T.V. or not t.v.

I’ll admit it.  Eirinn watches t.v.  I will qualify that by saying she only watches Treehouse, which is geared specifically towards babies and toddlers.  There are no violent or age-inappropriate shows on Treehouse, no matter what time of day.  No swearing, no adult situations, nothing too confusing.  Her favourites are Go, Diego, Go, Big Comfy Couch, This Is Daniel Cook, and Four Square.  She loves the theme songs and knows the words to many of them.  She sings, dances, plays along, points out objects she recongizes and is generally very happy while watching ‘her shows’. 

I’ve read many, many articles by various levels of professional and non-professional ‘experts’ that say that any t.v. before the age of two can be detrimental to a child’s intellectual development.  I’m not going to argue with that, per se, because I’m not a doctor and I haven’t studied hundreds of babies and toddlers to get any sort of statistics, like I’m sure has been done to bring the pro’s to their conclusions.  I will say that Eirinn is at the top end of the scale for intellectual and physical development, according to anything I’ve read (which I don’t normally buy into because we all end up at basically the same spot, don’t we?)  She showed no interest in anything on the television screen until beyond a year, and trust me, I tried (as I count the 8 Baby Einstein videos which were, all but one, rejected for anything but chew toys – thanks, Eirinn, now I can’t even sell them).  I just can’t see the harm in letting her watch a few shows.  My husband and I are verifiably, certifiably, undeniably addicted to t.v., and quite proud of it, and we’re fairly normal, successful, productive members of society.  We can count by twos and tie our shoes.  Neither of us are morbidly obese, which is a side effect of too much t.v. according to ‘the experts’. 

Eirinn is very well rounded, including watching television.  Besides watching a few shows, she also plays outside everyday (weather permitting), she colours, she reads like nobody’s business, she plays with her toys.  We also monitor her viewing very closely.  We watch with her, singing the songs, playing the games, asking her questions about what she sees.  Television is really just another learning tool, as we’re using it, and I am finding that she is not only NOT intellectually delayed because of it, but she is learning in leaps and bounds and I credit it partially.  So, what’s the harm in a little boob tube?  None, as far as I can tell.


2 Responses to “T.V. or not t.v.”

  1. 1 Carly July 31, 2007 at 7:33 am

    As I type this, Lucy is watching an Elmo DVD about hands, ears and feet. She loves this — sitting quietly in her padded rocking chair or absentmindedly playing with toys on the floor — and Baby Einstein’s First Moves.

    I’m proud that we’ve limited her TV viewing. When she’s awake, for the most part, the television is off (Sat afternoon baseball is the one exception). At her age, I don’t think she needs to watch Oprah or the nightly news or even Golden Girls. Watching her fave shows once a day as part of the learning experience is good for us.

  2. 2 jlod July 31, 2007 at 7:49 am

    I agree, Carly. Treehouse is the ONLY thing that comes on the t.v. while Eirinn is awake. I don’t even watch the news. I used to watch news in the morning and during dinner, but now that she is aware of what is on the screen, I don’t put it on. I also love that Treehouse doesn’t show any commercials (just one little plug for diapers in between shows), which can sometimes be as risque, if not more, than the shows themselves.

    My mom babysits a couple of kids who have been allowed to watch anything and everything their entire lives. And I’m talking the Scream movies at 4 years old, Nightmare on Elm Street, everything. And, while I’m not one to blame behavior on t.v. or video games or movies, these kids are holy terrors. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I’m not about to find out.

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Tornado Eirinn

The life and times, trials and tribulations, crimes and punishments, lessons learned and scores settled by my daughter, Eirinn, AKA The Tornado.

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July 2007
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