I’ve long known of the detrimental effects of TV on young kids. In college, we read an article about how TV makes teachers' jobs so hard. Even by the age of 5, kids are used to watching cartoons, where the scenes change every 5-7 seconds. How is a teacher supposed to compete with that kind of excitement? But, as time goes on, I’m learning more and more reasons that children under 2 should avoid the TV, as the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests.
1. ADHD – higher incidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at age 7. This includes babies who play with TV on in the background, too.
2. Language Development – Babies do not understand enough of TV to get any language development from it. Also, they need to see the facial expressions of the person talking in order for them to realize that they are hearing words! Maybe TV shows do not show the faces while the characters are speaking. Baby Einstein actually SLOWS language development because exposure to the different languages keeps the baby’s brain from “specializing” in English.
3. Autism – Just found a study linking TV and autism. Yikes!
That being said, I got to take an uninterrupted shower yesterday thanks to Bob the Builder. When it’s just Adam and I, the TV stays off most of the time. But when Daddy comes in from the working on the farm, the first thing he does is turn on the TV. So Adam has seen quite a bit of SportsCenter. And, the last few months, Adam has not been playing independently very well, so when I need to get something done, I am totally guilty of using “Cars” and “Bob the Builder” as a babysitter. He’ll survive, right?
I was a better parent before I had kids. :)
Here are some links, if you’re interested.
A Cornell Study linking TV to AUTISM: