Monday, June 6, 2011

Mommy Mondays: The cheap babysitter

On this Mommy Monday I would like to talk about the cheap babysitter...aka the tv.

In the United States the average time television is on in a home each day is approaching seven hours. Holy moly batman, that's A LOT.

Taken from the Huffington Post featuring David Perlmutter, M.D. the main areas of concern with reference to television and children are:

1. Time spent watching TV displaces other types of creative and imaginative activities.

2. Television watching discourages reading.

3. Television watching discourages exercise.

4. Television advertising increases demand for material possessions.

5. Exposure to violence on television can increase aggressive behavior in some children.

These are my concerns also. I want Corbyn to have an imagination, it makes me happy when he says to me, "wait a second mommy, (checks his pocket and with a smile and holding some invisible item exclaims) yup, got my screwdriver (or paintbrush or bat or camera whatever it is needed at the time)". I don't want him to lose that creative enthusiasm. I want Corbyn to love to enter into stories quickly flipping the pages of a book wondering what the next chapter holds. I want him to rides bikes, play baseball, and skateboard calling him home only when it starts to get dark out. I want him to be gentle and sensitive. And I believe every parent wants this for their fact, I actually can't think of anyone who has ever told me "yeah, I want my child to be an uncreative, illiterate, unhealthy, materialistic, violent person".

However, if we're being honest, if I'm being honest, sometimes TV becomes the cheap babysitter. You can put it on and for an hour or seven do the laundry, clean the house, chat on facebook knowing the whole time your child is sitting motionless in front of the tv only turning around and calling to you if they need a snack or drink. Their entertained. Your getting stuff done. Sounds ok. But as I have watched my own child get zombified in front of the tv I have decided my quiet, my productivity, is not worth his mental, physical, and social development.

According to Nielsen statistics, children between the ages of 2-5 years typically spend approximately 21.8 hours each week watching television. That works out to approximately three hours each day (not a ton), or 25 percent of their time awake (wow).

It adds up and these are precious moments I have with my boy shaping, teaching, influencing him and though we don't have a no TV rule we are becoming more and more strict in what he watches and how much he watches. What is your TV policy in your home? How much do you think is ok for your children to watch? Do your kids ever look like this haha?

Images taken from

1 comment :

  1. I don't think I'm going to have a TV when I get my own house because I know how addicting it can be. And now especially after reading this!