Kids and TV.

At raisingrusty.com several posts ago there was one about children and TV.  The synopsis is that “A study mentioned in Time Magazine by Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Christakis at the University of Washington, notes that language development may actually be delayed by watching Baby Einstein DVDs.

Ryan pointed out that “I can say honestly I failed here. My children had almost every Baby Einstein ever made and they loved them. But too redeem myself, my dog has never watched a dog training video…yet.

(Incidentally, in case anyone takes this the wrong way, I like raisingrusty.com and enjoy it’s particular variety of humour…though I wish it was updated more often.)

In their comments I posted the following:

 My child watched some Baby Einstein videos, but generally wasn’t interested in them. With our next we want to use sign language videos – I’ve heard good things about a few.

Ours doesn’t get much TV, and what she does get it targeted for little children – and her vocabulary and animal/person recognition has risen considerably with what little TV she does get.

To which Ryan replied:

Ryan Lee said…

Thanks for the comment, Jeff.

My experience with baby sign language demonstrates not too expect too much. Some take to it and others just aren’t ready. Many kids will just need the ever important “milk”, “mom”, “play”, and “cookie.”

Inicdentally, I think this study is trying to convey that working directly with your daughter in baby sign would be better than using a video. There is just something about human contact that accelerates learning.

Good luck….tell us about it if you do.

Today I went back and wrote thusly:

  Jeff said…
 
Been awhile since I’ve been here. I would agree that working directly with your child will produce better results than expecting a video to teach them, but I also believe that a video can reinforce ideas that you’ve helped implant.
 
Ours is nearly two now. She uses 4 and 5 word sentences – though they may not be grammatically correct.
 
“Want daddy some socks please” is a good example – meaning she wants daddy to put on some socks please, not to get her some. ;)
 
She doesn’t watch alot of TV, compared to what I know some other kids her age watch – but she got her share of Baby Einstein and still gets her share of Treehouse – when she asks for it.
 
I don’t believe her vocabulary or language development is delayed at all by what TV she’s watched.
 
I will keep you updated how the next one turns out, if we do pursue baby signs more fully.

Do any of you have any sort of input on this?  Does anyone truly believe that watching TV will set a child back if they are otherwise properly educated?

What have you done with your children, what choices regarding TV have you made – and further, how do you feel about them?  Do you feel guilty or good about letting or not letting your infant, toddler or child watch TV?  Do you let them watch too much?  How much is that?

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One response to “Kids and TV.

  1. Moderation in all things my friend. Time, like all mainstream media, has fabricated a nice little story to sell their magazine. Certainly there is truth to their claims but they sure watered things down into a sensation piece.

    Zimmerman’s study points out that test scores in kids over three who watched what I would consider too much tv did better than their cohorts. While he finds that there are “modest adverse effects of television viewing before age 3 years on the subsequent cognitive development of children.” I haven’t had the time or enough interest to delve into his methods.

    A little TV won’t hurt your children and if you take Zimmerman’s advice to watch TV with them it will probably be beneficial for them – of course i suppose that depends on what you’re watching…

    You may want to check out Zimmerman’s articles for yourself:
    http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/
    Just do a quick search for Zimmerman

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