TV vs. YOUR TODDLER'S BRAIN

Ever meet one of those weird parents who doesn't allow their child to watch TV? Thats me. Yes I am one of those weirdo's who hates Elmo and Dora and avoids television at all costs. Family, friends and just about everyone thinks it's weird even though a team of doctors and experts on the subject agree with me.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.

Sierra has never watched television - ever. She might have accidentally stolen glances from time to time but we've never sat down to watch TV. Even I, as a full grown adult only watches about 2 hours of television a week (I watch  Premier League Football Saturday mornings, sue me). This is for a variety of reasons; the first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development. TV Interferes with the development of intelligence, thinking skills and imagination. If that doesn't sound bad enough children under 3 who have been exposed to television are at a much higher risk for developing ADHD. Most children's programs last about 7 minutes before a commercial and your child's young moldable brain actually becomes wired for 7 minutes of attention! (Read the Study Here). I'm sure not every kid who watches TV at a young age becomes an overweight, unimaginative little nit-wit but why take the risk? Is The Backyardigans really worth it? I won't even get into the disgusting marketing that the networks, programs and commercials push onto your child, thats a whole different blog post.

Now, I am not saying people who allow their toddlers to tune in are bad parents, it's a personal decision my family has made based on careful research and proven information from experts we trust. We do own a television, but we have been discussing getting rid of it entirely, thoughts? If anyone disagrees and thinks TV has helped their child please chime in. I am not claiming to be an expert - only claiming that I trust experts. -Craig