Sunday, September 7, 2008

More on the TV thing...

So I'm sitting with Laura and Rose yesterday at Panera (waterlogged, might I add, but that's another story), and I'm not sure how we got to talking about the TV watching subject; probably something I said. I talk a lot. Yeah.

Anyway, I think it was Laura who said, "You are going to eventually let her watch TV, aren't you?"

Yep, I am. To an outsider, my views might appear "extreme." Sometimes I feel the same way about myself. So I've really sat down and thought about my strategies. I'm only giving Claire cereal, fruits, vegetables, chicken, and soon turkey for the time being. I will eventually allow her "dessert" and some sweets. I won't lie. That will be hard for me to do. I will be terrified of allowing her into my world of food addiction. I fear the minute the first piece of cake crosses her lips, she will turn into me. And that's where my problems are. This isn't me. This is Claire. Claire is not me.

TV somewhat ties into these beliefs as well. I fear the minute I let her watch Sesame Street or whatever, she will be planted like a zombie in front of that set, not wanting to do anything else. She will morph into a dazed blob. Again, I need to let go of the rigidity. If I don't, the forbidden will become the desired. People tend to want what they can't have.

These are the recommendations I've been putting my faith into (AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: Children, Adolescents, and Television Committee on Public Education PEDIATRICS Vol. 107 No. 2 February 2001, pp. 423-426):

Pediatricians should recommend the following guidelines for parents:

1. Limit children's total media time (with entertainment media) to no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day.

2. Remove television sets from children's bedrooms.

3. Discourage television viewing for children younger than 2 years, and encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, and reading together.

4. Monitor the shows children and adolescents are viewing. Most programs should be informational, educational, and nonviolent.

5. View television programs along with children, and discuss the content. Two recent surveys involving a total of nearly 1500 parents found that less than half of parents reported always watching television with their children.

6. Use controversial programming as a stepping-off point to initiate discussions about family values, violence, sex and sexuality, and drugs.

7. Use the videocassette recorder wisely to show or record high-quality, educational programming for children.

8. Support efforts to establish comprehensive media-education programs in schools.

9. Encourage alternative entertainment for children, including reading, athletics, hobbies, and creative play.

So it still is my goal for no TV before age 2. But after that, I'm thinking maybe 1/2 hour in the morning (so mommy might be able to get ready for work!) and 1/2 hour in the evening, though not right before bed nor right after school. I'm thinking right after dinner. My mom doesn't even question me, because she's pretty used to how set in my ways I am. But I do realize Claire is not a robot, and though I have the best intentions, I'm going to have to be flexible, or the very things I'm trying to accomplish will be in jeopardy.

OK, this topic has been covered, and I think that little stinker bit me in the finger. It hurts and I see teeth marks. Hmm.


Anonymous said...

I agree everything you wrote here. I often have the same fear regarding not teaching Minhae eating right, not playing properly with her, leaving TV on around her and all this... I need to be more careful.

Zack Miller said...

Hi Kara,

I love this article about watching TV. I'm also the editor of BizzyWomen (, a site about empowering professional women and mothers. I'd like to cross-post this article on our site (with full attribution to you, of course).

What do you say?

Zack Miller

KaraB said...

Sure, glad to spread the word!