TV at daycare — The Bump
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TV at daycare

Does your child watch TV at a daycare center?  I am sticking to the no TV until 2 and then probably very limited after that.  

I had dinner with a friend last night who has plugged her kid into Baby Einstein since he was 1 month.  TV on non-stop.  He is now 4 and doesn't want to play outside for more than 20 minutes even though he has every toy imaginable out there. He would rather be in the house in front of the TV.  

Now he is having problems at daycare. Hitting, spitting, etc. She takes away TV when he's bad but feels like it punishes her more than him.  I think she must use it as a babysitter.

She asked "what do you do all day if you don't watch TV?" I was kinda surprised she can't think of anything to do all day with a 4 year old.

So I told her that I'm sticking to the no-TV policy and she said "Well, he'll watch it at daycare so..."  WHAT?!!!! We are switching DS to the daycare she was using and I didn't see any TVs in there.  They better not be watching TV when I'm paying them big bucks to stimulate, educate, and socialize my child.  She said her kid definately was watching TV at that daycare and his new daycare watches a full length movie most days. Yesterday it was Lion King!!!! I can't believe that she was ok with that.  

I could see the older kids, maybe, on a rainy day, watching a short (30 minute) video. But definitely not my toddler.

What do you think? Do you think TV at daycare is ok? Am I a crazy TV hater? 

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Re: TV at daycare

  • I'm not a huge fan of tv, and in our house we did no tv until DS1 was 1, and we still limit his watching. But I know it's on at daycare (in home daycare, not center). It is on there a bit more than I would like, but he only goes one or two days a week since DH is mostly home with the kids. I'm ok with some tv in home daycares because around lunch time it really does allow the daycare provider to have some time to get the food ready for the kids. I wouldn't be ok with full length movies every day though.
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  • I am ok with a little here and there... I watch cartoons with Madi on Saturday mornings while we have our coffee/tea together.

    That said I think at DC there should be enough going on that TV does not need to be a part of day to day routine. at the in home DC DD is at they will have a rainy day movie or maybe watch some Toopy and Binoo together while waiting for lunch to cook, but I am okay with that. If I was paying a TV to babysit my kid though that would be a different story.

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  • My DD is at an inhome daycare and they watch a movie a day during naptime.  So the kids who don't sleep watch the movie, the rest sleep.  Honestly, there aren't that many kids who don't sleep because they run themselves ragged playing in the mornings. 

    It doesn't bother me.  And they don't watch the movie until they move out of the pnps, so DD was 2 when she started doing this.  And DD sleeps, so she doesn't really watch the movie.

    In all honesty, we watch movies on the weekends too.  So it would be a little hypocritical if I did care about her watching tv at daycare.

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  • We did no TV at all (as in, if she looked at it while we were watching it, we turned her head) until she was 6 mo, and no shows for her until she was 1 yo.

    The licensed child care centers that DD has been to have all limited television to a maximum of 30 min per day, and those were exceptions, and always educational. And the teachers made a point of letting us know when they were watching them.

    The only exception to the 30 min rule was when she was in an in-home center around Christmas time and they watched a 1 hour Christmas movie, and the lady informed me ahead of time in case I had any objection.

    Her current preschool I believe has the same policy of 30 min per day, but I've never even seen a TV in the place.

    At her (unlicensed) sitter's they watch television all. day. long. and I noticed a definite change in DD's behavior once she started going there. One of the big reasons she now goes to a preschool 3x/week and only goes to the sitter 1x/week. And her behavior has improved since we made that change.
  • Sounds like you are a bit extreme.

    DD watched a bit of Baby Einstein when she was under 1, but it never held her attention for long. After 1, she watches more, but it's usually an hour while I get ready in the morning or get dinner together. It's usually something educational, like Bubble Gupies or Dora. There is no TV at her pre-school.

    It has been proven that kids learn more from real live play than from the TV, but DH and I watched far more tv than kids do now and we both turned out fine. I think like everything else it needs to be in moderation.

