Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boob Tube

I read an article this week on fostering smart TV habits. The article said that kids who watch more than 10 hours a week of TV are at an increased risk of becoming overweight, acting aggressively, being slower to learn at school, learning to stereotype people based on gender and race, and living in fear of violence and victimization.

I am not sure that I agree with all of that... but I do think that, in general, kids spend to much time in front of the television. Weather its watching TV shows or playing video games. So when I read that article my first thought was, "Geeze! Who would let their kid watch 10 hours of t.v. a week?!" So in order prove to myself that I was a better mother than those people, I made a rough estimate of how much TV I thought Zachariah watched in a week. Those hours added up way too fast.

With me watching my nephew for the past few weeks, it is not hard to come up with two hours spread out through the day that Zachariah will be watching TV. And if he watches two hours each weekday, then that adds up to 10 hours a week. Without even factoring the weekends. Or the extra stressful days where I turn the TV on a little more to save my sanity. And a lot of times he will be playing while watching TV, or in and out of the room during his movie/show. So it isn't like he is a bump on a log... but the TV is still on and available for him to watch.

Needless to say, I was shocked that its so easy for me to let my toddler watch more than 10 hours of TV in a week. And I am going to try to work on that. But in the meantime, I have made a poll. So participate... because I need to know if there are any other out there like me. :)


Rachael said...

the little ones watch sesame street every day duyring the week and a music kids video once or twice a week. but they don't even watch full episodes because they are always doing something else. so i would say somewhere in the ballpark of 3 or 4. maybe. lydia watches way more tv than that, but still i would only guess that it is a little over 10.

jamie b said...

bryan watches a lot of tv! of course that means i let him watch a lot of tv. i can tell the days he's had too much b/c he is much more fussy. the problem with me is i like tv too. i need to start now with just having the tv turned off during most of the day and only watch my shows while he's in the bed. gotta work on this......

glad i'm not the only one :)

Tammi said...

When we lived in Florida, and Owen was about 2 years old, I "discovered" that he had difficulty with imaginative play. Like, with trains and cars and blocks, etc. he wouldn't know what to do, other than push them around. This made me so sad, because I was (and still am) VERY imaginative, and rarely watched tv as a child because I was too busy PLAYING.

I talked it over with Steve and we had the cable turned off and I vowed to not have tv on AT ALL during the day, and when the boys would want to watch something, it would be a DVD that we already owned and it would be rare treat.

And I "taught" Owen how to imaginative play. I did it for him - making voices for the toys, inventing "problems" and obstacles for them. The first few days were HARD - I was pretty much glued to them, entertaining them all the time. But it got SO much better...and they would play together (independently) and pretend, and imagine - and I could see their little brains growing. And we were much more active - more outings, more outdoor play, etc. etc.

I think you've inspired me to have a media free week....or more.