How much tv?

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  • How much tv do you let your kids watch? I have had to bite the bullet so to speak and give in to them watching half an hour a day. Its become a big issue in our house recently, probably because its winter and the kids are not playing outside as much. My youngest is happy to come home from school and spend time with me reading, doing arts and crafts or playing board games, but my eldest just seems to be pulling away from me at the moment.
    She is almost 10, and I think I have to accept that shes growing up and going through changes, but she prefers to spend time in her bedroom listening to music, writting or doing her own thing, and has started asking more and more if she can play video games or watch tv. She says I dont see it from her side, all her friends have mobile phones, full cinema set ups in their bedrooms, playstations etc.
    She used to love coming home from school and doing stuff with me and her sister, but she doesnt even want to make apple crumble with us anymore and thats her favourite. I feel really lost and dont know what to do, I undertand that she is getting to the age where she wants a bit of her own space, but the fact that I am quite strict in the amount of tv she watches and refusing to let her have a mobile is really coming between us at the moment. I dont know if I should just give in and let her have a tv in her room, but I worry that if I do that I will hardly see her at all.

    Any advice or suggestions? whats your view on kids and tv/mobile phones?

  • i'm not a parent, so i can't advise you from personal experience, but i've worked with kids for many years, so i'll have a go at advising from that experience instead.

    as far as i'm concerned you seem to be doing all the right things.

    it is natural for children, as they get older, to know their own minds better and want different things to what you want for them. it is also incredibly important for children to fit in with their friends at that age, and if they see themselves as being slightly different, (e.g. not having a mobile phone) it can cause them alot of worry.

    you say that all her friends have tv's/videos/playstations in their rooms. i'll bet her friends spend the majority of their time in their rooms, and socialising with their family members is probably not a regular activity. i don't see how that can be healthy for them. so in the short term your daughter might resent you for not allowing her to be like her friends, but in the long term it is probably in her best interest.

    i was discussing with a friend at work last night the relationship between imagination and how much tv a child watches. it was a long discussion so i wont go into it now, but the general consensus was the less tv a child watches, the more capable they are of entertaining themselves with imaginative games.

    you say you put a half hour limit on tv. by societies standards, that seems to be an incredibly short amount of time, (though personally i think its a great idea.) is there any way you can compromise and make deals with your daughter over this one, e.g. she can increase her veiwing time by helping out around the house or spending more time with the family?

    i wouldn't say tv was all bad though. if i had kids i would be happy for them to sit down in front of documentaries and educational programmes. i would not be happy for them to rot their minds in front of reality tv and soap operas though. maybe a compromise can be reached that she can watch a little more so long as its not all crap?

    anyways, hope some of this is of use. good luck!

    peace and love
    stardust
    xxx

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • I just thought I would say that I think if you have a rising ten year old ,watching only half an hour of tv a day, that you are doing a great job

    Throughout the christmas holiday I let my boys watch 2 hours a day:o ....and it seemed to me that we were doing well compared to a lot of their friends!!

    Especially as they get older I think it's normal for children to want to join in with what their peer group are doing.....my eleven year old wanted to watch the x factor so that he could join in the discussions at school about it:vomit: .......I ended up watching it with him ( noone else in the house could bare the thought of it!) and we actually had a fun time!

    Just thought I'd add that we don't do tvs in bedrooms though, it just seems so isolationist, at least if theres one tv in the house, the kids have to learn about choosing programmes and sharing turns on it.

  • Like Stardust, I don't have kids either, so I just have experienceless opinions!! I also agree with what she's said - compromise. It's difficult with kids in the modern world, all their friends have everything that they don't, their friends talk about what's on tv, what games they play etc etc, it can be very isolating when you can't be involved in that. So I think it's about balance, give her a bit more of what she wants but in return you want something back, make it an exchange but maybe empower her to choose what she wants to do, act like it's on her terms and I imagine she'll probably feel better about it. Ultimately, you are parenting her and guiding her but she is also a person too. So it's give and take but don't give in completely! She may even find that the more tv she watches, the more she misses doing the old stuff with you!

  • yeah tv's in bedrooms is not a good idea i think. Makes for easier access and therefore more likely to watch more. I never had a tv in my bedroom and i made a right fuss because of it but not for very long.

  • I let the children watch what they like and have never restricted their access on a timed basis, only ever as punishment.

    The girls have had a tv in their room for 2 years now, and I will say rarely watch it, except when their friends visit.

    As long as they have access to their programes in the living room they will be less inclined to retire to their bedroom, you can keep an eye on what they are watching and they might feel more inclined to join in what you are doing.

    I do feel we are a bit paranoid about the tele, ok don't waste your life away in front of it, but what is actually wrong with a couple of hours entertainment a day. I still have very fond memories of some of the tele I watched as a child and I can't rationalise how this has affected me adversely.

    To write it all off as bad is I believe a mistake, a lot of childrens tele is very educational in a behavioural way (?). There are a lot of story lines about friendship and how to behave properly to people.

