Read The Plug-In Drug
by Marie Winn.
|So, right now the plan is no TV for the kiddo.
The question is....... how many first-time parents feel that way, only to "succumb" in a couple years (or less)?
Well, our PLAN was to succumb in a couple years! Everything we read was indicating that TV is a bad idea for babies under 2 years old, but after that a moderate amount of appropriate programming does little to no harm. So:
We stopped watching television in his presence as soon as he started to look at the screen. We avoided taking him to places where TV would be on, and when we were in those places we avoided watching the TV ourselves, which reduced his interest in it.
When he was 22 months old, we began to let him watch an occasional short video (5-15 minutes) on the computer.
After he turned 2, we began to let him watch TV, watch videos, or play on the computer on a more regular basis. Our policy was that he had to do these things WITH A PARENT. As tempting as it is to use TV as a babysitter, we realized that watching with him means we're certain of exactly what he's seen and gives us plenty of leverage for limiting TV time: "No, we can't watch because I have to wash these dishes. Would you like to help?"
Around his 3rd birthday, he became adept with the mouse, so we now let him do computer drawing or play a computer game on his own. There's always a parent nearby to check in on what he's doing and provide tech support.
His total screentime is under 2 hours a day unless he's sick, in which case we let him watch as much as he likes. This winter, he had some screentime almost every day, but now that it's spring he's playing outdoors in the evening and running out of time for TV/computer.
I must say, holding back on TV for the first two years was totally worth it just to see my son's astonishment and excitement when he first saw Cookie Monster on TV! He had thought Cookie Monster was just a book character and stuffed toy! He did not know he was "real"!!! And he certainly did not expect him to eat an M! He told everyone we met about it for WEEKS.