Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Too Much TV

I have a lot to blog about since coming back home from PA for Thanksgiving. I promise there will be lots of cute pics to come. For now, I came across a very interesting and startling article from Fox News that confirms my beliefs about kids who watch too much TV. It's very easy to pop the kids in front of a DVD in order to catch a few quiet moments. I must admit that at times I am guilty of using the TV as a babysitter, but I'm about to tighten the reigns. Court is also a great supporter of this - he regularly tells me to limit the kid's TV viewing. It's good to know that as parents we are on the same side.

The article focuses on a study done on the effects of kids' health from too much TV. Another good reason to keep TV time limited is that they spend less time being creative and learning if they are glued to the screen. Ella will whine when I say no more TV for the day (and I mean WHINE!), but it's amazing how quickly she finds something creative to do. Within minutes, her imagination is soaring!

One more reason to monitor kids' TV viewing is TV content. While the article states that the content does not affect kids' physical health, it's important to remember an age old saying when it comes to TV viewing: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Kids are exposed to things that they are not mature enough to process when left to themselves in front of the TV. Do I really want my four year old seeing hot kissing scenes, scary aliens, psychotic killers, gangsters shooting and hearing curse words? She has the rest of her adult life to learn about the corruption and evil of this world so why start it now? Even shows that seem harmless, like sitcoms, can be damaging. Nowadays, sitcoms are allowed to say "bitch" and other choice words on prime time television. Kids repeat what they see and hear. Therefore, Court and I do not watch some of our favorite shows (The Office, Everybody Loves Raymond, Lost, etc.) when the kids are present. If they happen to walk into the room, we pause our show. I even get on to my dad if he doesn't pay attention to what's on TV when the kids are around. You never stop being a parent, even when others are around.

For now, the kids watch preschool shows on Noggin, PBS and Playhouse Disney and SpongeBob (although we pause the commercials). We will also watch select Food TV, HGTV and Discovery Channel shows with them. I will also let Ella watch TLC's "John and Kate Plus Eight" and "17 Kids and Counting". When she's a bit older, we'll graduate to Hannah Montana, High School Musical and so on.

If you are a parent, then this is definitely something to consider. Click the link if you are interested in reading the article:

Lots of TV and Web harms kids' health

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