Monday, July 30, 2012

Kids and Television: Is It Really THAT bad?

Picture me at my child's Well Child appointment. The doctor asks me if my daughter is watching more than an hour of television a day. I get all shifty eyed and say 'Oh, no, no no.' I am instantly feeling shameful on the inside, because yes, she DOES watch well over an hour most days. But honestly, the feeling of shame is fleeting. It's not like I'm letting her watch old episodes of Bratz all day long. She loves Dora and Diego, Leapfrog movies, Angelina Ballerina, and Baby TV shows. The only one I'm not a huge fan of is Angelina Ballerina. It's not educational at all and Angelina is kind of a whiny brat, but she loves the dancing in that, so it's a 'sometimes' show. Other than that, Ruby has learned a LOT from these shows.

Now picture me cleaning the house and Ruby is looking through a book of colors. 'Red,' she says. Nothing special, she's known all her colors for awhile now...then she whispers 'Rojo,' Uh, what? She has done that so many times now, saying things like 'Agua,' 'Hola' and 'Vamanos'. Of course I like to brag, I'm her mother. But seriously, I've got one smart little cookie. She's not quite yet three and can sing her ABC's, name all her colors, count to ten, and knows left, right, and straight.

Now don't misunderstand me here, I'm not saying park your kid's booty in front of the TV and they'll be smart! I try to make learning fun for my bedtime I sing her the ABC's, in the car I ask her which way we should turn. I'm constantly asking her things and reinforcing her learning every day. And yes, watching these shows are a part of that. She loves it, and I see no harm in it. She recognizes SO MANY animals from watching Diego, it's hilarious. 'Mommy, das a Awillgator! Das a Giwaffe!'

Ruby watching 'Go Diego, Go!' on the Kindle Fire
When it comes to parenting, I pretty much go with the flow. I do what I think works best for my children and my family as a whole. I don't listen to statistics, I don't read books about it. If your kids don't watch a drop of TV, I applaud you, but I sure hope you're not putting judgement out on me for what I'm doing. I play with my kids, I read to them, teach them, and interact with them as much as I can. Sometimes I just need a break, and sometimes my daughter just wants to watch a show, and I'm okay with that.

What do you think? Do your kids watch TV? None at all? Let's get a discussion going, I'd love to hear your opinions, good or bad!

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