I was all set to get to the taxation issue, then just ran out of time this weekend. But maybe tonight. In the meanwhile, I want to comment on something else. Toddler TV. Or rather, having one's toddler watch TV.
I've seen studies recommending that children under two watch ZERO hours of TV. Like that's ever going to happen in this society. But there is a difference between TV a toddler would watch and TV a toddler would ignore.
My wife loves to put in DVDs for our daughter to watch. And she loves to watch them. We started with Baby Einstien. Which leads to an aside. I don't think you need to put in special DVDs to make your kid "smart." I think it is mostly just a marketing gimmick. At that age, just exploring a room or playing with blocks is probably more intellectually stimulating than just watching animals and puppets set to classical music. But one thing the DVDs do deliver on is that they hit their target audience. Even when my daughter was very young and could barely focus on anything, she liked to look at the Baby Einstien videos. Later, we discovered she also liked Little Einstiens on Disney (which we now have DVRd almost 30 episodes, so she can watch any time). Those are really aimed at older children than 21 months, but she loves watching them anyway. I think she has picked up some vocabulary from it, at least in understanding, if not in voice. But then the same would be true of anything she watches.
And finally, there's Monsters, Inc., Shrek, and a new favorite, Happy Feet. Oh, and Finding Nemo. She loves watching those. Over and over. I probably have Monsters, Inc. and Shrek memorized by now I've seen it so many times. Which is part of the problem. My wife whenever she's watching my daughter pretty much always puts in the DVD. It doesn't help that my daughter will walk up to her, DVD in hand, and ask her to put it on. What is truly scary is watching my 21 month old daughter open the DVD player, put a disk in, press play, and turn on the TV, all by herself. And she's been doing that for a while. Sometimes she hits the wrong buttons and doesn't quite succeed, but it is still fascinating to watch her saavy with such equipment at a young age.
Now, as I stated above, some say you should not let anyone under two watch TV. And I am concerned with how much TV my wife has our daughter watch. Usually the first thing I do when I take over watching our daughter so my wife can do something else is I turn off the DVD and TV. Usually one of the first things she does when she takes over for me is turn both of those on. It is one reason I'm actually glad we have day care, because there is no TV at day care.
I understand why my wife does it - it is easier to watch our daughter if she's sitting in one place or even if while moving around, she is entertained. But I get concerned that this has her neglect doing other things she should be doing. Like interacting with us or playing with her toys. And she is quite a lot of fun to play with right now. As her parents, we are her whole world at this age and she is very funny, she laughs, she babbles, she likes to take us to things, she shares her toys with us, and it is just a joy to be with her.
I confess that when I get home from work and pick her up from day care, I usually put on the TV myself, but I don't put on anything she's interested in - I put on news and such, so she then ignores the TV and plays or she pays more attention to what I'm doing.
I get worried she watches too much TV. I don't want her to grow up to be a couch potato. Particularly given that I can be so much of one, though less so with her, since it is hard for me and my wife to really sit down and watch anything most of the time because our daughter demands our constant attention. News you can sort of put on in the background and don't have to listen to all the time.
Anyway, I don't quite know if there's a point to this post beyond my observations and concerns about TV and my toddler. And my concerns about my wife's quick-trigger when it comes to putting in the toddler DVD.
1 year ago