To think kids watching tv is a bit of a waste of their life?

(317 Posts)
Amykins35 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:14:28

My daughter is 5 and her father and I are separated. When she has contact, she usually watches at least 5 films over the course of a weekend. On the other hand, here we used to go to the cinema on some of my weekends before her baby sister was born and that was the only thing she watched. We didn't even have a TV at home until 4 months ago. In the winter we had a film night on my Fridays where we baked cakes then snuggled on the sofa with teddies to watch a film and eat our cakes. But now the weather is finally brightening up we'll be going to the park/walking the dog/playing in the garden on those Fridays and so she probably won't watch anything here til next winter.
I read a few weeks ago that kids in the UK watch an average of 3 hours tv per day and that makes me sad as I really do think its a waste of their lives. Also, I don't understand where people find time for their kids to watch tv - my daughter goes to bed much later than her friends but we still run out of time to do everything she/we wanted to do. A typical day is:
7.30: she wakes up and gets ready while playing with DD2
7.45: breakfast
8.00: leave to walk/scoot/bike 2 miles to school

After school:
I usually drive to collect her so we can pop home for a snack before after school activities which usually finish at 6. She then plays/draws/reads while I cook tea, tea usually finished by 7 when we walk the dog, back home for homework, bath, stories and bed usually around 8.45.

There just isn't time in the day for tv and I don't understand where people find the time for it. If DD isn't doing an activity she likes to trampoline/paint/have tea parties etc after school and I think the amount of TV she watches at her fathers is a waste of his contact time. Before I get flamed and told my DD needs to rest and relax which may be why she watches TV at her dads - drawing and listening to stories are relaxing too. My DD never asks to watch TV here even if worn out - which is very rare indeed! AIBU to think watching TV is a bit of a waste of children's lives when there are so many more fun things they could be doing?

Taffeta Sun 21-Apr-13 13:28:56

I am quite horrified at your schedule, winter Fridays should be for learning Mandarin.

Have a biscuit op.

nokidshere Sun 21-Apr-13 13:29:02

Have to say that your day sounds incredibly boring!!!! And 8:45 bedtime for a 5 year old???????

We love TV - we sing and dance and join in the games on cbeebes, we chat about things we are watching, we learn things for our homework/general knowledge - its a fantastic medium. There is nothing my (now 12 & 14 year olds) sons dont know about whales, sharks and marine life courtesy of Nat Geo! And the older one was speaking spanish at 2 thanks to D D D Dora and her exploring grin Not to mention their science knowledge due to Mythbusters!!!! TV isn't all inane crap you know!

CarpeVinum Sun 21-Apr-13 13:30:14

Sky Italia with it's language option taught my son English.

Well alright, I had something to do with it, but by the time he was verbal I was back at work, he was immersed in Italian and getting English cemented as a duel mother toungue felt like trying to climb Everest in ballet shoes.

Insising that all telly was watched in English made a massive difference, thank you Zac and Cody and your inexplicable life in a hotel where nobody seem to do much work.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sun 21-Apr-13 13:30:42

boring, really, nokids??

Fairylea Sun 21-Apr-13 13:30:43

You don't have to sit glued to the tv when it's on though... like when I said all day everyday I meant in the background like a friendly fire smile ... we watch bits of it and do other things too.

I always remember the scene from friends when joey sees a living room without a tv and asks what they position their sofas around smile

Squitten Sun 21-Apr-13 13:32:24

I take it you only have one child? Believe me it's quite a different story when your 6yr old is playing nicely while you're out of the room and her 3yr old brother trashes her toys while your baby is crawling about amongst the chaos hoping not to be trodden on! TV can be an absolute life-saver when you have a clutch of tired, ratty kids who cannot co-exist for more than 5mins without murdering each other.

Now, I say that as someone who just recently got rid of their TV. It broke and we decided not to replace it because I felt that we did rely on it too much to keep the kids quiet. Generally it's been an improvement. We have an iPad though and sometimes it's just heaven to be able to put CBeebies on and have 15mins of peace and bloody quiet.

GirlOutNumbered Sun 21-Apr-13 13:32:41

And you are also lucky to have a 730 waker.
Tv saved my life in the 5am get up days!

nokidshere Sun 21-Apr-13 13:32:49

afterschool activities every day till 6? Homework after 7pm? Play for half an hour while tea is made? Doesn't sound very fun to me!

