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TV and early learning (link to video inside)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I decided to post this under Life With a Babe because it the age at which little ones start to watch tv (as in, watch regularly) has dropped to four months.  If there's a better area, please feel free to move it, moderators!

 

http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/what-does-tv-do-to-my-kids-brain/

 

Very interesting video at the link above.  He talks about how regular television viewing (and the type of shows being watched) changes how the brain works--and not for the better!  The type of show being watched has an effect too--he talks about fast-paced shows like Powerpuff Girls, even Baby Einstein, versus slower programming like Mr. Rogers. 

 

Thought the Mothering community would be interested. 

 

How is TV handled in your house?  We don't have cable, but we do watch movies on DVD and on Netflix occasionally.  Mostly after DD has gone to bed now, since she's at the point where she wants to see the screen.  (When she was younger, I used to be able to watch some X-Files as she nursed to sleep.)  I'm okay with DD occasionally seeing a television, like when we're visiting family who have it on, but I won't let her stare at it for more than a couple of minutes.  DH will shield her eyes from it so she doesn't even catch a glimpse.  He came from a family where they weren't allowed to watch TV as children, so the 'TV is bad' mentality is more engrained in him, I guess.  DD is six months old, btw.

post #2 of 15

Well we watch a ton of shows.  But not on cable cause we hate commercials.  Dh and I have gone through so many amazing shows together... right now we are going thru X-Files (after the kids are asleep of course!)   My 4 year old who watches shows daily was at friends house the other day and was very confused as to why the show they were watching on cable kept getting interrupted.  We told him they were commercials and now he dislikes them too.  But I digress.  We have no limits on media around here. The only thing is that it must be a good show.  Like Dexter, or Boardwalk Empire or Deadwood.  Same for the kids shows.  Mind you, I started going through the original Melrose Place for a joke a few months back because it is just so ridiculous and now here I am in season 6 still watching it just to get it over with.  So yeah...mostly good shows. I actually feel worse about my kids being subjected to that crap than an episode of something scary like X-Filles lol. We watch/play what we want, when we want, kids included.  

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yeah, when DD gets to the point where we won't mind exposing her to media, I think it will be through Netflix or DVDs, not cable television with commercials.  DH and I do both like good, well-made television, and since we're both in creative industries, it seems a little hypocritical not to ever let her watch TV or movies, you know?  I think we will have the 'only good stuff' caveat as well. 

 

(Though I am definitely with you on having guilty pleasure TV...)

post #4 of 15

We have always been very selective, and still our kids only watch the slower stuff (oldest is almost 7).  Since we homeschool, we've been able to avoid some of the fads and desires of "so and so watches...".  But, now that I have kids that are getting older, and still have babies, it's been harder to let them watch more interesting things, while still protecting the little ones.  I have relaxed a little about it, but the most exciting thing they've seen is Davy Crockett.  Mostly, I let the big kids watch something when the littles are sleeping.  The littles rarely get more than a book read from Scholastic videos, or Mr. Rogers (free on amazon prime!).  Dh and I aren't tv people, but we will occasionally watch a movie after the kids all go to bed.  

 

It's funny, though.  When you stop watching TV, suddenly you can't find time to anymore.

post #5 of 15

I am guilty of watching too much TV since DS was born and it really worries me.  It is all I can do when he breastfeeds.  I count watching videos on the computer as watching TV when he is with me too, same thing. I also can't sleep without the TV on and like I said I watch TV when he eats which is a lot since he is not yet 3 months old.  He eats for an hour before bed and I lay there with him and watch a couple of episodes of something on netflix so I can have something to do and also so I can have the room dark and still see what he is doing.  Also if I wake up in the middle of the night because he wants to eat I have something to get me back to sleep. 

