Tuesday, June 19, 2012

TIPsters: Television Viewing (What to Watch and How Often)

We're pleased to welcome another Guest T.I.P.ster this week! Sheri from Traveling the Narrow Road will be sharing her Television Viewing Policies, along with the regular T.I.P.ster hosts, Allyson, Christy, and me.  Please click over to her blog to read about her summer plans...and tell her we sent you. 

I've tried to write this post in my head about 200 times and every time, I write about a sentence and then go blank.  The problem?  We don't have official policies on how we choose what to watch and how often the television is on in our home.   There are standards, but we haven't put them into words or formal policy.  

Some families choose not to have a television at all.  We do own a TV, though we do not have cable.  We might consider a movie rental service (like Netflix), but we do not have unlimited internet access so most of our TV viewing comes via free library check-outs. 

Some families set a time allowance on daily or weekly television viewing.  I've never figured out a way to do that while 1) being fair to all the kids and 2) not having the television on all day while each child has "their" hour of viewing. 

Some families only allow G-rated films.  We've seen G-rated films that we found inappropriate and we've adopted some PG films as family favorites so I don't find the ratings overly helpful as more than a general guide.  Our children are very aware of our morals and family values.  They are quick to notice if a show  mentions evolution or ghosts or something equally objectionable and will either turn it off or ask Brian or me what to do. 

Some families limit TV to educational programs.  Unless Puss in Boots or Cinderella counts as educational, we enjoy television as entertainment as well as education.

So help me.  How do you set television standards for your home?  How do you decide what to watch and how often can the television can be switched on? 

As always...take a moment to visit my fellow T.I.P.sters,
AllysonChristy, and this week guest poster, Sherri!

Coming Soon:

July 3: Quick and Easy Summer Meals
July 17: Taking Family Photos
August 7: Schooling Kids of Different Ages
August 21: Teaching Kids to Read

Want to write a guest post on one of these topics? 
Leave a comment or e-mail me and I'll tell you how to get started.


  1. It's funny that even though we don't own a TV we still have to set screen time standards. We also don't have official time limits, but as a general rule we do not watch "TV" every day, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it has been lately :)

  2. I found the TV to be a great helper to my unmotivated to clean children. "Having a clean house" was NOT a motivator at all for them. And I didn't want to be a drill sergeant and they didn't respond well to chore charts! But we clean for 30 minutes working diligently and then we will watch 15 minutes of a good movie worked very very well!!!!! For many many years. We alternated between the movie and the chores or the movie can remain on IF you are actively folding clothes while you watch. It helped me and it helped them.

  3. A great 'keep it real' post. *smile* Yeah, we ditched cable years ago, but couldn't get the family to toss the whole TV, lol. Netflix is nice because we aren't smothered with commercials (which often times are more questionable that anything we choose to watch).
    I actually enjoy that my kids like some of the ole classics that actually share family values yet. Have a beautiful day!

  4. We've never had a TV, but we (my husband and I) use the computer to watch movies and select TV shows online. Over the years our standards have been brought closer and closer to Philippians 4:8 and what we are willing to watch is harder to find.

    As far as our kids, for the most part, we don't allow our babies (under a year) to watch anything. This seems to be more lax with each child that comes, however, as it's hard to keep them away if we just "need" to put something on.

    Other than that, for the past 4+ years, we've really only allowed our kids to watch Signing Time videos. They are learning sign language at the same time, they are only 25ish minutes long, and I really believe the program is the reason my oldest (who watched more of them) had such a large vocabulary at an early age. It's a handy diversion when I'm trying to get dinner going on those hard to handle days.

    We haven't let them watch anything yet with a story line, aside from a couple times they saw a Veggie Tales my dad sent them. But, really, I don't let them watch anything I'll be sorry for later. Anything that could be annoying for me to hear quoted or sung all day every day is out! This includes Silly Songs, etc.

    As our kids get older, we plan on sticking closely to Philippians 4:8 for them, as well as to apply what we've learned about Twaddle in books to our other entertainment as well.

    Most of the time they are only watching videos, etc (other than snippets on You Tube with daddy) a couple times a week. That said, we've been in survival mode of late with my Lyme Disease and we found a program on Netflix (free 30 days) with multiple episodes on the ocean. There are a few references to mating that I'm hoping they miss, but otherwise, it's been a wonderful blessing to have them sit a couple times a day while I pump or bottle feed my littlest one. It's more than we're used to though, and I look forward to having the energy to keep them out from in front of the screen.


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