TV or Not TV, That is the Question

Television is a constant source of conflict in our house. Unfortunately most of that conflict is between me and my husband, who aren’t on the same page when it comes to screen-time. He works in TV and grew up in front of it, playing toys while his older siblings watched their choice of films. TV barely features in my own childhood memories, meanwhile; I was always too busy playing on the street.

There are fairly strict parameters around TV time during the week, when I am boss. The 4 year-old watches @40 minutes, mostly after Montessori. The two year-old often, but not always, joins him; he is fairly choosy about what he likes.

The repetoire is also fairly rigid: a rotation of Puffin Rock, Dora The Explorer and Diego!, with the occassional dose of Max and Ruby if I am feeling generous. We will, very rarely, watch a Jackanory or some Barefoot songs after dinner, or a film if someone is sick.

At the weekend, however, the 4-year-old is constantly looking for TV. My husband is a lot more lenient and they will watch various iterations of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, old B-movies from the 60s, Countryfile, David Attenborough. Basically anything my husband fancies watching, the 4-year old is happy to join in.


To give credit where credit is due, my husband is a very active viewer. A cookery show is an oportunity to chat about spices. Time Team becomes a discussion about Ancient Rome, which is often followed up in their table-top games later. I understand the educational role that TV can play. I also appreciate it as an artistic medium (and hope to add some film reviews to the blog soon). But sometimes a Saturday might involve more than 2 hours of TV (rarely consecutive hours, but still). I feel it is too much for a 4-year-old and disasterously habit-forming. I also hate having to deal with the 4-year old’s tantrums when the TV goes off (something often initiated by me).

I would love to know what rules you have at your house when it comes to screen-time. And I would really really love some recommendations for high-quality kids programming, which seems thin on the ground.



3 thoughts on “TV or Not TV, That is the Question

  1. It’s a tough one! Both my partner and I are OK with a limited amount of TV for our 3-year-old (~20 minutes a day), but we always choose what she watches and one of us will watch with her. There’s such a dearth of good programming for this age group – our latest hit has been Nelly and Nora, which features gentle, educational stories, relatable characters (they’re Irish!) and a continuing obsession with the weather. Puffin Rock has gone down well, too.

  2. I have two year old twins addicted to Noddy so you know nor one to cast stones. Just discovered on YouTube bbcprime numbertime teacher used it in junior infants on rainy days when they can’t go to yard. Genuinely funny and educational. Mr Tumble I’m a fan of because I like the diversity combined with slapstick humour. I think our kids telly was slow really slow I have the original bagpuss and Paddington on DVDs and the pace is really slow.spmehow I think this is good. My older boy devil open a bit of a Nina and the Neurons crush at 3 and he stil connects her with science like the Curiosity Labs so that’s probably good.

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