Amykins35 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:32:59

On saturdays she comes to my room for stories and cuddles in bed, then we have breakfast together. While I shower she plays in her room, I take her dancing, we walk the dog so baby can sleep, quick lunch then swimming, then park, home for 4ish to bake then maybe a bike ride before tea. On Sundays we generally go out for the day. I tend to do everything I need to while kids are in but if I had to do something and she was home she is very capable of occupying herself

StillSeekingSpike Sun 21-Apr-13 13:33:14

What's wrong with 'wasting time' when you are a child/ WSome of my happiest memories are of watching Westerns with my grandfather- or 'The Wizard of Oz' practically every Xmas. And the first time I saw Star Wars!
Sometimes I think it can be nice to be so involved with children- but then knowing the sort of child I was, sometimes it's also nice to be LEFT ALONE.

Fairylea Sun 21-Apr-13 13:34:15

Oh yes girloutnumbered... early morning cbeebies is blissful when I'm half asleep and ds is raring to go at 5.30am sometimes ! smile

theodorakisses Sun 21-Apr-13 13:34:47

I think it sounds boring too. I would love to force my family to do anything other than drive 2 miles to school (they are all giggling at the thought)! How unutterably tedious a start to the day and, unless boasty, how on earth is it relevant to your opinion about televisual activities?

threesypeesy Sun 21-Apr-13 13:35:42

Yabu tv is on in our house whenever we are in our 3dds are not glued to it they happily do other thinks they are all very social and are all very intelligent and above there age range in rsading and writing.

A bit shock at the 8:45 bed time for a 5 year old thats later tham my 8&9 year olds bedtime

MiniTheMinx Sun 21-Apr-13 13:35:54

We don't have a TV in the house. Bloody ugly things to look at grin

DCs are not too worried. We do have four Pcs and two laptops, we can cheat and watch ITV and BBC but its rare.

PseudoBadger Sun 21-Apr-13 13:35:55

See if I had chickens I don't think DS would watch TV. But we don't sad Everyone has to make the best of what they have.

everlong Sun 21-Apr-13 13:37:40

Arggh I don't believe this either.

Amykins35 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:37:50

I have 2 children actually and also nanny. I'm not lucky she's a 7.30 waker, she wakes later because she goes to bed later

gymboywalton Sun 21-Apr-13 13:38:10

i think a five year old doing homework after 7pm far more disturbing than kids watching tv
poor little dot must be exhausted

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 21-Apr-13 13:38:18

Seriously, TV, entertainment and media are the last industries still growing in the UK. How are your kids going to get a cushy job at a games company or in post-production if they don't know the story arcs of Star Wars and Doctor Who in detail?

ilovexmastime Sun 21-Apr-13 13:38:21

My two find time to watch tv while I'm cooking tea. Your DD chooses to colour, mine choose tv. That's how we find time.
I don't think I'd be too happy to find they'd watched 5 films in a weekend, but your ex is obviously struggling to fill his time withher. I'd let it go, maybe as she gets older he'll find it easier.

BrokenBananaTantrum Sun 21-Apr-13 13:39:22

YABU
My DD has a busy life. She is 6 and a half and her schedule is this
School 6 hrs a day
Tuesday dancing for an hour and a half
Wednesday Rainbows for hour
Thursday swimming with me for an hour
Friday swimming club for an hoir
If she wants to chill out in front of the TV for a few hours a week so be it. I like to chill out in front of the TV.
Just because it doesnt suit your lifestyle dont judge.

Amykins35 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:40:24

Driving the 2 miles to school takes up to 30 mins because of traffic, her dad would still drive and put a film on the iPad for her so it is relevant

What everlong said

LookingThroughTheFog Sun 21-Apr-13 13:41:32

^ if I had to do something and she was home she is very capable of occupying herself^

You do understand that all children in the world aren't carbon copies of your child, don't you? And that all families aren't set up in exactly the same way?

You might find that when you have a three year old and a seven year old, you need some extra stimulus to point the small one at so you can take the time you need to help the older one with homework.

My DD is brilliant and wonderful (I would say that, wouldn't I?) and she loves to draw, paint and make things. She also needs to ask questions, and find stuff out all the time. It's wonderful, but draining. Being five, she can't grab an encyclopedia or hop online to work stuff out for herself yet. So yes, once a day so that I can completely focus on my SEN son, I'll point her at the TV and put something interesting, fun, and usually educational on. It's the only way I get space from the incessant (but brilliant) questions.

DS watches TV too (shock, horror), usually when I'm making up for the time with DD. His favourite show at the moment is Hairy Bikers. While I put DD to bed, he snuggles with his dad (who's just in from work) and the two of them talk about food and get ideas about what they'll cook at the weekend.

WipsGlitter Sun 21-Apr-13 13:41:36

That's a late bedtime!!

It's horses for courses. We have the tv on but we do other things too.

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