370

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? ...


104

I find great importance in fostering a child's sense of personal control. Her nos are no and her yesses are yes - unless there is potential for physical or psychological harm. I'd suggest taking your daughter's lead regarding what she wants to watch. Offer shows to watch together and if she says yes, then watch it. If no, don't force the issue. When ...


69

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 ...


66

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... some ...


56

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 ...


42

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 ...


42

I have 3 daughters who are 7, 5, and 3 years old. I didn't allow them to watch TV till a year ago when I was talked into babysitting a large plasma tv while the owner left the country for a few years. Then it didn't take much to hook it up. I watched it for maybe an hour in total over 6 months just to remind myself why I got rid of my own TV in the first ...


37

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 ...


37

There were movies that scared me as a child long after they should have because I watched them a little sooner than I was ready and carried a negative association around them. So even when I was old enough to appreciate them, I didn't like them because I remembered they were scary. As I got significantly older, I realized I really liked some of these ...


28

Kids, just like adults, want to "be cool", to have fun and to have something they can share with their friends. TV, video games, pro wrestling, whatever. And the parts they want to talk about/reenact are going to be the ones that they find most fun or exciting. Think back to the last action movie you saw (for me it was probably Avengers or something ...


25

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 reporting ...


23

If a child is forced to deal with situations that are beyond his or her ability to understand, process, respond to, or control—specifically, situations that are accompanied by strong negative feelings, this may be traumatic. Trauma is bad. You want to avoid that. Exposure to a traumatic or aversive event is now recognized as a vital cause of an entire class ...


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

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, ...


19

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 ...


18

First of all, let me assure you that I understand your worry. I have been in your situation three years ago and it can be very alarming when your child finds "Ben and Holly" too scary ("The bird stole her wand! Waa-waa-waa! Turn it off now!"), doesn't listen to any kids stories ("Red-riding hood" was considered a horror movie) and doesn't allow any evil ...


17

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that no amount of screen time is appropriate for a child of that age. From their report on Children and media: For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality ...


16

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 ...


15

On the other hand ... I was making my living as a freelance graphic designer when my children were small (way pre-iPad), and was constantly reading warnings against letting children spend too much time on the computer. I read to them a great deal, and did other activities with them as a "stay-at-home mom." But since I was actually making my living at home, a ...


15

On top of the great answer from bmgh1985 (and I'd particularly second their recommendations of 'Something Special' and 'Balamory') here are some more suggestions: In the Night Garden: Very safe, very gentle stories for real littlies which sometimes star female characters, sometimes male (and sometimes ones where you can't tell). The DVDs have a special '...


15

Violence and play fighting is an innate aspect of human behaviour. You can observe animals play fighting as well. Domestically, you can observe cats and dogs play fight, more commonly as juveniles. Our closest animal relative, chimps, are also known to wrestle and play chase. I don't believe the desire to play fight is mimicked from television (what ...


14

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

Great question. There are several different reasons one might want to limit TV time for kids, and understanding those reasons can help support informed decisions about when --- and how --- to let kids watch TV. There are three potential problems with TV time: TV replaces other activities that may be more valuable Some TV content may not be appropriate for ...


12

Most of the answers here appear to be about screen time, but it's also important to remember that YouTube is not designed to be a safe space for a child. For example, my son likes to watch Minecraft videos. Very often these have a very unsuitable adult voiceover, plus optional heavy metal soundtrack. Do you want some random teenager swearing and talking ...


12

In addition to the answers already given, I'd also add My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Almost all the main characters are female, yet the plot lines are not all stereotypical girly-girly things. (My 4-year-old son likes it almost as much as my 5-year-old daughter.) Cupcakes and butterflies are balanced with action and adventure. The ponies are all ...


12

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 ...


11

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 ...


10

This is of course very subjective, but one of the reasons I dislike TV is because of the advertisements. My kid starts asking for everything from snacks that she tries once and never touches again to expensive toys. I also think that finding new shows isn't necessarily an advantage, either. It starts out with just getting to watch one show a day, then she ...


10

--- Disclaimer: Some might feel this answer to be hard to digest. --- Have you ever thought about what is happening in your kid's brains while they are watching TV? I mean, from a neuroscientistic perspective? Basically a fireworks of impressions without any chance to influence what is happening. A child in front of TV will absorb a flood of pictures, ...


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