TV and kids
You might have heard the old adage "TV is bad for kids". Well, it is not very old and I don't know if that counts as an adage but I disagree with it. It is like saying 'food is bad for kids'. We can agree that good food is good for kids and junk food is bad for kids. Similarly, there is good TV and there is junk TV. Being a parent I can vouch that good TV for a limited time has done a lot of good to my child and some other children I know. The devil is in the details.
Let me try to deconstruct 'good tv for limited time'.
Good TV is media that help children learn something valuable - values, talking about their emotions, scientific approaches, numbers, vocabulary, nursery rhymes. There is a lot of great content out there that my daughter loves such as Number Blocks, Story Bots, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, The Wiggles, Puffin Rock, Emily's Lab to name a few. All of those shows are on Netflix and YouTube (I guess!). They are slow, soothing and well produced, and teaches a lot. There is no blaring music or weird contrasting colors.
TV over mobile devices It is very important that they do not watch these in tablets for four reasons. Firstly, it is easy to go to next episode or get pulled into some other show, going down the rabbit hole to nonsense. Secondly, it leads to a need for instant gratification, they want to get to the point else they forward or move to the next episode. It is important for them to see how the story is told, the context, the ups and downs, climax and lesson. Thirdly, tablet it much closer to the eye than a TV, so that might affect their eyesight. Lastly, tablet is a mobile device, meaning they will ask for it during a family trip, on a car or train or flight, which is not good. Kids need to know that there are better things than TV.
Limited time is an important aspect of this. An hour(2-3yo) or 1.5 hrs (4+) is the upper limit for a day, and after that you can talk to them about what they learnt. This is also very important, as parents to be able to spend an hour or more talking to them about what they have learnt and if they have any more questions. Sometime my 5yo asks great questions 'how do they build a bridge over sea', 'where does potty go from the toilet', 'how does the electricity work' etc. We usually learn together by watching a video on that subject on youtube (on the TV). This is outside of the playtime in the park or school.
Child's capacity to learn is only limited by your capacity to teach.
Word of caution: Kids will slowly drift to other shows, just make sure they are age appropriate according to your values, not according to the show producer. So, it is best to keep an eye or ear on what your kids are watching so you can shut it down quickly(with the right reasoning) if you do not approve of it.
Bonus tip: If the kids are "eating your head" and they have finished their quota of TV time, audio stories on Spotify are great to keep them engaged while they work on coloring pages or some other crafts.
So let those little brats watch some TV and you get an hour all for yourself to write blogs or K-drama or whatever floats your boat!