At-home dads: Tell me about your tv/computer use — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

At-home dads: Tell me about your tv/computer use

My hubby is a SAHD and I think he spends too much time watching tv and surfing the interwebs, when he could otherwise be engaged with our almost-3-year-old son.  Example, he'll watch a show on the computer in the kitchen while he does the dishes and makes breakfast while our son watches something on netflix in the other room or plays by himself.  Or when they sit down to eat breakfast or lunch together, they sit on the couch and our son watches something on netflix while my husband does stuff on the computer.  I feel like at those times, he could be talking with him, letting him help, teaching him, something.  I feel like if he were to add up all the time he spends watching tv or surfing the net, it would add up to several hours each day.  He also has 2-3 hours to himself most days while our son naps.  But I also know I don't see everything, and it's all-consuming being responsible for a tiny human all day.  Not trying to say he isn't doing a good job with our son, but I just wonder if our son is getting everything he should be out of being at home.

So I'm curious, if you stay at home with your kid(s), how much time do you spend entertaining yourself while the kids are around, and what are they doing while you are otherwise engaged?

Re: At-home dads: Tell me about your tv/computer use

  • slothful....love that word.

    If he is not getting shyt done around the house, then he is being slothy and he needs to pick up his game.  If he is keeping his game tight, and that is how he and the boy hangout, so be it.

    I don't worry too much about television at a young age.  Once my boy is old enough to run without jacking himself up, he will be outside all the time, so playing sports, or just playing outside, will be what occupies his thoughts, not Disney Channel.

    But I am not a SAHD.  Sometimes I wish I was, but if I was I would be keeping the house in order, so the television would be used to achieve that end game for sure.

    image

  • Thanks guys!  I XPd on the stay at home mom's board as well, just wanted multiple perspectives.  I'm definitely not trying to be a control freak and I get that we do things different ways, and I'm certainly not perfect.  And no, things don't always get done around the house and I think he would be much more productive if he would cut out some of the tv/computer time.  It's not like he's sitting on his a$$ while he does it, but I know he can't be mindful of what our son is up to / engaging with him if he's paying attention to something else.  He takes our son to playgroups and activities so I think he's ok socially, but I feel like there's a ton more my husband could do to help him learn things, or just play with him interactively as opposed to always by himself.  

     He's a great dad, but this is really bugging me, and I know no matter how I bring it up, it will be a fight.  I feel like as the working parent, my input is taken as criticism no matter how I phrase it.  Not sure how to suggest a solution without seeming like I'm trying to dictate how he spends his day.

  • Not a dad yet - not expecting to be a SAHD - but as long as I have enough time to watch football and play WoW - I am good.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • On the 2 days off I have (or will have again once my wife goes back to work), I spend some time on the computer, but I also spend time playing with my son, or taking him places like the zoo or children's museum.  Yes, he watches some TV, but for the most part his Disney Junior shows are on as background noise, so if he learns anything from hearing it by accident, it is cool.  I don't really watch any of my shows until he wakes from his nap.
  • There is a balance that your son needs.  He needs to be able to play by himself, it will likely help grow his imagination and will allow him to entertain himself easier.  However, he does need interaction with not only children (where the park or play groups are good things) but with your husband as well.  If they have interaction and play some,  it should be OK.
  • image polooo26:

    I hope that isn't what's going on because it was hard to watch that guy.

    That is exactly how I feel whenever I see that.  I want to smack them in the neck and scold them.

    image

  • image polooo26:
    image ladyjenna13:
    image polooo26:

    I hope that isn't what's going on because it was hard to watch that guy.

    That is exactly how I feel whenever I see that.  I want to smack them in the neck and scold them.

    And he'll be considered a good dad because he takes his kids to play. It's more like distracting them so he can do what he wants.

    When Jacob gets big enough to play at the park, it will be hard to tell who is having more fun....him or me.

    And the phone thing...what the hell??? Play with your kid and save the phone for the john or something.  Jeez...

    image

  • image EphalumpLove:

    Thanks guys!  I XPd on the stay at home mom's board as well, just wanted multiple perspectives.  I'm definitely not trying to be a control freak and I get that we do things different ways, and I'm certainly not perfect.  And no, things don't always get done around the house and I think he would be much more productive if he would cut out some of the tv/computer time.  It's not like he's sitting on his a$$ while he does it, but I know he can't be mindful of what our son is up to / engaging with him if he's paying attention to something else.  He takes our son to playgroups and activities so I think he's ok socially, but I feel like there's a ton more my husband could do to help him learn things, or just play with him interactively as opposed to always by himself.  

