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A Harvard study released today has concluded there's no correlation between how much time kids under two spend watching television and their progress at age three. So now you can all 'fess up! Despite the fact that viewing had no impact (positive or negative) on academic achievement among older children and adolescents, do you believe that there are programs and DVDS that can be "educational."
Tell us: How much TV do you REALLY let your kids watch and WHAT are you letting them watch?

Tags: Baby, Einstein, Harvard, children, study, television

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Here's my take on it: Kids are sponges. My 3 year old knows all the words to Dancing Queen from Mamma Mia. My 5 year old can quote the TV show Full House. My 8 year old talks about movie characters as if he knows them personally. Whether or not a DVD to TV show is "educational" or not depends on what you want your kids to be learning. Because they ARE learning from whatever they are watching.

We don't have cable at our house, which means that we watch no TV. Forget trying to get reception with the rabbit ears. But we have a hefty collection of DVDs and my kids watch between 0 and 2 hours of "TV" a day. Now, my 3 year old does watch more than that because he's not at school all day long. And if we are home all day long (snow day or sick day) we will probably watch at least 2 videos. I'm at least happy that we can monitor exactly what they are watching, because we know exactly what's in our house. That doesn't mean everything we have is educational or uplifting, but at least we can make sure they're not learning something we don't want them to be.
The TV is also not the devil at my house!! My DH and I very closely monitor what our little ones watch. In fact, I would say it has been very beneficial to us. We sit down and watch TV with them. We discuss what is going on "Look at Mickey going down the slide, what color is the slide" or "how nice Dora is sharing her toys with Boots." Cristina, I agree with you that PBS has some great show and we too only allow our little ones to watch things on Noggin, PBS and some shows on the Disney Channel/Disney movies (and a little football and baseball here and there with Daddy!!!). I strongly believe it is important to watch TV with our little ones, it can be a great learning experience and most importantly it is all about moderation.
I often tell my daughters that too much of good thing is a bad thing. When used in moderation and with appropriate supervision, though, television can be an activity that brings families together and helps children to see that there is more to the world than what they see in their home town.
No guns, no problem, in my opinion. My kids watch very little TV, however, because they're too busy trashing my house. But i like TV for my kids - that's my confession, I guess. To watch them glued to Earth, or even Oswald...they're calm, they're happy...what's not to love?
Well to be honest the TV is on all the time at my house but doesn't get "watched" all that often. We leave it on Sprout when my 5yr old is home, and when he is at school I put it on NCIS on the DVR. My 1yr old Melly LOVES NCIS... she has a thing for Gibbs and gets all excited when he is on the screen!!

On the Education note, my kids do learn from what they watch! Dev (5) loves to watch Zaboomafoo and talk about all the animals. Melly is already learning what cats and dogs say from the show (and others)! As for watching other "adult" shows, Devin is learning from them too. There was something on NCIS the other day about chemicals and than he saw a "poison" sign on a cleaning product and told me that it had chemicals in it just like in Abby's lab and asked me to tell him about the chemicals and what they were for... It was a great opening for me to tell him about not touching them!
I agree it is not a babysitter, and I hate it when people just plunk their kids down for hours at a time... I call the TV a Shower-Sitter though because I know I can get a nice long shower in if I have it on PBS Sprout!

Cristina Mathers said:
Over the years, I have learned this can be a very controversial topic! In our house TV is not the devil. TV has really been beneficial for my daughter who is 3. She first listened to the Baby Einstein CD series and then the DVDs and was speaking in full on sentences by 2. Of course, I always was saying things like "see that brown cow, what do cows say?" and that sort of thing. Now she likes to dance to Yo Gabba Gabba or problem solve with Super Why. PBS has some really great shows. I think it's all about moderation. Both in content and time. We only let our kids watch things on Noggin and PBS and occasionally the Disney Channel and most Disney movies. A couple of hours a week of TV has proven to be beneficial, educational and rewarding. My child has a wonderful imagination, an astounding memory and amazing vocabulary.

I've heard things like TV is not a babysitter and it's not right to plop my kid down in front of it. My kid never sits when watching--she's always up dancing and moving around. And the last time I checked my TV didn't change diapers, give bottles or give baths therefore-not a babysitter in my eyes.
To be honest, the t.v. would be on a LOT less if not for DH. There are shows that I would never have gotten into on my own if he didn't have the t.v. on so much - if he's home, it's a safe bet it's on! SO, the kids get a lot of t.v., whether it's watching whatever he's watching or they're own stuff. We don't have cable, so they get PBS & Qubo or one of their own movies. We eat dinner in front of the t.v., as well, which bugs me a fair bit, but otherwise the kids and I will be sitting at the dinner table waiting for my husband so we can start eating (nobody eats if everybody's not there) and then he'll scarf down his food on a commercial break and be gone. My kids love the Simpsons, as that's what we watch during dinner time. Is it appropriate? No. Do I let them quote it or emmulate (sp?) it at any point in time? NO - we discuss what is and isn't appropriate behavior on t.v. and in real life.

I think I may start having dinner in the dining room again, though...and we will wait for no one who is more interested in the t.v. than their dinner. Dinner will start when we sit and end in 30 minutes - period. GRRR...
I agree with Lolli. My almost 3 year old picks up on everything. There are certain things that kids just shouldn't be subjected to. We do watch "Imagination Movers" which my daughter absolutely loves and her new thing is "Mary Poppins" which is awesome and is alot of fun. Playhouse disney does have some cute shows but we don't go over 2 hours of tv time each day.
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