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Is TV the Devil?

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Last week, we reported on a Harvard study that concluded there's no correlation between how much time kids under two spend watching television and their developmental progress at age 3. In the study, children living in homes with lower household income or whose mothers had less education were more likely to watch more TV. Non-white children also watched more.

Children watching tv

The children were given a variety of tests to evaluate their verbal and motor skills at 6 months and again at age 3. Those who had watched more television as infants performed less well on tests at age 3, but the effect disappeared after adjusting for the mother's education, vocabulary, household income and other socioeconomic factors.

Now that we can all admit we DO in fact let our kids watch TV, do you believe that there are programs and DVDs that can be "educational?" We asked our members of our community to weigh in:

Lolli says: Kids are sponges. My 3-year-old knows all the words to "Dancing Queen" from Mamma Mia. My 5-year-old can quote the TV show "Full House." Whether or not a DVD or TV show is "educational" or not depends on what you want your kids to be learning. Because they ARE learning from whatever they are watching.

Karissa says: My kids love "The Simpsons," as that's what we watch during dinner time. Is it appropriate? No. Do I let them quote it or emulate it at any point in time? NO. We discuss what is and isn't appropriate behavior on TV and in real life.

Sara Broers says: As with anything, the more you deny your kids, the more rebellious they will become as teens!

Sugar Mama says: No guns, no problem, in my opinion. My kids watch very little TV, however, because they're too busy trashing my house!

Cristina Mathers says: We only let our kids watch things on Noggin and PBS and occasionally the Disney Channel and most Disney movies. A couple of hours a week of TV has proven to be beneficial, educational and rewarding. My child has a wonderful imagination, an astounding memory and amazing vocabulary.

VanBuren Mom says: It is not a babysitter, and I hate it when people just plunk their kids down for hours at a time... I call the TV a "Shower-Sitter" though because I know I can get a nice long shower in if I have it on PBS Sprout!

Come on 'fess up: How much TV do you REALLY let your kids watch and WHAT are you letting them watch? Tell us in the ML Community!

AND ready to get off the couch and in to shape? Join our 8-Week Zip Up Your Jeans Challenge and we promise you'll be back in your skinny jeans in no time!

next: Third Grader Shows Off Gun at Recess
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
ashley March 10, 2009, 7:45 AM

Glad to know that someone else lets their kid watch the Simpsons. My husban and son love it!! This is horrible but my kids are in love with Spongebob! My 21 month old daughter will drop anything she’s doing if you even utter his name and then she gets sucked right into the tv. I hate it but I sometimes catch myself watching it too. It’s so dumb though and makes no sense!! I just have to tell her sorry and turn it off.

Brie March 10, 2009, 11:16 AM

My daughter loves to watch Oswald and Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch friends on Noggin. I think they are great educational shows that also teach social responsibility.

Queen Bee March 10, 2009, 12:17 PM

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse plus a playpen equals a shower for mommy.

Peggy Gorman March 10, 2009, 8:54 PM

I think TV is fine for a child to watch,as long as its age appropriate . Also as long as life is not lived in front of the TV. My kids watched Sesame Street. The saying ,”it takes a village to raise a child” is so true ,if we get alittle help from different sources, its good and good for the little one.

Brandi March 10, 2009, 9:55 PM

Mine pretty much have the tv on from the time the get home from school till I turn it off. But that doesn’t mean that they are constantly watching, just that they think if the tv isn’t on they are going to die. I don’t do the Simpsons, Family Guy, or any of the Adult cartoons on late at night. Disney, Nick, and Cartoon netwrok for the older ones. On Demand babish shows or the little guys when they actually sit still for 2 seconds!

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 5:48 PM

Interesting info. Enjoyable reading. There’s a thing to give about shirts.

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