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  • Leap08Leap08 member
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    Our center generally has some cartoons on in the morning when kids are just arriving and having breakfast. Some of the kids sit and watch others (like my daughter) aren't really interested. About once a month they'll have a "movie day" where they watch some little kid movie in the morning. My daughter isn't really interested in TV, so she usually gets up and plays during that time. I'm okay with a little TV, so the cartoons for 15-30 minutes in the morning and the occasional movie day don't bother me. Usually my daughter won't watch more than 10-15 minutes anyway. She'd much rather play or look at books.
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  • We started putting on shows for DD around 18 mos, but until she was closer to 2, she really wasn't interested.  Now, she loves Dora and Diego and I couldn't survive weekends w/o them.  However, I'd be very annoyed if I were paying DC and she was watching TV on a regular basis there.  For an inhome, with only 1-2 providers, I'd be OK w/ occassional TV in the morning during drop-off or while they were prepping lunches, etc. But, I'd expect less that ~60 minutes a day on a normal day.

    DD watches about 30/mins at night during the week and on weekends - maybe 30-60 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night. 

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  • I'm pretty anti-TV, especially before age 2, but I also know that the TV is on at least for a little bit every day at daycare (in home, not a center).  It's not my favorite thing about the daycare, but there is a lot I like about the daycare so it's something I've chosen not to worry about.  My kids generally do not watch even one minute of TV at home during the week.  We don't even have a TV on our main living floor.  There is one in the basement and one in our bedroom on the second floor.  We also don't have cable so kids programmming is essentially limited to PBS.  My point is that they don't see it as something to do at home so they entertain themselves playing with their toys or outside or whatever.  So even though they watch it at daycare it has never been an option at home so they don't even ask to watch it at home. 

    On the weekends they do watch cartoons for a little bit in the mornings while we wake up and my 5 year old will sometimes watch a movie while my 2 year old is sleeping.  But they know TV is limited to those times. 

    I wouldn't worry too much about it.  If it isn't a thing to do at home they won't even think about it, even if they watch it elsewhere.  They'll learn to entertain themselves just fine. 

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  • Our DCP turns Baby Einstein on after 5:00.  That doesn't bother me.  I'm a believer that anything in moderation is okay.  I'm home with DS 2 days a week and I'll have the TV on in the morning but turn it off in the afternoon.  DS really doesn't seem to care about the TV unless there is a song from a commercial that he wants to dance to.
  • We also have started to watch Sesame Street while getting ready in the morning before he goes to daycare.  As well, we have Baby Einstein DVDs.  Sesame Street and Baby Einstein DVDs are more kid friendly than the TV that we watch as adults  in the living room.  And our daycare does not have a TV --it is really structured with meals, play, and other activities such as art, reading books, etc.  I feel he gets the best of both worlds. 
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  • There is no TV at our daycare. I'm not sure if they play videos for the older kids, but there's definitely no TV for the kids under age 2.

    At home, we will sometimes have the TV turned on when LO is in the room, but those are shows for us (the adults) to watch, and he's not interested in them. He will watch the occasional 3-5 minute video on YouTube, but he doesn't have the attention span to sit and watch anything longer than that.
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  • imagejenuine:

    Sounds like you are a bit extreme.

    DD watched a bit of Baby Einstein when she was under 1, but it never held her attention for long. After 1, she watches more, but it's usually an hour while I get ready in the morning or get dinner together. It's usually something educational, like Bubble Gupies or Dora. There is no TV at her pre-school.

    It has been proven that kids learn more from real live play than from the TV, but DH and I watched far more tv than kids do now and we both turned out fine. I think like everything else it needs to be in moderation.

    Or she's just following the AAP's guidelines which say NO TV under 2 and no more than 1-2 hrs per day after age 2.

    OP - we're sticking to those guidelines too and definitely wouldn't want LO watching TV at DCP, especially not an entire movie every day. That's just way too much in our opinion.

