Film and TV

My Babies Watched TV. Am I a Bad Mother?

A few years ago my husband and I had lunch with some friends and their children. Their youngest son spent the entirety of our meal watching a Nickelodeon show that neither one of us could pronounce on his mother's iPhone. At one point he dropped the phone on the floor and wailed loudly that he was momentarily without entertainment. He was two.

When this incredibly long lunch was over, my husband and I walked away with our noses pointed high in the sky. "When we have kids, they will NOT be addicted to the TV. Our kids won't even be allowed to know what a television is before the age of ten!"

Oh, how easy it is to judge the things that you know nothing about.

When we found out I was pregnant, television again became a part of our conversation about the future. It doesn't take following me on this blog for very long to know that I love television and I watch a good lot of it. I would like to think I only watch quality programming, but then Beverly Hills 90210 is my favorite show of all time. My husband is an avid sports fan and so that is also often on in the background. But both of us agree that when our twin babies became old enough to be aware of its presence, the idiot box gets powered down.

There are boatloads of studies done on the effects of television on children, babies in particular. By and large, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages parents from allowing their infants to watch television before the age of two. Despite this fact, there are endless amounts of infant-targeted programming that is supposed to encourage early word learning, stimulation and development. Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby and Baby Genius are a few titles I have come across, but there are surely more. The baby market is a hot one.

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Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig