Screening Screen Time

I just completed reading Antonio Scorto’s blog. This is what he had to say:

Paper Mario, Wii virtual console (N64). My son (he’s almost seven) loves this game. He, however, like many boys his age, does not enjoy reading, and complains when we have him read to us, but this game has a lot of reading, and I mean, a lot of reading. It’s mostly at his level . . once in a while we have to help him with a word . . and I’d say that it’s very similar to if we had him read a comic book, except that it’s interactive. There is also a lot of decision making and higher order thinking going on. The best part about this is that he is limited to 30 minutes of TV time a day (including this). He can earn another 30 minutes by doing “talking to mom time.” Talking to mom time comprises of him actually reading a real book, and/or working on his writing for 30 minutes with my wife (she teaches HS). He begs to do this “talking to mom time” so he can play Paper Mario, which is mostly reading, decision making, problem solving, etc.

I took it upon myself to do some research. I did some looking and found that children under 2 years old should not have any screen time. And children over 2 years old should have no more than 2 hours of screen time. These facts are from the American Association of Pediatrics via kidshealth.org

What bothers me are companies like Baby Einstein. Check it out. Look at their website. You tell me if they are promising parents that their children will be getting into Ivy League schools or elite private schools that contain the word “friend” in their name. I think this is wrong. This situation reminds of what the federal government does with tobacco in this country. On one hand, the government subsidizes tobacco farms because smoking and tobacco sales are down, which of course is good for the overall health of country. Now, on the other hand, the government gives money to agencies to promote anti-smoking campaigns. What Baby Einstein is doing is no worse than Crown Royal having a billboard advertising their liquor that faces a high school. What makes Baby Einstein worse than Crown Royal, which I don’t know for sure advertises near a high school, is that Crown Royal is not promising to make you smarter.

Tony, I think it is great that you limit how much screen time your son get. I’m just not sure how many parents limit time for their children.

5 Responses to “Screening Screen Time”

  1.    Judy Maxson Says:

    I remember two years ago when Kathy Nunley announced at Curriculum Camp that children under the age of 2 should NEVER watch TV. Kathy even went so far as to say that too much TV could negatively effect brain development of young children and lead to later attention problems in school.

    To me, this whole argument is a “no brainer”. While I don’t want to get into the age of debate of “what makes a good parent”, I will say parents rely too much on the TV or computer to babysit and/or entertain their children. Young children (under the age of 2) do not need to watch Baby Einstein or Seseme Street to become genuises nor do they need to play online games to learn their ABCs.

    Simply put, young children need their parents, and no flashy online game or Baby Einstein cartoon can EVER replace that…enough said.

  2.    Rick Weinberg Says:

    Judy,
    Thanks again for contributing to my blog. When I was a bit younger, I would never comment on parenting. I simply felt that I was not a parent so I don’t know what I would do in certain situations. Well, now I am a parent and I’m not affraid to say that things are wrong. I think you to will feel this way soon.

    I have got to say that sometimes you watch Seseme Street with your young child just to be able to fold the laundry.

  3.    Judy Says:

    Hi Rick,
    Thanks for your comments. I’m sure becoming a parent may change my views or solidify my current beliefs. Either way, I am looking forward to becoming a mommy and making these decisions.

    Referring to the topic of the blog, my fear is that we are creating a generation of children who are dependent on TV and multimedia. A few months ago, I watched “Supersize Me”. In that film/documentary, the star interviewed several children and asked questions. For example, these children were given pictures of famous people (presidents, movie stars, cartoon characters, and stars of commercials). Hands down…most children could identify Ronald Mc Donald, Capt. Crunch, and Wendy, but they could not identify the President of the US.

    Watching TV periodically is fine, but depending on it all the time to entertain and educate children….not so okay, especially when they’re young.

    This I believe :-)

  4.    Robby M. Says:

    Good post, many thank you to the author. This is puzzling to me now, in general, the usefulness as well as significance is overwhelming. Greatly thanks again and best of luck!

  5.    best double stroller Says:

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