Friday, September 17, 2010

To watch or not to watch

In response to your post about tv, Ves:

Before I even gave birth to Declan, I swore I would not let him watch any tv until he asked for it (and even then it would be minimal). However, I must admit I changed this for a couple reasons. First, because I have many family and friends with children, it is difficult to keep the tv totally off at all times (so inevitably Declan will be around it when it is on). Secondly, I love some shows and love to share them with my babe. Declan watches only the following: Sesame Street, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Baby Signing Time.

I did, however, find that the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS had this to say about TV for young ones:

Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years. Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group, research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant care givers (eg, child care providers) for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Therefore, exposing such young children to television programs should be discouraged.;104/2/341

I think the concern is that children watch too much tv. Even for the most aware parents, it is easy to lose track of how much tv your child watches. This is why Declan watches only select media- it makes it easier for Chris and me to keep track. Some days he watches none. What do you think?


  1. You probably know what I think, since Paul and I don't have TV in our house - at least not TV with channels, but we only watch dvd's instead. I think not having a TV in the house leads to a better atmosphere and more time to do other things. Also, family members can better focus onto each other. It turns out, however, that Paul and I watch a dvd almost every evening!!! It is addicting. It's easy, entertaining, it's there.

    I believe that TV is just as addicting (if not even more) for kids. If research says that it is not good for their brain development, we should definitely try to avoid it or at least use it just occasionally - but definitely not as an easy way to keep them occupied, so that we as parents can go and do other things! I agree with you, Hannah, that it is hard to keep track and the "occasionally" can turn into "often" or even "a lot" ... just because it is so easy to entertain kids with that kind of stimulation.

  2. We didn't have a TV in our living room for 3 1/5 years. We only had 1 TV and no cable. So we watched PBS/XXI that the kids still love and beg to watch. Sometimes I don't mind the shows themselves, it is all the commercials for junky toys they don't need and really bad food. We are already starting to turn them into little zombies by telling them what the "cool" things are and what they should want. Not that I am against advertising, I just wish it didn't have to start so aggressively at such a young age. This is a good idea and great site!

  3. Yes, yes, ladies. Both comments remind me of how Chris and I approach tv.

    I grew up on black and white movies and PBS- only...I cannot recall any exceptions. I think the makers of the show Declan watches - YO GABBA GABBA are trying to return to that SESAME STREET tone- the tv that, when your kids do watch, teaches instead of brainwashes.

  4. Oh and Rosie:) Hi!

    I forgot to say that although I do not promote turning kids into zombies, I would rather be the one brainwashing them than the tv, right? Ha.

    Welcome to the dialogue. Join as a follower!

  5. I guess no matter how good and educational the shows are supposed to be, the problem is in the affect that fast TV stimulation has on their brain development ... Apparently not a good one. I've just recently read an interesting book on this topic , "Bright from the start" by Jill Stamm.