Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Great Parenting Advice. Kinda.

I was quoted in the local paper this morning regarding letting my kids watch TV before age 2. The article referred to THIS Modern-Day Jane post, which I'm repeating here.

I was talking to a group of mom friends the other day, and as everyone was leaving, I was able to visit one-on-one with a younger mom, C. She has one adorable 2 year old boy and is expecting their second baby.

She was expressing frustration with the constant entertainment demands of a little person. You know, how Mommy is their favorite person to be with, and because they love love love you so much, they must constantly be talking to you, or sitting on you, or both?

Needless to say, I can completely relate, and assured her that after a couple years, having two kids would lessen that problem considerably. Leah and Ben entertain each other for a good portion of the day, and Ben is learning to play according to Leah's rules, lucky boy. However, I could do without Leah's new habit of attaching herself to my leg while I'm walking.

Anyway, she sent me an email today about some other stuff, and at the end thanked me for the parenting advice. And what was the brilliant suggestion I had given her?

To let her kid watch TV.

Yeah, I'm that mom.

I told her about a study I'd read (article which is no longer available, but here's another one (and one more) with a similar point) about that said that educational children's television was shown to have no impact on attention span, even for kids younger than 3. The shows responsible for the bad rap are non-educational ones, such as Sponge-Bob, Power Rangers, Scooby-Doo, etc. Which is why I have limited guilt for all the PBS that my kids watch.

Kind of. Of course, I still wish I was doing something more productive and educational with them, but can I really compete with SuperWhy? It's basically taught Leah how to read. And it's not like they are watching at all hours of the day. They watch an hour in the morning while I shower and get ready, and then maybe another hour in the afternoon while I'm - ideally- getting dinner set up.

So friend C said, "I've rented a Curious George video, and O is quietly watching it while I type this! I think I'll go take a shower!"

You go, mom.


Noel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aaron said...

Square One taught me about prime numbers, the Cartesian plane, and adding integers! HELL YES.

Suzi said...

I was proud that Lincoln didn't watch much tv as a toddler, he really didn't get into it and sit still for tv until almost 3.

Miranda already loves Dora and can sit still a half hour to an hour for Dora or Curious George.

Oh how things change with kid #2.

Noel said...

Excellent kids programming, Jane Austen movies, documentaries ... what's not to like?

Oh yeah, pledge drives :-(

One of our kids once came to us crying when they interupted her program with a pledge request (for the parents).

Hannah B said...

I've already started with this routine also, it helps mommy be much more pleasant to all if she has a shower, can drink a cup of coffee or two while she looks over craigslist in the morning. Although I do have to wonder when the first word out of Aidan's mouth every morning is George. But no worries no eating in front of the tv :) we do have some rules in this house. give my best to your babies......Hannah

mama.nichols4 said...

Our policy is no tv on school nights for the school age kids. We've implemented this rule mostly because they seemingly have too much to do already, without adding the distraction of television to the mix. It leaves the temptation out of their minds since they know it's not an option. Of course, on the weekends we're much more laxed with the amount of tv they're allowed to watch.

As for the non-school age kids, Elijah could care less about watching tv, and like the other kids, we have no plan to force it upon him. Isaac is allowed to watch a movie during his "rest" time once or twice a week, otherwise he "rests" while I enjoy a mom show, like HGTV or something. I realize that tv is a stimulant and thereby not permitting his brain to relax but it's a time when he's not moving around like a crazy kid and that's what I find to be helpful for him.