 

He just started watching TV in the mornings when I wake up since it is on all night.  I will wake up and he will be laying there watching it.  Blah.  I hate it.

post #6 of 15

Thanks for the link. Definitely food for thought. DS has just at 8 months started to look up at the tv when it is on and "watch." I don't want to be a strict, no screen time family, but I do want to be selective about what and how much he is exposed to. I also need to keep myself in check because it is so easy to think he doesn't undestand yet and turn something on when he is playing. I remember right after he was born DH and I watched the entire series of The Wire. The pregnancy hormones got the better of me and I cried because I felt so guilty that he was being exposed to so many gunshots and f-bombs in the first precious week of life eyesroll.gif  Didn't stop me from being completely sucked in, though. 

post #7 of 15

We definitely watch too much TV here....It's almost always Cailou or Curious George....Sometimes Veggie Tales or Tinkerbell

post #8 of 15

I just went and bought Mr. Rogers DVDs after watching that! It all makes sense. Thanks for this post!

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tank View Post

I am guilty of watching too much TV since DS was born and it really worries me.  It is all I can do when he breastfeeds.  I count watching videos on the computer as watching TV when he is with me too, same thing. I also can't sleep without the TV on and like I said I watch TV when he eats which is a lot since he is not yet 3 months old.  He eats for an hour before bed and I lay there with him and watch a couple of episodes of something on netflix so I can have something to do and also so I can have the room dark and still see what he is doing.  Also if I wake up in the middle of the night because he wants to eat I have something to get me back to sleep. 

 

He just started watching TV in the mornings when I wake up since it is on all night.  I will wake up and he will be laying there watching it.  Blah.  I hate it.


Tank, I totally relate.  DD is a frequent feeder, so I find myself staring at a screen a lot...either surfing the Internet or watching Netflix.  When DD was a bit smaller and used to fall asleep frequently while feeding, I would watch a lot of documentaries.  I've learned lots in the first few months!  LOL.  Now that she's bigger and more alert and wants to actually play most of the time, I don't get so much doc watching done.

 

And I can totally relate on needing TV to sleep.  When I was pregnant, the only way I could sleep at night was to fall asleep watching The First 48 on Netflix.  Also I watched a lot of Criminal Minds.  If DD grows up with a strange fascination with crime or is a criminology major, I'll attribute it to her time in the womb.  Thankfully I can fall asleep a bit easier now, but I still do have my 'can't sleep' nights.  It sucks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekcez View Post

Thanks for the link. Definitely food for thought. DS has just at 8 months started to look up at the tv when it is on and "watch." I don't want to be a strict, no screen time family, but I do want to be selective about what and how much he is exposed to. I also need to keep myself in check because it is so easy to think he doesn't undestand yet and turn something on when he is playing. I remember right after he was born DH and I watched the entire series of The Wire. The pregnancy hormones got the better of me and I cried because I felt so guilty that he was being exposed to so many gunshots and f-bombs in the first precious week of life eyesroll.gif  Didn't stop me from being completely sucked in, though. 


I felt the same way about the X-files!  I was sure she was going to glance over and have some alien or sea-monster from a Russian nuclear submarine imprinted in her brain and dream about it.  Or that an episode with a lot of screaming would upset her.  Never did, at least as far as I could tell.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

We definitely watch too much TV here....It's almost always Cailou or Curious George....Sometimes Veggie Tales or Tinkerbell

 

At least it's pretty slow-paced and non-violent!  I thought it was fascinating how much a difference the type of television watched made a difference.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeptuneRising View Post

I just went and bought Mr. Rogers DVDs after watching that! It all makes sense. Thanks for this post!


You're welcome!  He's definitely an oldie-but-a-goodie.  I was a big fan of Mr. Dressup when I was young (Canadian version of Mr. Rogers).  Nice and slow, interacting with the camera.  It's the type of show I wouldn't mind if DD watched.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amautik View Post

 

And I can totally relate on needing TV to sleep.  When I was pregnant, the only way I could sleep at night was to fall asleep watching The First 48 on Netflix.  Also I watched a lot of Criminal Minds.  If DD grows up with a strange fascination with crime or is a criminology major, I'll attribute it to her time in the womb.  Thankfully I can fall asleep a bit easier now, but I still do have my 'can't sleep' nights.  It sucks!

