To TV or not TV, that is the question.

Disclaimer: Due to a recent turn of events (my husband is finishing graduate school and entering the work force, our nanny is pregnant and will only be with us through June/July), our family has officially entered the housing market. In an effort to establish a new home and a new day care situation for Peanut and attempt to limit her transitions, we’re going full speed ahead to fit into this summer timeline. In advance, I apologize for what will most likely be short and sweet blog posts until we’ve settled in…God only knows where!

Even before Peanut was born, my husband and I began discussing the role of television in her daily environment. We both agreed that we wanted to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of waiting until Peanut was two years old before introducing her to television (a recommendation that I believe has now been raised to three years old).

My husband and I were never really big TV watchers anyway, so while we’re home, the TV just stays off until she goes down for the evening. If we’re out at a party or a family member’s house and the television is on, we obviously don’t put a blindfold on Peanut or sequester her in another room, but we do the best we can to limit her exposure.

I wanted to share a great article that I read in the latest issue of The Atlantic called “The Touch-Screen Generation” by Hanna Rosin. The author is writing from a convention of sorts for developers of children’s applications for smartphones, iPads, etc. The following is a quote from one of my favorite passages on the article that seems to hit the nail on the head for me.

“Norman Rockwell never painted Boy Swiping Finger on Screen, and our own vision of a perfect childhood has never adjusted to accommodate that now-common tableau. Add to that our modern fear that every parenting decision may have lasting consequences—that every minute of enrichment lost or mindless entertainment indulged will add up to some permanent handicap in the future—and you have deep guilt and confusion. To date, no body of research has definitively proved that the iPad will make your preschooler smarter or teach her to speak Chinese, or alternatively that it will rust her neural circuitry—the device has been out for only three years, not much more than the time it takes some academics to find funding and gather research subjects. So what’s a parent to do?”

Rosin is realistic in exploring the pros and cons of the situation and interviews parents who exist on all parts of the spectrum, who explain how and why they made their decision. She is also realistic in stating the fact that there is no real right way to handle the situation, which pretty much sums up how I sometimes feel about parenting in general.

For those of you interested, take a look at the article and feel free to comment. I know it can be a hot button topic, I’m interested in knowing your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!

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One thought on “To TV or not TV, that is the question.

  1. Great topic! I say it depends on you and your family and for us the answer is “TV”. LM didn’t watch TV until our first plane trip when she was one-year old and it was magical. She watches it constantly with grandparents (indulge, inldulge, indulge) and varies on day but about 1.5-2 hours total a day. LMJ will always watch it because it’s on now. Also, my hubby and I watch a lot of TV and both like it. LM’s difficulty in playing independently has played a large factor in our decision, as has neither one of us being a morning person and, yes, sometimes I feel guilty but that sums up parenting too.

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