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My Thoughts On Children's Television
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Right now I'm jamming out to the Collective Soul video on Netter's journal. It's been a long time since I've heard that song.

There was a recent news article saying that Baby Einstein and other educational shows can actually be bad for your child. I know this has also been discussed on other people's journals, but I wanted to throw my two cents in on the subject considering I just so happen to have a year and a half old son who is allowed to watch these shows.

Before making the decision as to whether or not I was going to allow Gabriel any TV time before age two, I did some research on it. I found the articles saying that any TV was bad and I found the articles saying that the educational stuff was good. I made an informed decision as a parent to allow Gabriel to watch certain shows. He likes (and both Rob and I approve of) Baby Einstein, Sesame Street / Elmo's World, The Wonder Pets, The Backyardigans, etc. While the recent article said those shows aren't good for kids, I would have to disagree.

I feel that it's not good for young kids to watch TV alone. If you plop them in front of the television and use that as a babysitter so that you can do other things, I do think that the TV might do more harm than good. However, that's not what we do. When we allow Gabriel to watch one of his shows we watch it right along side of him. That way if he wants to see our reactions or ask us something he can do so. Personally, I think those shows do him a lot of good because we're watching it with him.

Here's a good example of why I think those shows are doing some good. One of the times when he was watching one of his Baby Einstein DVDs (I think it was Animal Safari) he ran over to me during the scene where they show all sorts of monkeys. Every time a new kind of monkey was on the screen he would point to it, look at me, and ask "dat?" and I would tell him what it was. After a lot of "that's a monkey", "that's a baby monkey", and "that's another monkey" comments he ran right over, grabbed his stuffed monkey, held it up, and made "ooh-ooh-ooh" monkey noises. He was able to realize that his stuffed monkey was just like the monkeys he was seeing on the television.

I think that as long as the parents are there and watching with the child that those programs can do a lot of good. I've seen Gabriel learning from those shows first hand and I have no plans to keep him from watching what he likes. I do plan on being there to answer any questions though.


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