     He's a great dad, but this is really bugging me, and I know no matter how I bring it up, it will be a fight.  I feel like as the working parent, my input is taken as criticism no matter how I phrase it.  Not sure how to suggest a solution without seeming like I'm trying to dictate how he spends his day.

    Oh god, I would love to go into the SAHM board, flip the genders, and watch the flames fly. It sounds like you got some pretty good responses there though.

    You're never going to be 100% happy with the way he does Stay-at-home. It sounds like you need to let go of some control here. If you want to engage your husband about how much screen time your son is engaging in, that's a discussion worth having. But I would never dream of trying to micro-manage how my DW spends her time at home.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhqjipgCIAAOz7H.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • If he is almost 3, can't he be signed up for nursery school at least 2 days a week for stimulation?  I know of a similar situation with my coworker.  She and her then boyfriend had a son at 17.  He has never worked.  She is a total go-getter.  She is in online college full time, works full time at our crazy busy corporate and even has to travel once every 3 months. Hubby sits home with the 4 almost 5 yr old who has had no proper schooling to date.  Hubby gets too frustrated trying to teach the son anything so he doesn't even try. This almost 5 yr old is only just recently potty trained and up u til a month ago could only count to 7.  They don't have TV due to finances so instead of going to a free library and renting new videos or DVDs for free, the kid watches the same cartoons over and over again that they saved to their computer a long time ago from YouTube or somewhere.  When my manager was comparing her 5 yr to this co worker and letting her know what pre-k and kindergarten expect BEFORE a kid shows up my coworker rushes out the door by 4 pm each day to get home in time before her inlaws and other little cousins so her son is not distracted (no one has ever worked on attention span issues with him) so he can do a half hrs worth if school like learning and writing ABCs and counting to 10.  My nephew is 2 and can count to 20.  It's so sad.  This kid sits and watches TV all day or video games which is what his dad does 24 7.  He applied for one Walmart job before Xmas and didn't get it and hasn't applied for anything since.  If he's going to sit home, at least sing the ABCs with them kid non stop and practice counting higher and higher until he learns!  And they all live at his parents house so he doesn't even have an excuse like chores or cooking.  I really hope she can get him into some kind if head start program this summer.  Or this kid will always be doomed to the special Ed class.

    then in contrast, my manager's husband stays at home with the 2 and 5 yr old. He not only cooks, cleans, picks the boys up and takes them to nursery school, he does creative things with them throughout the day.  I believe, whether the mom or dad plans to stay at home, the person should be prepared to make every day productive with the occasional lazy day thrown in for a change of scenery.  There's so much to do with kids it's not even funny.  Museums, parks, bowling, the zoo, the library, going through the car wash, picking up leaves in the fall, building snowmen, coloring or painting, walking around the mall, learning to fold towels from the dryer, singing songs, throwing a ball, puzzles, the list goes on and on.  There's no excuse.

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    Our little lightbulb is on the way!
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    12 weeks 3 days


    TTC since Oct 2011
    Me: 33, hypothyroidism since 14, cleared all HSG, US, Pre-pregnancy panel tests.
    Hubby: 36, testicular Ca, chemo April-May 2012.
    Natural cycle IUI #1 with trigger and Progesterone Suppositories (Jun 2012) Neg
    Natural Cycle IUI #2 with trigger and Progesterone Suppositories (Jul 2012) NEG
    Aug 2012 - break due to needing a girls' weekend in Cape Cod
    Natural Cycle IUI #3 with trigger and prednisone (Sep 2012) NEGATIVE
    Switched fertility clinics - forced break Oct 2012
    Natural Cycle IUI #4 (Nov 2012) no trigger, no progesterone, no prednisone (Nov 2012) - Neg
    1st round Clomid Cycle IUI #5 (Dec 2012) - POS
  • My DH is a SAHD and he has no interest in his own Bump account, but I just asked him about his own screentime and he guessed 3 hours a day. Not counting naptime. One hour of television and the rest on his phone, on and off throughout the day. 

    I don't have an issue with it at all. LO is progressing well and doesn't ask for television when I'm home. They don't eat in front of the television but that's a general house rule that we don't do at dinner either. It may even be better to multitask your screentime then than to eat and then watch tv instead of playing. But yeah, if they also regularly get out of the house, it sounds pretty harmless. And there is a certain amount of control that has to be handed over for this to work.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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