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  • DS's first center had a TV, and while they said they only watched a movie on a rainy day or something, it seemed like every time I dropped him off or picked him up, the TV was on. It was a big part of why we left that center. His new center doesn't have a TV at all.

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  • No TV at school and I would not be ok with it.  We watch tv in the mornings if he gets up before I get myself ready.  We don't watch TV in the evenings until he goes to bed.  I am ok with a little TV and movies on the weekend.
     
  • DS didn't watch TV at DC until he was in the 2 year old room. They watch videos on whatever the theme of the week is. Like they were learning about construction/building one week and watched a video on construction equipment. It seems like they watch a video 1 time every couple of weeks. I am fine with that. DS watches TV at home normally 1 hour or 2 depending on the day and some days none at all. But he watched DVR'd Blue's Clues, Seasame Streets etc.
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  • I'm with you!  Definitely no tv at our center.  DD#2 gets to watch a show (like Backyardigans, 20 min) once or twice a week, as a reward.  And a movie once a weekend, when our friends bring their kids over.  DD#1 just hasn't been interested.  If all of our friends' kids lay down to watch a movie before bed, she'll lay there for a few minutes, and then gets bored and leaves.  
  • No TV at all is one of the best things about using a daycare center, in my opinion.  My DS doesn't watch much TV at all at home, and he loves to play outside more than anything.

    Our nieces go to an in-home sitter and I know they watch quite a bit of TV.  They LOVE watching TV at home, too.

    Perhaps 30-60 minutes of educational programming is okay on rainy or super-hot days, but if you're paying someone to watch and interact with your child, they shouldn't be parking him/her in front of the TV all day.


  • I have absolutely no problem with TV. My boys watch it all the time as did I growing up.  TV can be interactive, educational and fun.  I say ease up a bit - (IMHO).

    That said, I would not send my kid to any daycare where TV was an option outside of a rainy day movie once in a while.  I am not paying people to sit on THEIR a$$ses.

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  • imagejenuine:

    Sounds like you are a bit extreme.

    DD watched a bit of Baby Einstein when she was under 1, but it never held her attention for long. After 1, she watches more, but it's usually an hour while I get ready in the morning or get dinner together. It's usually something educational, like Bubble Gupies or Dora. There is no TV at her pre-school.

    It has been proven that kids learn more from real live play than from the TV, but DH and I watched far more tv than kids do now and we both turned out fine. I think like everything else it needs to be in moderation.

    Our kids are doomed. And now I have the Bubble Guppie song in my head.....!!!
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  • I am not a huge fan of TV at Daycare. My son didn't watch TV until he was about 18 months old and then it was only 5 min here or there. He never really got into it. His current daycare (he's been there for a year) is an in home daycare with only 3 other kids. They only watch tv from 12:45pm to 1:00pm when my provider cleans up after lunch. Then it is lights out for nap time. They also get a movie afternoon 1 friday a month.

    Usually on the weekend we have the TV on as background noise Nick Jr or Disney or CARS but he doesn't sit and watch it all day. He'll watch 10-15 minutes then get up and play then watch a little more.

    Now that the weather is nicer we are outside a lot on the weekends.

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  • My DS attends a home daycare 5 days/week.  They do have t.v. on there at times; I don't have any illusions that it would never be on.  My daycare provider loves to be outdoors- so they get a good mix of outside time also.  She does crafts, books, etc. also so I know he's not in front of the t.v. all day. 

    My DS LOVES to be outdoors and plays indoors just fine without the t.v. on.  I don't have any worries so far with the situation.  Just sounds like a matter of difference of opinion between the other mother and yourself.  My suggestions would be to plainly ask your anticipated daycare provider about the issue.

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  • DS is not quite 1.  At home he now watches Sid the Science Kid, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Sportscenter.  No more than one show per day and never in the evenings.  Like several pps, mostly just while getting ready in the am.

