parents who tell me they don't mind the TV being on and other parents who have said absolutely no TV. I write in the mindee's daily diary "x watched half an hour of cbeebies" after lunch and it is only half an hour for this particular mindee as she would watch TV for hours if I let her. The TV might go on about 5.00 for the older children.

I do discuss it with parents at initial meeting. I have had one parent of after school siblings who didn't let her children watch any TV. Mum especially didn't like Tracey Beaker as she thought it was a bad influence on her children.

mysleighscalldtrev Thu 13-Dec-12 12:19:30

I don't have a specific 'policy' but the television is only on for the last half hour of the time I care for the children - approx 17:45 for cbeebies, but nothing regular. I tend to put it on for r&r before home, once evrything is done. No different from an adult watching tv after work. During meals its peace and quiet, a story CD or classic fm. If you have a problem most nannies/childminders would far rather you said, rather than it simmering away only to come out when you are really annoyed.
Cm's/nannies using the tv as childcare is unacceptable, regardless of what the parents do when they get home!

lechatnoir Thu 13-Dec-12 14:26:20

I had a tv policy but got rid of it as the amount minded children watch it was irrelevant IMO. I had a rule for my own children if no tv before 5:30 on a school day so this applies to everyone else too & as this is tea time it's usually only those staying beyond 6 that watch any.

legopiecemeetbarefeet Thu 13-Dec-12 21:53:02

Im a new childminder and to be honest when the children first came to me , in Spetember, there were a total of 6 children spread over the days. Only one of them had ever been to a childminder before and they were all only children.

The lack of TV really freaked them out, so i put it on to settle them, but i turned the volume down really low. Kept it on childfreindly channels, that dont show news or adverts or anything. But I wouldnt let the children watch it IYSWIM, i would encourage them into the activity we are doing. I also have an adjoing room, which i play childrens cd music (from the ELC) and we are often in there out of sight of the TV.

Then i started to change the programmes we actively watched and started taping through the wormhole with Morgan freeman, and we watched that fast forwarding through the adverts. Three of the kids loved that more than cbeebies!

But then i reflected on my practice and thought that i could do better. so once all the children had been with me for 6 weeks we went 'cold turkey' on the tv, just kept it switched off. the Children would stroke the tv, or tap it like an ipad! but again i would just encourage them into the activity we had going on.

So the situation now is no tv all day. until 4pm when my dd gets home from school and watches a little with the little ones. BUt ive noticed the little ones behaviour change completely. before they wouldnt pay much attention to it, walking crawling sitting with thier back to it, sometimes perhaps activley watching it for a few minutes before carrying on playing. NOw the second the tv goes on they are like zombies and are routed to the spot. even the baby shuffles around to see. You cant distract them for love nor money. they are effectivley 'in' the tv.

my dd has given up a lot sharing everything with the children coming in, and she hardly ever complains, even when things get ruined or broken or last minute changes due to a mindee. I want her to have her little programmes on. I could send her to my bedroom to watch a bit of tv in there so the CM kids dont see it, but from my dd's point of view that is a step too far! I want to see her too.

So although the CM kids are 'exposed' to the tv less... ie it isnt on as much... I feel they have become more dependent on it, and are paradoxically watching MORE because they zombie in front of it.

I'm interested in putting this point forward to OFSTED when they do my inspection, but I'm scared that they would 'mark me down for it' so i dont know what to do for the best!

I'd appreciate any thoughts (sorry this was long)!

PositiveOutlook Sat 15-Dec-12 14:20:05

OP, I think that because you have found a cm that you 'adore' you have lost sight of what your cm is supposed to be doing for you. She is not your friend. You are paying her to provide the highest possible level of care for your child. You don't allow your child to watch tv at home and you are obviously not happy with the amount of time your child watches tv at cm's. You should have a professional relationship with your cm and be able to speak to her about any aspect of your child's care. If the tv is on because she can't cope with the children in her care then perhaps she has taken on too much, how does she manage on trips out to groups etc. If I were you I would seriously think about whether she is meeting the needs of your child? You have said you are worried about rocking the boat with your cm by approaching her but not about the impact on your child.

BTW, I'm a cm.

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