 



I watched Criminal Minds all the time while pregnant, too! I still watch it now while she nurses or naps on me! Love it.

post #11 of 15

I just found that there are full episodes of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood on pbskids.org.  Oh, that man makes me so happy! I will use this when my little girl is 3+.

post #12 of 15
My ds is 3yo, and I've never owned a tv. He watches some at his dads, but at my place it's a huge treat, and really limited to when he's sick and I want him to rest. And it's only on my laptop, which isn't as fun because it's, a small screen.
Edited by Super~Single~Mama - 1/29/12 at 5:21pm
post #13 of 15

We don't have a regular tv but watch stuff on the computer--but not around DD (9 months). However, a related issue I feel guilty about is spending time on the internet around her. I wish my DH was more attuned to my concerns, but I'm guilty of it too--we both tend to slip into checking email, etc. while she plays nearby, and she's getting to an age where I think she will be more and more aware of what we're doing--I don't want to normalize being on computers all the time. I want her to grow up in an environment where screen time is secondary to other activities.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ooh, I love that PBS is making Mr. Rogers available online.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanca78 View Post

We don't have a regular tv but watch stuff on the computer--but not around DD (9 months). However, a related issue I feel guilty about is spending time on the internet around her. I wish my DH was more attuned to my concerns, but I'm guilty of it too--we both tend to slip into checking email, etc. while she plays nearby, and she's getting to an age where I think she will be more and more aware of what we're doing--I don't want to normalize being on computers all the time. I want her to grow up in an environment where screen time is secondary to other activities.


This is an idea DH and I struggle with too.  Well, not so much the idea of it, but the implementation of it.  Especially (for me) since saying at home can seem so isolating, and the Internet is so alluring because it means I can reach out and talk to someone!  Well, I don't chat at all, but I read everyone's status updates on Facebook.  lol.  But we are both guilty of checking out our favourite websites and time-sucking things when she's sitting on the floor playing by herself.  I have to remember the Internet will still be there when she's sleeping, or when she's nursing to sleep.  (She's going through a phase where this is the ONLY way she'll fall asleep!)

 

I totally don't want to normalize being on the computer all the time either. 

 

(And also, when she goes down for bed, we are totally guilty of just being like "Ahhhh relaxing time!  Let's go on the computer instead of doing something productive!")

post #15 of 15


OMG, totally! Especially when she was a newborn, the internet was the only way I really felt connected to the outside world. I feel like it's our default timesuck. And now we are starting to get our evenings back and we are not having a ton of meaningful quality time (DH and I)--it's more like we immediately check our email. I feel it's definitely an addiction on my part, and I don't want my daughter growing up thinking that's okay! I've talked to DH about it and while he agrees with me in principle I think he thinks this idea is kind of silly: I want to have an internet moratorium for one day a week. Think of all the things it would force us to do--play board games. Go on walks. Etc.

 

The irony that I'm typing this on an internet forum does not escape me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by amautik View Post

Ooh, I love that PBS is making Mr. Rogers available online.
 


This is an idea DH and I struggle with too.  Well, not so much the idea of it, but the implementation of it.  Especially (for me) since saying at home can seem so isolating, and the Internet is so alluring because it means I can reach out and talk to someone!  Well, I don't chat at all, but I read everyone's status updates on Facebook.  lol.  But we are both guilty of checking out our favourite websites and time-sucking things when she's sitting on the floor playing by herself.  I have to remember the Internet will still be there when she's sleeping, or when she's nursing to sleep.  (She's going through a phase where this is the ONLY way she'll fall asleep!)

 

I totally don't want to normalize being on the computer all the time either. 

 

(And also, when she goes down for bed, we are totally guilty of just being like "Ahhhh relaxing time!  Let's go on the computer instead of doing something productive!")



 

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