Hey all! So I am sitting with my children, spending the day as per our usual routine. And I started thinking about a conversation I had with my sister. She advised me that people are often in awe of how well her daughter speaks (she is 3) and I exclaimed that she does speak very clearly and has a great vocabulary. She goes on to tell me people ask her how she was able to accomplish this in her child and watched their faces change as she said that her daughter watches some great television programs. These same people who were astonished by her verbal accomplishments now begin admonishing my sister for allowing her daughter to watch TV.
Which brings me to the topic of this posting today: television. My boys are basically sponges right now as are most children of this age. My husband and I utilize different tools and do a lot of research so that we can foster in our children great learning habits. But I can honestly say that they have learned the MOST from watching TV.
My boys are allowed to watch TV throughout the day but I watch it with them. For an hour preceding lunch, the boys are allowed to watch Bubble Guppies and Team Umi Zoomi. These two shows are found on Nick Jr. and the boys LOVE them. Bubble Guppies has helped to reinforce things already taught as well as introduce them to new things we haven't approached yet. Team Umi Zoomi is mostly about mathematical skills which is great for the boys as it couldn't hurt to introduce them to more than just numbers but in counting actual objects so that numbers hold value.
The boys also watch other programs sporadically through the day that include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (shapes, colors, alphabet, counting, and social skills), Yo Gabba Gabba (colors, social skills, music), Fresh Beat Band (social skills, music), Jack's Big Music Show (music, social skills), Sesame Street (social skills, colors, counting, shapes, alphabet, music) and other shows. These shows have been helpful for the boys and surprise me with how well they have helped.
So I know there are those moms out there who think watching TV is detrimental to the development of a child. But in all honesty, research can go either way on the subject and there is no definitive fact that outweighs the other. The spectrum of excuses that occur in a debate for either side can range from common sense based to fantasy. How do I feel about it? I think TV can aid a child and reinforce skills if the proper programs are watched and the parent/parents are available to the child during the show. For example, you can turn on the most educational show there is and walk away. But that does not mean your child is going to learn anything from it or even watch it. If you watch the show with your child, you can repeat what they are seeing in the show, help them understand what is being learned, and give them the comfort they need to not feel stressed while learning. Plus, the child has more fun if the parent is showing interest in what they like.
But I would like to reiterate that I think that proper television programs are great for REINFORCING and INTRODUCING. NOT for taking over as the only teaching to your child. We read together every day for almost an hour total, use tools like flashcards, and try to teach them everything we can in a stress-free environment. TV is just another tool we utilize.
So how do you feel about it? Feel free to share your thoughts if you want. I'd love to hear your opinions and ideas!