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Babies watching TV

mgregus
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Joined: Oct 25 2006
 

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mgregus
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Joined: Oct 25 2006
Nearly half of three-month-olds watch TV.

quote:Three-month-old babies are too little for solid food. They can't sit up by themselves and many can't sleep through the night. But 40 per cent of them are already watching television, according to a study published today.

*snip*

quote:Canadian babies will soon have more television choices — and at all hours of day and night. A U.S. company plans to launch a 24-hour cable channel for babies, BabyFirstTV, in Canada by the end of June. Britain's BabyTV channel, now available as a specialty pay channel in Toronto for some cable subscribers, has won approval from federal regulators for broader Canadian distribution.

Although experts such as Dr. Zimmerman argue that TV viewing could damage infant brain development by eating up valuable brain-wiring time, providers of baby programming say their shows can be educational. “We do see that little babies are like sponges,” says Sharon Rechter, founder of the Los Angeles-based BabyFirstTV network. “They learn.”


jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
I heard about that study on the radio yesterday morning. It’s really quite sad. I was chatting with a friend the other day about how I wasn’t allowed a Nintendo as a child. Of course, he felt sorry as me, as most children of the 80s usually do when I tell them my sad tale, but my parents urged me to go play outside, climb trees, get dirty, not stare at a TV screen to watch television shows or video games all day. But I do see how constantly they are used as a tool to pacify their children. Don’t get me wrong, I still wander into the CBC Museum from time to time, and get a little reminiscent as I look at the Tickle-trunk, and Mr. Dressup’s easel. I did love television as a child. But I was far older then, not only a few months old!

I’ve vented a thousand times about multiple images that I saw at a busy mall a few Christmas’s ago. I can’t remember which one, but it was upscale, on a weekday afternoon. Dozens of mom’s pushed strollers from store to store. This of course isn’t shocking, but what was shocking, and so angering to me, was how many of these strollers, for small, small children and babies, contained portable DVD players. It angered me because it is so completely unnecessary. How are children supposed to learn to entertain themselves. Or to enjoy a day out with mom. Or to think creatively. Or a million other things that I honestly feel they are deprived of when they are hooked up to technology like it is a form of life support.

End rant. I’d be interested to hear from some of the parents out there on this topic.


marzo
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Joined: Feb 14 2006
Strollers for small children and babies containing DVDs? I'm really surprised!
Why do people do this to their kids? They've got the rest of their lives to watch DVDs or whatever new technology takes its place.
[img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]

Polly B
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Joined: Dec 15 2004
Baby Einstein. Everyone I know with babies is plopping their little one in front of these vids every time they get a chance. It's supposed to make them smarter. Gah.

jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
Children and electronic media is becoming a hot topic for researchers. There have been a number of studies looking at the affect on electronic media and babies. Makes me wonder who funded some of them!

The above study finds that 58 per cent of babies/toddlers under the age of three watch t.v EVERY day. It goes on to attempt to study to link between aggressive behaviour and television consumption. One thing that shocked me is that many small children actually have t.v sets in their bedrooms! Good luck getting that child to bed on time!


Polly B
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Joined: Dec 15 2004
Television (and video games) are way too prevalent. My kids can't have a tv in their rooms (I refuse to have one in my room also) and they are limited to tv only for a short time in the evening if the chores are done and the homeworks done and the lunches are made and the dogs are walked and....any other excuse I can come up with. Video games are a Sunday-only item, and only for limited time. That schedule absolutely horrifies their friends, who can't imagine not having 24-7 electronic muck.

(Ya, maybe I am the mean-mom, but I have the best of intentions.) [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]


jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
quote: That schedule absolutely horrifies their friends, who can't imagine not having 24-7 electronic muck.

They'll thank you for it soon enough! And they'll do the same thing to their children! And they'll thank you for the wonderful books they've read, and the time they've spent outside, and how they've done well in school because they followed their strict-mom.


