I have always known that TV and children just don't mix. And at our house, we rarely have the TV on when the kids are awake. There is an occasional "Little Einsteins" or "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" show on in the morning but our main TV is downstairs and we are upstairs most of the day. Jaclyn watched her first cartoon at our house when she was 17 months old...right when Oliver came along. And even then she wasn't really interested in it. But, at our last MOM's meeting our speaker talked about the dangers of TV....the I-bet-you'll-think-twice-about-watching-your-child-sit-in-front-of-your-TV kind of dangers. Did you know that your child's brain waves are moving just as fast in front of the TV as they would be if he/she was staring at a blank wall? Oh my gosh! No wonder some kids are ready to spin circles after sitting in front of the tube!
So after hearing this I took matters into my own hands. I'm happy to say that we have been TV-free for the past 2 days. ...and no one really cares.
Here are some more stats on Television and the Family.
- Children under the age of 9 are not cognitively and emotionally prepared to handle watching the evening news.
- By the time a child is 18 years old, he/she will have viewed 200,000+ acts of violence.
- Advertisers spend on average $700 million per year individually on sales pitches to children.
- More than 60% of the commercials are for cereal, candy, and toys. (Meat, milk products, bread, juice make up only 4% of ads shown during "childhood viewing time.")
- Children who do NOT have TVs in their bedrooms do better in school.
- Kids who watch 25 hours of TV per week show increases in agressive behavior, childhood obesity, and sleep distrubances.
- The average child in America spends FIVE hours per day watching TV and playing video/computer games.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Parents: Television and the Family; Selling Out America's Children, David Walsh, PhD.