Monday, April 26, 2010
With our new little man I seem to notice things that I didn't with the other ones. Maybe I have more time. Maybe I am more observant. Maybe the experience with kids lends a keener eye. I can't say the reason, but I do seem to notice things in a different light with Avery.
Our house is always hopping, and the television does seem to be on at various times throughout any given day. When Avery was a brand new baby I would turn it on for light during the middle of the night feedings. Not to mention, it helped me keep my eyes open. However, I did notice something a bit strange to me. At just a couple of weeks Avery had already noticed the television and seemed to be watching it. I actually got to where I would position him facing away from the television during his feedings. I would also make a conscious effort to make eye contact with him.
Now, Avery is three months old, and he has viewing preferences! WHAT? This morning I was watching the news. I tend to watch it briefly each morning to catch the local weather. Well, I was distracted. He was in his exersaucer, and he started to "complain". Yes, he was complaining. We have gotten to a point in baby communication that I can clearly recognize that he was indeed complaining. So, I did an experiment. I switched the television to PBS. I turn it on most mornings when we get up. He quit complaining!
Then, just a little while ago I had Dora on for our two year old granddaughter who was visiting. I didn't notice that it had gone to the menu screen. Avery started to complain again. I turned on Backyardigans, and he started watching it! Who knew? Not me!
I took a peek online to see what the "experts" had to say on the subject, and there seem to be some clear opinions and concerns about infants and television viewing. Some say that children under the age of two should not view television at all; that it may even contribute to attention disorders in adolescence. Some say that certain, quality programs that are specially made for babies may actually be good for infants and their parents. This style of programming encourages constructive play and interaction and even teaches parents how to better assist in the development of their babies.
I can't honestly say where I stand on this. I guess I will have to continue to observe Avery and his television viewing as he learns and grows all the while keeping in mind and being conscious of his interactions with others and quality play time. Too much of anything is usually a bad thing, especially when it's generally a bad thing to begin with. I've always thought that television should be used sparingly, and quality programming should be the prime target. Now, that seems more important than ever.