N.Beltov
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Joined: May 25 2003
My childhood friend, Maurice Edward Lamarche had a TV in every room in the days when that was a rarity. His dad, Guy Lamarche, was a stock trader, rich one month and broke the next, who spoiled his kids, Maurice and Paul, with a TV in every room including the bathroom. Maurice later turned his love of cartoons and sixties television into a stand-up comedy career and voiceover acting.

But for the rest of us, that sort of exposure is probably not a good thing.

[ 09 May 2007: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
That’s true. We can’t all be the Rosie O’Donnell’s of the world, who watch hours of television as a kid and turn it into a multi-million dollar career. The same can be said for those who spend hours at video games, and become successful software engineers. Technology can definitely be a stimulant for youth. Toddlers listening to music is a wonderful thing, that can also turn into a worth-while career. Or television programming from time to time is also wonderful! EVEN video games can be educational. But similar to the thread on children and internet usage, kids need to be educated on the possible harms. And they need to be away from it enough that their own creativity is being stimulated. I worked in a giant retailer that sold video games for a long, long time. It was amazing how kids would come drop their $100.00 birthday money on ONE video game and walk away happy. Think of all the glorious books that could buy!

mgregus
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Joined: Oct 25 2006
quote:Originally posted by Polly Brandybuck:
Baby Einstein. Everyone I know with babies is plopping their little one in front of these vids every time they get a chance. It's supposed to make them smarter. Gah.

Yeah, with all the people picking up a video or several of Baby Einstein, there's going to be a lot of pint-size geniuses running around...if there's anything to their promise of making kids smarter!


Phrillie
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Joined: Mar 15 2007
I'm curious. When we're talking about babies watching TV, do we mean babies being present when the TV is on? In what sense are they "watching"? Full disclosure: we didn't have a TV until I was 8.

jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
From what I understand, after hearing some specialists talk about this study on TV and the radio, the study is referring to babies who watch television, not just who are present while it is on, though the Globe and Mail article doesn't specify. It does say that it looks at how television is used to keep children's attention or as a learning tool, so I think the study refers to babies who are intentionally plopped infront of the TV for some exercizing of the brain.

jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
The Today Show made a great point this morning that the “cradle” in the term “cradle to grave” marketing was generally a euphemism. A slight exaggeration at how marketing companies attempt to reach children. The report even goes as far to say: “The moment a baby can see clearly, she becomes a consumer.” It’s come up in the internet and children thread, but also applies to this one. It terrifies me to think the amount of advertorial images being projected onto these babies, who have zero ability to process this sensory overload.

The leading hypothesis on this report as to the affect of television (it used Baby Einstein as an example) is that television use among babies causes an “orienting reflex loop,” where the scenes on television are constantly changing, causing a baby to startle, and then have to try and process the image, just for the scene to change, and then startle again. It’s a chain of startle – process, at a speed that can’t be comprehended by a baby. The hypothesis was that they just can’t remove themselves from this orienting reflex loop. But currently there is no research to access the long term affects of such sensory overload. The report calls baby television viewing a vast and uncontrolled experiement, because in reality nobody has any idea of the harms.


JayPotts
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Joined: Feb 7 2007
I totally believe this study my nephew who just turned 3 is addicted to TV. Right now whenever he comes over he wants to do nothing but watch TV or that damn movie 'Cars'. But now I feel terrible whenever I say no and he throws a fit.

Southlander
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Joined: Sep 22 2005
Three year olds like to throw paddies, dont worry, but if possible see if you can explain to him that you're not doing it to be mean! (presumibly) [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

ouroboros
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Joined: May 18 2005
quote:Originally posted by jrose:

They'll thank you for it soon enough! And they'll do the same thing to their children! And they'll thank you for the wonderful books they've read, and the time they've spent outside, and how they've done well in school because they followed their strict-mom.

How do you know they'll thank anyone for this? You can't know. This stuff is here to stay. Sticking your head in the sand about it wouldn't help. In fact it may very well hurt them in the future.

