Saturday, January 31, 2009

TV Time?

Just finished reading a long article in American Baby magazine about the facts and myths on the effect TV has on children. There has been so much research on this topic, most of the focus being on the relationship of violence in TV to it's effect on kids. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, NO amount of TV is recommended for kids under 2. However, the average age at which children begin to watch TV is 4 months. The reason TV isn't recommended for children under 2 is because they learn NOTHING from it.
Despite the widespread amount of information and research known to the general public on the negative effects of TV on kids from violence to obesity, children are watching increasing more TV at even younger ages. I think the reason is that a lot of parents are tricked into thinking that kids do benefit from TV or DVD's because of the huge market there is out with "educational" programs for kids (aka Baby Einstein). While these shows usually don't harm kids, they are not benefiting from it either. Researchers say that talking to your kids for a few minutes is more beneficial than hours of baby einstein. Another thing the article stressed was watching TV with your kids which parents often don't do because they are using TV as babysitter so that they can get a break. They also stressed turning off the TV when it's not in use. If you want to read the article click here.
I was curious about how much TV parents allow their kids to watch (I'm not judging anyone, so be honest!). Christopher is exposed to very little because I rarely have it on. I did put on a Baby Beethoven DVD twice for about 10min to see his reaction, but he seemed kinda disinterested. Please comment what you think/believe/practice and your welcome to remain anonymous.


  1. So far we plan to raise our kids without any tv as we ourselves don't have tv (broadcast or cable). We do plan to let her watch kid movies when she is a kid (5+), and she is in the room when we watch movies. One of the main reasons we plan to raise our kids without tv in the house is because of the commercials. Both kid commercials advertising junk food and the latest toys and adult commercials that are too adult for kids are what we hope to avoid by not having a tv in the house. I personally grew up with a lot of tv, and my husband grew up with practically zero. He is a lot smarter :)

  2. i was also raised with very little TV. consequently, i read a lot. i think i want to have a good balance with some TV because it is a useful learning tool. the article was saying that after the age of 3 or something that tv can be educational for kids and a good conversation starter. i plan to limit tv time, watch with my kids and choose programing carefully.