As you know, some of us at IBC are not always huge fans of studies.
This article is a good example of why.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a statement this week that kids under two not be watching TV. They suggest it can delay language development, cause sleep problems and potentially lead to the growth of a third eyeball.
Okay, no third eyeball. But you get the point.
Apparently some television is okay if parents watch it with them.
I don’t know about you all, but doesn’t that defeat the point? I don’t turn on the television because I think my children are going to start writing complicated mathematical theses along the wall – I do it so I can quickly pee, change laundry loads and possibly take down a couple of swigs of coffee that I’ve already microwaved four times. If it’s a really good day, I may get to check my email. Not answer it, mind you, but at least look to see how many people I’m ignoring today.
The AAP says there can be some benefit to limited television, but kids have to be old enough to understand it, which is considered to be over age two.
The article continues:
All in all, instead of spending time in front of the TV, young kids are likely better off spending that time engaged in unstructured play, which promotes creative thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills.
Well, yeah. We all know we’re not supposed to let the TV babysit our kids. It’s certainly not my preference. In fact, forget Mary Poppins – I’d love to have a hot “manny” who provides a perfect mix of intellectually stimulating playtime, physical activity and then calmly soothing my kids with stories as they doze to sleep after a bath time that doesn’t involve half of the water from the tub ending up across my bathroom floor.
I have yet to hear a good list of alternative solutions, especially for parents on their own with their kids. Let’s face it – Sometimes, stuff has to get done.
So until my lovely childcare daydream emerges, my parenting
might will need a little bit of a crutch. I’m okay with that. Aside from not understanding why Dora and Diego have to yell all of the time, my daughter now knows my Spanish than I do from that 25 minutes.
What do you think? Are these studies overblown? How do you use television in your home, if at all?
And, if you have managed to keep television from your kids’ schedule, how do you do it?