Babies smarter after watching TV?
|October 26, 2009||Posted by Mabel under Parenthood, Thoughts & Emo-ness|
One of the biggest challenges I face as a new parent is trying to convince a number of people on this side of the planet that the idiot box is exactly that – an IDIOT box. Even Nil and myself notice that we communicate less when we’re in front of the TV. After 1.5 years of no TV, the effects of suddenly having cable is noticeable. We spend less time with each other and no, sitting in front of the TV, eyes glued to it, is NOT spending time together.
I am not too sure about other mums out there, but Eva has recently discovered that we have a TV and every time I breastfeed her in the hall, she’d turn to face the TV and tune everything else out, even FOOD! Now, that’s just bad, IMHO. I’d rather she stare at the pictures we have hung on the wall or even the ceiling because we can get her attention when she stares at those things. With the idiot box, it’s just impossible to get her attention unless we forcibly turn her head!
Anyway, so one of the parenting rules in my house is this – NO NO NO TV for the little one and less TV time for mum and dad. It felt strange imposing this because I kept getting people tell me that I should let her watch TV because it’ll help “educate” her and so forth. :/
When this came onto my FB feed, thanks to Sharon, I felt somewhat relieved. No, babies don’t become smarter after watching the idiot box – at least that’s what this New York Times article had to say with regards to Baby Einstein programmes being taunted as educational.
Parent alert: the Walt Disney Company is now offering refunds for all those “Baby Einstein” videos that did not make children into geniuses.
They may have been a great electronic baby sitter, but the unusual refunds appear to be a tacit admission that they did not increase infant intellect.
“We see it as an acknowledgment by the leading baby video company that baby videos are not educational, and we hope other baby media companies will follow suit by offering refunds,” said Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which has been pushing the issue for years.
Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for babies below two years old and that some governments around the world are considering banning screen time for these babies? According to the same article above, “television exposure at ages 1 through 3 is associated with attention problems at age 7”.
Now I know some people will go “we were exposed to TV when we were growing up and we turned out okay”! But that was then, and now is now – TV just isn’t the same these days. Educational programs? For a baby Eva’s age, I’d prefer to take her out on a stroller and let her stare at her surroundings or better still, I’d rather she focus her attentions on Nil and me! Not only will it be interactive in every sense of the word (unlike the TV), it will be great for bonding as well.
So move aside, idiot box, coz parent-child bonding time is here to stay!