Friday, October 21, 2011

TV is Not the Devil...

...parents who use the TV as a babysitter are the ones to blame! I've seen this article:

So I'll give you a moment to browse through that article. Did you? Okay...

I've seen this shared by many people and many pages on Facebook...and I'm sorry, but I don't agree. I have always thought parents who turn on the TV as a means of childcare, need a slap in the face. Yup, I made a statement and will probably get emails and comments telling me how horrible I am for saying such a judgemental thing. When I worked in pediatrics on a surgery unit, tons of our nurses would pull the bedside TVs into young baby's cribs to entertain them. I'm pretty sure that babies (I'm talking infants, under 1 year) don't give a rat's uterus about what's on Tree House. Years and years before I was married and certainly before I was ready to have kids of my own, I decided I wasn't going to be a "TV mom". Also, I still think Tree House is awful and can hear the "you're watching Tree House!" jingle in my head now and again from the trauma of having Tree House on 24 hours a day at work as a peds nurse! (But that's my own personal vendetta against Tree House, I certainly don't think it's bad programming for children).

Phew. So the American Academy of Pediatrics argues in this article that TV has no educational value to children under 2. I agree, completely. I honestly have Thomas or Bob on most of the day for Braden as background noise. He plays very well on his own and with me, and quite frankly has the attention span of an almost 2 year old. 10 minutes watching TV, tops.
"So far, there is no evidence that exposure to any of these gadgets causes long-term developmental problems, experts say."
Good. Point proven, on my end anyway. I completely and totally agree that children learn more from interaction and play than they do from staring at a TV, iPad or laptop all day. Braden certainly won't have a TV in his room, ever, and he would much much much rather be outside playing or going to the park, or even reading books with me, than watching Thomas or Bob. When the day comes when I ask Braden to come outside and play and he says "No, Toe Toe!" or "No, Bob!"...meaning he'd rather stay in and watch TV, then I'll know we might have a problem.
Watching & Wearing Thomas
Not gonna apologize for this!

This article is not going to change my mind on having the TV on for my child, has it changed your mind?

*ETA: Thanks for the comments thus far - I totally agree with you - moderation is the key!!*

P.S. It's still Flashback Friday! I can hardly believe we were doing this, this day last year...
Harvest 2010
And Braden was doing this...we miss Zoey so much still!
Braden LOVES Zoey!
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  1. My husband works as adjunct faculty for a local college two nights a week, and sometimes those nights in order to be able to make Evie's bottle for bed, get her bath ready and feed our dogs, "Go, Diego, Go" is neccesary. It makes her happy, keeps her occupied and gives me a chance to get important things done. She watches it for all of 20 minutes and she interacts just fine. I think that everything in moderation is the best way to go.

  2. I think TV is fine in moderation but it's up to parents to make this so . . I try to only let josh watch telly while i'm doing the cleaning in the morning. He loves the music more then anything while he is playing on the floor.

    PS I love the thomas slippers !!!

  3. It's kind of like pregnancy- everything in moderation and use your good sense!

    You know what's best for you and your family.

  4. I'll admit, the TV is on in our house pretty much all day. I make sure that when Jack is home that it is only on kid's stuff, I don't want him watching adult stuff. He doesn't sit down and watch a whole episode of anything, he usually just pays attention to the opening song and then goes back to playing. But I just need the background noise, its my thing.

    Unrelated to this post, but WHERE DID YOU GET THAT CHAIR????? I must, must, must have that for Jack!

  5. omg I love the pic of braden in the chair with his fluffy butt and thomas slippers. too funny!

    honestly, we're "those" parents who are waiting until our kid is older before we start sitting and watching the kid shows. my family has never been big on tv and when i used to babysit, i remember so many who couldn't even sit and play a puzzle with me. ALL they wanted to do was watch the darn tv. and i really want to try my best to encourage playing outside instead of vegging inside in front of the tv or video games.

    i agree, to each their own, and every mama knows what's best for their babe :)

  6. Didn't read the article yet... but I will.

    I'm going to be honest & say we watch much more TV in this house than we should. (especially bad since we've been sick) Thomas, CARS & Elmo. While Thomas & CARS is mostly just because the kids like watching "choo choo" & "vroom"s go. They have actually learned quite a bit from our Elmo DVDs. They sing lots of songs from the DVDs. Could I have taught them those myself, yeah... but if they learned something while I cooked or cleaned & thats a plus for me. Livi can also point out all sorts of musical instruments... learned from an Elmo DVD. Thats where she figured out a chicken says "bak bak" too. There is educational value to some childrens programs.

    My kids would much rather be outside too!! Which makes me happy. But if Thomas & Elmo give me a break (to keep be away from the bottle of wine or keeps me from locking myself in the bathroom alone!) then its worth it to "risk a few brain cells" over a little TV.

    Everything in moderation. (Including these mini size candy bars for Halloween that I'm eating way too many of!!)

  7. I totally agree with everything in moderation... I remember watching t.v. way back when I was little but I'm sure that a lot of it was because my mom was a single mother of 2 and just needed some 'me time' to herself. If it distracts them for 5, 10, 15 minutes just so you can get something done around the house or dinner started then I find nothing wrong with that!

  8. I didn't read the article, but what we find at school is that some kids who have had a big fat overdose of TV, video games and computer games (all same thing... different modes), can not pay attention to a "boring" teacher who isn't blinking, yelling, flashing lights, playing music, or all the things some kids have OD'd on TV with. They need a big "hoopla" to attract their attention. They also tend to be super good at tuning you out..... we've even had some kids that are so "in tuned" with their video games that it is all they talk about, and they talk about it as if it's real!

    I think if it's background noise you are after... have music going. I'd tend to have a few short times during the day where they're allowed to watch some TV. Like when Mom is making dinner, when they first get up in the morning, or whatever works. I feel the risk of it being on all day, is as they get older, and acquire a longer attention span, they will be watching more and more and more.

  9. honestly, I've never understood the "tv is bad" argument. I think and do believe tv should be in moderation, if kids are sitting a the tv from sun up to sun down then yes, its bad! but watching a few shows here and there isn't going to harm the babe.


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