Oh TV! That blessed time waster and entertainer of the masses. I will be the first to admit that I like to watch the old boob tube, and there are some programs I would not give up easily. My husband and I try to limit our viewing time (except for sports!), and have in the past only allowed ourselves 3 programs each week. I like to believe this is a relatively healthy attitude to TV watching. So does our baby get 3 programs a week too? No way!
We have a total TV ban for our (nearly) one year old. She has never actively watched a TV program in her short life. There was one day, when she was about 3 months old, that I cracked and put a kids show on. She turned away and cried out for a cuddle. The TV has stayed off ever since.
‘Oh you are SO mean, TV doesn’t do any harm. It’s good for them’. The amount of times I have heard this. People are very upset at my decision to have a TV free baby. For some odd reason this simple household choice, gets a huge negative reaction from family and friends. But do you know what? The research shows that TV DOES do harm to the developement of under two’s. It’s not good for them at all! And am I really depriving my daughter? Hell no! Do you know what my baby gets instead? She gets me! I sing, I dance, I entertain! We interact and play together, and sometimes she even plays by herself! No TV required. I think is is a much healthier way to raise my little girl than plonking her in front of the TV, and the research agrees with me.
‘But how do you get things done’? The truth is I don’t know any different. And things do get done. I work, I cook, I clean, and things still continue as expected in our house.
The link below is a nicely written article in the NY times about the recommendation of no TV for under two’s. What is really surprising, and more challenging to our household, is that fact that background TV and computer screens also affect babies. Now I am pretty fond of my tech toys, and we often have the TV on at the weekends (again, the sport!), so this has really got me thinking. From now on there will be no TV during the week, unless it is one of our three shows. We will try not to watch together, so one of us can play with bub in another room. The biggest challenge for me is limiting my phone, iPad and computer screen time. So I am giving myself two slots a day to check emails, Facebook and blog. There is nothing more important to me than raising my daughter in the most healthy way possible. So if that means unplugging, I’m there. I even suspect this might be good for me too! Wish me luck!