    I've seen 2 TVs at his daycare, but I've never seen them on during my random visits other than during morning breakfast (before 8) and evening pick-up (after 4:30).  I feel it's a matter of how they use them.  If you are 100% anti-TV, I would let the center know your position.  I have a few 'quirks' of my own and I feel my center has been very accomodating. 

  • DS's daycare has "movie room" time during early drop off (before 7 :30). I am fine with this , but he didn't get to start going to the movie room till he was 2. I think it would have been something that bothered me before that, although he did watch some tv at home .
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  • I am rather anti TV myself. DH is a bit more lenient. If DD is up early on a Saturday or Sunday and it's his turn to get up with her, they'll probably spend some time (usually less than an hour) snuggled up on the couch watching cartoons before I get up. But that's pretty much all the TV she gets to watch. She is in a fairly large center and there are no TV's there. At least none that I know of.
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  • In all fairness though, I'd like to add that if I were home with the kids all day, I might be tempted to let them watch a show or two during the day so I could get things done (DD never was big on naps so I couldn't count on nap time to really do anything)
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  • I have no issues with my kid watching TV. He still loves to be outside and it hasn't effected his behavior at all.
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  • ENevENev member
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    My son is in in-home daycare so I imagine he watches a little TV during the day, but I don't think it's much. Same with at home - maybe a few minutes in the morning while we're getting ready, one show on the weekend here and there that he enjoys, which we usually watch with him. (Sesame Street, Jack's Big Music Show, etc.)

    I sort of think parents who say "no TV whatsoever" are kind of extreme. I look at it how I look at myself - do I want to be stimulated ALL day, EVERY day, or do I need a little downtime/tune-out time sometimes? Heck yeah I do. It doesn't mean I don't love learning, being outside, etc. Everything in moderation. 

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  • I don't think you're extreme - I think your friend is extreme.  We also have a family member who's kids are in front of the TV 24/7.  When their DD was younger (like 12-24 mo) the mom would work at home in the office while their DD was in the living room in a huge playpen filled with battery operated toys with the Disney Channel on the big screen TV.  All day.  Every day.  Their DD is the same age as my DD and is totally out of control with really poor verbal skills and having problems in preschool.  I sort of dread when they come over for playdates because we have to "baby proof" the house first.  And this girl is almost 4.  Now they have a 6 month old baby and she (the mom) was just telling me how well behaved he is.  "He'll just sit in his stroller in front of the TV allll day.  Never complains!"  OMG!

    In our house, DD watches about 30-45 min per day.  We choose the programs, and never anything with commercials.  On the weekends it may be more or it may be less.  At her school they'll watch movies when it's raining or extremely hot.  I think it's fine in moderation.  

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  • DS watches 1/2 hr or less of TV per day at home.  We DVR Sesame Street and turn it on sometimes while making dinner. Other times, he is busy playing with toys or wants to "help" me cook. 

    He goes to a large DC center; they watch a 20 minute video once per week on Friday afternoon, but only if they can't go outside because of weather. 

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  • Thanks for all the replies! I know I'm a bit extreme on this. I'm a school counselor and I've read the potential links to ADHD and other behavior problems so I feel like it's something easy I can do to limit that exposure for my child.  Don't get me wrong. I'm a TV junkie!  I grew up TV 24/7 and video games until my thumbs would cramp from too much Mario but I just want better for my kid. I hated playing outside as a kid and I'm not particularly comfortable in social situations and I'm sure the TV didn't help those issues.

    My husband is extremely overweight and also loves the TV/computer. I want my son to have a more active lifestyle. We watch several shows and enjoy Facebook/Netflix/YouTube, etc. But it's always while DS is napping or asleep for the night.

    DS plays in the bathroom with a basket of toys while we get ready in the morning.  He plays in the kitchen or living room while I'm getting lunch ready.  It's never been an issue of needing the TV to entertain him so I can do something.   

    I know everyone has their own beliefs about the TV and I'm totally fine with her personal beliefs to let him watch TV at home. I was just shocked by the daycare factor.

