Friday, November 4, 2011

We are still the zero-fun parents - now, with even less fun!

I always knew that I wanted to limit Violet's exposure to television, but deep down, I wondered if I could. I've written before about my occasional desire to do away with our TV altogether, and although I had friends and relatives tell me that I would come to appreciate the television once Violet arrived, the idea of the television as a babysitter never sat well with me. But I knew myself, and I figured that I would eventually give in to the easy out of plopping Violet in front of the idiot box. We all have to get stuff done. I figured my wife would sit Violet in front of the TV more than I would, but she rarely does. I’m the one that resorts to it, but still infrequently – a  Baby Einstein video once a week or so, a viewing of Michael Rosen's "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" on the laptop to distract our way through feeding time when necessary, and we just watched our first episode of Blue’s Clues last week. I was starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of television and my daughter, but then I read an article about the new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Concisely put, they say there is no such thing as educational programming for children under two. They’re just too young to know what’s happening on screen, but the time they spend staring at it distracts them from playing and interacting. Now, I know pronouncements like this are aimed at people who drop their kids in front of the TV for hours at a stretch; the Academy’s report found that something around forty percent of households with infants have the TV on all day, but it still makes my already tentative use of the TV as a babysitter even less appealing. So, in addition to us withholding sugar, we’ll also be denying our daughter her God-given right to have her 12-24 month brain warped by TV. The way our brains were warped. Maybe once a month, we'll let her watch some Sesame Street. Or an episode of The Simpsons. But only from Season 9 or earlier. We want her to have standards.

348 days old


  1. We don't use the tv at all while Macie is awake. If we do turn it on for a minute to check a major weather thing or maybe a game score, Macie is always surprised that it lights up. We do watch some youtube videos with her (TMBG and some other ABC type stuff), but she is always on one of our laps, and we sing together. Or we watch videos of baby Macie that we've taken, which she loves.

    Hey, looks like Violet is doing great with those peas! I can't tell you how many bags of organic mixed peas/carrots/corn we go through in this house. Macie loves them.

  2. Amy - I like your approach - that sounds like what we'll be doing. I can't help but feel guilty - I watched a TON of TV as a kid - you, too? - but there's just too much other good stuff I'd rather be doing with her. And - yep, she is doing awesome with the fruit and veggies. I feel foolish that I hadn't thought of th ebag of mixed veggies until I read your comment - we bought two of them at Wegman's tonight. It's strange to watch Violet feed a good protion of her meal to herself.

  3. Yeah, I watched way too much TV, but I always enjoyed the time with my mom and dad much more. Usually when I watched TV, it was by myself.

    The mixed veggies are also great for talking about color. We started in with them very early because Macie really did not like pureed veggies but did like picking up whole pieces and eating them. I think she was eating peas and carrots and corn with only four teeth. Those were interesting poops.

    It's great once they start feeding themselves! Macie can eat a whole bowl of oatmeal and a plate of fruit for breakfast with hardly any assistance. Yay!

  4. We're looking forward to her feeding herself more. She's been wonderul up until now when it comes to eating, but we're starting to see some days where she's deciding she doesn't want to eat this or that. She's always willing t oeat what we're eating, however, so we're starting to give her bite-sized bits of our food. I love your sentence "Those were interesting poops."