How much is too much TV baby time?

Published August 10, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Victoria and Mommy 8-8-14If I read another article about how television damages our children’s way of thinking, I am literally going to scream. I mean, there is nothing wrong with watching an educational video with your grand child. Or am I wrong?

True, sitting your grand child in front of the TV so you can get the house done or chat with your friends online isn’t what this is about. Sure they want a bit of a break so they can do some personal things. Ok..ok this is what this article is about. I’ve read up on a few subjects and I think I have found an alternative way to appease both the parent and the child. I realize every generation after generation says the same thing: the younger generation is in a world of trouble. Yes. This is true as well. But as we help our children raise their children (in my case, they both live with me), I have to think like both a ‘grand parent’ and a ‘parent’ when Victoria is in my care. While my daughter is trying to spend quality time with her daughter before she goes to work or attends a class in college, I have to keep her mind occupied during my time with her.

I understand she is now 5 months old. Wow! Another month she will be half a year old! (But I digress.) I wish I had learn to do this when my daughter was her age. As many grandparents often do, I could kick myself in the seat of my pants when I think of all the things I feel like I ‘robbed’ my child when she was young. Thank (enter your deity here) I have been given the opportunity to rectify it through Victoria. I am not saying I was a neglectful mother. I was young and youthfulness isn’t always a good thing.

My sister who teaches children before they start kindergarten (to prepare them for that big milestone) told me before Victoria was born Victoria 8-8-14 IIthat their brains are evolving on a daily basis. That is kind of a ‘no-brainer’. In so many words, I believe the great Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You learn something new everyday”. But how can she learn something new if I don’t help initiate her learning process? Stick her in front of a television? That definitely won’t do. If I did that, I would be robbing another generation in my family of critical thinking and I don’t think that is fair. Not fair to my daughter, my grand daughter or to the world.

Schedules and routines are two different things I have found. A sleep schedule or an eating schedule is what Victoria follows (although it is very hard to follow when she is teething.) Routines are wonderful. They aren’t ‘time-pressing’ and easy to follow. I have a routine set up for her as soon as her mother leaves for work that doesn’t involve the television. I don’t want to fall into that trap which I rely on the television screen to occupy her time. I want her to imagine, explore and ponder. Yes. I realize that she is still 5 months…True eventually she will become engaged in her saturday morning cartoons or watch YouTube videos (under strict guidance) but I want to prolong this as long as I can. There is nothing wrong with playing with puzzles or reading a book. Giving them the initiative to use hand-and-eye coordination opens up a lot of new avenues. Self-disciple is paramount in anyone’s life and showing them early will help with their future. They also can become re-programmed to eventually become good listeners, learners, strengthen their fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, become more creative and help them find a way to have self-worth with a better sense of self.

As a grandparent, giving presents is what we live for, is it not? Giving the gift of ‘focusing’, ‘creative thought’ and cultivating it through the years is a present that is sure to develop self-assurance.

Victoria Renee 8-1-14http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/07/a-creative-alternative-to-baby-tv-time/

 

 

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6 comments on “How much is too much TV baby time?

    • Sometimes I feel guilty putting Victoria in front of my laptop (although I am sitting right next to her) while watching ‘Baby Einstein’. But I have noticed that certain parts of the video she laughs really loud and is showing me what her favorite parts are..I chalk it down to another way of communicating her likes and dislikes. So….TV isn’t bad at all..from a 5 month old’s perspective, I suppose. lol
      How are your grand babies doing, Joanne? 🙂

  • I tried to keep my children focused on learning activities while they were young (still try with the Teen), and that did mean certain shows on PBS (mostly…as my son from the age of 1-7 was addicted to Jeopardy! LOL) I was not raised with much TV as a young child, my mom focused on reading, puzzle play and taught me early on about my imagination; and I brought those experiences to my children. Now, being a young single parent, there were times where my children were allowed to watch too much tv as I was studying or cleaning the house…but those days were also then divided into play/learning time. I hope I balanced it out well. lol The manchild seems to have become obsessed with video games…and well, grama and papa bought him his first gaming systems. lol And that is where he was allowed to play it. The Teen, on the other hand, has become more involved in art and such. So, all I can do is pray I did right by them and whenever I am with my grandchildren, which is not often enough, I focus on them and keep them focused on doing something that does not include the tv. (Not always an easy task. lol)

    • That is so true! I am really trying to find things that Victoria and I can do together that doesn’t require the laptop (we don’t have cable) and believe it or not I find things every day to keep her busy! But I have to say I do sometimes rely on children’s programs. Victoria is interested in seeing live acting….not cartoons or puppets (or so I have noticed).

  • The typical question from my youngest grand is, “Grammy, can I play a puppy dog game on your computer?” The older one prefers her mom’s iPad, although I always remind her that I don’t have jurisdiction over that, as it is not mine. I think when they start resisting doing anything else besides whatever electronic gadget they are on, then it is too much.

    I’ve nominated you for a “Lovely Blog” Award, so if you choose to play along, Ty, head over to http://triggershorse.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/my-lovely-blog/ for the details. Hugs, Fawn

  • Agreed. And look at all the absolutely happy,’ healthy children who grew up with absolutely NO tv time whatsoever. Balance and moderation. I had a mix with my boys of educational time with me, cartoons while I did morning chores, creative times of story and art, lunch, their chores or nap time when younger and outdoor time, even as babies because natural sunshine is very important. You are caring and trying to influence both your daughter and grandchild in a positive way and kudos to you!

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