TV as therapy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 05-11-2009, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I saw another thread which mentioned a ped recommending Sesame Street watching for a verbally delayed toddler. At first I was a bit ; kids learned to talk before S.S. after all! But then I thought back to the fact that my own toddler watched Baby Signing Time and it really got him rolling with signing. When I myself tried to show him the signs, he wasn't that interested, but he was definitely enjoying imitating the babies. He learned a bunch of signs from the videos and it improved our quality of life. If I could have gone to a class in person and had other babies around to show him, then it would have been better for us, but we didn't have access to those, so the next best thing was videos. So we made an exception in our TV-free lifestyle for it. Unfortunately it ended up being a slippery slope, and starting from those videos TV has crept back into our lives a little at a time. We don't watch anything obsessively now but now that we actually have a TV set in the living room, it's a bit harder to keep it off all the time, vs. when we didn't have a TV at all.

Any other experiences or opinions on using TV as therapy for kids? I'm skeptical as a whole but it makes me a bit of a hypocrite because we did let DS watch baby signing time and both he and DD picked up signs from them. And this was the kid who wasn't even pointing at 20 months, even though we'd been signing to him since he was 6 m.o. Within days of the first DVD watched he was signing along...

ETA: Obviously I'm asking this in the TV-free forum because I was wondering if people made exceptions to "therapeutic" tv or just disregarded it altogether. Most people (generalizing here of course) who watch TV obviously wouldn't think twice about TV as therapy, probably feeling good about it in fact, that at least it's "educational" tv. But I'm not keen on TV as a whole so I always felt a bit guilty and wondered if there wasn't some other alternative. I don't know if I'm truly paranoid or what. I just don't like TV for kids, or for adults really and felt dirty turning on the TV even for a "good" reason.
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#2 of 3 Old 05-11-2009, 01:08 PM
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There is some good tv out there, but it just seems impossible to keep out the bad. We started letting DS watch Scholastic Videos (animated children's book classics) in the car because he absolutely hated car rides (would scream & cry). Cut to 18 months later and he was screaming for Caillou and Max & Ruby all day long. It's a slippery slope indeed!

Tv can probably help with some therapies, it just seems impossible to keep all of the bad & useless stuff out.
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#3 of 3 Old 05-11-2009, 01:20 PM
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I was raised tv-free and expected that we would do the same with dd. And then reality hit. First off, she had to spend several hours a day hooked up to machines that she couldn't really drag around, so she was pretty stationary. I felt bad for her and so started letting her watch very selected videos and some public tv (she couldn't care less about Sesame Street , but really likes Word World and Word Girl). What I found was that she did seem to "interact" verbally with the shows in a much more productive way than with us - no matter how hard we tried (even with speech therapy up to four times per week). So, we now let her watch, but still control it a lot and I sit with her while she watches and talk with her about what we're seeing (to try to avoid that blank tv-stare that I hate so much). So, yeah, I think it can be therapeutic for some kids who may be stressed by the pressure of trying to communicate with people IRL who are looking at them so expectantly and hopefully - kwim?

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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