Are there really people out there who never once let their children watch television before 2 years old?
I am wondering because I admire that. I am fascinated by it. I honestly wonder what these kids do all day. What do they do while you shower, or do you not shower?
Do you leave them with a box of crayons and hope for the best? Do you play with them all day? Do they complete 37 puzzles and flip through 92 books? Flash cards?
Is this rule only for first kids? Where do your older children watch TV? Do they not watch it either? No computer? No video games?
I am not being an asshole, I am serious. What do these kids do?
When I am tired of playing with toys on the floor, cleaning up “art” projects, being outside (I hate being outside), need to make a meal, or I just don’t feel like entertaining her, the TV is there. And the iPad. And Pandora radio. And YouTube. They are my village, you know, the one it takes to raise a kid.
So The American Academy of Pediatrics lifted its 17 year ban on television for children under 2 years old. Do people actually follow these guidelines?
My pediatrician plays Disney movies in her waiting room…so obviously she doesn’t agree with it.
Now, the AAP recommendations say that children between 18 months and 2 years old can learn from some educational programs, “if and only if” alongside a parent or guardian who repeats the words and draws attention to the screen. I call bullshit on that. My kid (I have proof) goes bat shit crazy when I repeat the tv or sing along. She takes center stage in our family room.
My kid has been watching Disney Jr and Little Baby Bum shows since she was 6 months old. She needed the stimulation. She used to get bored fast before she was mobile.
Sometimes she watches with me and often without me. She acts out the scenes to all of her favorite programs.
She knows how to count to ten in Spanish and she can tell me the name of every Disney Princess and Villain, and she knows the words to many Disney songs and most nursery rhymes. I am not bragging about the amount of “screen time” my toddler has been exposed to during her short life. But I can say first hand that she absorbs tons of material from these shows.
Not to mention, I enjoy them too! I have seen every episode of Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. They are catchy, educational, and well written. I don’t think I would have survived motherhood without the television.
The new revisions also say that “Facetime” and video chat apps do not count as screen time for any age. Okay…I’m not seeing that. If it is on a screen, its screen time. And if its on a list of things banned, I’m still doing it.
I am not ashamed that either of our kids have watched TV from a young age. They both started talking early, had large vocabularies and haven’t shut up since. What more could we wish for?