By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK
Olivia, 27, and Alex, 34, have been married for three years and have a 2-year-old and a newborn. Now that their older daughter is talking, she's always asking to watch TV. Olivia doesn't think television consumption should have strict limitations, but Alex wishes their children wouldn't watch TV at all. Who's right?
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She says: "My parents put extremely strict limitations on my TV time when I was growing up, which it made it feel even more forbidden and alluring. Now, I have trouble turning the television off, and I blame it on those parental limitations that I'm still subconsciously trying to rebel against. If you don't make a big deal out of watching TV, I think kids will develop a 'take it or leave it' attitude towards it. As in, it's there if you want to watch, but it's not a metaphor for parental approval and rules. If the kids start watching too much TV, I'll suggest other activities that sound more fun than sitting still on the couch-or just read them The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV."
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He says: "I understand Olivia's point, but we're not talking about drugs here. 'Prohibiting' our children from watching TV won't turn them into boob tube junkies when they get old enough to test the limits of our rules. If it were up to me, we wouldn't even have a television in the house, but I know Olivia would never agree to that. I just think we should tell the kids they're allowed no more than half an hour of parent-approved TV every day-and that's only if they've finished their homework (once they're in school) and really can't think of anything else to do."
Whose side are you on? (Explain your reasoning in the comments section.)
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