Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ever meet one of those weird parents who doesn't allow their child to watch TV? Thats me. Yes I am one of those weirdo's who hates Elmo and Dora and avoids television at all costs. Family, friends and just about everyone thinks it's weird even though a team of doctors and experts on the subject agree with me.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.

Sierra has never watched television - ever. She might have accidentally stolen glances from time to time but we've never sat down to watch TV. Even I, as a full grown adult only watches about 2 hours of television a week (I watch  Premier League Football Saturday mornings, sue me). This is for a variety of reasons; the first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development. TV Interferes with the development of intelligence, thinking skills and imagination. If that doesn't sound bad enough children under 3 who have been exposed to television are at a much higher risk for developing ADHD. Most children's programs last about 7 minutes before a commercial and your child's young moldable brain actually becomes wired for 7 minutes of attention! (Read the Study Here). I'm sure not every kid who watches TV at a young age becomes an overweight, unimaginative little nit-wit but why take the risk? Is The Backyardigans really worth it? I won't even get into the disgusting marketing that the networks, programs and commercials push onto your child, thats a whole different blog post.

Now, I am not saying people who allow their toddlers to tune in are bad parents, it's a personal decision my family has made based on careful research and proven information from experts we trust. We do own a television, but we have been discussing getting rid of it entirely, thoughts? If anyone disagrees and thinks TV has helped their child please chime in. I am not claiming to be an expert - only claiming that I trust experts. -Craig


  1. I've never understood why people think it's "weird" to not expose people to TV, especially children.

    What's weird is propping an impressionable child in front of hyperreality and giving them the idea that it's a perfectly acceptable/natural substitute.

  2. Couldn't agree more, thanks for your feedback!! -C

  3. Hey Hey!
    So we got rid of our TV about 8 months ago, best thing we ever did. We didn't have cable for years but something about not having it in the house completely changed the energy. We read a ton (I'm sure more than if we had a TV in the house) and it's so cool to see G picking up our books and "reading" them now. I feel good knowing not only are we supporting her in reading but also setting a good example. Woot for no TV!

  4. @Kirby - Thats awesome! We got a new-customer deal from Comcast when we moved into our new place cable+internet for $99/month - which includes tons of movie channels so we DO have cable, but use it seldomly. We are in the midsts of getting rid of it all together - Lauren and I are both big readers, and this will only force us to be more productive in my art, in our reading, in everything. So I think we're going to make the switch to a NO-TV household (I can watch my soccer online anyway) :-) -C

  5. Totally agree with this!! Our little guy, Hayes, is two and we didn't allow television watching before he turned two. He caught glimpses and such but never sat down to watch a video.... we don't have cable tv--so no cartoon channels.... no tv on as ambient noise business.... he does enjoy a good Kipper episode-(and thanks to my husband, Simpson episode-gasp!!-)-so, once in a while, I will allow it... no tv sitters for us! might as well have a bit of balance... but certainly is so true-no screens for those under two....
    anyone remember this?? If not--don't be duped by Disney..hehe

    I enjoy your blog, guys!

  6. Thanks, I'm so happy so many people agree with me! I think you guys are making it easier for me to make the switch from little tv household to NO tv household. I <3 the Baby Einstein stuff so funny / sad. -C

  7. We have def limited D's TV watching SO much. He didn't watch any at all for at least the first 18 months. Then we started to let him watch a little... sometimes. And I really hated it. They get sucked in SO fast. It became an obsession pretty quick, so we just cut it out again. Sometimes it is a lifesaver, like when we're sick or I'm too tired (did you know being preggo takes a lot of energy? add a toddler and MAN... i didn't know you could be that tired). but not nearly every day and often not even once a week.

    i think it is more narrow-minded to think that you SHOULD plop your kid in front of the tv and feed them sugar and stamp disney and nick into their brain. there are other, WAY healthier options.

    i don't know if we could do NO tv, but we only stream netflix. we don't have cable. so i'm all for not having cable.

  8. Everything in Moderation / Nothing in Excess

  9. As a child growing up as English as a second language I'm glad I was expose to TV. My dad is deaf in one ear and would put the close caption on so he can read what the show or what not. With close captioning (and school of course) I learned to read and speak English. I can't vouch for my grammar skills though. TV's also made me sort of a pop culture lover. I kick ass in Jeopardy.
    FF many years later, I still watch tv with close captioning and so do my kids on a 56 inch flat screen no less. (D: The horror!) I have 3 children, 7, 4, and 17 months. They're healthy little kids who enjoy TV. They're not dumb zombies. My 7 year old is in gifted for reading actually. Funny that a kid who loves Cartoon Network can read chapter books like no one's business. I supervise what they watch. We spend a lot of time outside and we read for 20 minutes every night before bed. TV doesn't make kids stupid or fat. TV's not the one who's raising our kids. Parenting is different for everyone. Kuddos to you if want to shield them from the horribleness that is Dora. I'm gonna put on some Yo Gabba Gabba and learn about not biting my friends.


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