6.21.2007

BABIES WATCHING TELEVISION

I read somewhere once that if you want your child to learn good habits (politeness, praying, etc.), you need to obviously exemplify those good habits yourself (duh).

In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised against television watching for children under the age of two. Although I did not have children at the time, this statement made me extremely aware of any time young children around me were watching television.

We had a neighbor in Provo who had the Baby Einstein DVD on repeat all day long for her 1 year old daughter to watch. A friend in our ward who told us she knew her addiction to Law and Order had gotten bad when her 18 month old started saying, "TNT - We know drama." Then there was my hairdresser who told me she parked her 6 week old daughter right in front of the Disney Channel for an hour each morning while she was getting ready for work. She said that it kept her daughter occupied and that the programs were really educational. SIX WEEKS OLD!! I am not making this up, I promise. I never said anything to any of these people because I'm not perfect either. Plus, the AAP's statements are more like guidelines anyway, right?

Luke was born and I told Erik, "No way is he watching t.v. before he's 2!" Erik responded, "Uh-huh. So you are just going to stop watching t.v. yourself? Yeah right." Then one day American Idol came on and Luke wouldn't go to sleep and well, I will admit to allowing Luke to watch a little television now and then. Only good shows are allowed though like Lost, Oprah, The Office and Dateline's To Catch a Predator. (60-40.)

Yesterday I was making dinner and heard the television go on twice. Both times I went into the living room to find that Luke had climbed up on to the couch and was sitting there watching television. (I also quickly snapped the poorly taken picture below.) I don't think I watch a lot of television, especially not during the day when he is awake. Perhaps he's picked up on this from me?
(I've unplugged the t.v. since then so he can't turn it on.) The good news is that both times it was either C-SPAN or Telemundo, so as my hairdresser would say, at least its educational and maybe he'll learn Spanish too!


7 comments:

  1. After spending this last week with my sister and her baby, I can see why people park their babies in front of the t.v. on occasion. Not that I'm condoning it, but parenting is not easy (and that was with a one week old that can't move and get into things). I commend your efforts and hope I can be as diligent should I choose to have children (I'm sure I will, but seriously...they are a lot of work).

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  2. I was adamant that our first child never even see a tv screen having read somewhere ("Teaching with the Brain in Mind")that it totally messes up their perception of basically everything. So I'd turn her from the tv so she wouldn't even see it. And then when she was old enough to know where to look, we didn't watch tv while she was around. Kid #2 is a completely different story because by the time he came around, kid #1 was almost two and would watch the Disney Princess Sing Along dvds once a day. When our kids start quoting ads or the slogans from PBS or Noggin, I know we need to cut back.

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  3. I think the more serious matter here is that your baby knows how to use a t.v. remote! He looks way too comfertable on that couch with the remote in his hand. And if its not you who is letting him watch t.v., I think you need to have a little chat with Erik.

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  4. This was hard for me to read because the guilty take the truth to be hard. :) Thanks for that article. I need to be so much better about this.

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  5. Did you hide the identity of some of the people you mentioned? Am I one of them? :)

    We just had to cut back Hayden's t.v. time b/c I was at the store and Hayden wanted to buy his cousin a gift and picked up a toy and said, "batteries not included". I despise commercials.

    We are now a 3 PBS shows a day family. We sit down and pick out his shows and that's it. This way there are no commercials, I know what he's watching, and it's no more than 1.5 hours a day. I know that seems like a lot, but when Luke is 5 you'll understand how it isn't :). Or maybe I'm just trying to justify my actions.

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  6. Oh and Owen sees more t.v. than Hayden ever did b/c he's up and around while Hayden's watching his shows.

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  7. From an aspiring mom...one day... to an accomplished mom, what is your advice for the tv generation raising their babies?

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