The TV Dilema: how do you manage it?

>> Feb 13, 2010

I shall be candid here and admit that I use TV as a babysitter.  There, it's out there now, I shall brace myself for the onslaught.

It isn't something I feel entirely happy about, I believe that some TV can be good for them, a lot of programs are educational and whilst The Girl isn't into learning as such, she has picked up a lot of counting from the TV (I was amazed that she had learnt to count to nine in Finnish the other day).  I also believe it helps her with her languages having both Finnish and English programs, I think it helps her separate them in her mind.

However, some days the TV can be on all almost all day and whilst they aren't watching it all the time I don't think that's a good thing.  So in an effort to stop this I have been trying to limit it, but am finding it hard to keep them entertained.  Take yesterday for example.

We got up around 7am and the TV went on whilst I went out to feed the horses and goat (not feasible to take them out with me), came in, made breakfast, responded to emails and stuff.

At 10am I turned it off and we did some crafts for about 2.5 hours.

We had lunch.

I filled a baby bath full of warm water and covered the kitchen floor in towels and they splashed around for an hour.

Then we put on a DVD.  Which they watched on and off whilst running around and playing.

We read some stories, made dinner, ate dinner.

Watched an hour of Disney Channel

Played, had a bath and went to bed at 7pm.

All in all that was around 5.5 hours of TV in a twelve hour period.  That's a lot, isn't it?  They recommend none for under 2's and a couple of hours at most for 2-4 year olds.  My kids are 16 months and 3.5 years.

Do you manage to keep the TV time down to the recommended amount?  How do you do it?  What do you do instead?

More family related questions:
Do You Let Your Kids Play Out?
Do You Eat Out Of Date Food
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