Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Television for Toddlers

I decided to post on this topic because it appears to be very controversial and I can practice putting all sorts of nifty links in my post. Apparantly, the recent experts on the subject are the American Academy of Pediatrics and they say don't let children under two watch television. It seems this has generated a lot of guilt for moms. Apparently, TV watching is an even worse sin when you do it in a car? I have a 20 month old and I did decide not to turn the TV on and let her watch children's programs as long as I could realistically avoid it. However, her father is an absolute fanatic about sports and, when he is home, there is always a TV on in the house. She sees a whole lot of ESPN.

Recently, I did break down and play a children's video. My daughter adores ELMO and I saw an ELMO exercise video at the library and thought it might be fun (and maybe I might burn a few calories). She watched with interest the first few minutes when Elmo was on the screen, but then she played with toys and only glanced at the TV occasionally. I exercised and danced to Elmo alone and looked like a fool doing it. I guess I'm lucky. My kid isn't particularly interested in TV right now. However, I have a niece who was addicted when she was younger. When she needed consolation from an injury or an injustice, she would ask for a 'wideo'. Her mother was a WAHM who tried to control the intake of videos, but it was a constant struggle. The kid could watch 6 hrs of videos back to back from the age of 2 and a half. She is a very normal, socially fit, academically strong, athletic, and active 12 year old now. She is not overweight or autistic (I think the autism research is a really crappy way to lay blame on the parents of autistic children).

Kids have addictive tendencies and they will usually do fun things in excess. Many adults will, too. My daughter happens to be obsessed with junk food and candy rather than TV. I guess it is our job as parents to limit this stuff before it fries their brains or screws up their metabolism, but I'm not going to beat myself up if my kid wins sometimes. I will just do my best to stash the candy bowl and turn the TV off and go for a walk or play a game together.

1 comment:

Gwen said...

Welcome to the bloggersphere. I am Gwen and I am an alcoholic. Looking forward to getting to know you.

Have a great 24