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Nursery and TV - what should I say?

(7 Posts)
AKMD Tue 11-Oct-11 12:38:21

DS is 19mo and has been going to nursery for a year. He loves it, the staff are excellent - very caring and fun - and, after a brief struggle of wills over BLW at the beginning, are very supportive of my parenting choices. DS is in the baby room for roughly ages 0-2 but they have just started getting all the children across the various rooms to eat together, presumably to encourage the little ones to pick up the habit of using cutlery and to encourage social skills. Fantastic. The only thing is, when I took DS into the dining room the other day, a member of staff was just putting on a DVD for the children to watch while eating. I did some subtle nosing and found out that this is standard for all mealtimes. I'm not very happy about it as I don't want him to watch TV until he is old enough for us to watch a program together, then talk about it so that he knows what is real and what is not. There is also research to show that TV for under-2's is potentially harmful. On an adult level, I think watching the TV while eating is a bit off anyway and am definitely of the school of thought that, as a default position, meals are for eating together and socialising as a family, ideally round a table. I do want to say something but after the battle over BLW last year, I really don't want to get a rep as the pushy mother who is always causing problems. I really like this nursery and wouldn't pull DS out over this, but I would so much prefer that a member of staff sat with the children and facilitated conversation rather than sticking on a DVD. Any ideas on how I should approach this?

inmysparetime Tue 11-Oct-11 21:17:02

Could you arrange a meeting with the manager to talk it over, perhaps after dropping off your DC? I have worked in several nurseries and never seen TVs on during meals, so YANBU to be concerned, and the manager should be aware that this is happening and causing concern to parents. Explain it like you have here, and it should be received well.

HoneyPablo Wed 12-Oct-11 07:41:38

Don't feel that you are being the awkward parent. watching tv while eating is really not on. Like you say, the staff need to be sitting with the children and talking to them. I am wondering if the new lunch arrangements is more to do with managing staff ratios than children learning from each other. The nursery may be putting all the children together so that they don't have to use cover staff to maintain the ratios over the staff breaks.
I would definitely be questioning the manager. This is really bad practice, on so many levels.

AKMD Wed 12-Oct-11 09:15:01

Thanks guys. If it were just over breakfast I could see the logic because the nursery also runs a breakfast club for the adjoining infant an junior schools and I know lots of children watch cartoons in the mornings while having their breakfast, but having it on for lunch and tea as well seems bizarre. There's a parents evening coming up next week so I think that's the best setting to discuss it.

Groovee Thu 13-Oct-11 20:12:00

I've never heard of a tv in nursery during lunch time eating. I wouldn't be happy. The only time we used a tv in the preschool room was the day of the world cup opening match in 1998 as Scotland were playing and loads of the children wanted to watch it.

RitaMorgan Thu 13-Oct-11 20:16:12

Agree with Honey that this sounds like a staffing issue - keep all the children together and occupied so staff can have breaks/clean rooms/get on with paperwork.

wearymum200 Thu 13-Oct-11 20:21:07

I would stick to your guns. I would be very cross if Dc aged under 2 were regularly parked in front of a DVD player at nursery, let alone at meal times. Given that you're probably working, this is DC best chance for sociable meals.
Neither of my DC watched TV in nursery AFAIR; DVD appears occasionally in pre-school, but that it when nursery and preschool children are apart (they are together for breakfast)

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