TV and the Tot.

November 4, 2008

People who are familiar with Waldorf Education probably know it is very anti-media (as to young children), especially television. I have mixed feelings on the subject. On the one hand, who doesn't want their child to watch less TV? On the other hand, I don't want to be an alarmist. We have always limited C-Man's TV viewing. In fact, he didn't watch anything before he turned two (which is what the AAP recommends). Since then, there have been some movies, a very limited number of PBS shows, and of course, the Lawrence Welk ritual on Saturday evenings with B. Since C-Man started school however, there has been less and less, and now we have given up Lawrence Welk for the month (C-Man's teacher asked the class to go cold turkey between Halloween and Thanksgiving).

The school gives us lots of good reading material on this subject, and I must say, I am pretty convinced TV (even the "educational" stuff, and even if it is only occasional) is pretty bad for little kids. B is not so convinced, and I can't blame him. All he wants is to watch a little Bobby Burgess, after all.

But then I read this headline from CBS News: "France Bans TV Shows Aimed at Tots." Is it just me or are Europeans usually way ahead of us on these sorts of social issues? I don't mean to be preachy by posting this, I just found this article very compelling and I don't think it got a lot of press.


  1. I think that little kids are definitely better off without TV. I grew up with no TV in the house, and it was great. My sister and I read tons, spent lots of time outside, and played imaginary games. Now I have a TV in my apartment and I keep thinking I should get rid of it to save money, but I can't give it up! So I'm hypocritical, but I still think less TV is best.

  2. Rachel: that's pretty much how I grew up. We had a TV, but almost never got to watch it. The Love Boat? What's that? Charlie's Angels? Huh? I can be a hypocrite now, but generally speaking, the TV is def. not my vice.

  3. you know...this was perfect timing for me jora. we've gotten awfully lazy about letting the girl's watch too much tv we justify that it's just sesame street, etc...but no matter what, it's too much. we're going to dial back big time. thanks for the reminder.

  4. I am completely with you. My husband and I made a committment to not have our kiddo watch TV until he became two, and then we chose to extend that to three years. He's fine and the better for it. I can tell by how he can focus on his activities for great periods of time, and by how he just loves to curl up with a book with us or even on his own.

    We have let him see some stuff on Youtube--airplane related stuff mostly, and I did let him watch some parts of Bambi and I did take him to see Charlotte's Web when he was two (mostly because I just wanted the company : ).


  5. This is going to be a tough one in the Cabrera household I fear. I am anti TV for kids, and my husband grew up in a house where every kid had their own tv in their bedrooms and the living room tv was on 24/7. The hubby is addicted now to say the least. He is on board with no tv in kids rooms and no tv at all for maia so far, but she's only 1. I will pass this article on!


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