    I'm surprised by how many of you have TV in your "center" daycare.  I understand an in-home daycare is going to have a TV. That's normal.

    I worked in a daycare in college with a no-TV policy and it was never hard trying to entertain or get things done without the TV.  We were getting paid to interact with the kids. Not to sit and watch them watch TV.  I do thing TV is educational but in extremely limited situations and not until they are older.

    Anyway, this post has gotten long too. Thanks for the responses.  I will definitely talk to the director if I see a TV. I was there dropping off some paperwork and didn't see one. 

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  • There are no TV's at our center. That being said we do watch Thomas the Train on netflix at home. Not every day but a few times a week.

  • I'm sure they have one somewhere, but I have never seen a TV at our current center.  Ever.

    At our old center they watched movies some of the days that they weren't able to go outside to play (due to weather).  But even then, it seemed pretty rare.  Even on those days they usually played music and danced more than anything.

    DS watches TV in the am while I finish getting around for work, and occassionally in the evenings if we've all had a long day.  But I would not be happy to find out that he was watching TV at daycare on the regular too.  There shouldn't be that much downtime at daycare where plopping the kids in front of a TV is necessary. 

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  • Our daycare has TV one week a quarter, for maybe an hour or two a day during that week.  It's a week where the teachers do "rollover" which is a major top to bottom cleaning of all the classrooms, changing of all the decorations (seasonal/artwork).  But the TV is only in the 2's room and up.  DD gets some TV at home on the weekends but gets bored in under an hour of cartoons and would very much prefer to be outside playing. 

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  • ppantsppants member
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    My 5 yr old twins watch a movie one day/week at their daycare center.  At home they watch TV while doing their breathing treatments (30 min twice/day).  Other than that, the TV is OFF while the kids are awake.  It was a transition for DH and I since prior to DCs we had the TV on all the time, but I'm glad it's off.  The kids listen more readily and we can play and do fun stuff instead.
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  • imageSpenjamins:

    I have absolutely no problem with TV. My boys watch it all the time as did I growing up.  TV can be interactive, educational and fun.  I say ease up a bit - (IMHO).

    That said, I would not send my kid to any daycare where TV was an option outside of a rainy day movie once in a while.  I am not paying people to sit on THEIR a$$ses.

    I agree with this.

  • shannmshannm member
    Long-Lasting Membership 5000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its

    DS does watch some tv at home (AM when I am getting ready, and some nights he will watch a bit while we prepare dinner or after we eat.)  He would much rather do an "activity" (coloring, puzzle, craft, etc..) or play outside.  He is currently at the park with DH as I make dinner tonight.

    Having said that, no way I would pay what we pay for kids to watch tv during daycare.  I am unaware of a time when they used any tv in the center.  I would be okay with very special occasions but that is it.   


  • No, our center has no TV and I wouldn't be comfortable with it at daycare...seems like it could be too much of a crutch for the providers, though if it were occasional or possibly in an inhome center, might feel different.

    We do let DS watch at home. Part of our morning 'routine' includes DS and DH snuggling in bed and watching Sesame Street and maybe a few minutes of the Wiggles or Chuggington...probably 30 mins tops. When he's having a rough day after daycare, sometimes he and I will lay on the couch and put on Sesame or something equal and cuddle. I figure that I need some downtime/mindless entertainment after work, sometimes he is just exhausted and cranky and needs to relax a bit. On the weekends, we bring him into bed with us for maybe 45mins or so and he watches Sesame or some other show.

    My thoughts are that he doesn't watch tv for the majority of the day, plays with other kids, learns, plays outside, etc etc so we're not doing any major damage. We also try and watch/snuggle with him while he's watching whenever possible so its not completely wasted TV time!

