When I was pregnant I read an article about how there was a new study that had been done that said it was not good for children to watch any TV until after the age of 5.
I knew that I would never be able to keep Lboy from a TV or going to the movies until the age of 5, but I certainly wanted to keep him from the TV until after 2 years old. Most of the research I’ve found says that the “American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.”
Then, I got bronchitis AND a sinus infection right before Christmas. I was sick.as.a.dog. It was miserable. I woke up every morning with Lboy at 7, fixed him breakfast, changed his diaper, put up the baby gates, locked all the doors, and set him in the living room floor with his favorite toys, and crawled up in my favorite chair and
slowly & painfully died fell asleep.
But, the toys didn’t distract him. He was pretty annoyed he wasn’t getting my full attention. I also didn’t have any help, people were busy or out of town, so I broke my cardinal rule of no TV. I didn’t care if I fried his brain clean through, I needed HELP and the TV ended up being my last resort for a babysitter.
I flipped on Cartoon Network. Those cartoons stunk. BORING and LAME! My brain was rotting watching that crud.
Finally, I remembered to go to PBS. The Cat in the Hat was on, followed by Super Readers, then my personal favorite, Dinosaur Train (I geek out over dinosaurs), and then Sesame Street. I convinced myself that if it was educational, then maybe he wouldn’t go totally dumb. I mean the kid is a prodigy, it would just suck if he never gets those Harvard scholarships he’s destined for all because I let him watch TV too early!
In all honesty, he really didn’t watch the TV, but the sounds distracted him and would play with his toys. But that point, I didn’t care if I woke up to a drooling, brain dead toddler. I just needed some extra time to lie there, so I could get the energy to make it through the day.
Finally, my meds kicked in and I started to get better.
Lboy’s brain didn’t rot. He was still interested in playing outside. He was still into story time. He was still active. I hadn’t destroyed him (trust me I was worried I would!)
Now that I’m well? I still have Super Readers and Dinosaur Train on in the background, sometimes. This week the TV has stayed off. I’m getting back on track to the “No TV” rule until after he’s 2.
If I need a helper the next time I’m sick and I’m down to the last resort, now that I know Lboy will still go Ivy League, I’m flippin’ on over to PBS. A moms gotta do what a moms gotta do.
For More on this topic head over to the MOMMY MONOLOGUES BLOGFROG DISCUSSION on how much TV you let your kids watch!
How TV Affects Your Child