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Is TV OK at preschool?

Our toddlers don’t watch much TV. We limit it, on most days, to about 20 minutes of their favorite on-demand show, which is usually Thomas & Friends or Bob the Builder. We need them to sit still long enough to prepare dinner. And it works, providing us a respite from the chaos that usually surrounds these adorable but spirited little boys.

So I understand why preschool and day care teachers sometimes turn on the TV. I need a break with two kids; they endure 10 or so little ones for hours on end. It’s a long day, and plopping them in front of a TV probably seems like a way to regain one’s sanity. And I fully support sane teachers for my children. That said (and you see where this is going): What’s an acceptable amount of TV in preschool or day care? Our boys are 3 and 18 months.

My wife and I have debated this recently as we noticed that our 3-year-old seemed increasingly familiar with cartoon characters. Some he learned at a friend’s house, but others clearly are coming from TV sessions at his school – either during aftercare or the normal school day. We’ve raised this issue before with school folks, but I wonder how far to push it. What would you do?

Categories: Family Issues (231), Matthew Strozier (59)


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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
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Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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