With more and more videos for babies being produced and the sudden influx of new TV channels aimed at preschoolers, parents are once again asking "should I really let my child watch television?"
My baby Samson started watching TV at 6 months old with incredibly long attention span (an awesome hour!). I bet many of you would have screamed at me "YOU TERRIBLE MOTHER"! I can’t help it. He is an active baby and when I played the babysongs, that’s the only time I can get some quiet moment for myself while he enjoys.
Is watching TV really more harmful than beneficial for your baby?
There are two school of thoughts.
One says that babies under two years of age should not be allowed to watch any TV; the other says that limited amounts of high-quality educational TV accompanied by adult interaction are fine – and may even be beneficial. When DVDs are used correctly, the repetition and familiarity they provide can actually aid learning.
Doctors say that parents can better spend the time their baby is awake by engaging in interactive activities that TV can’t provide. Physical and social interaction allows babies to pick up subtle cues that help brain development more than any television show can.
However, no TV at all is better than unsupervised watching. No TV at all is also better than any watching of entertainment-based programs – and that includes shows such as cartoons, which may be designed for kids, but are really not suitable for babies.
Consistent exposure to two or more hours of TV per day, was correlated with a greater incidence of sleep and behavioral problems, as well as less developed social skills.
Many parents and teachers find, however, that high-quality educational TV programs complement interactions with their babies can facilitate learning. I find that true too. To start off with, you might like to keep it to 15 minutes at a time – your baby will probably find it hard to pay attention for any longer. You can increase the duration later, when your baby starts to recognize and understand the program – and especially, when interactions become a two-way affair.
My Samson started mimicing the dance step he watched on TV at 7 months. I was amused and yet worried. When he turned 14 months his daily routine includes at least one favourite TV program (Barney, Little Robots or Babysongs), that prepares him for a peaceful restful night. Now he watches an average of 2 TV programs daily, sometimes more, at his own request. But I make sure that he is not left sitting in front of the TV alone.
He also demands for me to switch on my computer for him to learn Japanese. He holds the computer mouse proficiently and will tab on the keyboards. Thanks to a net addict mummy!
When I put Samson before the TV, I make sure he is at a safe distance but as for computer, the distance is much nearer. I worried about compromising his eye sight but is kind of encouraged by the amount of educational resources (free and paid) available on the net.
If you already watched the video above, you will know why I am impulsed to subscribing to Brillkids. Baby Felicia is so adorable and amazing! She was trained using the Brillkids program. Go to FREE DOWNLOAD page for Brillkids teaching tool.
Brillkids little reader is developed based on the same teaching principals of Shicida and Glenn Domain. If you have no time to do manual flashcards, then Brillkids little reader is the best alternative.