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287

Firstly, I have to admit that while reading your question I was wondering if you're being serious. For me (as a hopeful future father with the same questions in mind), your solutions sound shocking and I would certainly advise against them. To reflect on some points... 1) "no TV ever, no movies, no pop music, no magazines" Does this also mean no friends? ...


63

My opinion and experience is that television provides much more disruption than benefit: My experience is that if the television is on, then everybody is "glued to the screen" or at least thoroughly distracted. This prevents social interaction, and it also prevents you from really appreciating the food you're eating -- potentially leading to eating ...


62

For a different perspective: When I was in grade school, I had a friend that didn't have any type of TV service at home (they did have dial-up internet, but certainly no Netflix). I was completely unaware of this fact for a long time, until the first time I went to his house. There was a TV in the living room, but it was only used to watch home videos, and ...


54

Wow! Well, it sounds as though you want to be the perfect family, and the perfect parents. And it's easy to understand why. Who wouldn't want the best of everything for their children? I have a couple of general comments, I hope you'll find them useful. Oh and before I forget, congratulations on your soon-to-arrive new addition to the family! :) So... ...


47

We homeschool our kids, so perhaps I can provide a unique perspective. A lot of the other answers seem to be primarily worried about friends. People sparked friendships for millenia before television and public education, and they can do so today. It's hard to see when your own childhood friendships formed at school over common pop culture interests, but ...


36

While I think your intentions are good, I think that some of what you are doing will actually have negative effects. Dolls are a perfectly healthy toy - both my son and my daughters played with them. They also all played with toy shops, aeroplanes, racing cars, horses etc. My point is: they are toys. Whether they have any gender affiliation in your family ...


30

I have 3 daughters 7, 5, 3 years old. I didn't allow TV till 1 year ago when I was talked first into babysitting a large plasma while its' owner leaves the country for a year or two. Then it didn't take much to hook it up. I spend 1 hour in the last 6 months watching it. My daughters however deteriorated. Without TV it was possible to engage them, the two ...


30

You lack one key: To be wonderful, to be amazing, to be successful, she must not be locked in this overwhelming strategy. Sadly, you are contributing to "this sexist world". It seems the motivation behind her future micro-managed life is that she is female, and as such will require much more "equipment" in order to survive. This is false. Your daughter ...


26

There is sufficient reason, imo, to be concerned. Research findings to date might suggest a correlation between television viewing and developmental problems, but they cannot show causality. Enough, in fact, that the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement suggesting that children 2 and older be restricted to no more than 1 to 2 hours ...


24

This sounds totally inappropriate and a major warning flag. Both my children have been through numerous childcare centres/kindergartens/ELCs and none of them even had a television. The American Academy of Pediatrics have "that parents should limit the amount of time their infants and toddlers spend in front of any sort of screen and reaffirmed earlier ...


23

According to the AAP not until two. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under two years of age avoid watching TV entirely. Experts say that babies and young toddlers see television as a confusing array of colors, images and noises. Children under age two won’t understand much of the content they see ...


22

In summary, research findings to date might suggest a correlation between television viewing and developmental problems, but they cannot show causality. There is no evidence that television, even educational programming, has any positive effect on children younger than 2 years old. In fact, some studies suggest it may be harmful. According to the above ...


21

No scientific, but anecdotal answer: We don't have a cable either and are in a very similar situation – IT pros with fast Internet. Our kids are 6 and 9. Both go to school / preschool and interact with other kids. While there will always be a group of kids that has seen everything that was on TV (square babysitter, you know...), others won't because their ...


20

A 14 month old will have a short attention span - letting him watch the TV might seem like a pain free solution, but it generally is considered to actually make things worse. What you should do is plan for a lot of engaging activities - almost simultaneously. For example sitting with him on the floor surrounded by a range of different toys which do ...


19

My daughter is about to turn 11, and I have similar hopes for her. Each of the paragraphs below is a category that her father and I have found to be influences on her in some way, and ways we try to approach them. Provide positive examples. This needs to be both men and women, of course: women who embody the values and confidence you hope for her to have, ...


