Kids Habits: What's Too Much TV?

A new study found that watching SpongeBob SquarePants slows learning abilities in younger children, so we asked four Douglasville moms for their take on the popular animated television series and their television viewing habits.

Jennifer Bean Stevens, Douglasville mom to six-year-old daughter

I think Spongebob is hilarious, and my daughter, Sam has been watching Spongebob for about a year. Can't say that I find her any less polite or socially inappropriate because of it. I use television strategically in our home. Sam is aware of the news to the extent that she can generally process current events. It's limited, so about one 30-minute show works perfectly in our home. However, our TV doesn't stay on indefinitely. Typically, we tune into Nickelodeon or Disney.

Patti Styles, Douglasville mom to one-year-old son

Shortly before my son was born, I read about not letting kids under the age of two watch TV and agreed with the rationale behind it. Television shows aren't filmed like they used to be with each shot or camera angle lasting for several seconds. Now camera angles change every one to two seconds (or less), which I definitely agree can impact a child's-or even adult's-attention span. When he turns two, I'll probably start to let him watch a little television, but I'm going to heavily gravitate towards letting him watch programs with few camera changes and graphics on speed.

Angela Cavallari Walker, Douglasville mom to a four-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son

I never had an issue with Spongebob until I read about this study. This study is especially alarming for me, since I have allowed both my children to watch one episode of Spongebob in the afternoon. However, I have not seen a change in either of their learning abilities. Then again, I have never allowed them to watch this cartoon before or right after doing their homework. Going forward, it’s time to go on a TV viewing diet. Sorry Spongebob. Please send our regards to Mr. Crabs, Patrick and the residents of Bikini Bottom.

Lisa Kwon Brooks, Douglasville mom to four-year-old son

On a week day, Jack, who just turned 4, probably watches about an hour total per day. We’re not opposed to letting him watch SpongeBob or other regular cartoons, he just chooses to watch the educational shows. I’ve always been of the opinion that TV is not bad as long as you are aware of the programs your kid is watching. When I was growing up, the only thing that fell into the educational category was Sesame Street. The rest of the time we were watching Bugs and Daffy and Tom & Jerry beat the crap out of each other! That being said, the occasional 20 minutes of TV time that allows me to shower/cook/clean or just read my mail is perfectly acceptable.


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