Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No No

This is why the TV is almost never on in this house unless she's sleeping, and it's also probably why so many stay-at-home moms (and dads) go stir crazy:

Many parents think TV is educational 29% of parents who took part in a survey of 1,000 American families published in 2007 said they let their infants watch TV because they thought it was ‘good for their brains’. But claims made by manufacturers are not substantiated by peer-reviewed medical papers and industry studies.TV can delay language development Watching TV programs or DVDs aimed at infants can actually delay language development, according to a number of studies. For example, a 2008 Thai study published in Acta Paediatrica found that if children under 12 months watched TV for more than two hours a day they were six times more likely to have delayed language skills. Another study found that children who watched baby DVDs between seven and 16 months knew fewer words than children who did not. Children learn better from us Infants as young as 14 months will imitate what they see on a TV screen, but they learn better from live presentations. For example, one study found that children learnt Mandarin Chinese better from a native speaker than they did from a video of the same speaker. TV is associated with attention, reading and memory deficits A study of 1,300 children conducted by the author and colleagues in 2004 found a modest association between TV viewing before the age of 3 and attention problems at the age of 7, after a wide range of other factors were ruled out. In another study, the author and colleagues looked at the effects of early TV viewing on cognitive development at school age. They found that children who had watched a lot of TV in their early years did not perform as well when they underwent tests to check their reading and memory skills. Parents use it as time off More than one parent in five who took part in another study said that they got their infants to watch TV when they needed time to themselves. This, says the author, is an understandable and realistic need, but not one that should be actively promoted.

Why TV is bad for kids

Why does TV have such a negative effect on children of this age? “We believe that one reason is the fact that it exposes children to flashing lights, scene changes, quick edits and auditory cuts which may be over stimulating to developing brains,” says Professor Christakis. “TV also replaces other more important and appropriate activities like playing or interacting with parents.”

There have been concerns about infants viewing TV for the last four decades but it has only been in recent years that studies have provided the data to back up those concerns.

“The explosion in infant TV viewing and the potential risks associated with it raise several important policy implications,” concludes Professor Christakis. “First and foremost, the lack of regulation related to claims made by people promoting programs and DVDs aimed at infants is problematic. Educational claims should, and can, be based on scientific data. Despite this, the names of the products and the testimonials they use often convince parents that TV viewing has a positive impact on their infants.

“Secondly, parents need to be better informed about what activities really do promote healthy development in young children. This may provide some defense against the aggressive marketing techniques being employed.

“Last, but not least, more resources need to be made available to fund critical research related to the effects of media on young children.”

I've always wondered about the "My Baby Can Read" dvd programs. And while the concept of it sounds like an ideal strategy, I've always heard that TV interrupts a child's concentration and that any baby under the age of 2 or 3, should not be aware of what the TV is. Good thing I listened.

My little....

We (and I'm sure you do too!) pay a great deal of money to have up to a thousand channels. We probably watch maybe 5 to 8 channels back and around of the 1000 we have. It's quite sad actually. I think there was more to watch when cable didn't exist and all we had were channels 2, 4, 5, 9 and 11 and had to move the antenna around for a clear view or wrap aluminum foil on the edges to keep the antenna steady. Go figure.

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