Before I became a mother, I was one of those people who emphatically claimed that my children would NEVER watch TV.
Well, two babies later the reality of how ridiculous that claim was made itself painfully apparent.
When it was just one child, sure, it was easier to avoid the TV. But even then, as my eldest grew older she wanted me to play with her, just around the time that dinner needed to be started, or that mountain of laundry that had been building for days needed to be tackled. Although she was a good independent player, these moments were rarer than when she wanted me to do an activity with her.
Then I became pregnant with Z (baby no. 2), and as the weeks progressed and I became heavier, then eventually gave birth, the struggle to watch minimal tv gave way to all out TV marathons ALL DAY because my newborn insisted on feeding constantly, and refused to sleep anywhere other than on top of me.
Which of course meant that I couldn’t do anything with my eldest, let alone prepare a meal, clean the house, take a shower, go to the toilet… you get the drift.
Did I feel guilty? Yes of course I did.
Did I try to set up ‘activity zones’ for my eldest to keep her occupied while I breastfed my newborn for the Nth time that day? Yes. Guess what? She INSISTED that I do the activity with her. So thanks, but no thanks for the advice Baby Centre.
Now, my daughters are 4 and 1.5 years old and yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but TV is a normal part of our daily routine.
It usually starts with Play School at 9:30am, then rounds off with Bananas in Pyjamas at around 10:15am.
This is the time I try to get some blogging done, because trying to get things done when the kids have gone to sleep has proven to be a sheer impossibility. I’m either dead tired from my day, or up until very recently, Z would actually constantly wake up until I gave in and fell asleep next to her.
Then the next TV session is somewhere around 3:30 pm (for the next Play School session. Yay!) till 4:30pm while I try to cook dinner. So that’s around 1.5 hours a day.
Yes. BAD PARENTING on full show here.
And no. I’m not going to deny that it is bad/lazy/do whatever works style of parenting. Because that is essentially why it happens. After a full day of activities, playing outside, pulling out toys and disseminating them around the house, ‘helping’ mummy clean, reading books, negotiating fights over toys, eating, snacking, etc etc, by the time 4pm comes around, I’ve run out of mummy steam. Poof. Energy, patience, it’s all gone.
I made the choice to be a stay-at-home mum, and also, to not send my kids to daycare, and in the future, to possibly homeschool them. It is damn hard to do this 24/7. Those times that they watch TV are short windows (can I emphasise ‘short’) of time for me to get sh*! done. Not sit and have a cup of tea. God forbid I take a break or a moment out to just calm my mind lol.
Do I feel guilty about it? Do I question my ability to parent these kids? Do I wonder if I’m just lazy and wish I could be more ‘active’ and ‘organised’?
ALL. THE. TIME.
I do however have strict parameters around what they are/aren’t allowed to watch. ‘Frozen’ is completely banned. More on that another day. Disney movies in general are banned, although the eldest has watched a few of them at least once. ‘The Gruffalo’ is a big favourite in our house. And I also allow them to watch a Turkish kid’s cartoon just to expose them to the language (their father is Turkish) to alleviate the guilt I feel in not speaking enough of their mother tongue with them (MORE guilt).
What do you think about kids and TV? Do you allow your kids to watch TV? How much do they watch? Do you feel guilty about it? And if you are a stay-at-home mother who doesn’t allow their kids to watch TV and has successfully maintained this rule, PLEASE reach out to me and tell me HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Source of Pictures.
2 thoughts on “How much TV do you let your kids watch?”
You’ve described my life for the first few years with Zeina perfectly. She’s now 5 and she occupied herself with lots of stuff we buy her like Lego and puzzles and coloring. I definitely felt guilty when I allowed TV more than I had imagined I would and mind you I didn’t have a second baby in tow or coming… I just wanted to launch a business! I would work when she sleeps at night but still, like you, I get tired sometimes – as weird as that may be for me lol. I definitely monitor which shows she is able to watch and anything illuminati-like or too overt for my liking is banned. Disney movies like Aladdin banned or hard-core subjects like death of a father or exploitation like dumbo also banned… But I grew up on Disney so it was hard for me to ban them all. Anyways… Our children’s journeys will be their own and we can feel guilty about many things we do because that’s how we try to cope but in the end we are doing our best with what we have available to us. I try not to feel guilty and balance TV out with activities outside every other day. I’m lucky my girl, as I think yours, doesn’t like to sit still so getting her to stick to a show or movie in its entirety is still a struggle lol
I think you’re a fabulous mum and thank you for sharing so honestly a topic that many mums easily judge other mums on xx
Oh Thank you Heba! I truly appreciate you sharing your experience! Makes me feel much better 😀