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How Much Television is Too Much?

Do you put a limit on the amount of television your children watch?

Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of local parents takes your questions, gives advice and shares solutions.

Today, the council answers the question: How much television is too much?

Lindsay Felix

Our family limits television viewing in general, unless someone is homebound sick or it's for watching a Boston sports team!

I personally think that the perception of TVs being a babysitter for children is absolutely true and not just a perception. We recently changed our household rules and have no TV, video games, computers, ipads, ipods....on a school night, unless they are needed for homework! This was difficult for everyone to swallow, but they did and we have enjoyed the time doing other things.

I think if you are using TV to watch your child while you do laundry or clean, or use the TV to put your child to sleep, then it's obviously too much TV. If you have a TV in your kitchen, all the bedrooms, living rooms, etc. and they are all always on, again too much TV!

I think that if you or your kids are watching TV for more than an hour on a regular day, two hours max... you're missing out on life!

If you're living a parallel life to mine, there is no time for TV. I get my weather reports weekly during my three-year-old's dance class! We're lucky if we have a moment to feed all the members of our family a healthy meal, never-mind sitting around watching TV.

I will never forget being told that "a body in motion stays in motion, a body at still stays at still." We like being in motion and truly could care less what's on TV 90 percent of the time.

Julia Whitney Robarts June 02, 2011 at 11:51 AM
I think people are very quick to judge others regarding using the TV as a babysitter. Television is very much a part of American culture and there is plenty of good television out there where kids are learning and exploring as they watch (just check any of PBS's lineup). Like anything else, parents should monitor how much TV and the type of content their kids are getting. That said, my kids are also not allowed any "screen time" (TV, computer, iTouch, Nintendo DS) on school days, and though it was a bit tough for them to deal with initially, it has become the norm over the past two years. It truly simplifies things and there are no battles or bargaining over it anymore. We also do not have cable TV, which also helps. Instead, they play games, draw and color, read, and play outside. It forces them to be a little more creative with their free time, which is so good for them!! We have movie nights on the weekend, but don't spend much time watching regular TV except for the news. Also, my kids will never ever have a television or computer in their own room!!

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