While everyone else their age will know how to deal with many streams of info and tech they may not.

We are in a new time and raising kids in an old way maybe doing them more harm then good. I've seen kids who's parents didn't let them watch tv, or play video games or use computers much and they are having a hard time right now. They are behind people their own age in terms of computer and tech knowledge.

I'm not saying that kids should have unlimited access to TVs, video games or computers. But only once a week is a bit over the top. Why is reading a book better then reading on the internet? I've found the internet to be much more interactive then a book.

And as for the kids buying video games instead of books, that's why there are libraries. That way you can have you book and video game too.


jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
I don't think that anyone on this list is saying that we should surgically attach blinders to our children's eyes, and keep them completely in the dark about technology. There is a definite place for video games, the internet and television. Technology brings with it a number of benefits (ie. knowledge at our finger tips, using it as learning tools, quality programming). I don't think anyone, including myself on this thread are refuting that. BUT I strongly believe that there is a time and a place for it.

quote: I've found the internet to be much more interactive then a book.

Interactivity on the internet is a definite advantage. It is a tool that can be extremely helpful, if used correctly, but I fear that many youth aren't web savvy enough to enjoy such responsibility. That they stumble upon this media's negative side too frequently, and I don't say that blindly, I've seen it happen. Is it more interactive than a book? Sure. Does it get the creative juices flowing as much? I doubt it. Much of my learning processes throughout life, even from an early age came from books, and I don't just mean from the words on the page. I think with the vibrant graphics, flash animation and interactive games on the internet there is so much less left to the imagination. I would argue that this interactivity with the mind, creating images in your head, and the entire through process involved with reading is far more intense than anything I've seen on the internet screen. And I'm not coming from the perspective of someone who is too old to have grown up with the internet, because I did. I fully realize how techsavvy kids are today, but I strongly believe there is a lot of room for the other stuff too.


Polly B
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Joined: Dec 15 2004
quote:Originally posted by ouroboros:

I'm not saying that kids should have unlimited access to TVs, video games or computers. But only once a week is a bit over the top.

I agree, that's why I don't include computer time on that list of things I limit to once a week. We have four computers in our house and all my kids are computer literate. However, if all they are doing online is gaming...I will sure find them something else to occupy their time.


jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
quote: However, if all they are doing online is gaming...I will sure find them something else to occupy their time.

You're right, computer use is a far more complex issue, and also being discussed here. I think that is where the parent's role comes in, as Polly said. Homework is one story, Online gaming and chatting with friends is another. I would approach it just like I would most other activities, on a case to case basis. Saying it makes sense to limit internet use to only an hour is great in theory, but with schools, and social interaction being so heavily influenced by the web these days, I think it greatly depends on the child’s age, and the purposes of its use.


jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006
'Baby Einstein': a bright idea?

quote: Parents hoping to raise baby Einsteins by using infant educational videos are actually creating baby Homer Simpsons, according to a new study released today.

For every hour a day that babies 8 to 16 months old were shown such popular series as "Brainy Baby" or "Baby Einstein," they knew six to eight fewer words than other children, the study found.

...

Christakis and his colleagues surveyed 1,000 parents in Washington and Minnesota and determined their babies' vocabularies using a set of 90 common baby words, including mommy, nose and choo-choo.

The researchers found that 32% of the babies were shown the videos, and 17% of those were shown them for more than an hour a day, according to the study in the Journal of Pediatrics.

...

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children under 24 months.

The Brainy Baby Co. and Walt Disney Co., which markets the "Baby Einstein" videos, did not return calls from the Los Angeles Times.

Christakis said children whose parents read to them or told them stories had larger vocabularies.

"I would rather babies watch 'American Idol' than these videos," Christakis said, explaining that there is at least a chance their parents would watch with them — which does have developmental benefits.



mgregus
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Joined: Oct 25 2006
Wow, I wonder if the Brainy Baby Company will be hearing from angry parents wanting their money back.

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