Let's be honest here. I love TV. I have all of my fav TV shows DVRed and ready to watch as soon as the kids go to sleep. So, how could I ever be one of those parents who denies their kids the joy of TV. I want to, however, make it perfectly clear that I am not writing this to be judgmental. I believe that every parents decision is a good one when it comes to TV. I am writing what I feel about me and my parenting decisions.
So, if I watch TV, I can't keep my kids from it. Similar to the fact that I love sweets so I can't keep them from sweets. I can teach moderation and only give them choices that I think are appropriate and from there, they can make the decision.
When it comes to TV my husband and I have several programs that we think are appropriate. Several are from PBS. "Sesame Street", "Sid the Science Kid" and "Curious George" to name a few. We try to set our DVR so that we always have fresh ones to turn on in a time of need. We also dig "Handy Manny", "Blue's Clues" and "Little Einsteins".
The cool thing about these programs is there aren't any commercials and they teach kids something. They are all so different with their subject matter and their teaching and entertaining models. I actually feel like my kids take away so much from these programs.
In the end, I do think it is okay to use the TV as a babysitter. I like to put on a program if they are rowdy before dinner or when they first wake up. We will snuggle up to a movie if the weather is awful and everyone is tired in the afternoon. It really comes down to those 2 major things I said earlier. How often and what programs? We make sure to keep TV watching to an hour or an hour-and-a-half a day. And we try to make sure the programs are educational. A lot more than I can say for myself...unless you would consider "Weeds" and "Grey's Anatomy" educational. Might be a strech!