Monday, October 16, 2006

Day 238 - TV On, or Off

Today's first time parenting tip - Should you leave the TV on, or off around your baby.

Depending on your parenting style, you might have certain feelings about your baby and the TV. I know people who refuse to let their baby watch a second of TV, going as far to shield their eyes from one if they happen to see it. Others watch TV all day with their baby propped in their lap.

So which is more right? Both are extremes, and I think they both have their drawbacks. Let's say you never let your child watch TV. Sure, they don't get exposed to bad programming, but it gives the TV an aura that it's more important than it actually is. I know a friend who had no television all the way up until college, and now whenever we go out to a restaurant or bar with one, its impossible to talk to him because he's so fascinated by it.

If you expose your baby to nothing else but the TV, they don't learn creativity, chances are they won't be active, and they don't get any exposure to real human interaction.

I fall closer to the "TV all the time" philosophy than the other one. Ours is on often as background noise. A baseball game or an old movie might be on while we play on the floor or do other things. At first, my son was enthralled, but as he got used to it and we kept offering other things to do, he ignores it now. Unless there's a fun kids program or something. And even then only for a few seconds.

We also turn it off when we're eating and reading. Sometimes I feel like the TV is on too much for him, but other times I'm glad he's sort of learning to ignore it. What does everyone else think?

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