    M/C #1 BFP 5/26/08, missed m/c discovered 9w1d (blighted ovum) M/C #2 BFP 11/19/08, missed m/c discovered at 12w1d (triploidy) BFP!! 3/27 Due date 12/5/09 Benjamin Tate is here! Born 12-1-09, 9lbs 5oz, 22" via C-Section M/C #3: d/x ectopic, methotrexate given 2/11 BFP!! 7/12, due 3-21-12
  • imageFeb3:

    I don't think you're extreme - I think your friend is extreme.  We also have a family member who's kids are in front of the TV 24/7.  When their DD was younger (like 12-24 mo) the mom would work at home in the office while their DD was in the living room in a huge playpen filled with battery operated toys with the Disney Channel on the big screen TV.  All day.  Every day.  Their DD is the same age as my DD and is totally out of control with really poor verbal skills and having problems in preschool.  I sort of dread when they come over for playdates because we have to "baby proof" the house first.  And this girl is almost 4.  Now they have a 6 month old baby and she (the mom) was just telling me how well behaved he is.  "He'll just sit in his stroller in front of the TV allll day.  Never complains!"  OMG!

    In our house, DD watches about 30-45 min per day.  We choose the programs, and never anything with commercials.  On the weekends it may be more or it may be less.  At her school they'll watch movies when it's raining or extremely hot.  I think it's fine in moderation.  

    The thing is - the TV isn't the problem. The parents are. TV can be very interactive. Ignoring your kids while filling a room with eco-friendly wooden toys would have the same effect.

    Crappy parents are crappy parents. Good parents can have children who watch a lot of tv AND are well-adjusted, creative, inquisitive and well-behaved.  My kids are.

    image
  • erinmserinms member
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments 250 Love Its Photogenic

    I'm pretty extreme too, I guess.

    DS watches sesame street once per week (on my SAH day) and then might watch an extra PBS show after that while we get ready to leave for whatever outing we are going on.  Sometimes we'll watch a movie or show on the weekend, but not every week.

    On an airplane, all bets are off and he can watch for 5 hours straight if he wants!

    I would be very unhappy if there was TV at daycare.  There are just way too many other things for him to be doing there and at home.

    I don't judge people who choose to have more tv in their home (unless they use it constantly to babysit the kid), but for us we really tried to stick to no tv before 2 and now limited tv.  

  • imageSpenjamins:
    imageFeb3:

    I don't think you're extreme - I think your friend is extreme.  We also have a family member who's kids are in front of the TV 24/7.  When their DD was younger (like 12-24 mo) the mom would work at home in the office while their DD was in the living room in a huge playpen filled with battery operated toys with the Disney Channel on the big screen TV.  All day.  Every day.  Their DD is the same age as my DD and is totally out of control with really poor verbal skills and having problems in preschool.  I sort of dread when they come over for playdates because we have to "baby proof" the house first.  And this girl is almost 4.  Now they have a 6 month old baby and she (the mom) was just telling me how well behaved he is.  "He'll just sit in his stroller in front of the TV allll day.  Never complains!"  OMG!

    In our house, DD watches about 30-45 min per day.  We choose the programs, and never anything with commercials.  On the weekends it may be more or it may be less.  At her school they'll watch movies when it's raining or extremely hot.  I think it's fine in moderation.  

    The thing is - the TV isn't the problem. The parents are. TV can be very interactive. Ignoring your kids while filling a room with eco-friendly wooden toys would have the same effect.

    Crappy parents are crappy parents. Good parents can have children who watch a lot of tv AND are well-adjusted, creative, inquisitive and well-behaved.  My kids are.

     

    Um, I don't think we're in disagreement?  Obviously, the TV isn't turning itself on.  Clearly it's the parents who choose to plop their kids in front of it in order to avoid actually parenting them.  (Again, I'm only speaking of extreme cases here. My own DD watches TV!) 

    If you put a 1yo in a playpen with a bunch of toys, whether they're battery operated or not, she's going to start demanding some attention after a certain amount of time.  It's the TV that keeps the child in a zombie-like trance long enough for mom to put in a full day's work.  I don't know what your definition of "a lot" is, but there has to be a point where "a lot" becomes "too much."

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