  • it comes down to how you live your life at the end of the day..
    i think children can only follow your example..
    if you never watch tv..then they will probably watch very little..
    if you are always watching tv or films or logging on to the pc ..
    then it can be only fair that they can do the same..


    if its an issue of culture..and they just want to join in with what all the other kids get to do school...then you have an issue
    and you have to ask yourself a few simple questions
    1...in the old days when there was no tv..everything was fine because everyone was the same and all the kids played outside together..
    the world has changed...if you stop your kids watching tv..then leave them with noone to play with coz ur busy..and every other kid in the community is indoors watching tv..then i class that as torture
    2..do you have the time to spend with your kids ..the time they deserve with other humans
    3..do you live in a community where you want your kids to be part of it..or do you want to make life as hard as possible for them ,coz u belive it builds character.
    4...how are you teaching them ..at the exact times when they want to watch tv..what is so important that they will miss if they watch a little tv ???

  • just reread your first post
    i sympathise..
    but 10 year olds change
    you have to face the reality that shes reaching the age where everything you wanna do is uncool. espeacially with a younger sibling and your time is required there..
    you sound like youve done a superb job raising your children..
    but i think you have to face the facts that you have to now let go of her quite a lot..
    its only a few more years and youll be back here going i dont like her boyfriend
    hes a bad influence ..what do i do lock her up???

  • Thanks for all your comments, we had a chat about the tv situation the other day and have reached a compramise that Beth seems happy with. I still wont let her have a tv in her room, but have agreed that the 2 programmes that all her school friends watch (lizzie maguire and the sleep over club) she can watch also. I am also happy with her watching things like art attack and the kids animal programmes that are on. There is a new reality tv show that starts on Saturday about ice skating or something, she has asked if she can watch that because yes you guessed it, all her friends will be, so I said that I will let her watch it as long as she is happy to have me watch it with her and we all cuddle up on the sofa.
    The phone issue is still a no go, but I told her we would talk about it again when we move. At the moment the kids are safe to play out and I always know where they are, we are surrounded by barb wire fence, patrol dogs and guards and all people on base need to have a valid entry pass, plus the strict 10mph speed limit. Its going to come as one hell of a shock when the saftey net goes in the summer and we are out in the real world. I feel my over protective mother instincts boiling up already! I will also have to start locking cars, doors and windows again, what a bummer. :(

  • and iv just read the who are you post..
    i can see that this issue is a difficult one for you to deal with..
    so i again state you have done a superb job..
    the fact that you do and are willing to spend so much of your time with your children is stupendous..
    tv has its negatives..
    but i cant see you letting your children being couch pototoes that you ignore..
    so the answer is yes give her what she wants,
    in her own room even..
    but make sure you watch what she is watching ...
    talk to her about what she watches ..
    and if you give her this option ,,i would like to believe that se realises that you are much more fun..and comes back downstairs to play with you..
    my kids have the tv on all the time..
    but if they have the choice they never chose tv over me..or thier friends..
    my only problem with them watching tv..is my willingness to do something they want..
    so the problem is not the tv...its with me and my wife..
    and i think thats a problem that you can handle for yourself quite well

  • god youve spent youre life in some funny situations havent you..
    no dont get a mobile...
    the bullying that goes on with them is terrible
    you get one and if she ever goes out give it to her ..
    dont let her have one that becomes a privacy issue ...that you fight over coz u want to see what she is doing..

  • Thanks gratefulkm, I really appreciate your posts, everyone has been really supportive since I joined the site and sort of dropped my life into their laps lol. Yes, I have been in some odd situations, I seem to have veered from one extreme to the other, I cant wait until we find something thats just in between. Thats all I really want, just some middle ground. I am going to miss the security of the forces, but to have our own place and our own life will be amazing. I am trying to look at it as a positive change and a fresh new start, I am shitting bricks mind you but have been through, and come through, much worse! Here's to the future and to hell with the past :)

  • whats wrong with a mobile? i know people that waste loads of money on them but apart from that i can't see whats wrong with them. do 9 year olds have moblies now? haha i feel old and im really not lol. but still at that age itl just be texting her friends every now and then, which theres no harm in.

    i think shes just growing up and wanting to fit in at school, nobody wants to feel different so it makes sense that shes going to want a tv, play station etc although ive never had a tv in my room and i have never wanted one either, the one in the living room is nice so im not paying for another smaller one. and i never had a playstation at all cos i think they are pointless. i think half an hour is very low but then if you spend a lot of time with her its not like shes wondering around with nothing to do, although it seems at that age and up nobody wants to spend time with their family. i dont think you should just give in but don't come accross as the enemy because things will get worse. show her your her friend. i love my mum loads but i feel we drifted apart when i was younger because theres so many things i don't feel like i can talk to her about that i wish i could but i just dont feel close enough. tell her you understand that shes growing up and wants more space but you just don't want her to waste her life away. if she has lots of hobbies or school clubs then thats good.

  • i have just realised you pmd me on the hipforums ages ago and i sent you one back and then you never replied :(

  • Hannah! my god I am so so sorry! I havent been to hipforums in a long while, I got banned ages ago for voicing an opinion that didnt quite fit! I couldnt view my pm's and my account was deleted, luckily I had a few e mail addresses from people I met on there so we managed to keep in touch but I never got yours before I was thrown out!
    I hope your doing ok and I am chuffed that you found this site! stay in touch and hopefully we can chat a bit more :)

    take care sweetie xxx

  • haha aww no worries lol, good to know you didn't just think i was some freak that you didnt want to talk to :)