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Article: Why I Let My Child Watch TV

first time mommy

Why I Let My Child Watch TV

tel I let my child watch TV. And play on my iPad. And watch YouTube on my monitor. And video chat on all these screens…often. But she doesn’t watch anything on my phone…because it’s old and it sucks. Even she knows it. She uses Papa’s fancy phone instead.

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I let my child watch TV and I'm not embarrassed or ashamed to say it. Are you judging me? I won’t judge you if don’t allow for any screen time, because I’m sure you have your reasons. I know there’s a ton of studies saying why to limit kids’ – especially toddlers’ and babies’ — screen time. I’ve read them, but… 

How much screen time do you think is too much?

My husband and I certainly made some significant changes in our lives when our daughter was born, but cutting our TV time wasn’t one of them. Here’s why I let my child watch TV: I love television. It’s that simple. I grew up watching TV in my household, as did my husband. While we certainly avoid watching anything too graphic or violent while our toddler is in the room — frankly, I can barely stomach anything too sad (the news) or gruesome (True Blood) since becoming a mother — we haven’t given up watching basketball games, family dramas (now we really get them!), cheesy singing competitions (especially ones in other countries) or quirky sitcoms. We like seeing our lives play out on the big screen. I love seeing all our photos and videos blown up on our large TV and so does our daughter. She loves reliving moments with me and identifying people she knows and recalling what we did. The technology that allows us to send anything from our small screens to our big screen TV instantly never ceases to amaze me, and I appreciate and use it. We have a nice TV. Seriously, it’s a 3D plasma flat-screen TV my husband won in a random drawing at a party. It’s honestly the most expensive thing in our home…and it’s not even that expensive. But it certainly makes watching TV more enjoyable than when we just had a small 24-inch old-school box of a TV. I don’t think TV hurt me. If anything, I mostly have fond memories of watching TV growing up including watching women's wrestling at my grandmother's house/daycare while plucking the gray hairs from my Aunt Mary’s head. It was her ritual with all my cousins. She'd laugh through each bout like it was a comedy. Then there were the poorly dubbed shows — Pippi Longstocking and kung fu marathons — that were our comedies. Real culture, right? The one memory I would like to erase is watching Carrie when I was in grade school. I couldn’t sleep for weeks! tvIf we didn’t have TV, I wouldn’t be able to find a babysitter. See my first reason. My parents and sisters love TV, too. So, I let my child watch TV. And draw on our walls. And read books while on the potty. And have fruit ice pops. And play outside…often. My daughter enjoys all these things, especially her TV time for now. And maybe she will end up spending more time reading (real) books than reading screens, but, until then, she’s allowed to get her one-episode helping of her favorite kid’s show or numerous replays of her latest music video of choice if that’s what makes our happy home go round.

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