18

Ask him to write you a list of: things that he likes doing things he would like to do someday things he has seen on television that he would like to learn more about things he would like to do with you alone things he would like to do with his other parent and/or siblings Then see what you can do to help get him the information, tools, and time to do ...


17

Although peer pressure has amazing power in our lives, there are ways to minimize the effect it has on people. It is always important to tell you children what your values are. Explain to them that you value activities over watching TV, or that the non brand name shoes are just as good as the brand name. Also, empower your child to understand that ...


17

Whether children get picked on has much less to do with the thing they are picked on for and much more to do with their social skills and general social standing. If your children asks to see something specific, make it available to them if it is appropriate for them to see, but concentrate on developing their social interaction skills. As a child I had ...


16

Consider your premise for a moment; you are claiming that it is desirable for your children to seek social approval from people who engage in activity you consider mindless and bad. I would change your focus slightly. Teach children that it's okay to be left out of things and that they don't need another's approval to engage in or abstain from an activity. ...


16

Beofett's answer is excellent, but I would like to add a few personal observations which were too long for a comment. Youtube, specifically, can be very hard to control. Our toddler (3.5 years) does get to watch stuff there, but you have to be vigilant. Examples: Looking at toys helicopters, easily browsed to real helicopters, then to some wartime ...


15

Why do you assume that TV is a given? My wife & I don't own one (well, except for the retro TV I use as a monitor for my Atari 2600). When we were growing up, neither of us had a TV in the home until we were older than 10. My suggestion would be to junk your TV, & see how you get along without it. Bored? Learn to play an instrument, read a book, ...


15

This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Kids that age often like to watch the same movies, read the same books, or play the same games over and over. Part of it is them controlling their environment, and some of it is the fact that they really like those movies, books, games, etc. I'd advise against trying too hard to change that, if you push ...


14

We addressed the "addiction" part of your question previously, but I wanted to talk about the behavior part. First, you shouldn't expect it to be as easy for your five year-old as it is for your nine year-old. Nine year-olds live a lot less "in the moment" compared to five year-olds, have developed more interests, and have learned more coping strategies ...


13

We have a no TV rule during meals when we gather. It is not the only rule around meal gatherings. Proper clothing is required; no bathing suits or dirty clothes allowed. Good manners are expected, including participation in the prayers and conversation. Every one stays at the table until everyone is done. No handheld games or electronic devices, including ...


13

Small kids can't process passive media such as TV very well. They get overloaded easily because unless the show is going slowly, their mental processing simply can't keep up with the pace of the show. Because of this, they should be gently exposed to media. In practical terms, that means they'll benefit more from watching the same episode over and over ...


13

Good observations. I see things in sort of the opposite way, so let's compare. I feel that commercials are the evil twin of TV entertainment, especially when they're aimed at kids, especially when they appear between kids' shows. I don't want to indoctrinate consumerism into my kids' heads; there's plenty of opportunity elsewhere. That's one reason why I ...


13

While I definitely agree professional help would be valuable, I would also suggest considering your opportunity to be a role-model to your brother. Spend time with him. Invite him to go with you to do fun things that don't involve the computer. Engage him in loving brotherly conversation, so that he trusts you and becomes more open to share what is going on ...


13

I think you're overthinking this a bit. It's great for brainstorming, but don't let little things like whether or not she gets to play with dolls distract you from your primary laudable goal of raising an amazing daughter. For instance, why wouldn't an intelligent and happy child be able to enjoy and possibly even benefit from a bit of TV? What's so ...


12

For a professional, dedicated daycare, it is absolutely inappropriate. For in-home daycares, though, it may be difficult to avoid. As Dave mentioned in his answer, the clear recommendation is that there should be no television exposure before the age of two, and after that the amount of television exposure, if any, should be heavily restricted. ...


12

The biggest problem would be, as you state, the children not understanding the language and cultural references of their peers. I've even noticed this myself. I don't watch (or have) a TV, I don't care about or follow sports and I listen to music outside the norm. When I talk to colleagues or other parents, I have effectively nothing to have small talk ...



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