Thursday, January 22, 2009

TV obsessed zombie?

When Maddie was a baby I was obsessed with her NOT watching any tv at all. I had read reports, studies, all sorts of things about how TV causes autism, TV causes aggressive behaviour, and how TV makes lazy kids (because they're being passively entertained, instead of going out there and "playing")...

I caught a lot of flak (or just "discreet" eyerolls) from my friends and family, especially whenever I actually tried to explain why I was against her watching TV at such a young age. I mean, seriously? She was a B.A.B.Y. It always struck me as strange that I even had to justify why I didn't want to put my 6 month old in front of the tv...

In the end, I ate my words and have started to introduce some TV into Maddie's day. Again (no judgement!) I REALLY don't believe in using TV as a babysitter. I don't believe that TV is the same as actually "playing". And I don't let her watch more than an hour of TV a day - meaning the TV isn't on as "background noise". My "background noise" is music (again, no judgement - I swear!).

But that hour? Her "shows"? Ohmygod she's obsessed. Like, completely and utterly obsessed with Loonette the clown on the Big Comfy Couch. And slightly less obsessed with anything Elmo on Play With Me Sesame. And turns into a scary-quiet-zombie for In the Night Garden.

What do you think Moms? How do you deal with the zombie-like-attraction that toddlers seem to have to the TV?

It's almost disturbing how zombie-like she gets for certain shows. And while I'm all for the educational value of some shows (or just getting 25 mins of peace so that I can make dinner) ... but I don't want her to turn into a couch potato and miss out on actual "live play" learning experiences. So for now, we will continue to limit her exposure. But that's just me - what do you guys think?


PS - here's a pic of my little zombie watching tv from a "safe" distance in her chair!

1 comment:

Deb said...

First of all -- love the chair (Alex has the same one!)
We too have always limited Austin's TV watching to no more than an hour a day except on special occasions. We don't believe in using TV as a babysitter, as background noise and would rather he actually play -- even if it means I have to be down on the ground playing with him.
That being said,when he watches a show, he does sit zombie-like -- totally absorbed in it. But when it's over, he gets up and turns the TV off (now). So I think it's ok -- tv in short bursts is good for a little downtime from running around like a maniac and, as you said, allows me to make dinner. I just wish Alex would show an attention span for TV.