Kids and TV

by Ginger on November 22, 2015

in Random

No, this isn’t a post about screen time. Instead, I’m curious how you do things in your house around a specific thing, which is kids and grown-up tv.

When J was a baby, we would watch whatever we wanted when he was around and awake, because…well, baby. He didn’t really care what was on the tv when he was sleeping in my lap, you know? As he got older, we sort of naturally self-censored what we watched when he was around–we watch a lot of dramas (that need paying attention to), gory shows (that don’t need little eyes), and shows with not the most delicate language (that don’t need little ears). Plus, we kind of always wanted to be able to actually enjoy our shows, and our kid always wanted to be in the middle of everything a little too much for that to work. AND, who has time to sit down and watch tv in the mad dash of the evenings, you know? So for all those reasons, it just kind of fell out that we wouldn’t watch grown up tv when the kid was awake.

And it has sort of stuck.

With very few exceptions (mostly the rare sporting event that we all watch: the Olympics, March Madness, the occasional other specific event here and there), we just don’t have the tv on with any kind of grown up tv when the kid is awake. We mostly watch tv at the end of the day, and that’s a pre-kid habit that worked out in our favor here, but even on weekends, if the tv is on during the day, it’s kid friendly tv. And now it’s sort of become such a habit that it feels weird to ever do any differently. Which I’m assuming might (?) change at some point, likely when he gets to the point where maybe some network tv isn’t above his head, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a good reason to in my mind anytime in the near future (especially now that we’ve cut cable down to the bones–we watch everything on demand anyway, why not save it for after the kid is in bed?).

Anyway, I have no issues with how we do things–it works for us, and I’m good with that–but it DID make me curious how you handle grown up tv around your kids? It’s purely a curious-and-want-to-peek-in-your-living-room-voyeuristically kind of thing, because I love hearing how different families handle this stuff. And however you handle it, was it a conscious decision, or something that just sort of evolved?

nonsequiturchica November 23, 2015 at 7:42 am

It is the same in our household. When Izzy was an infant we would watch whatever we wanted (although we did stop watching The Wire after one night when she was nursing, she jumped at the sound of gunfire- PARENT FAIL). Generally Izzy will watch 30-60 minutes of either Sesame Street or more recently, Curious George, between Sat and Sun. During the week the tv doesn’t go on until Izzy is in bed. Sometimes the tv is on during the day to watch football on Sunday but generally she isn’t paying attention and we mostly just watch the games that feature our two teams (not the Bears so the teams are not always shown here in Chicago).

april November 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

Sports are the only grown up tv that is on during the day for us. I will watch things in my room during waking hours sometimes, but that’s because I don’t stay up much later than they do. Otherwise, this is why I haven’t seen anything new in so many many years.

AnnabelleSpeaks November 23, 2015 at 10:38 am

Pretty much the only time we have the TV on when Simon is awake is for football games. When he was tiny we would watch whatever, but 90% of what we watch is the Food Network, so nothing offensive there anyway, really. We *could* watch the Food Network when he’s awake, we just don’t.

Tracy November 23, 2015 at 11:22 am

that’s pretty much it – if R can’t watch it, then we don’t, not when he’s around. There isn’t much left that we can’t watch, thankfully. He did see Avengers type movies a lot earlier than the others did but he had teenage siblings when he was 3…

We’ve noticed that he gets upset with certain things (like news when everything is bad and we’re feeling upset), so we are more careful with that.

Tragic Sandwich November 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Our problem is that there’s no getting Baguette to bed at a typical-for-her-age time. Basically, we just never watch grown-up TV.

Yesterday we tried watching SNL, and the second it started, she said, “TV off. TV off.”

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