My son is now fifteen months old and has had very little exposure to Television. Here is an issue that my wife & I agree on – we want to minimize exposure to TV for our son because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time at all for children under 2. This was reason enough for us to keep the tv off during the day!
Everyone has their reasons TO TV or NOT TV with their kids. Some parents say their child is so transfixed on the TV that it gives them (the parent) a break, some parents believe that their child really does learn from what they watch, and some parents think that it soothes their child when they are fussy. These plausible reasons may work for some parents, but not for me. I have been trying to maintain a non-TV household during the day. So far, so good. Need another reason to NOT TV – I have read that some studies show that television exposure at ages 1 through 3 is associated with attention problems at age 7. Consequently, I am sure there is research that contradicts that claim.
The TV issue with young children has recently come into the spotlight when Walt Disney Company agreed to provide full refunds to parents for their Baby Einstein Videos. Not satisfied with your Baby Einstein Videos & looking to make some coin? The Walt Disney company is refunding $15.99 per DVD for up to four dvd’s per household. An article was featured about this hot topic on the cover of Saturday’s NY Times. No Einstein In Your Crib? Get A Refund by Tamar Lewin included this quote – “We see it as an acknowledgment by the leading baby video company that baby videos are not educational, and we hope other baby media companies will follow suit by offering refunds,” said Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which has been pushing the issue for years.
This parenting dilemma will not be solved overnight by this particular article, but it does make for a compelling argument on why NOT to TV with your kid. So dads & parents…Do you TV or Not TV with the kids? Why?
frank b. says
i know you have been a proponent of no tv, but i don’t think a little here and there throughout the day hurts. when the tv is on in my house during the day, it is usually on either cnbc or tennis channel. so, she knows about people running around a rectangle and hitting a little yellow ball and the scrolling stock ticker and various visual graphics depicting the many goings on in the financial world. additionally, when certain commercials come on she dances around. it is the funniest thing!
at times i feel sorry for her because she doesn’t know who the various kids characters are on tv, but believe me she is blatantly aware of them regardless. i don’t know how she knows, but she has an incredible memory once she sees something once.
as for the baby einstein paraphenalia, i always thought that stuff was bogus. i watched a few videos way back when and thought this stuff is dumb and numbing to say the least. my daughter was the least bit interested and preferred to watch and play with me instead. that, to me, is a better preference.
keep up the good work on the blogosphere…
Patrick S. says
No TV. Because playing with Daddy, whether it be peek-a-boo, blocks, ball, xylophone, cooking, etc. creatively develops good brain “stuff”. Additional it’s interactive to play with Daddy so everyday the playtime is different, better.
A friend of mine does not have TV, yet plays age appropriate videos on the TV for his children older than 2. That way there is a beginning and an end to “TV time”. “No more, it’s all done.” I thought his approach was rather interesting during these very formative years.
In my perfect world no TV! But with two running around and the sudden need on my part to go to the bathroom ALONE or the need to make a phone call without interruption then the Elmo video can be our best friend. Elmo can keep two toddlers from leaving a designated location and not thumping each other for the five or ten minutes I need.