Most children are introduced to television at a young age. I remember when my own daughter watched her first bit of television and watching her nearly burst with excitement as she watched the colourful things bopping around on screen and listened to the music. She would often sit in her bouncy chair after breakfast and watch something (Fimbles , If my memory serves me right) But did this make me a bad parent? Did that hour of television make me a lazy parent? Regardless of what the other hours in the day were filled up with?
There have been endless studies into the link between how much time a child spends watching TV and their weight. Personally I think this is ridiculous. Children of overweight parents are more likely to be overweight and children that do not participate in games/sports/outdoor play are more likely to be overweight but the fact is that nine times out of ten the parents and the lifestyle they choose for their child will determine weather or not your child will be a healthy weight. Not how much time is spent watching TV.
You will always find contradictions in what ever research you come across. My daughter is 9 years old, and in very good shape athletically as well as having a good and balanced diet. She still enjoys her not so good sweet things (in moderation) and YES! she does watch television. In the mornings , after getting up, having breakfast etc there is no time for television, which is good as we would end up being late! Even I tend not to watch as I always end up sucked in to some story on daybreak and end up running late. But when she comes home from school, she normally spends the first hour, getting changed, doing homework etc then I will let her have a few hours of television (Providing her homework/reading is complete). During this time she will no doubt have dinner. I live in a ground floor flat so Its not a case of laziness having dinner infront of the TV, but I have no dining room and no where to eat other than our small coffee table that we sit at and eat. Yes the TV is still on at this time, but more or less not being watched and we still enjoy conversation over dinner abot her day at school and so on.
Aalliyah has watched TV from a very young age. She has also (past year) began using the internet a lot more. She does research for projects and homework, but also spends a lot of time on various websites, such as Cbbc, Mathletics etc. I have yet to find her on a game which had no learning value! She is doing fantastically at school, with high levels in Maths and English. Again yet more information which contradicts most of the research you will find online.
Overall I would say Aalliyah watches TV on average 2 hours a day, more at weekends, if we are not out somewhere and she will play a DVD at night when she goes to bed. The DVD is never watched past 5 mins and she is asleep. But these are all choices that I make for her as her parent, I feel they are right for us as a family, and If I felt they were affecting her behaviour or abilities in anyway, I would change her routine.
Every single parent is different, and I guess there is no right or wrong answer to the worldwide debate of TV time.