I was recently reading an article in Canadian Living about ‘The benefits of family meal’s as I’m a big believer in the importance of this.
One of the points in the article was about the negative effects of eating dinner in front of the TV. Along with that they provided some statistics that really surprised me:
Is it just me, or does that seem like too much television?
Okay, so maybe I’m at the other extreme and more of a TV Nazi with my kids but that still seems like a lot, especially for the kids under three.
When Keyan was one, the only time I let him watch the tube was when I needed to cut his nails, because that’s the only way he would sit still and that was about once a week. Or if he was hysterically upset and I couldn’t get him to calm down, pictures and music of animals on the big screen seemed to do the trick.
After Kyah came along and I was often alone putting two kids to bed at night, so I would let Keyan watch a half hour pre-recorded program while I put Kyah to bed. During the day, I would also let him play toddler games on the computer for about 20 minutes, while I nursed and put Kyah down for her morning nap.
Now that Keyan is 4, I usually let him watch about half an hour to 45 minutes of his favorite (pre-recorded) shows 4 times a week and let him play on the computer for half an hour twice a week. A couple of days a week when I need to shower and wash my hair, I’ll let Keyan and Kyah watch half and hour to 45 minutes of kids stuff on YouTube. So that’s about 5-6 hours a week, if my calculations are correct. Of course that doesn’t include what happens when they visit grandparents, but that’s a whole different post.
And I will admit, that with Kyah, I was a little more lenient with the television watching, just because it seemed to happen with the second child.
After reading the article, I decided to re-research the positive and negative effects of young kids watching TV, because maybe I was being to strict?
Here’s what I found:
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids older than two should watch no more than two hours of TV a day. And kids under two shouldn’t watch any television because studies show it hampers brain development. (Oops, but the kids seem okay.)
LiveStrong.com lists these as the negatives and positives:
So what do you think? Do you have a system to how the TV/computer are utilized in your home by the kids? What do you think works best? Or is all of this just being to protective and controlling of our kids? I’d love to hear what you think.