The short answer is no! And, like I am about most things, I’m of the everything in moderation camp when it comes to the screens in our lives.
Speaking personally, I love TV. Nothing beats some escapist nonsense to help me relax and switch off at the end of a hard day. Admittedly, I rarely watch ‘live’ television anymore, but my DVR is always full :)
I have always enjoyed watching television, I have fond memories of watching TV as a family when I was younger; whether it was a Sunday afternoon musical or an early evening soap, it was something that we enjoyed together. We would look forward to a new series or a movie premiere. We would read the Radio Times and plan our viewing.
With my own children, I have never had an issue with them watching TV. Clearly I monitor what they watch, but if there is a series that engages them; gets them talking, questioning and anticipating; then I’m all for it. I have watched their imaginations fly when a programme has inspired them. I have seen them learn; from basic numbers and letters through to facts and science principles. They laugh, they get excited and they enjoy watching together.
My 8yo loves documentaries, and is completely fascinated by science and nature programmes and the 5yo loves shows that include maths and problem solving. The wee girl loves Curious George and Team Umizoomi; the latter of which has seen her number, colour and shape recognition move far beyond that which I would expect from a just turned two year old.
I’d be lying if I said I never used the TV as a babysitter. Sometimes you just need to get things done, and TV can hold their attention in a way that few things can. I’d also be lying if I said that I never worry that they watch too much TV; that I should be doing more crafts, more activities, more outings with them. But, some days, every one just needs a break.
I’ve never set a limit on screen time. I’ve never felt the need to. Yes, there are days where they probably watch a little too much. But, there are other days where they watch none at all. And, frankly, I can’t possibly provide them with all the knowledge and exposure to ideas that TV can bring.
Yes, there is bad TV (rather a lot of it!). Yes, there are inappropriate programmes, and in fact we have a banned list. Yes, adverts are a pain in the proverbial. And yes, we could survive just on DVDs and Amazon Prime streaming if we chose to. But, we would never be without TV entirely; we (I!) definitely couldn’t live without it!
You can find this weeks #ThePrompt linky here. I do hope this topic inspired you; I look forward to finding out how you feel about television.