Thursday, August 6, 2009

Children and TV

All of us have plopped our children in front of the TV at one time or another, typically out of sheer exhaustion. I remember my oldest watching too much TV in the early days of my second pregnancy. I was sick and exhausted (excuses, excuses) and just needed a break.

Anyway, as a whole, our TV set is on for approximately an hour a day during the summer. G is allowed to watch one 30 minute program in the evening before bed and the adults watch the news before turning in for the night. Winter hours are the same for G, but are a bit altered for the adults due to the popularity of American Idol in this household.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children watch no more than 1-2 hours of TV a day. I recommend to my school families absolutely no more than 1 hour. Everyone knows the drawbacks from television watching, I don't even need to go there (ok, maybe just a bit- Did you know that increased TV viewing in children leads to overeating, aggression and high blood pressure??). Bravo to all of those families who have chosen to remove television from their homes completely.

Most of the parents I know allow their children to watch one or two TV shows a day. If we're going to allow TV watching, let's choose appropriate, educational programs. Here's my list of "approved" programs for our preschool viewers.

Currently, those are the only programs that G is permitted to watch. We try to sit with her so that we can discuss anything that might need clarification. We're fortunate enough to have a DVR, so we record these programs each day and G chooses her show before bed. Our schedule works well like this because TV slows her down. Although, this time slot would not work well for those children who get wound up by television. I must admit, Mister Rogers was my favorite program as a child and I still enjoying watching him to this day. I swear, he missed his calling as a Montessori teacher!

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