Friday 17 February 2012 much is too much?

So, I'm trawling through my unread emails and I find one from babycentre who I signed up with when I was pregnant.  It's one of their monthly updates, this time its 31 months.  Yikes, how time has flown... I click on it and have a little read.  When I was pregnant and Ethan was a newborn, the updates were weekly and I used to find them very useful and informative.  These days, I often don't even bother reading them.  I wish today was one of those times... I ended up clicking on this link and now I feel like a terrible Mummy.

I probably shouldn't be sharing that link, because chances are some of you will now click on it and end up feeling as I do.  So, maybe don't click and let me sum it up for you.

It's about TV watching habits and how much TV toddlers should be allowed to watch.  They are recommending an hour of TV a day or less for the 2-3 years age group, and I quote "even that amount is a lot for an active toddler".  Oh.  Oh dear.  

We were stuck in on Tuesday this week, waiting in for someone from Virgin to come and set us up with Tivo/phone/internet (ironic, non?).  Ethan has a stinking cold.  It's cold and not very inviting outside.  He doesn't want to draw or even be read to all that much at the moment.  He barely wants to ride his bike.  I feel so ashamed to admit this but I reckon he must have watched about 5 hours of TV that day.  I hang my head in shame.

I think that on a good day he watches 1-2 hours.  I must admit that I do try to put recorded programs on, not just stick the cbeebies chanel on.  But all the same.. Am I subjecting him to too much, or is this just a case of the old inferiority complexes/anxieties cropping up?

When it's cold outside and we're ill, neither of us feel up to doing much.  Ethan has now had 5 colds since Christmas.  He hasn't been himself for weeks.  He's ok.  Not terribly ill, but just doesn't feel like doing much.  I've had 4 of these colds.  He's waking up quite a few nights a week and we are lacking in energy at the moment.  It's just too darn easy to turn that TV on, even if it's just a bit of extra company for the both of us!  I know it'll be different in the summer.. we'll be out in the garden most of the time, I'm sure.  But for now, that TV is one hell of a friend.

I feel like I am failing though :-(

How much TV do you honestly think your little one/s watch a day?

As it's Friday, I'm linking this post up with Blow Your Own Blog-Horn over at Mummy's Little Monkey - she has a fab blog, why not check it out? 


  1. I love the idea of a screen-free life, but it's not realistic for us. I think there's a world of a difference between having the tv on all day and not monitoring what's being watched and putting carefully selected programmes/dvds and watching some with your child/talking about what's happening etc. As you know, we're Charlie and Lola addicts, and probably watch "too much", but Clover has learnt a lot of vocabulary from them, and also about the situations the characters find themsleves in - she can relate these to her own experiences with her own family, friends, pets and so on.

    Maybe it's a bit like when doctors ask how much alcohol you drink then add a bit on 'cos you're probably not being completely honest ;-) I bet most people have the telly on a fair bit. You do loads of other stuff with Ethan, so I don'r reckon a bit, or even a lot, of considered tv-watching will do any damage. x

  2. *fingers in ears* la la la I'm not listening...

    Umm Alex watches it too much I know he does, but he does learn a hell of a lot from it that he won't let me teach him through puzzles etc as he won't sit and play games like that-all he wants to do is play is cars! And just because the TV is on he isn't necessarily watching it, think he just likes the background noise... but I DO feel very bad about it.

  3. Bahh sod them! I don't know, but i do know its more than an hour a day! We don't watch Cbebbies in this house. A few cartoons in the morning maybe but if i'm honest Little Miss is an avid doctor who fan (yeah she's 4, bite me) I have watched the ones i deem not suitable can I add! Sarah jane adventures are also a big one in this house. Little Man only has enought attention span baby jake so its usually bacground noise!!

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling meh over this... On the one hand, I worry I'm doing something wrong, on the other hand (my logical one) I think about how many other activities we cram into our week.. but you know how it is, the negative always seems to carry more weight than the positive!

    Stuff that article from babycentre.. don't think I'll bother reading their emails again!!

  5. I watched telly when I was growing up, and there's nothing wrong with me!! *starts dribbling and twitching*

    But seriously folks - obvs parking your kid in front of the telly 10 hours a day, every day, is a problem. Letting them watch a few hours here and there ain't gonna kill them.

    In fact, if they watch Dora the Explorer, or Handy Manny, they might even pick up some Spanish along the way, so it's actually highly educational. Just the other day I learned that 'Crocodile' is 'el Cocodrilo'. I'd never have known that if the telly had been switched off. ;)

    Hasta Luego! (I also learned that from Handy Manny...)

    1. LOL love it! Ethan has taken to watching pepper pig in Spanish on YouTube when he gets hold of the iPad.. Perhaps he is multilingual without my knowing it!


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