I just this article in the newspaper today. Here’s a link:
Basically, it says that any TV for children under the age of two years is bad. Even those Baby Einstein DVDs are not recommended.
Okay, I admit it. I let my 10-month old watch TV and Baby Einstein (in limited amounts, of course). Is this article going to change that? No. Do I think that I’m a horrible mother and that my child will be irreparably damaged? Please.
I believe that it’s OK to have your baby watch age-appropriate television and DVDs. The material is engaging, visually stimulating, and educational. My niece and nephew were both exposed to television at an early age. They are now both extremely bright, articulate, and well-adjusted. No signs of ADHD or speech impediment.
While the article focuses on television’s effects on babies, let’s talk about when children get older. Yes, too much TV can be detrimental. Instead of partaking in some physical or social activity, some parents find TV more convenient to use to entertain the little ones. But I think we’re using television as an excuse for this younger generation’s lack of maturity, respect, and ownership. Can we not hold parents somewhat responsible? After all, kids shouldn’t be allowed to watch just anything. There has to be some sort of discussion. You’ve got to explain the images that they are seeing.
Mother: You see that rapper slapping the girl’s ass?
Mom: Well, that’s not appropriate. Girls actually don’t like that. Don’t do it.
Boy: Why not?
Mother: Well, that girl is someone’s sister. You wouldn’t do that to your sister. Would you?
Boy: I guess not.
OK, that example is pretty lame. Obviously, you’re not going to allow your kids to watch hip-hop music videos or primetime dramas. But, you get my meaning. The argument that TV is too violent doesn’t hold water for me either. What about the evening news? At least that stuff is real.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have the TV on all the time. We do read books together and play games. My son is happy, curious, and calm. He loves interacting with others and can babble your ear off. But, when I need just that five minutes to scarf something down, that Baby Einstein is a lifesaver.
I guess what I’m getting at is that there are too many voices telling us what to do and how to do it. Every time a study comes out, it gets debunked three months later. We’ve forgotten how to trust our instincts and use common sense. My parents let me watch TV all the time. I think I turned out OK. I am OK, right?